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.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Grinder Media Expo - Report

The first annual Grinder Media Expo was held on February 28th at Club 307 in downtown Lafayette, Louisiana. Grinder is the brainchild of local comic book artist, Kody Chamberlain. The show was set up in the same spirit as other independent media shows such as the AntiGravity Media Expo we did last October. I'm always looking for little shows like this around Louisiana, so I jumped at the chance to get a table and be a part of it. The show itself was a lot fun. Club 307 has undergone a lot of renovations since I did stand-up there three years ago. It looks a lot better, but it is still cramped for space. The exhibitors all got to know each other a little better since we were in such tight quarters. The show started at 8:00 PM but the crowd didn't really get going until around 10. It was a young, college crowd, and they all seemed to be interested in what the exhibitors had to show. Overall, we didn't sell that much, but I'd still like doing these small shows because of all the people we get to meet (including the exhibitors). The funniest part of the whole night is that our table was next to Brad from Icon Visuals. So the whole night we had to explain to people that although we are both "Icon" from Baton Rouge, we are not the same group.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Site Overhaul - Finally!

As you can see, I've finally updated my website. I've given the site a much need atheistic update. I've tried to get rid of the over use of patterns and tried to open up the site from the "boxy-ness" it had before. Other than that, perhaps the biggest update is what you are reading right now, the blog. My blog is now being fed directly from my new Google blog. That means my web site will no longer be a pain in the butt to update. All I have to do now is update my Google blog, and my personal website will automatically update. Isn't technology grand!? Since it will be so easy to update now, I will do it more often. You can also now leave comments on my posts. So, please do because I like hearing from everyone. In addition to commenting on my blog posts, I've also moved all of my video content to YouTube so you can comment on those too. So, what to you think?