December 28, 2006

Ohio State vs Florida - But Not What You Think

To promote Nike's partnership with Apple through the Nike + iPod sports kits, Nike has created a section at their site where you can set running goals for January 2007. Not only do you set what your goal will be, but what you will do if you fail to meet that goal.

osu versus floridaAlong with that Nike is also running "Superstars Resolutions" challenges. In one challenge LeBron James and Maria Sharapova are competing against each other. If LeBron wins Maria will be LeBron's water girl for a game, and if Maria wins LeBron will be a ball boy during one of her matches.

The other "Superstar Resolution" challenge is more interesting (in as much as the only 'running' I do is for the train and I don't own a Nike + iPod sports kit). Ohio State is competing against the University of Florida. The loser will be forced to put a statue of the winner's mascot on their campus.

Not sure if that is a permanent placement of a statue or temporary, but it should be embarrassing for either school. Especially is the loser of the running challenge is also the loser in the BCS Championship game.

Fistful of Rain

I'm a big fan of writer Greg Rucka. I love his Atticus Kodiak novels and enjoy most of his comic book writing. Especially the work he and Ed Brubaker did with Gotham Central. So even though it took me a few years since its publication, I was looking forward to reading Rucka's first stand-alone novel, Fistful of Rain.

fistful of rainFistful of Rain isn't a Kodiak novel and the characters in the book didn't previously appear in comic books (like Rucka's Queen & Country novels). These were new characters in a new setting. Completely fresh. The story is about a guitarist named Mim who gets sent home by the rest of her band mates because her alcoholism is destroying her and the band. Upon arriving home in Seattle she briefly kidnapped and then released, which sets off a series of events sending Mim's life into a tailspin. The drinking doesn't help, either.

Being a fan of Rucka, I really wanted to like this book. He demonstrated all of his signature moves in his writing: strong female characters, creating a sense of real danger, fast paced suspense, and insider details, but it all came too late in the book chance my overall opinion of the novel.

I could barely make it through the first half of the book thanks to the lead character - Mim. Instead of coming off as a flawed heroine, which is what I think Rucka was trying to achieve, she comes of as a drunken brat - too blitzed out of her skull to realize she is destroying her life. And when she is sober I found her completely intolerable. She was someone I wouldn't want to know in real life - unlike other great Rucka female characters like Tara Chase, Sasha Bordeaux, and my favorite Bridgett Logan. I don't think this is what you want to achieve in your main character. Especially when the story is being told in first person narrative by that main character.

Just as my frustration level was hitting its peak, Mim finally wakes up and realizes what is happening to her and finally takes action. At this point it was too little too late. Rucka writes the second half with his usual flare, but it isn't enough to overcome the contempt I had built up for the character in the first half of the book.

And the over-before-it-began lesbian relationship between Mim and a detective of the police force was totally out of leftfield. I didn't see how that played into the story at all. It was like Rucka threw that in to quench some sort of pubescent male fantasy.

I know that as an artist you want to challenge yourself and do new things, so I understand Rucka's desire to write Fistful of Rain. However, after reading Fistful of Rain I kinda wish he would come back to Atticus. Don't get me wrong, Fistful of Rain is an okay book. It just wasn't up to what I was expecting from Rucka. I'd easily recommend and of the Atticus novels or his Queen & Country books ahead of this one.

Christmas 2006

Illness aside, this past Christmas was pretty good.

I certainly believe Ian, Emma, and Zoe had a fun time this year. While they didn't get a lot of gifts, they really seemed excited and happy about the presents they did receive. A simple case of quality over quantity. As it should be.

The celebrations started off on Christmas Eve by attending afternoon mass. In previous years our church would hold a 4pm mass at the church and a 4:30pm mass at the nearby school to accommodate the heavy loads. However this year they couldn't use the school for some reason. Therefore they added an additional service to Christmas Eve and shuffled the rest of the times around. We went to the early mass (3pm) and still had to stand. It wasn't so bad actually. They made space at the front of the church for all the kids to sit at the foot of the alter - which Ian did. Emma and Zoe stayed with Heather and me and behaved like perfect little children. It was a wonderful experience.

