Sunday, December 30, 2007

My Top 10 YTMND’s

For those of you without office jobs and consequently without hours in a day where you can freely roam the productivity hindering wasteland that is the Internet, you may have never come across a little gem of a web page called YTMND ( The premise of the page is simple. Users put images or animations to music to make a statement, a parody, social commentary or just to be weird. About 80 percent of the website is incomprehensible garbage, but some of it is hilarious and in rare occasions artistic. To give you a little history, YTMND stands for “you’re the man now, dog” which comes from the first YTMND ever created. The first YTMND was actually a clip from the trailer of Finding Forrester where Sean Connery utters that phrase. That one clip spawned an underground society of YTMNDers who update the site constantly with new content. To help you wade through the mediocrity, I’ve compiled a list of my all time top 10 favorite YTMND’s. Enjoy!

10. Even Martians Know NBC - - Even innocent looking puppets are lurking about the Internet to steal your children’s innocence. Good thing there is one journalist welling to fight for perverted justice.

9. Lex Luthor > Lil Jon - - Kevin Spacey’s over-the-top portrayal of Lex Luthor was YTMND fodder for quite a while.

8. New Talent on 60 Minutes - - The intro to 60 Minutes featuring some new, unlikely anchors.

7. Vader on Wheel of Fortune - - The Dark Lord of the Sith tries his luck at every grandmother’s favorite game show.

6. Luke Skywalker belts out a face melter - - Who knew Luke Skywalker could rock?

5. Cosby Bebop - - If you’ve never seen the intro to the anime, Cowboy Bebop, you might not think this is funny. Bill Cosby is the butt of many YTMND jokes.

4. Jon Arbuckle does Thriller - - Remember the video to Michael Jackson’s Triller? Jon Arbuckle does!

3. Batman: ualuealuealeuale - - You always knew Adam West was a little off.

2. Holy shi* it's a Dinosaur! WTF? - - Putting words to any John Williams song is funny I don’t care who you are.

1. PowerPoint: Death Star Attack - - The presentation of how to destroy the Death Star had the rebels had the superior technology that is Microsoft Office.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Movie Review: AVP-R

My review of the completely necessary sequel to Aliens vs. Predator has been posted at This was a painful one to watch.


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Movie Review: Charlie Wilson's War

My review of Charlie Wilson's War has been posted on It was one of the best movies I've seen all year. It's right up there with American Gangster. Highly recommended.


Monday, December 10, 2007

M.O.P.S. Episode 4

The fourth M.O.P.S. episode had been posted. Check it out at This one is my favorite ones I've written so far. I don't know if you guys have noticed yet, but last month I added a feature that let's you view a much larger version of the strip. Just click on the small version and a biggie-sized version will appear. It makes it easier to read the text and you can see a lot more detail. The direct link is:

Thursday, December 6, 2007

I'm in 225 Magazine

I appear in the December issue of 225 Magazine that is out right now. I'm one of the people surveyed for the "What's Up: Your Flavor" section where they ask four random people four random questions. Pick up a copy and check out it.

There's no link to it on their website to it so here's the questions I answered:

  • Guilty pleasure TV show: "Grey's Anatomy"
  • Pet Peeve: People who wear socks with sandals
  • Favorite alcoholic beverage: Red Bull and Vodka
  • First Job: Spillway Sportsman

Movie Review: This Christmas

I know it only seems like I update my website when I have a new movie review posted. I promise I'll talk about something else besides movies soon. In the meantime, my review of "This Christmas" has been posted on the The Advocate's site.

Direct link:

Monday, November 12, 2007

Movie Review: Fred Claus

This past weekend I reviewed Vince Vaughn's newest phoned-in performance entitled "Fred Claus." You can read the review on The Advocate's website:

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Movie Review: American Gangster

This week I got to pick which movie I wanted to review. So instead of chick flicks and animated Bible stories, I reviewed "American Gangster," a movie a lot of people will actually see. Check out the review on The Advocate's entertainment site:

Friday, November 2, 2007

M.O.P.S. Episode 3 & Book Fest

I've uploaded the third exciting episode of M.O.P.S. You and your friends should all go look at it and admire it's comicy goodness. Also if you're not busy tomorrow, you should come visit us at the Louisiana Book Festival in Downtown Baton Rouge. We'll be selling books and passing out free stuff at a table in the hedge maze walkway between the state library and the captial.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Movie Review: The Ten Commandments

