Box Office Duds

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I enjoyed “The Avengers,” but “The Dark Knight Rises” is the only summer blockbuster I’m looking forward to. Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” is the movie I’m most anticipating this year, but it’s not coming out until the fall. I guess the awesomeness that is summer television will have to tide me over.

No snark either. Breaking Bad, Comedy Bang Bang!, and a bunch of other shows are entertaining me much more than the ridiculous news stuff I have to follow for that other comic strip I do.

Life Imitates “Art”

full comic here

A couple months ago, I included this panel in a cartoon featuring advice for Romney, who was floundering in the polls to human-turdburger Rick Santorum. This caused James Lipton to lose sleep and productivity as he thought about the imaginary job I conscripted him for. (Sorry, Mr. Lipton!) He took the job seriously, and produced this hilarious video and an accompanying article. Check it out.

This is the closest I’ll ever come to interacting with someone involved with the greatest sitcom ever, Arrested Development.

Big Fat Book Club

Lately I’ve only been able to read in what little free time I have between putting down the Wacom and passing out (either from plain-old sleepiness or with an assist from drinking) at night. Although I’m perpetually behind on my reading, there’s some great new stuff that’s been keeping me up WAY past my bedtime, and probably contributing to my increasing crankiness of late.

First up is Boston Phoenix writer and fellow Jamaica Plainer Chris Faraone’s 99 Nights with the 99 Percent: Dispatches from the First Three Months of the Occupy Revolution. It chronicles his impressive coverage of last fall’s Occupy movement. Starting with Occupy Boston’s takeover of Dewey Square, he crisscrossed the country reporting on Occupations as quickly as they sprung up. He was one of the few journalists who actually attended general assemblies and dug deep into the heart of the movement, unlike most in the media who either reported on drum-circle goofballs, or lamented that Occupy didn’t have any demands. (SURPRISE: If you talked to them, they did!) Here’s hoping the movement emerges from its winter hibernation, and when it does, Chris’s reports will be the first I’ll read.

Next is one of the alt-weekly cartoonists who inspired me to pursue this shitty career, Derf, whose latest book is My Friend Dahmer. A longer version of his earlier comic of the same name, it’s a graphic novel about Derf’s teen years spent with the serial killer. It’s funny and poignant, but not in a Lifetime movie kind of way. Obviously Dahmer was a huge fucking weirdo, but Derf draws a portrait of the kind of fuck-up we all knew (or were) in high school. It is my great shame that I have an unsigned copy of the original My Friend Dahmer comic. I met Derf once in Columbus, Ohio at SPACE, in 2003 or 2004, but forgot to schlep my copy out to the midwest for him to sign. He will not remember this meeting, as I knew my comics were super-shitty at that point in my career, so I just acted like a fan when I bought my signed The City collection.

Lastly but not leastly, David Rees, of Get Your War On fame, will release a primer on his latest passion project, Artisanal Pencil Sharpening next month. I went digital a couple years ago, but this thoughtful treatise has me rethinking that decision. One cannot “sharpen” a stylus, and therefore the cartoons I draw with it will never be as sharp as those drawn with a skillfully sharpened pencil. I’ve yet to see a live demonstration, but hopefully us rubes in Boston will be treated to one in good time.

Shitty Cinema Season

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During my mini-vacation, I caught up with season three of Sons of Anarchy, a dumb show I watch on Netflix when I feel like gettin’ stupid. I was a couple episodes in, when suddenly Stephen King appeared, doing a pretty shitty impression of Harvey Keitel in Pulp Fiction, which was directed by another guy who likes to act even though he’s perfectly good at the thing he’s famous for doing.

Jon Benjamin Has a Van…And My Heart

Not since Wonder Showzen has a TV program made me laugh out of my laugh-hole.

Louie is the best thing going, as far as art and comedy go, but JBHV is the feverish, joke-a-second-handjob comedy nerds crave.

I’m posting this since the next BFW is gonna be late, again, and wanted to direct you to some laughs. The new cartoon should be up sometime over the weekend.

What’s Up My Earholes

As you might’ve already read, I’m pretty sick of news and politics these days, and as a result, I’ve pointed my mp3 player away from NPR and towards some great comedy podcasts while I’m cranking out cartoons. I thought I’d share some of them with you in case you’re into that sort of thing.

Many people don’t like iTunes auto-starting and hogging their system resources, so all these links go to the show websites, or where to find their syndication feeds. If that is too confusing, cut n’ paste the names into the search function on your Steve Jobs’ Money Machine to find them.

WTF with Marc Maron – A great stand-up who covered politics for Air America before getting tired of that shit. There’s lots to love for everyone: frequent, hilarious updates, recurring bits, and the occasional live show, to name a few. But this is essential listening for all of my fellow comedy nerds. The two-part Judd Apatow and Louis CK interviews are particularly awesome.

Comedy Death-Ray with Scott Aukerman – Every week, Scott is joined by his comedy and improv pals for a goofabout. Also, there are plugs.