Christmas 2006Then it was dinner at my Dad's with my brother, sister, brother-in-law, and grandparents. My Dad grilled a little roast beast on the Weber that tasted fantastic. We watched a little A Christmas Story, opened presents, and monitored Santa's progress on the NORAD Santa Tracker website. This year Ian really got into checking Santa's progress. He kept shouting updates out to us when Santa was in France, England, or parts of South America.

As is becoming more and more then norm, we left later than we planned and got the kids to bed late on Christmas Eve. Knowing how hectic Christmas Day can be, Heather and I always have the best intentions in getting the kids home and in bed at reasonable hour. Things never seem to go as planned.

They were all in bed by 10:15pm and Heather and I hoped that the kids would sleep late to compensate. Imagine our surprise when Ian walked out of his bedroom at 11pm claiming that he just couldn't sleep. Last year Ian woke up at 4am on Christmas morning and the excitement and anticipation kept him awake the rest of the day. Now we feared that he wouldn't even go to sleep at all this year.

Luckily that wasn't the case and the kid settled down to sleep. He woke us up the next morning at 6:10am. "I let you sleep in for ten minutes," he proudly proclaimed while standing next to my side of the bed. (We had told Ian, Emma, and Zoe that no one was allowed to get out of bed before 6am this year). But we still ended up waiting almost until 7am for Emma and Zoe to be up and ready to go. So the girls compensated for the late bedtime a little.

Presents were opened, kringle was devoured, and a good time was had that morning. The kids seemed happy with what Santa had left for them. (And so did Heather and I)

Later that afternoon my Mom, grandmother, brother, and his girlfriend all came over for dinner. More good food was eaten and fun presents were exchanged. Plus we got to have a wonderful peppermint cheesecake that Heather had made.

Christmas 2006We even coined a new word, "fudgeidor." It's the perfect container for storing my homemade fudge (just like the humidor stores a cigar). The fudgeidor allows the fudge to dry out slightly so it isn't too soft and gooey, while developing the slightest dry coat that locks in the chocolaty flavor. It is how I like to serve my fudge and how I think it tastes best.

One memory I will take from Christmas 2006 will be Zoe's performances while opening gifts. Nearly every gift she opened was pulled up to her chest as she yelled, "I wanted this all my life!"

Talk about a boost to the ego of the gift giver.

We still have to travel to Ohio to celebrate Christmas with Heather's side of the family. There will be more good food and time spent with loved ones, and I'll certainly add some more photos to the Christmas '06 gallery. So check back.

I'm Sick

Remember that cold I talked about Ian and Emma having before Christmas?

We were able to dodge the Christmas day sickness for the most part. Emma was a bit cranky on the 25th with her running nose and achy body, but the rest of us held out until after Christmas before coming down with the illness. Zoe got it on December 26th and the cold hit me yesterday while sitting at work. Last night I fought through a nasty fever (all the kids have had fevers at the start of the cold - usually around 101 or 102) that interrupted my sleep plenty.

This morning I felt crummy but figured I might get more rest at work than at home. Being the week between Christmas and New Year's, the office is a ghost town. Workload is light. I can just sit at my desk, push fluids, and get healthy.

Sure if I was at home I could lounge around watching movies and reading, but I'd have to contend with Ian, Emma, and Zoe. They're great kids, but lousy nursemaids.

Still, I could really use a nap right about now.

December 27, 2006

This Is For Kevin

Just replace "Grandma" with "Brother"

monty from 12.27.2006

December 25, 2006

Christmas Comic Cover - December 25

santa claus funnies
Santa Claus Funnies

What other way can you finish off a Christmas Comic Cover countdown than a cover featuring the top Jolly Ole' Elf himself, Santa.

I hope you've enjoyed my countdown. I've already started collecting covers for next year, so make sure you come back in 2007.

I hope you Christmas day is filled with happiness and joy.

And check out the other comic book advent calendars: Polite Dissent, Shadz, and Yet Another Comics Blog

hollyMerry Christmas

December 24, 2006

Christmas Comic Cover - December 24

Christmas With The Superheroes #1
Christmas With The Super-Heroes #1

Say what you want about John Byrne, I still think he has a great clean style to his art that can result in classic, iconic representations of comic book characters. It's his art that makes this cover the perfect one for my Christmas Eve post.