No, I didn't review the old Heston version. This is a review of an animated version that came out on October 19th. Who needs Charlton Heston when you have Christian Slater? Read my review on The Advocate's website:

Sunday, October 21, 2007

SPX 2007 Report

Christin and I represented ICON Studios at the Small Press Expo (SPX) last week in Maryland. We were there selling copies of Like That as well as promoting our new webcomic, M.O.P.S. The show was smaller than I expected but still the largest comic centric show we’ve exhibited at yet. It was a little larger than Staple! in terms of number of exhibitors and floor space, but there many wasn’t that many more attendees which was a bit disappointing. We didn’t sell that many more copies of Like That than we did at Staple! this past March. There were enough people that we handed out all of our M.O.P.S. cards and stickers. We received a lot of great feedback on the project which we hope will translate into more site traffic. We probably won’t do SPX next year because for the price, we can do an even bigger show like WonderCon or ComicCon. Our next shows will be on consecutive November weekends: Nov 3rd at the Louisiana Book Festival and Nov 10th at the New Orleans Book Fair.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Small Press Expo

I will be representing ICON Studios this week at the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland. The show is Friday and Saturday (Oct 12th and 13th) at the Marriott Bethesda North Hotel & Conference Center. So if you or someone you know lives in the Washington, D.C. area be sure to tell them to come by and visit us. We'll be selling t-shirts and copies of Like That as well as promoting the M.O.P.S. web comic.

The Jane Austen Book Club

My review of The Jane Austen Book Club is online on The Advocate's website. This chick flick wasn't really my cup of tea.


M.O.P.S. Episode 2

The second episode of ICON Studios' web comic, M.O.P.S. is available on the official website This episode was written and lettered by me. Be sure to tell everybody to go check it out or I won't be your friends anymore. Direct link:

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Movie Review: Eastern Promises

My review from this weekend has been posted on The Advocate's website. It's a review of David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises that was released nationwide on Friday.

Here's the link:

My New Gig

I've recently taken on a second job doing some freelance writing for the entertainment section of The Advocate website. I am writing movie reviews for them, the first of which was posted on their site yesterday. It is a review of a film called Death Sentence starring Kevin Bacon. I think I will be starting off doing around one movie review per week, but it's really on an as needed basis. The more movies that come out on one weekend, the more likely I am to write one. I've written one another review besides the one that has been posted already. I'll post the link to that review once it goes live. The link for the review of Death Sentence is

Friday, September 14, 2007

ICON Studios launches new web comic - M.O.P.S.

ICON Studios is proud to present M.O.P.S., a new web comic launching today at The Martial Organization Protecting Sanitation (M.O.P.S.) is a brigade of little monsters that live in your shoes, under your bed, and behind your fridge. They loathe all things dirty, filthy, and downright disgusting. These neat freaks are perpetually cleaning up the mess left behind by not only us humans, but also by those masterminds of filth, the Dust Bunneez. Their adventures will continue with a new episode every month at So please bookmark us or subscribe to the M.O.P.S. RSS feed.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Busy Week

There's quite a bit going on this week. First, the new issue of Tiger Weekly came out today and it features an article by Jason Andreasen on Art Lounge and ICON Studios. For those of you that don't know, Art Lounge is a weekly fusion of local art and music, upstairs at the Roux House every Tuesday night. Music by DJ OTTO (plus more live music on the patio @ 10pm). Not to mention $2 Corona, $3 margaritas, and $5 tequila shots.

Read the article here:

Not only that, but Saturday (Sept 8th) me, Christin and several other ICON members will be in Lafayette for Grinder 2.0. Grinder: Creative Arts Expo is a gathering of creative individuals in an effort to inform, educate and inspire the creative spirit. We will be one of the featured exhibitors, and we'll be selling copies of Like That, t-shirts, & prints. We will also be premiering our newest venture, M.O.P.S., a monthly web comic strip launching in September. We will be giving away free M.O.P.S. promotional items as well as unveiling the M.O.P.S. website ( to the public for the first time. If you get sick of tailgating, you must come out and be one of the first humans ever to see our newest, most ambitious project to date.

