Finally recovered from the knee trauma. That's what I get for being an axe murderer. Anyhow, decided to use it as an excuse to catch up on a few projects... by which I mean slothing on the couch thinking about work instead of actually doing anything; and with the holidays, well, seemed the perfect time to take a little vacation. However, it hasn't been all whiskey and lazy afternoons. The new Call In Apocalypse is ready to come out next week, and New Year's related weirdness should be out this Saturday. Thanks for your patience, and sorry for the delay. Truth be told, the fire needed a little stoking as it were, and recent events have definitely provided the fuel for some outrageous new delights. See you all in 2015!
Apologies for the delay in fresh material. Recently my knee has begun to feel like it was taken apart by aliens then put back together the wrong way. It was bad enough I couldn't concentrate, but is getting better. New stories, art, and audio is in the pipeline though, so stay tuned!
Ah Giftmas, it comes sooner than expected. Why just this August I saw Xmas displays set up in a local retailer. Though only a small portion of an aisle at the time, creeping Christmasy takes root earlier each year. Before Halloween even, the ghoulish decor was competing for shelf space with glittery elves; and before another flick of the eyelid National Xmas Kick-off Day flew by signaling the final grim countdown to Giftmas. Now's the time to spread a message of peace, love, and kindness, the spreading of which will result in a glorious material reward everyone knows better than to admit to expecting even though since childhood folks have been conditioned to believe otherwise. If you're good Santa will bring you... stuff.
Well, that's where it gets tricky. Despite the epic variety of products Santa's factory produces, the truth is Santa only seems to deliver certain items. On the one hand it begs the question how good does a person have to be to get a monster truck? On the other, is it possible I've been asking for the wrong things? To explore that latter notion I sat down to pen a short list of what I'd want this year.
1. Mutant powers.
I've always wanted some type of superpower. In fact, I doubt there's a single person on the face of the earth who doesn't. And if you want to start a semantic argument because you'd prefer magic powers instead of super-, pull your head out of your ass. In essence, they are the same goddamn thing -- flying is flying.
However, unlike others I'm willing to compromise. I appreciate this might be a tall order to fill, especially given the relatively short amount of time to fill it. Giftmas is only twelve days away, and rewriting my genetic code might take a tad bit longer than that; and I assume the red clad fatty knows since he has flying reindeer. Nevertheless, as a compromise, how about a contraption that allows me to feel superpowered? Like this amazing gizmo that lets a fellow shoot fire out of his hands, or this other one that gives a person working Wolverine claws. I'm not greedy. Any scenario that has me running through the mall shooting flames is good enough for me.
2. Vampire hunting kit.
In a way this is a twofold request. Assuming there are no such thing as vampires, I want Santa to make vampires real then give me a tricked out kit for killing them. Although, if I'm not just being paranoid, and there already are vampires then it wouldn't hurt to have quality protection. This 19th century traveling vampire killer's kit even purports that one of the materials it contains is magic. Can't go wrong with that.
3. Guns full of knives.
I've always wanted a gun that shoots knives. Don't ask why because I can't explain it. I just want a gun that shoots knives... like a throwing knife gun. That can't be too hard to make. There are people on the internet building stranger contraptions.
Speaking of which...
4. Mech Suit.
Meet KURATAS, a fully function robotic suit of armor. A diesel engine allows this four legged, wheeled behemoth to move. It can be piloted either from inside or via remote using a simple app. Armed with twin Gatling guns, a LOHAS launcher, and a mechanical claw, KURATAS is the ideal stocking stuffer for someone planning world domination.
Before getting to the final item on my list, it's perhaps best to point something out. This list isn't impractical. Every single request links to the others, even the knife-gun. Allow your mind to loosen a bit, and see the tapestry woven:
In a world overrun with vampires one man (who shoots flames out of his hands) is left to battle the rampaging blood guzzling horde (which may have been his fault, but we all make mistakes). Armed only with a 19th century traveling vampire killer's kit and a Japanese war machine, he must murder-stomp his way across a country that no longer gives a shit it's Christmas. Decorating and decapitating his way from one end of the nation to the other, bringing back the good cheer the vampires have stolen -- this Giftmas, deck the halls with blood.
And when that's all done...
5. Personalized Noble Painting.
Nothing says you've accomplished more in life than anyone else quite like a noble portrait. Sure, it may seem egotistical to some, but that's assuming you bought one without first saving the world from murderous undead humanoid leeches. Seems only fitting after saving everyone from the nightmare Santa gave me, vampire apocalypse and such, I should get a portrait of me not unlike Napoleon's, except in my version I'm riding some H.R. Giger monstrosity. Yes, that would do nicely.