Tomorrow is Christmas!

And check out the other comic book advent calendars: Polite Dissent, Shadz, and Yet Another Comics Blog

hollyMerry Christmas

December 23, 2006

It's Gonna Be Tight

Last Tuesday Ian woke up with a 102 degree fever. He missed the last few days of school before his school's Christmas break began. He also missed his Christmas music show and the class party. By Thursday he was doing much better and his fever was gone for good.

feverOf course Thursday night Emma woke up with a fever and she's still battling it now, even after we thought she had it beat this morning.

Whenever one person in the house gets sick, it's pretty much assumed that at least three others will catch the same illness - if not everyone. (I can remember one horrific New Year's Eve when Heather, Ian, Emma, and I all had the flu - Zoe wasn't born yet)

It's the eve of Christmas Eve and now Heather was feeling a little feverish. Plus, Zoe's been hanging around Ian and Emma for the last week and two-and-half year olds aren't known for the anti-illness precautionary measures. Meaning we fully expect Zoe to wake up with a fever topping out at the 102 mark and second now.

I'm hoping Emma can kick this fever for good tomorrow morning and Heather and Zoe can hold out until Tuesday - if they're gonna get sick at all. Nothing is worse then being sick at Christmas. I know. I still remember the Christmas morning sitting under the tree sipping my ginger ale to help combat a case of stomach flu. It was not one of my happier Christmas memories.

It's gonna be tight, but I'm confident we'll do it.

The Santa Claus Story

Comic creator Chip Zdarsky exposes the dark side of Santa's personality. Very funny and very well done.

The Santa Claus Story headline
Read it

Jack Sparrow and Dad

Stumbled upon this unauthorized photo from the set of Pirates of the Caribbean 3, which is do out in the summer of 2007.

It was widely reported that Keith Richards would make an appearance as Captain Jack Sparrow's father, and here we get a peak at what the will look like. (Sans little guy in Rolling Stones t-shirt, of course)

depp and richards

Christmas Comic Cover - December 23

Green Lantern #18
Green Lantern #18

Digging way back for today's cover. Green Lantern #18 is from the first Golden Age incarnation of the Emerald Warrior. Alan Scott made his magical green ring out of rock that fell to the Earth. Later in the 1960's the concept of the Green Lanterns were re-writen to be an intergalatic police force and plenty of new GLs were introduced.

Regardless of the concept, Green Lanten has always been one of my favorite DC heroes. So featuring a GL cover was planned from the start.

2 Days until Christmas

And check out the other comic book advent calendars: Polite Dissent, Shadz, and Yet Another Comics Blog

hollyMerry Christmas

December 22, 2006

Miracle on 34th Street Marathon

AMC, American Movie Classics, used to be the equal - or at least near equal - to Turner Classic Movies when it came to cable stations showing great classic movies. About five or six years ago the kids at AMC jumped the track and have taken great liberties with their interpretation of the term "classic" when being applied to movies

Sure, for a while they had their "new American classics" campaign running to convince us that movies like Ferris Bueller's Day Off or Kramer v. Kramer are films worthy of the "classic" moniker. Maybe they are. But that's not the point of this post. When AMC started showing Commando and The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas I think they lost all credibility in defining what a "classic" film is.

Still, once and a while they get things right. To point: starting Sunday, December 24th at 11am (central) they will be running a Miracle on 34th Street marathon. The film will show continuously until 5am on Christmas morning.

It's the original 1947 version starring Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O'Hara, and a nine-year-old Natalie Wood that will make everyone but the truly cold-hearted a believer in the magic of Christmas. (I hope it's not the colorized version, AMC's site doesn't say.)

While not one of my favorite Christmas films, I'll certainly flip the movie on to watch for a while on Christmas Eve.

Keeping Up With the Jones

Just read that Thomas Jones and his brother Julius of the Dallas Cowboys set NFL history this past weekend. They became the first pair of siblings to start at running back for different NFL teams and rush for over 1000 yards in the same season.