Just a reminder: Art Lounge, Every Tuesday night, The Roux House

Sunday, August 26, 2007

New Stand-Up Video

I've finally been able to convert an old video of one of my better stand up sets from back in the day. This weekend I've added two new videos to my YouTube account that are of a 15 minute set I did in October 2004 as part of the Red Stick Comedy Block filmed by local TV station, WAFB. This set never aired because Swamp Mama's closed down (to become The Roux House) shortly after filming this episode. WAFB wanted the episodes to be filmed in a location that would be open when the episodes aired, so we later re-filmed the episodes at SoGo Live, which ironically enough is closed now also. The episode filmed at SoGo aired in November 2005. That was the infamous set where after I had finished my 15 minutes, the cameraman informed me that the camera malfunctioned and none of it was taped. So I had to get back on stage and tell the same exact jokes to an audience that had just heard them 5 minutes prior. Awkward. Anyway, my performance in the below set at Swamp Mama's was a bit unpolished as I constantly check my cheatsheet on the stool, but the material is great. The 15 minute set is broken up into two videos on YouTube because they have a 10 minute limit on uploaded videos. Enjoy!

Watch the second part.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Bourne Ultimatum

Jason Bourne is back for another round of heart pounding, edge of your seat, “no way that could happen” action orgasms. He continues to defy death time and time again for at least another hour and 51 minutes. The end cap of this exciting trilogy deserves every percentage point of the 94% it is getting on Rotten Tomatoes. Attention retards behind the making of Transformers, please report to your local theater to see how an action movie is supposed to be made and don’t forget to take notes. The Bourne Ultimatum is intelligent through and through and does not slow down along to the way to make sure the lowest common denominator is following along. This film is proof positive that great acting and action flicks can indeed get along. Everyone from Joan Allen to even Julia Stiles turned in great performances that showed that these actors were completely on board with director Paul Greengrass in making a quality, thought provoking action film. Although it is still a little awkward to accept Matt Damon’s transformation from Will “It’s not your fault” Hunting to a ninja-like Jack Bauer, you can’t say he isn’t good in this role. This chapter of the Bourne trilogy is more emotional than the others. Numerous uncomfortably tight close ups of the characters faces shows the turmoil and transformations as they question loyalties, accept hard truths and lose faith in ideals. Greengrass has a knack for making you feel like you’re there. The tension leaps from the screen and enters the theater creating a feeling reminiscent of his previous achievement, United 93. As the characters toil with corruption and question institutions so do we. How much liberty are we willing to give up in order to feel safe? How far should the government be allowed to go in the name of security? Are there factions of our government that are better left top secret? These are the questions real politicians, soldiers, and citizens are wrestling with today. I guess it’s comforting to know that Jason Bourne doesn’t have any better answers than we do.

Monday, July 30, 2007

I've been Simpsonized

This is what thinks I would look like as a character on The Simpsons. I don't see the resemblance. It makes me look like I'm in my 40's. Maybe that's just me.

Short and sweet review of The Simpsons Movie: Very funny. Even better than the past few seasons of the Simpsons. It lives up to the hype. It didn't feel like I was just watching a really long episode. The one liners are one after another. I hope we don't have to wait another 17 years for another movie.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

