Sunday, December 4th, 2005
When I heard that they weren't releasing Aeon Flux to reviewers ahead of opening day, I got worried. That's usually reserved for films that everybody in the know realizes will stink up an entire theater multiplex from a single screen, and they hope that somehow nobody will discover that until after opening weekend.
Aeon Flux is not that kind of film. It's actually a solid action movie, an equally solid science-fiction piece, complete with three-dimensional characters and a plot. Now I'll grant that some of the characters are kind of bas-relief three-dimensional -- you can't look at them TOO closely, but still, it's a MUCH better movie than any other film I've ever seen that didn't get reviewed ahead of time.
Granted, that's not saying much, but still... good movie.
If you've seen the MTV short from 1991 or 1992 (I forget), you'll see plenty of nods to the artsy-weird composition of shots, and one scene in which Aeon wears that only-possible-in-comics outfit. If you've seen the Aeon Flux animated series then it's possible the film will telegraph most of its punches, leaving you feeling clever, disappointed, or both. I don't know, because I never saw the series -- just the Liquid Television shorts. But there are plot twists, and the movie actually had me concerned halfway through when I realized that I had NO idea which of the characters I cared about (there were four or five by that time) was going to live.
It's one of those science-fiction films where you might end up with EVERYBODY dead except the narrator, or maybe a creepy old witch-woman who shows up to warn you that these bones are actually yours. Or something like that.
Let's put it a different way. I saw Transporter because I wanted to watch Jason Statham execute some very carefully choreographed fight scenes. That movie had just enough plot to string the fight scenes together, but if you pull hard enough the string breaks. I expected Aeon Flux to be the same way (and the fight scenes did not disappoint), but I pulled as hard as I could on that string, and it only frayed in a couple of spots. It's like the writers actually came up with the story BEFORE deciding that they needed Aeon to do handsprings around some fully-automatic pomegranates.
A Couple Of New Links
Sunday, December 4th, 2005
Here are a couple more links commenting on Schlock 2k:
- Local Sci-Fi/Fantasy author Brandon Sanderson mentions it here in his blog.
- Local Sci-Fi/Fantasy author (and WoTF winner) Eric James Stone mentions it here in HIS blog.
Saturday, December 3rd, 2005
Today there are 2001 strips in the Schlock Mercenary archives. Yesterday I celebrated 2000 strips by hanging out at Dragon's Keep and pencilling eight days of comics. That's right, I may have some laurels, but there's no point in resting on 'em. You folks don't care how many strips I have in the archives if tomorrow's strip doesn't air. I've created an addictive substance, and you Schlock-heads need your daily fix.
Today I'm back at Dragon's Keep helping out with their Toys for Tots from 1pm until at least 4pm... maybe clear until closing time. If you're in the area, you're welcome to stop by. I'll be doing inked (not just pencils, not at Christmas time!) Schlock Mercenary character sketches in exchange for any toy donation on Saturday... Don't miss out.
On the subject of laurels, I promised I'd link you folks to any reviews, blogs, or news posts mentioning my run of 2000 unbroken days of daily comics. Here you go!
- Jen Contino of The Pulse interviewed me via email. You can post comments below the interview.
- Eric Burns of Websnark fame had a few things to say on the subject.You can make comments below the snarking. (The "Daily Grind" he mentions is a competition for updating five days a week, which I'm not competing in. This particular event was originally billed as a way for web cartoonists to experience the "grind" of cranking out strips for a deadline, like the syndicate pros have to. I don't need the tantalizing promise of a single elimination jackpot to give me that experience. I've been doing it for five years, five months, and 21 days now. I'm rooting for a couple of fellow professionals who got suckered into it, though -- Brad Guigar and Steve Troop.)
- Speaking of Brad (even though only parenthetically), he mentioned my milestone in the "Inc Stain" over at Evil Inc.
- Xaviar Xerexes (nom de plume, anyone?) mentions the milestone in this news brief over at Comixpedia.
- I blew my own horn over on the Blank Label Blog. You can make comments there, and you don't need to register to do it.
- Jay Maynard of Tron Guy fame mentioned the milestone in his Live Journal. From there he cross-posted it to the Schlocktroops Live Journal. Live Journal members can comment in both places.
- The milestone was mentioned in the Pneumonochrome blog, which has a very cool name I wish I'd thought of. You need not register to comment.
- Andy LoPresto mentions it in this blog entry. He's been linking to Schlock for a long time now. Thanks, Andy!
- The Nightstar denizens kicked off this thread on the subject. I'm not sure why it didn't get more posts. Maybe it's because it derailed into a discussion of candy very early on.
- Scott McCloud mentioned me in his morning improv blog. One of these years I'll have to do a 24-hour comic and make Scott happy.
- And I think I owe an honorable mention to author Laurell K. Hamilton, who wore (or so I'm told) a Schlock Mercenary t-shirt during a television interview. She didn't say anything about 2000 strips, but she did mention my "Thankful" blog entry in this post in her own blog. My "Thankful" blog entry is currently in the offline entry Archives... It'll surface again someday, I promise. But now's as good a time as any to say how thankful I am that I've been able to keep at this for as long as I have. Here's to another five years, five months, and 21 days. And then some.