Thomas Jones Julius Jones

I enjoyed watching Julius play when he was with Notre Dame and I'm a huge fan of Thomas' all-around contributions to the Chicago Bears. I have read plenty about how their mother and father worked the coal mines in West Virginia for years to raise seven kids into a life better than working in mines. Not only are the Jones' two good football players, but two great guys who come from a strong, supportive family. Congratulations to them both.

One Woman, Two Wombs, Three Babies

This is just too wild not to mention:

LONDON (AFP) - A British mother could get into the record books after she gave birth to twins and a single baby at the same time -- from two wombs -- in what is believed to be a world first.

Hannah Kersey, 23, gave birth to the rare triplets -- identical twins Ruby and Tilly, and singleton Gracie -- by Caesarean section seven weeks prematurely in September.

She was born with a condition called uterus didelphys, which means she developed two wombs, but doctors had warned her that she was unlikely to become pregnant in both.

After their early birth the triplets had to stay in hospital for nine weeks, but are now doing fine at home with Hanna and her partner Mick Faulkner, 23, in Devon in southwest England.

"We are just over the moon at how healthy and happy the girls are," she said. "They are three lovely and incredible children, all with very different personalities.
Read the full story (with video)

Vote for Jimmy, Superman, and Don

Over at the DC Nation, art director Mark Chiarello is asking readers to vote for their favorite DC cover ever.

There are certainly plenty to choose from, but I like the cover that Dave Carter of Yet Another Comics Blog is nominating: Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #141

Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #141


The pure explosiveness of a Jack Kirby cover combined with the dopey smiling mug of Don Rickles. How can you go wrong?

You can cast a vote for this cover (or another one - though I don't know why) by sending an email to DCNATIONCOVERS@DCCOMICS.COM. Voting ends at 12:00 A.M. on January 5, 2007. And you can only vote once.

Christmas Comic Cover - December 22

Saved by the Bell
Saved By The Bell

At the beginning of the Christmas Comic Cover countdown I trotted out the DVD box art for the He-Man/She-Ra Christmas Special. I pleaded my case for including it because I wanted (needed) to include a little 80's flashback in the countdown.

I'm going to use that excuse again. When I found this cover online back in November I couldn't not include it in my first Christmas Comic Cover bonanza. A Christmas comic book starring Zack, Slater, Screech, Kelly, Lisa, and . . . um . . . I forget Elizabeth Berkley's character's name (and I don't' feel like looking it up). Oh, for a kid who grew up in the 80's, this cover takes me back to good times.

3 days until Christmas.

And check out the other comic book advent calendars: Polite Dissent, Shadz, and Yet Another Comics Blog

hollyMerry Christmas

Wet Christmas

santa clausI've been doing my best to not let things like surprise family revelations, sick children, or annoying tasks at work suppress my enjoyment of this Christmas. Even with Emma falling prey last night to the same illness that Ian is getting over, resulting in Heather and I each losing at least two hours of sleep and me grabbing a couple hours of sleep on the floor of the office, I've continued to battle and keep my eyes on having a nice Christmas.

There is one thing, however, that is really bringing me down and putting up big roadblocks to getting my "Bing Crosby" on this December. The weather.

Here in Chicago, after a strong wintry start at the beginning of December, we have warmed up to unseasonably high temperatures. I think we hit 60 degrees one or two days. The four to six inches of snow we had on December 1 is long gone, and in its place we have been getting a lot of rain.

A lot of rain.

rain cloudI always find rain depressing. There is something about raining coming down that is gloomy and sad. When you go out into the rain that gloomy and sad just falls around you - envelopes you - making you wet and cold and partner to the rain's melancholy. Sure the grass and the trees like it. The planet has to have rain. But it isn't suppose to be raining two days before Christmas (Well, maybe in San Diego, but this is Chicago, dammit!), it's suppose to be snowing. While snow can be tremendously more difficult to drive in, snowfall or a snowstorm is more serene and calming. After a good snowfall the world looks clean and fresh. After a good rain the world is damp and smelly.

If I wanted a rain and 60-degree weather on Christmas Day, I'd move to San Francisco. Chicago is supposed to be cold and snowy. Or at least cold.