San Francisco

For our honeymoon, we decided on San Francisco mainly because of the MLB All Star Game but also because we both had never been there. My first impression of San Francisco was not great. On the ride from the airport, the cab driver had to drive us through a seedy part of downtown that I had never seen on Full House. Scum-soaked, hourly-rate hotels and pornography stores created a mishmash of uneasiness and regret as we cruised through the streets. The scenery greatly improved as we got closer to the hotel. We stayed at the Grand Hyatt which is located in Union Square by Market Street. The area was a high class shopping district that put my stomach at ease. There were Louis Vinton, Apple Stores, and Neiman Marcus as far as the eye could see. After dropping off our bag (I use the singular “bag” because American Airlines misplaced two of our bags for a while), we hit the streets and immersed ourselves in the flamboyant arrogance that can only be found in the heart of wealthy California. To our surprise (insert tongue in cheek) there were a myriad of homeless men and women draped across the sidewalks. One has to wonder why there are so many homeless in the wealthy, liberal Mecca that is San Francisco, but I digress. That’s another blog for another day. If you can tolerate being asked for change every seven and a half seconds, a stroll in downtown San Francisco can be quite nice. The weather is really great. It hardly gets above 80 degrees in the middle of the day in July, which is pretty remarkable. At night, it gets fairly cold; sometimes in the low 60’s depending on the wind. San Francisco is quite accessible by foot. There were only a few attractions we had to ride the bus for. Unlike New York, every pedestrian obeys traffic signals. Nobody cross the street when the don’t walk sign is lit and nobody crosses outside of the crosswalk. Maybe it’s the pacifist nature of a liberal city; maybe it’s the fact that you would most certainly be flattened by cars running red lights. Who knows?
The food in San Francisco was surprising not terrible. There is a much wider variety of restaurants than I expected. Just about every restaurant is a “fusion” of different ethnic cuisines showing off the city as a vast melting pot. We ate at a number of restaurants: most of them good, others merely adequate. They all share a commonality in the level of service. Every single restaurant in San Francisco has horrible service. It doesn’t matter if you go to a greasy spoon or an upscale bistro, the servers could care less if you enjoyed yourself or not. The servers are unfriendly, slow, and rarely come by to check up on you. Maybe they are trying to be more like Europe or maybe they didn’t like us, either way bad service can ruin a dining experience no matter how great the food is. The best place we ate was a French restaurant called Le Charm. This cozy bistro featured interesting entrees and the best French onion soup I’ve ever had. It wasn’t too pricey either. A close runner up was Citizen Cake. Their specialty is pastries, but these bakers wiped up a pretty tasty roasted eggplant sandwich for lunch. After lunch, we had their famous “personal-sized” cakes which are whole cakes about the size of a Ding-Dong that feed one person. Having the largest Chinatown in America, we figured the Chinese food must be great. We ate at two restaurants there: Young Café and The Four Seas. Young Café was a small, rambunctious joint that seemed to specialize in quick lunches. The Four Seas is Chinatown’s oldest restaurant which featured dim sum and family style portions. I was a little shocked that the food in Chinatown wasn’t that much different than the Chinese food in Baton Rouge. I guess we went to the touristy places. Oh well. Some of the other places we ate were the overly trendy Cortez and Colibri restaurants as well as the charmingly strange Irish bar/cafeteria Lefty O’Doul’s. San Francisco doesn’t have as many attractions as other cities that size. We walked on the Golden Gate Bridge. It was pretty much a huge bridge. We got exactly what we expected. Fisherman’s Wharf is also a popular spot for out-of-towners. It is a touristy, fisherman-themed money trap on the bay that is lined with overpriced restaurants and stores that sell stuff that makes the products in Spencer’s Gifts look luxurious. It reminded me a lot of Navy Pier in Chicago. We didn’t stay there long because if you aren’t in the mood to eat or waste money there really is nothing there for you. We also ventured off to City Lights Bookstore as was suggested to us by more than one person as a place we should check out. It seemed cool enough. They had a huge inventory for such a small, independent bookstore, but the three different Socialist magazines (sitting right next to the latest copies of The Nation and The Progressive) available told me everything I needed to know about that place. Needless to say, they did not have the latest copy of National Review I was looking for. Open minded, Schmopen minded. We also went to the MLB All Star game and took a tour of wine country, but I will blog about those experiences separately. San Francisco was everything I thought it would be, but I am a little disappointed that I was only asked one time to join the ACLU. However, there are always union protests to remind you that the heart of San Francisco bleeds, but not for the homeless of course.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Country + Nolan Ryan = WTF

I'm probably one of the biggest Nolan Ryan fans out there (especially under the age of 40). I have over 300 Nolan Ryan baseball cards including his rookie card, I own a $300 retro Nolan Ryan Angels jersey and I've waited in line 6 hours at an Arlington baseball card convention to get his autograph, but this is too much:

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Man, that was stupid. Michael Bay has done it again. He’s managed to make yet another two and a half hour car commercial and make us pay to see it. That was probably the worst Chevrolet commercial I have ever seen, including the ones that are shown in Louisiana with country singers. One hundred fifty million dollar budgets and extraordinary special effects cannot legitimize the juvenile core of Transformers. They will always be robots that turn into cars, and it will never be interesting to any thinking person over the age of ten. It’s obvious who this movie was aimed for with scenes where robots speak Ebonics, robots urinate on humans, and cheesy lines are dispensed by the dozens. This movie caters more to fans of Bad Boys 2 (another Michael Bay bore) than that of The Matrix. The movie proves that Michael Bay still has learned nothing about story telling. He breaks all the rules without even knowing there were rules to begin with. His dizzying camera angles continue a trend amongst action directors who fill the need to spend fifty grand on the special effects for one shot and then show you NONE of it. Did we really need to see a character from the perspective of a bike chain? The constant switching of camera angles during intense scenes creates a disorienting array of rapid movement that makes the action indiscernible. Why spend all that money on CGI, and not let the audience see these spectacular fights. The rare instances where they pulled the camera back and stuck with one angle for more than ten seconds created unbelievable visuals including the best shot of the movie where Optimus Prime and Megatron tumble from several freeway levels. Had they done that more throughout the movie, it might have held my interest for more than ten minutes of the two and a half hours (did I mention that this movie was two an a half hours!?). The writers did try to keep the smarter crowd interested by tying the Transformers into American history with them being responsible for the Hoover Dam and such. The notion of a secret organization (Sector 7) reverse engineering all our inventions from aliens would have been interesting had I never seen a movie called Men in Black. I’ve just read that they Bay has mentioned plans for a sequel. Thank goodness because I didn’t get to vomit at this one.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Zephyr Experience

It’s strange seeing how much I like baseball that I’ve never been to a New Orleans Zephyrs game before. Ten years later, free tickets fell into my lap, and I find myself in the middle of over-commercialized, nonchalant AAA baseball. The atmosphere at Zephyr Field is unlike any other sporting event I’ve attended. I’ve never been to a game where over 95 percent of the audience could care less about what was happening on the field. I don’t think it would be a stretch to suggest that majority of the “fans” couldn’t tell you how baseball is played. Of course when it’s “one dollar beer night” in Metairie, it’s hard to care about anything. I too found myself lost in the humid buzz that only Louisiana weather mixed with lukewarm Bud Light can create. Good thing there was a scoreboard or no one would have known when to leave. Our seats were great; only four rows from the Zephyrs’ dugout. I’ve never actually been that close to the field since I’ve watched a high school game. Sitting that close to the action opened new experiences to game for me such as hearing the coach scream at the umpire and actually being able to understand what he’s saying. It was a relief to know someone at the ballpark cared who won. I also discovered what a buzz-kill a foul ball flying at your face can be. It was great to see that Minor League baseball still has the charm and aura that Bull Durham revealed to us. There’s nothing in a AAA ballpark that isn’t for sale to the highest bidding sponsor. It would be sad to see baseball whored out this way if it weren’t so amusing. Who can’t smile at the “Hamburger Helper Skillet Challenge” and the like in between innings? I can’t blame them; if the audience isn’t interested in the game, you’ve got to come up with something. Nothing compliments dollar beer night better than “Jewish Heritage Night” complete with Jewish baseball trivia (of course Shawn Green was an answer) and kosher food in the Coors Light pavilion. It’s wasn’t the Wailing Wall, but I’m sure it was the next best thing. And that’s the unpredictable gimmicky nature of Minor League baseball that keeps Americans and me coming back for more.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Huge improvement. Rise of the Silver Surfer continues Marvel’s streak of making sequels that surpass the original. Unfortunately, it also continues another streak: putting silly dance numbers in Marvel superhero movies. That streak now stands at an obnoxious two in a row (see my review of Spiderman 3). When comparing this film to the first, there is hardly a comparison. The humor is funnier, the writing more coherent, and the subplots more relevant and integral. However, when comparing this movie to any other movie, I can see why many critics will pan it. The movie’s themes are cliché and progress in a formulaic fashion that leaves their conclusions predictable and boring. Rise of the Silver Surfer is slow to start which is detrimental to a movie that is only an hour and a half to begin with. I’m pretty sure the average Fantastic Four audience is not interested in how difficult it is for Reed and Susan to plan a wedding. The exposition kick-starts the age old theme can also be found in every other comic book movie ever made: “Can we ever live a normal life?” And the character development does not get any more ground breaking than that. Fantastic Four shows its audience nothing new or innovative in the way of plot or special effects. The movie’s bright spot is its humor. Director Tim Story’s experience with comedy films (Barbershop, Taxi) shines through in his approach to Fantastic Four. At least Fantastic Four never takes itself seriously, and it doesn’t expect you to either. At every point in the plot where the action or drama seems too tense, a wise crack shows up just in time to bring the mood back to where it should be. However, sometimes the humor can seem to be forced and out of place. Fantastic Four never pretends to be anything other than a mindless special effects display so keep that in mind when buying your tickets. By the way, I have to say that casting Laurence Fishburne as the voice of the Silver Surfer was a brilliant move.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Now where will we see cool movies?