For the time being comic book films are the rage, and if Marvel's plans are any indication, hopes are high this trend will keep raking in cash all the way to 2028. Of course, back when the first X-men and Spiderman movies came out no one could have predicted how big this genre would become. Imagine someone back in 2000 asking for $170 million to make a movie about a bunch of misfit buddies with a talking raccoon who flies spaceships, and promising to earn roughly $601.5 million with said flick. That person would've been laughed out by everyone except Don Bluth. And when it became clear superhero movies could earn mountains of cash initial thoughts went to grabbing hold of major franchises -- Spiderman, X-men, and all the characters contained therein. However, the rush to buy these lucrative properties split up the universe they all inhabited.
See, in comic books characters belong to a shared universe depending on which publication prints them. Iron Man, Captain America, Wolverine all inhabit the Marvel universe, while Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman live in the DC reality (read as Publishing Companies). As such, characters from the same realities can interact with one another. When characters with their own series appear in another characters' series it's called a crossover. That's when the X-men get to team up with the Avengers, or Superman and Batman can glare at each other, Wolverine vs. Spiderman, etc. However, cinematically, mainly when it comes to Marvel films, crossovers are unlikely to happen because different studios own the rights to different characters. In other words, Sony owns the rights to Spiderman, and having a Wolverine vs. Spiderman movie means putting money in the pocket of 20th Century Fox, a Sony competitor. So it ain't gonna happen... anytime time soon.
Okay. That was painfully nerdy, but thinking about this got my gears turning, not just about the way Hollywood has hamstringed itself by dividing one potentially massive universe into several unconnected worlds, more to the point I started thinking about crossovers. If somewhere down the line different studios decide to free up their private stash of cash cows might that open the door to an even broader arsenal of wallet grabbing films? Comic book films could be the catalyst that frees up numerous properties, allowing them to blend into infinite possibilities. Hell, in some instances it's just a matter of having the willingness to blend seemingly disconnected elements into one grand cinematic hybrid.
Follow me down the rabbit hole...
The Avengers proved that if Hollywood simply jams enough money makers into one film it doesn't really need much in the way of plot. Any story problems can be covered up with sufficient CGI and explosions. You saw a plot hole? Look at the BIG EXXXPLOSION! So with any luck it's only a matter of time before we're seeing just how far crossovers can go...
Silver Linings Playbook: Black Widow... starring Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Renolds.
Interstellar 2: The Dark Knight Inception
The Avengers: Frozen... coming 2035... because fuck you that's why.
August: Osage County of the Dead
Pacific Rim 3: Transformers 6: The Godzilla Primer
...the possibilities are endless... terrifyingly unpleasantly endless... I can already envision a pitch going something like:
JAMES CAMERON'S BIGGEST WINNERS MASHED INTO ONE GIANT ACTION PACKED ADVENTURE SCIFI EXPLOSION IN WALLET RAPING 3-D!
Terminators accidentally end up on Pandora, and cause havok. In a desperate attempt to save lives Jake Sully is projected back in time (never mind how -- we'll make up some hippie bullshit about astral projection later) where he ends up in the body of Jack Dawson onboard the Titanic. Sully, using his future knowledge, manages to help avert the disaster. When Titanic lands he goes to work on leaving behind warnings for the future. However, what no one knew at the time is that mega-Hitler was onboard the Titanic, having drowned in the previous timeline. As the world burns, Jake laments the reality he's brought into being until he sees a spaceship land on the ocean. It's the NTIs -- "non-terrestrial intelligences" because we need a new word for aliens in order to sound clever -- from The Abyss.
Jake goes out with a group of freedom fighters which includes Harry Tasker from True Lies to meet with them aliens. The NTIs inform him they've fled their world which has been overtaken by vicious creatures. Flash a picture of the Aliens from Aliens, and bam that base is covered. Jake shares his own story of loss, first his legs, then Pandora, and finally Rose to mega-Hitler's death camps. The NTIs offer to help Jake. They take him back to Pandora where he gets a time travel do over. Only on this trip he makes sure to sink the Titanic after leaving a message with Rose:
"You won't understand why I'm doing this, but trust me, Rose, you've got to trust me. It's because I love you. It's for the best."
Sully as Jack then blows himself up, sinking the Titanic in the process. Of course, we see in the post credits that mega-Hitler survived, but that's cool because he's immediately eaten in a lifeboat by the flying piranhas from Piranha II: The Spawning... or even better! A facehugger bursts out of the water leaving the door open for a sequel, Inglorious Alien Bastards.