So all this rain is bringing me down. Mostly because it is only a couple days until Christmas, I've already overcome some holiday cheer killers, and I'm not sure if I can overcome a dank, wet Christmas. For me weather sets the mood for a holiday like Christmas. It's the backdrop for everything that goes on.

Tom Skilling, weatherman extraordinaire for WGN and the Chicago Tribune, doesn't give a good prognosis for the next few days. Mid-40s for tomorrow and Sunday. High 30's on Christmas day. He gives a chance of snow on Monday, but I think he's just being nice. Trying to give us a little hope, I think. The Weather Channel is blunter; they're publishing a map with the probability of a white Christmas (at least one inch of snow on the ground). Looks like most of the US will be snow-less this holiday.

weather channel map of white Christmas probability


There's nothing I can do about the weather, so I need to saddle up and move on. Time to post a Christmas Comic Cover.

December 21, 2006

24th

The kids behind FOX's 24 made this clever little spot starring everyone's favorite man in a red suit. Sure it ends up being a promo for the new season of 24, but it's still a lot of fun.

What To Watch Tonight

This should help wash away any remaining guilt over buying something at Macy's a couple of weeks ago.

Tonight's episode of Chicago Stories on the major PBS station in Chicago, WTTW, takes a look at the famed Marshall Field's Christmas windows from before Macy's took over.

Chicago Stories: The Marshall Field's Christmas Windows (Thursday, December 21 at 9:30 pm). For over a century, Marshall Field's delighted children at Christmas time. The Walnut Room tree, the main aisle decorations, and visits to Santa enthralled generations, but the biggest attraction of all was the Christmas windows. Chicago Stories traces the history of the tradition. This program was produced prior to the Macy's name change.

Justice League of Peanuts

Not sure what this is about, but I think it looks pretty neat. A thumb-sucking Batman is funny for many different reasons.

Justice League of Peanuts


via kung fu rodeo

Christmas Comic Cover - December 21

Jingle
Jingle Belle #1

Jingle Belle is the pretentious teenaged daughter of Santa Claus. Creator Paul Dini has written a number of Jingle Belle stories since she first saw print in 1999, but I haven't read any of them yet. Though I would like to. Every Christmas I think about picking up one of the collections but never seem to get around to it.

4 days until Christmas!

And check out the other comic book advent calendars: Polite Dissent, Shadz, and Yet Another Comics Blog

hollyMerry Christmas

December 20, 2006

Star Wars Holiday Special

After this I don't if there is a reason for me to keep on blogging until after the New Year. I think I've hit the pinnacle Christmas snarkiness with a presentation of the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special edited down into a 5-minute video.


Even at only 5 minutes this is almost unbearable. Almost.

Actually there was one good thing to come out of that horrible, horrible show. A nine minute cartoon that introduced everyone to Boba Fett. It's quite good. Really.

To Be 8-Years Old Again

When I first read about the line of Star Wars Transformers toys - where different ships from the Star Wars movies can be changed into robots, just like the cars and planes of the original Transformers line of the 1980's - I wasn't too impressed.

sith starfighterBut now I've seen a few of them in the stores while Christmas shopping this year. Not only do they look cooler than I thought they would, there is an added component to the toy that I missed earlier on.

I thought the premise was you get the ship - say Luke Skywalker's X-Wing Fighter - and the ship is suppose to turn into the character. Of the pictures I had seen, all the robots were doing a poor job of representing these characters. But when you take a look at these toys in the store you realize that they come with a tiny little figure that goes into the ship. That X-Wing Fighter comes with a little Luke Skywalker figure that sits in the cockpit.

So now it's not a X-Wing that turns into Luke, but rather Luke can turn his X-Wing Fighter into a mecha for kicking some Imperial ass.

Needless to say when I found out about that the "coolness" level of these toys went way up. If these had been around when I was 8 or 9, they would have been headlining my Christmas list for Santa.

What Is The Essence of Christmas?

bing crosby merry christmasDave Kellett, the creator of the comic strip Sheldon, knows that building the Essence starts with a Bing Crosby Christmas album.