The Bugle (weird link, since Times UK website is paywalled.) – John Oliver and Andy Zaltzman are funny dudes from some country that loves soccer and binge drinking. John is frequently on something called “The Everyday Show, except Friday-Sunday, and All the Times It’s on Vacation.

Pod F. Tompkast – Paul F. Tompkins has been the best podcast guest since the format was invented in the nineties and originally called Pogcasts. It is my great shame that I was unable to get tickets to see him earlier this month when he visited Cambridge.

Doug Loves Movies – Doug Benson, famous marijuana enthusiast, has other, more interesting interests, like movies. Other comedians are frequently guests, but the best episodes are when the comics get to bounce off of the actors and actresses who stop by.

Science Friday – Not comedy, and a cameo on The Big Bang Theory certainly removes all doubt, but it’s the one NPR program I still make a point to keep up with.

There are more, and I’ll post recommendations soon, since they’re easier than coming up with my own, original blog content.

Liveblogging Outsourced

The liveblog is over, and I feel significantly dumber for watching this ignorant, lowest common denominator, racist abomination. I’ll be ignoring it from now on, and hopefully Parks and Rec will return to the Thursday night comedy nerd playground soon.

Also check out Todd VanDerWerff’s recap over on the AV Club. He hates this shit almost as much as me and should consider the mailing of the review DVD a hate crime.

10:00 It ended with a shit joke! I can’t wait for the Mexico-based spin-off, or shall I say “shit-off?” No. End this show now. Tomorrow I shall eat Lamb Vindaloo and Peshwari Naan to make amends for watching this turdburger.

9:52 Hey! Wait a minute! Why isn’t Fisher Stevens in this?

9:49 Commercials are a peephole into the part of America I fear and loathe.

9:47 This show is some defensive xenophobic bullshit right here. RATINGS Gold!

9:43 I want to see the Sikh fuck the American up.

9:39 This show hates Indians, Americans, and Australians.  But it doesn’t think it hates Americans.

9:37 Fuck these guys. Indian food is delicious.

9:35 This should have been titled “Van Wilder Goes to India and Is Not Funny There Either.”

9:33 I hear the green screens in India are beautiful this time of year.

9:31 Poor Matt Walsh. He’s so good. (Elsewhere.)


9:26 Although it flies in the face of continuity, I love web-savvy Creed.

9:19 For the last six or so years, I’ve been haunted by Kathy Bates’ tits in About Schmidt.

9:12 This Luke crap could’ve been a good Modern Family crossover.

9:02 So now The Office is aiming for actual Michael Scotts as its target audience?

8:56 I hope 30 Rock references Comedy Death Ray’s other crowd-pleasing bit: PLUGS!

8:45 I hope Matt Damon gets to punch Julianne Moore for her Boston accent sometime soon. On 30 Rock or real life. Either’s cool.

8:35 This Studio Facebook on the Farmville Strip movie looks pretty good!

8:29 The Office is going to start with a stuck-in-a-elevator episode? It smells like jumped-shark up in here.

8:26 Senor Chang!

8:24 Starburns is Dino Stamatopoulos, the greatest Greek-American comedy hero. (Except for random hairy dude at the beach.)

8:19 25-year-old me would scoff at quality TV airing at 8, but fuck, I’m old. I was asleep at 9:30 last night.

8:15 First promo for Outsourced. The gist: Foreigners are so FOREIGN!

8:09 Community‘s takin’ jabs at Shit My Dad Says. Well done. Chevy > Shatner

8:06 Community‘s so good. But where did Trudi Campbell dump the newborn?

7:55 Ugh. Forgot watching live TV means I’m subjected to local political commercials. New Hampshire’s are adorably amateur. Massachusetts’ are filled with exaggerated accents, for inauthentic folksiness.

7:45 Watching Jeopardy before my stories start, and Christ, that set! Really craving some coke now.

Last year, Thursdays on NBC were pretty great, with the exception of that infamous experiment in aggressive mediocrity. I especially enjoyed the two newer shows, Community and Parks and Recreation. 30 Rock and The Office delivered lots of laughs, but their age prevents them from offering anything truly surprising.

Since its executives apparently set the schedule by farting into a random number generator, Parks and Rec was demoted to mid-season status and replaced with Outsourced, a show about a white guy who goes to India to teach the natives how to be a douche.

There’s a ton of shitty shows premiering this fall, so why am I singling this one out? It’s being aggressively advertised on websites I frequent and now I want to punch that guy and his coworkers in their fucking multicultural faces.

Stop by this post tonight at 9:30 and join me in the unfun!

8:56 I hope 30 Rock references Comedy Death Ray’s other crowd-pleasing bit: PLUGS!

Catching Up

It’s been forever since I posted something here besides the weekly comics. Sorry about that. Summer and furnishing the apartment left little time for me to blather on about nonsense.

If you weren’t reading Ted Rall, Matt Bors, and Steven Cloud last month, dig through their archives to read and see their Afghanistan adventure. SPOILER ALERT: They don’t die.