The Advocate is reporting that Siegen Village is closing. I remember in high school when that theater was the best one in town. However, once Tinseltown was built, it lost its popularity. But in recent years, it was had redefined itself the closest venue Baton Rouge had to an "art house" theater. Now, there's no where here to go see indy movies that are only playing in "select" theaters. I'll be the first to admit that Seigen Village was in no way a "select" theater or even a great place to see a movie. The sound was like a phonograph that was turned up way too loud, and the whole building had a distinct "we never really clean the bathrooms all the way" musk about it. But at least their was an alternative to seeing something other than "Mindless Sequel 7." Oh well, now we'll either have to wait until DVD or drive down to Canal Place to see cool movies. I think the last movie I saw there was the local film, At Last, but I could be wrong.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Wedding Website

I've finally launched the website for our wedding. People who are unfamiliar with where Christ the King or the Faculty club is can go to the site for maps and other information. There's also some neato pictures up there. Click the banner or the link below to see it.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Spider-Man 3

Third time is hardly a charm. I guess what goes up much eventually come down. The Spider-Man franchise was experiencing a rarity that few previous movie franchises had faced before: the sequel was better than the original. This most notably was the case with the Terminator movies, and most recently with another comic book movie, X-Men. But just like those two other franchises, Spider-Man couldn't "pull a Seinfeld" and quit while he was ahead. Spider-Man joins the ranks of those trilogies by adding a third movie to the series that does not deliver.

Spider-Man had been following the "one movie, one villain" template in the previous two episodes. Those two movies were great. So I guess Sam Raimi fell into the same trap that bachelors fall into when they first learn to cook on their own. Most men in the early throws of bachelorhood will read the directions on the back of the Hamburger Helper box that say "cook for 20 minutes on medium heat." In lies the trap: they then think that if they cook it for 10 minutes on high heat, it will cook faster while maintaining some "cooking time ratio" they think exists (this is also the first time a bachelor learns how to disable a smoke alarm). Raimi falls for the movie equivalent of this trap by suggesting that if one villain in a movie is good, then surely three villains in a movie is triple good, right!? Wrong, sir! See exhibit A: every Batman movie after the first one. In fact Spider-Man 3 most parallels the third Batman movie, Batman Forever. Like Batman Forever, Spider-Man 3 is
hokey edging on ridiculousness. Some scenes were outright cheesy with villains making agreements to kill Spider-Man like they were trading baseball cards and there is even a dance number! At least the dance number in Batman was relegated to Prince's music video and not made a major plot point like in Spider-Man 3. In the comics, the black costume made Peter Parker selfish, vengeful, cold-hearted, and overly aggressive. In the movie, the black (or really gray) suit turns Parker into the same type of person but not to the degree it should have. One thing the suit does in the movie that it didn't do in the comics was transform Peter Parker into some kind of silly, emo, dancing machine (complete with emo hair-do). I don't why they went in that direction. Something tells me Hollywood is trying too hard to appeal to tween-aged girls.

All in all, the script was not well thought out. It contains too many sub-plots and characters going off in so many directions that not even the best writer could wrangle them all in. On top of that, the villains are Sandman, who was never that interesting in the comics, and Venom, whose concept of being the evil version of the hero never results in quality writing, and New Goblin who isn't that strong due to the campy acting of James Franco. The movie is formulaic. Just like the first two, it begins with the main villain being created through a scientific accident. And again just like the first two, it ends with a kidnapped Mary Jane hanging on to something while Spider-man battles the villains. Just a thought but why doesn't some investigative reporter in New York put it together that Mary Jane is the one always getting kidnapped. Hey journalists! You think she might mean something to Spider-Man!? 'Nuff Said!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Thanks for a Successful Art Show

This past Friday night was a great night for ICON Studios. Our art show, Instrvmentvm, at Rasputin was a success. Thanks to everyone who showed up and drank vodka with us. It was the most people I have seen at an art show in a long time. We hope to have many more of these and because of the great showing, I'm sure Rasputin will let us. Heath, Dave, and Keith had some great artwork on display, but I haven't heard any feedback from anyone about what they thought (so leave some comments and let me know).