With that notion as a foundation, he's spinning a funny storyline this week in his comic strip.


snippet from 12-19-2006 Sheldon comic

What Comic Are You?

I'm a Graphic Novel



You are GRAPHIC NOVELS! You are mature and enigmatic. You are perhaps a bit of a loner as well. There's also no hiding your intelligence, but sometimes people are too quick to judge you and miss out on all you have to offer. Stick to what you know, don't be afraid to experiment and be true to yourself, and you will go far.


Find out what comic book you are

Christmas Comic Cover - December 20

New Archies #21
The New Archies #21

Not sure when The New Archies #21 was published (I'll guess late 1980's), but it would be safe to say that the "new" Archies looked much like the "old" Archies. And when talking about Archie and the gang, that's a good thing. Such won't be the case next year when the kids from Riverdale get a serious makeover. Ugh!

5 days until Santa hitches up the sleigh

And check out the other comic book advent calendars: Polite Dissent, Shadz, and Yet Another Comics Blog

hollyMerry Christmas

December 19, 2006

Santa Baby

With all due respect to my Dad and his love for the Santa in the Norleco shaver commerical, I've found my own favorite Yuletide TV commercial.

Heidi Klum singing "Santa Baby" in a Victoria's Secret commercial.

Hubba. Hubba.

I wanted to post the video of the spot here, but it doesn't seem to be anywhere on the Net that I can find. So you just have to make do with the screenshot I found of the commercial and trust me when I say I pay attention when this 30-second spot comes on the tube.

heidi klum singing santa baby


And I have to agree with the Chicago Tribune's Rahula Strohl when he makes the request for the networks to just put he Heidi Klum "Santa Baby" ad on continuous loop during football.
"Just have the film of Klum singing the song, then put up a screen of whatever company paid for that slot. So "Santa baby, just hurry down the chimney tonight." [Screen: Victoria's Secret]. Then, "Santa baby, just hurry down the chimney tonight." [Screen: Drink our beer.] And so forth. This way, no John Mellencamp, no Vanessa Carlton Kay Jewelers song, nothing. Heidi Klum, Santa suit, all afternoon."
Amen.

Free 1 GB SD Memory Cards

memory cardBuy.com is practically giving away 1 GB SD memory cards.

There are a few steps:

Purchase a Kingston SD 1GB memory card for $50 from Buy.com, use Google Checkout to save $20 off the purchase, and then fill out the $30 Kingston mail-in rebate that's good for purchases made between now and December 23.

Grand total: $0.00.

I went ahead and ordered one. We don't really need another memory card for our camera, but it can't hurt to have one. Plus, there's always the option of turning around and selling it on eBay if I want. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get something like this for free.

Christmas Comic Cover - December 19

The Long Halloween #3
Batman: The Long Halloween #3

While not the best Christmas cover, in my opinoin, I wanted to work a comic in with the Joker on it. This cover by Tim Sale fits the bill nicely.

6 days until Christmas

And check out the other comic book advent calendars: Polite Dissent, Shadz, and Yet Another Comics Blog

hollyMerry Christmas

Legendary Animator Joe Barbera Dies

joe barberaSaw in the news this morning that Joe Barbera, he of Hanna-Barbera fame, passed away yesterday.

Outside of Walt Disney, I'm hard pressed to think of another man who influenced American animation more than Mr. Barbera did with his partner William Hanna. (Though Max Fleischer, Chuck Jones, and Tex Avery do spring to mind) Hanna and Barbera launched to fame by creating "Tom and Jerry" in 1937 and then didn't stop delighting and entertaining America with cartoons for the next 65 plus years.

Scooby-Doo, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Jonny Quest, Yogi Bear, Space Ghost, Huckleberry Hound, and the list goes on and on. They even produced the American version of the Smurfs back in the 80's. These two men simply knew how to flat out create cartoons that resonated with people from all walks of life. Well timed gags, engaging characters, and colorful animation that will remain relevant and watchable til the end of time. In fact, you owe it to yourself right now to jump over to the Hanna-Barbera Studio website right now and watch some fo the episodes that they make available online. I'm watching Hong Kong Phooey while putting together this post.

