They're doing it again?

Tonight is the premier of the new ABC show CUPID... or is it?

It's not and this stuns me. They've done this show before. It was about ten years ago. It was also called CUPID and it starred Jeremy Piven. The main character claimed to be Cupid and was thrown out of Mount Olympus and couldn't get back in until he got one hundred couples together. The people around him mostly thought he was just a nut, but he was so good at match making that the viewers were left with the burning question in their head 'What if he's telling the truth?" If this sounds familiar, either you've got a good memory for television or you've seen the promos for the new show.

It was an absolutely brilliant show. It followed Michael Madson on another brilliant show VENGENCE UNLIMITED. It was easily the best two hours of television going at the time.

So of course both shows were canceled mid-season. In fact from conversations I've had with people I may be only one in a handful of people that even remember them. I'm very curious about this. Does ABC think no one will notice? Have they forgotten about it themselves and the creator got one past them?

I'm morbidly curious about the show. As for the predecessor, I showed up for Jeremy Piven and stayed because the show was brilliant. The new show stars someone I've never heard of and is on at ten o'clock at night. Two things that don't bode well for me watching it. This is made tougher by the fact I stayed up late to watch the eleven o'clock news last night to try to figure out what exploded over Virginia Sunday evening.

We'll see what the evening brings.


It's been like pulling teeth. I've had a bunch of stuff ready to go, and my computer was being completely obstinate about me doing much of anything. Ol Betsy is goin' buh-bye very soon and I'll have a completely new computer to gripe about not knowing how to operate.

However, I got the first page of the third chapter of NIGHT LIFE off to Chris so expect to see it soon. And speaking of Chris, he's this installment's artist on TALES OF NIGHT LIFE, which is back on schedule and thanks for the you loyal readers (all six of you) for being patient with me.

I <3 Vampires

I wasn't originally going to call this this little rant that, but I in my morning web-browsing I found an ad completely at random but that title and it seemed like fate. And if that title seems odd coming from a guy who just made fun of "Twilight" one post ago, then read on and all will be revealed.

I like vampires, really. They're great villains. You can kill them off in the required gruesome fashion and not feel bad about it. I've tried to write them as protagonists and even once attempted to write one as a sympathetic character. It just didn't fly. It boils down to one very important thing: I can't bring myself to care about the dramatic immortal plight of something higher than me on the food chain. Let's face it, they're pretty much zombies without the skin problems and better articulation.

The whole 'they live forever see the ones they love grow old around them' doesn't fly, because in all likelihood the ones they love would end up dinner. I did see a t-shirt with a line on it from what I presume was the 'Twilight' movie: "Your scent is like a drug to me." I imagine the actor delivering the line made people swoon with is urgent and longing acting as he used it to win the heart of girl in the film who meets him and despite the fact that potential he's gonna kill her cannot stay away. (And if this isn't the case in the movie, please don't comment to correct me, because I don't care.) If this is indeed the case, I can see why the vampire in question is so smitten with her. He's got no game and she's obviously stupid. It's a match made in Beverly Hills 90210.

So, if this is the case then how do I feel about Angel and Spike from Joss Whedon's series BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and ANGEL? I approve of these for a few reasons. Primarily, Whedon is wise enough to make fun of the whole brooding immortal bit in many other characters telling Angel "He should get out more" or the like. Also, there's nothing 'sexy' about vampirism in these shows. You lose your soul and become infested by a demon. Your face twists into something monstrous when you feed. The feeding itself isn't the trading fluids/metaphor for sex cliché either. It's a nasty predatory affair.

So pop culture aside, let's go literary. I tried to read Anne Rice's vampire books. Got bored into a coma and missed 1997. Thanks Anne. So, back up the trolley further to Bram Stoker's DRACULA. This piece struck the precarious balance between the vampire as the seducer and the monster. He was evil as the night is long no doubt about it. He was also an evil that liked girls; preferably young, hot ones. There's no conflict about bumping off because if you don't he's either going to kill you, bang your girlfriend before killing her or both in whatever order is convenient.