Now, it's time for us to get back to work bringing art, culture, and liveliness to Baton Rouge. But first, here are some pictures from the event (with special thanks to Christin for taking them):

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

First Reorder

This past weekend I received my first reorder for Like That. So I want to thank Jim Hanely's Universe in Manhattan for selling a lot of my books. If you are in New York, go down to West 33rd Street and buy a copy of Like That so they can put in an unprecedented third order! Speaking of New York, there is also another comic shop in Manhattan that started carrying the book: Forbidden Planet on Broadway.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

My Life Through Music - Part 1

This is the first installment in what will hopefully become a series of articles. These articles will outline year-by-year the music that influenced me throughout my life. I will pick one album for each year with one basic rule: the album must have been released that year or within one year from which I first heard it. This will not only give you some insight on my state of mind during that year but also the state of where music was in general at that time. So I can't say that Journey changed my life in 1998 because not only is that not true, but Journey is also not really representative of the Clinton-sex-scandal-laden and monster-steroid-home run era of 1998. This first part will take you from high school to the first semester of college (1995-1999).

1995: 311 - 311
I know what you are going to say. Only inbred, intellectually deficient frat boys listen to 311. I can't say that in the first half of ninth grade I was hovering much above that level of mental stature. 311 may be a lot of things: annoying and untalented just to name a few. But one thing they aren’t is country. In the young and musically ignorant state I was in, they were exactly what I needed to wane me off of country music and put me on a different path. The guitars were heavier, but the songs were still upbeat with reggae flair. Believe it or not, it was a good medium between country and metal.

1996: Hackers - Original Soundtrack
Computers enter the forefront of not only our lives but in popular music as well. This compilation was my first real exposure to techno music. I latched on to techno music quickly because it was simplistic. It was like listening to rap music without the outlandish lyrics. Most techno songs are spare with meaning and substance so it was easy to listen to while I was studying. I also think the computer geek quasi-hacker in me also tremendously appreciated any art created with computers. This album led me to more bands that I still listen to today like Prodigy, Orbital, and Paul Oakenfold.

1997: Radiohead - OK Computer
I think everyone has that one album that changed their life. For me, OK Computer is close to being it. It was with this album that I began to see the complexity behind music. Radiohead taught me that music didn’t have to be loud and fast. OK Computer was the first album where I recognized the true concept of an album where songs have a particular order and all share commonality while still standing up on their own as individual works. To this day Radiohead remains one of my favorite bands, and each of their subsequent releases since OK Computer has been as stellar.

1998: Korn - Follow the Leader
By the beginning of my junior year, my friends and I were almost exclusively listening to metal and industrial music. Korn’s Follow the Leader happened to not only be their best album, but one of the best metal albums of the late 90’s. And the fact that comic book legend, Todd McFarlane illustrated the album’s cover and directed the “Freak on a Leash” video were icing on the cake. Korn also holds a significant place in my music history. The first concert I ever went to was to see Korn at the Lafayette stop of the first Family Values tour that featured newcomers Orgy and Limp Bizkit as well as underground favorites Ice Cube (“F*ck Dyin’!”) and Rammstein. This opened me up to all sorts of interesting experiences including mosh pits and lead singers that set themselves on fire. You can’t get an education like that in school.

1999: Nine Inch Nails - The Fragile
I anxiously anticipated the release of this album more than any other. Other than the single “The Perfect Drug” on the Lost Highway soundtrack, Nine Inch Nails had not released any original music since the Downward Spiral in 1994. It would be safe to say I was elated upon hearing that they were releasing a double album in late 1999. It was a lot of hype to measure up to, but it delivered. The Fragile is my favorite album of all time. It is filled with such a wide range of emotion from serenity to anger. It also arrived at just the right time in my life when I was undergoing vast transitions. I still listen to this album over and over today. My favorite songs on the album now are not the same favorites I had back then, but those old feelings I had listening to this album over and over as I walked from class to class still resonate. The amazing thing is that even now, at a different time and place, this album seems to grow with me.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Lovedrug - Shortest Concert Ever