I’m pretty burnt out on politics these days since I am not a moron. August made a more eloquent version of that statement last month. I have no idea how sane people can closely follow politics for decades. I’ve only been paying attention for ten years, and this shit has already gotten too repetitive. Conservatives are assholes. Liberals are pussies. Rinse. Repeat. Then shoot me in the fucking head.

Now onward towards OPTIMISM! As daylight becomes scarce, I turn to the warm, comforting glow of television. There’s a lot more great television than films these days, and I’m having a hard time keeping up. If you missed its run over the summer, check out Louis CK’s Louie on Hulu or DVD as soon as it’s available. I’m also super excited for AMC’s Walking Dead, because I love zombies as long as hipsters and flash mobs aren’t involved.

Of course there’s shitty television too. I will liveblog some of it tonight. A post about that will be coming later today.

World Cup Liveblog: England vs. USA

Thanks, everybody for following along and hitting refresh in my shameless grab for pageviews. I actually really enjoyed the game, and can totally see the appeal. If only MLS was played anywhere near the level of what I just watched. I might do another liveblog with Friday’s Slovenia game, but I’ll have to wake up early and bone up on my Slovenian stereotypes first.

4:25 And it ends with a tie. This special relationship smells fishy to me.

4:22 Even with stoppage time, this shit’s running a lot faster than any Red Sox vs. Yankees game I’ve ever seen.

4:15 Why doesn’t America love soccer? Who gives a shit. Why doesn’t the rest of the world love MONSTER TRUCKS?

4:04 That bastard was acting harder than John Gielgud for that foul.

3:54 Are any Hobbits from the Shire playing in this thing?

3:45 I’d rather listen to every episode of American Idol simultaneously rather than endure this cacophony of vuvuzelas any longer.

3:36 The only thing lamer than yellow cards would be a time-out in the corner.

3:31 Lite Beer commercials making fun of girly-men? If you’re drinking lite beer, you might as well be douching with Yoplait.

3:24 I could get used to this commercials-only-at-the-half dealio. No Bob and his fucking discount furniture.

3:21 Every cutaway to David Beckham I have to remind myself that he was an athlete, and not some random Abercrombie & Fitch lookin’ dude the cameraman’s crushing on.

3:11 Woo-fucking-hoo! On a dribbler Bill Buckner could’ve snagged, to boot!

3:08 This last five or six minutes illustrates why soccer hasn’t caught on. I’ve read EVERYTHING on this bottle of beer while they’ve been going back and forth.

3:01 Cleats to the tit. I think we just found the new waterboarding.

2:54 Start calling this “grass hockey” and viewership will go way up.

2:50 Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and money shots.

2:47 Actually hoping for a tie. What kind of pussy am I turning into?!

2:42 No District 9 aliens in the crowd? Not cool, South Africa.

2:38 A real foul! Not some phantom acting bullshit!

2:34 Outlook, not so good.

2:27 Oh yeah, our national anthem is all about how those guys failed to take Baltimore, that humid shithole.

2:18 Subway for breakfast! Nothin’ says “Good morning” like microwaved turds.

2:13 Comcast’s basic, legally-required to provide over-the-air HD signals are shit. Constantly stuttering. Switched to the rabbit ears, and PERFECTO! XFinity is marketing speak for shit.

2:06 Are there mascots at this thing? If not, I propose a giant pig on a mobility scooter to represent USA.

1:57 Knight and Day looks like the worst fucking thing in the world.

1:46 If USA loses, I hope someone pulls a “The Patriot” and stabs England’s goalie with an American Flag.

1:39 Alexi Lalas is all grown up and no longer looks like that hippie from the Spin Doctors.

1:30 ‘Gansett in the fridge. Watching the pre-game. Hoping the mysterious extra time won’t make me late for my sis’s cookout and Flag Day fireworks.

This is me, in 1986, the last time I gave a shit about soccer, or as you fer’ners call it, footsieballz. My two or three years in BYSA were the peak of my team sports involvement, even including my stint on the championship-winning intramural Ultimate Frisbee team in college.

Since FIFA decided to have the England vs. USA game at a reasonable hour for me, and I’ve got nothing better going on this afternoon, I’m going to liveblog the shit out of it. Check back before kickoff (is that what it’s called?) for my lazy-weekend quippery!

1:46 If USA loses, I hope someone pulls a “The Patriot” and stabs England’s goalie with an American Flag.

The Midnight Ride of Conan O’Brien

Coco’s coming to the Wang Theatre in Boston this weekend, and what better way to celebrate than with a dick joke?

I’ll be at Friday’s show, after lubricating my laugh-hole at The Tam.

And pedantic perverts needn’t bother correcting my spelling of “coming.” Even if I wasn’t going for the double entendre, spelling come with a u is a stylistic choice made by porno graphic designers who are trying to save valuable magazine and DVD cover real estate for close-ups of va-ding-dong-ginas.