So, with the current vampire fad rampant with a certain recent DVD release, am I worried that the current piece of fiction I'm writing won't fair well because there's vampires in it that are evil? Nah. End of the day, vampires are great bad guys and nine times out of ten really lame goods guys. So, get out the garlic and stakes.


So, I've been away for a week. Went to Topeka, Kansas. No, I did not lose a bet.

I have gotten on airplanes twice in my life with it being my idea. First time was in 1992 and then in 2003. Both times were going to Orlando, Florida. I've disliked flying since before it sucked. It's gone progressively down hill. Flying used to be a luxury. Now it's moving people as if they were potentially irritable cargo. They're pleasant enough about it, however they used to smile when they asked what you would like for your in flight meal or snack. Now you pay for trail mix, but the drinks are free as long as they're non-alcoholic.

Still I went for family. I was promised a good time by way of a trip to Kansas City, which I here has some interesting things going on. This was just a cunning ploy however. Much like when the promise was made to me that I wouldn't have to fly anywhere for a year. Smoke and mirrors.

Topeka has become more tolerable since now you have a chance of getting to church on Sunday without seeing the Westboro Baptist Church manning the sideways and holding signs with truly despicable things printed on them. These people are world class shitheels and humanity would be better off burning the lot of them at the stake. Seems another group manned the sideways with signs letting everyone know how that the WBS are a bunch of evil losers and the sissies packed up their tents and retreated to their compound. This group has a tendency to sue people who denounce them so with that in mind I would like to say: GO DIE MISERABLY, YOU WORTHLESS PILES OF SHIT. And you can go to Joplin and find ol' Deffiant McDouchebag and join him in his lawsuit against me. That way Only one judge will have their time wasted if anything ever goes to trial.

I did get a chance to go bowling while I was there, which was nice since wee went to the good bowling alley and the segregated one was torn down. Yes, you read that last bit correctly. Went there once. That was more than enough. I rolled a 189. Yay me.

I was also surrounded at every other turn by 'Twilight' stuff and was asked if I knew what it was.

"Sparkly, queer vampires and the vapid emo girls for love them. Stop looking at me like that. It wasn't my idea."

I also got a chance to watch "Madagascar 2" which was much better than the first one. This was not difficult since the best thing about the first one was the ending credits.

I did manage to reread a good portion of "Good Omens" on the trip so things were bearable. But that was my week in a nutshell. I'm ready to go draw stuff now.

Problems with webpages

I've been surfing a bit lately and looking at different sites. Now, I still love reading webcomics and I like looking at various news stories. I have found a site that's given me a stern reminder of what not to do with web site. Now, before you click that link, I'm warning you, it's truly pathetic and is a complete eyesore. So, let's look at the glaring problems with it as a lesson for those people who are thinking of starting up their own site.

First up the viewer is greeted with a front page that looks like some kid drew on the back of his notebook. You are to click the image to go further, however there's nothing telling you to click the image. In fact upon first seeing the image in question my initial instinct was to click the 'back' button to get away from it. There's two problems on that page. First, the image is not an inviting one and does not communicate anything about the site itself other than the name, and that's only if you can actually read it. Second, there's nothing on there prompting viewers of the image to click on it. "Click the image to enter" is a familiar phrase to anyone online, but it's not something that should be taken for granted.

Once you've clicked on it you find a fairly unattractive main page. The page is also stretched so that you must scroll to the right to navigate from there. Again, two major problems. Again, the site is unpleasant to look at, but the even bigger problem is the page stretching. Ease of site navigation is crucial. Things should be clearly labeled and easy to find. Websites like these are a presentation. Neatness counts.

Lack of content is the site's biggest weakness. There's nothing there to look at or read aside from a few character profiles which are not compelling. This site is meant to be about a new comic book company. There's no sample art to be seen. There are no previews. There's no real content. I had a previous website, that was very light on content, however there was still something there. Now, the site I'm at now is completely content driven. The sole purpose for the site is to make our content available to whomever wants to view it. The site I'm discussing now is meant to advertise the comics the people behind it intend to publish. There's nothing there to hook a potential reader.