I just got back from the shortest concert ever. We had tickets to see Lovedrug open for Plain White T's at the House of Blues in New Orleans. The show started at six which is pretty darn early. I guess that's what we get for going to an all ages show. We didn't leave Baton Rouge until 5:30 which put us at the venue at 6:45 which is exactly when Lovedrug's set was supposed to start (they were second of four). We enter when they are in the middle of the first song. Almost perfect timing. They sound great live. I don't know much about music, but I think when a band sounds great live it is a good indication that their album is not over-produced. I really like how live music sounds. I guess it's just loud, but it seems like it's more than that. That's why I can't wait to get out of an apartment and turn up my sound system as loud as I want. Anyway, Lovedrug played four more songs; only one from their first album. They announced that they were going to play one more song and then abruptly said "nevermind" and walked off the stage. I can only guess that someone off stage told them there wasn't time. I've never been in a band, but that's got to be the moment when a band learns where they are on the totem pole. Five songs is enough! Get back on the bus!
We left after Lovedrug was done. The band playing next was one that I had never heard of and I wasn't interested in seeing Plain White T's. So we ended up driving all the way to New Orleans for 5 songs in 30 minutes. For those of you keeping score at home at $25 per ticket that's $5 per song. But it was worth it.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


Style over substance. The latest installment of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles saga is a beautifully computer animated movie that fails to have a cohesive plot. It seems as though the animators spent all their time making the animation smooth and believable that they ran out of time and had to slap a plot together. A lot of people will tolerate the disjointed story and simply enjoy the eye candy that is fast paced mutant martial arts. But as an aspiring writer, I can't help but be focused on the writing (even if it is just a kid's movie). The movie is fairly short, which is part of the problem. The first act seems to go on forever, and even using voice over narration didn't seem to speed it up. We had to get history on the villain as well as catch up on what each turtle was up to since the defeat of their arch nemesis, Shredder, years ago. By the time they are done setting up the movie, there isn't much movie left. The rest of the story conveniently falls into place. The problems in the movie don't stay problems for very long as a nice packaged solution for each one presents itself just in the nick of time. This, for me, sucked all of the potential suspense right out of the story. It wasn't all bad though. The story had a really strong theme of family and leadership that was somewhat lacking in the previous adaptations of this franchise. What it lacked in plot was made up for in emotion. Tense moments between the turtle brothers translated well on screen due mostly to great technique by talented CG animators. Another weak point of the movie was the voice acting Mako as Splinter (who you may remember as the villain on Samurai Jack). His slurring voice was not a good fit for the wise, composed tutor.

I hope it doesn't sound like I hated this movie, because I didn't. The look of the movie was perfect and the fight scenes were exhilarating. The ending hinted at a sequel, and I hope they follow through and get it made. This franchise reboot has a lot of potential.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

STAPLE! - Report

The Staple! Independent Media Expo was March 3rd in Austin, Texas. It is a small convention for independent comic creators, and we were one of the exhibitors this year pushing copies of Like That upon comic-loving Austinites. This was one of the more interesting events we've done in terms of wide variety of consumers. It is also the first time Christin and I have gone outside the state of Louisiana to sell the book. Austin is seven hours from Baton Rouge so we had a pretty good little road trip. We left Baton Rouge on Thursday night after work and arrived in Austin around 1:30 AM Friday morning. Staple was only a one day show on Saturday so we had all day Friday to check out why the Austin 6 think this city is so much better than Baton Rouge. It didn't take us long to see a major difference. Austin is way ahead of Baton Rouge in many areas including a much livelier downtown, but that's a rant for a different day.

The expo started at ten in the morning, which was probably too early for the type of crowd that would be interested in independent comics. However, this gave the exhibitors a chance to see what other fellow exhibitors had to offer. I received an overwhelming positive response from the other comic creators who found not only our process intriguing but also were impressed by the overall production quality of our graphic novel. I ended up selling a good number of books to other exhibitors.
The crowd really got going in the afternoon, and it was an interesting one indeed. Austin is a huge college town, and we got exactly the type of crowd I was expecting. If you are familiar with Baton Rouge and LSU, you would refer to them as the "State Street" crowd: artsy, hippy, vegetarian types. There's nothing wrong with that crowd. They are certainly fun to talk to. It's just that most of them didn't bring a lot of money. So although we did well with sales, we didn't do as well as I thought we would. There was another type of expo-browser that was rather inspiring: the aspiring comic creator. They, like the other exhibitors, were the most fascinated by the process used to to create Like That. I like to think that it gives them hope that even if they can't draw, there's no reason why they can't make comics.
The overall experience was great. The road trip was fun. Austin was a great place to hang out. We got to go to one of the biggest and best comic book stores I've ever been to. And Staple! was a good show for us. We got to meet a lot of cool people. It reinvigorated my creativity and made me want to find even more shows to do. I think the next show we'll do is SPX in Maryland in October, but I'm going to try to find more shows to do in between.