There's a whole area about the personal belief system of the head of this site. This has no place here. I worked for a sci-fi/fantasy/gaming zine about ten years ago. The editor had a page in which he'd discuss things pertinent to the zine. These were things that readers of this zine would be interested in. He made the mistake one month of using that page to discuss his beliefs over something political. Readers did not pick up that zine to read about politics and there were complaints. Back to the matter at hand, if this site is supposed to be about a comic company, then it should be about that comic company and not also serve as a soapbox or pulpit.

And there's a forum on there for people to discuss the content of which there is none of. I know there's some very good webcomics that have their own forums, but these forums aren't of any real use to the companies. It's tempting to add them to your site, to see what people think of your work. However, you're not likely to get good constructive criticism. I tried offering that once on a forum for a fairly prominent webcomic only to have the rabid mouth-breathing regulars descend upon me like a pack of rabid howler monkeys condemning me for daring to utter something that wasn't praise for the cartoonist's work. I like a good forum as much as the next geek, but they're not really of any use and it's just one more thing to tend to when you should be worried about content. For that matter, the content should come first, and then maybe see if there's enough interest to warrant a forum.

Another problem is the overuse of capital letters and horrible spelling and grammar mistakes that plague the site. Mistakes happen, but there's no excuse for this level of incompetency for any firm that wishes to be taken seriously. Any errors should be dealt with as soon as possible. The overuse of the capital letters makes it look like it was being put together by a child screaming for attention.

Now according to this site, they're planning on shipping their books out on May 3rd. Unfortunately, there will likely be nowhere to ship them to. This website is the primary means of advertising for this company. Advertising isn't meant to turn people away.

Things afoot

First thing's first:

Yep, that would be me getting my head shaved for the St. Baldrick's event. I raised nearly $300 dollars, and honestly, that more than I expected. I'd like to thank my family, the Giessuebel family, Brian, Linda, Otasha, Kristie, Jay and Comic Kings for their generosity to a very worthy cause.

Next up is the current Night Life hiatus. This is affecting both the comic and the prose serial I've been doing. Computer problems have been an issue, but moreso in the past week there's been a great deal things going wrong. Illnesses, accidents and an untimely passing have all hit those near and dear to me. Frankly, it got to the point where so much bad news kept hitting me that I was fully expecting a zombie apocalypse/robot uprising this past weekend. So, I won't be putting up much content until April, however things are going back to business as usual then, with my update schedule getting back to normal.

Last but not least, there's a new website featuring my dojo and the ones I'm affiliated with. Feel free to check it out. there's lots of good pictures.

Wonder Woman gets animated

I sat down this evening to go through the two-disc special edition of the WONDER WOMAN DVD animated feature that came out this week. The feature itself was top notch. Gail Simone and Michael Jelenic lay our a compelling version of Wonder Woman's origin that stays very true to the original works of William Moulton Marston. The voice work in this piece was an absolute joy. Keri Russell was very enjoyable as Diana, and great the character strength as well as femininity. Alfred Molina was remarkable as the voice of Ares. Molina brings a sophistication to the character that could have easily been portrayed as a frothing beast. I have to say, I think the show was stolen was Nathan Fillion as Steve Trevor. Fillion's comedic timing is flawless as always and he delived a standout performance that played very well again Russell's Diana.

The story itself was just what I wanted from it. It was packed with great action sequences. Diana is depicted as a great warrior, but also as a woman of great compassion. She's very guarded of herself in the world, especially against the often hilarious advances of Trevor, yet at the same time she's at heart a very gentle soul. There's an incredibly charming scene with a little girl that just reeks of Simone's influence that brought a smile to my face.

The two disc edition is worth the little bit extra for the documentaries. They delve greatly into not only the history of the character, but her place in mythology and the Feminist Movement. They also talk a great deal about Marston, who was truly ahead of his time in the character's creation. I did find Dan DiDio's appearance in the extras talking about DC's progress attitude towards it's characters to be highly hypocritical considering his current mandates on many of the intellectual properties. Also, a few of the experts they talked to came off as kooks. However, it's well balanced out by the sheer amount of great information presented.

It's a great addition to my DVD collection. Kudos to everyone who worked on it.