Joe Barbera and William Hanna (he passed away in 2001) may no longer be around to entertain us, but the mountainous body of work will live on for us to enjoy.

December 18, 2006

I'm Glad They Won and All, But . . .

It wasn't really all that impressive.

Sure, the first half looked good. The Bears dominated the hapless Buccaneers on both sides of the ball and rolled out to a comfortable 21 - 3 lead. The third quarter was more of the same.

thomas jones running for touchdownBut then the fourth quarter happened. After Devon Hester's kick-off return fumble, it was like the defense and special teams were fumbling around the rest of the game. Bad coverage, bad tackling, more return fumbles, and a missed field goal in Overtime. It was a mess.

The only consistent, surprisingly, was the offense. Rex continued his conservative play, posting impressive yardage numbers by throwing mostly short slants and screens and working the tight-end back into the passing game. The running game was strong once again, with Thomas Jones leading all three Chicago RB's with 68 yards on 17 carries. It was good performance from the offense. Too bad the defense couldn't support it properly.

Sure the Bears solidified their position as the top seeded team in the NFC going into the playoffs, but in a topsy-turvy NFC this year that doesn't mean a whole lot. And when winning the NFC crown means going to play the AFC winner - San Diego, Indianapolis, Baltimore, New England, or even Jacksonville or Cincinnati as a dark horse - does being the top of the NFC mean much? Kinda sounds like being honored as the tallest midget to me.

So we'll get two more weeks of the Bears beating up on Green Bay and Detroit - the only two teams in the NFC worse than Tamp Bay (okay, there's Arizona, too) - before they have to start proving again that their exemplary record means something.

chicago bears logoIf it sounds like I am skeptical of the Bears NFL superiority, it's because I am. If you are 12-2 you should play like a 12-2 team. That means not letting a 3-11 team which hasn't scored a touchdown since the middle of November run off three touchdowns in the course of twelve minutes - when you are playing at your home field.

What I hope is that the Bears beat the living crap out of the Lions and Packers over the next two weeks and show the dominance that they displayed earlier in the season. That will make me feel good about the playoffs and the prospect of the Bears playing New Orleans, Dallas, or red-hot Philadelphia.

Christmas Comic Cover - December 18

Mickey and Donald #17
Mickey and Donald #17


What I like most about this cover, besides the use of color, is the little moth sitting on top of Donald's head happily munching on the Santa hat.

7 days until Christmas. You can almost smell it now.

And check out the other comic book advent calendars: Polite Dissent and Yet Another Comics Blog

hollyMerry Christmas

December 17, 2006

Christmas Comic Cover - December 17

Sensational Spiderman #24
Sensational Spiderman #24

As I've said before, I'm DC guy, not a Marvel guy. But there have been some Marvel Christmas covers that caught my eye. Not sure if this cover appeals to me because of Todd Nauck's artwork (which I'm a fan of) or if because the cover features the all too familiar theme of comic book characters as Christmas Tree ornaments. Which I think this Christmas Comic Cover countdown as shown I have a proclivity for.

8 days until Christmas

And check out the other comic book advent calendars: Polite Dissent and Yet Another Comics Blog

hollyMerry Christmas

December 16, 2006

Christmas Comic Cover - December 16

Captain Marvel cover
Captain Marvel Xmas Comic

Don't remember where I found this cover scan, but I couldn't do my Christmas Cover countdown without an appearance of the Big Red Cheese.

9 days until Christmas

And check out the other comic book advent calendars: Polite Dissent and Yet Another Comics Blog

hollyMerry Christmas

December 15, 2006

Happy Holidays from DC Comics

DC Comics has made their Holiday card (and some other Christmas-themed artwork) available as desktop images. Below is the Holiday card.

dc comics holiday card


Not sure of the artist, though the style looks familiar. Think it looks great though. I'll be adding this to my computer at home.

Mario and Luigi Stamps

Perfect stocking stuffers for Ian.

mario stamps

Christmas Comic Cover - December 15

The Outsiders #19
Batman and the Outsiders #19

Hey, it's more DC heroes as Christmas ornaments. I can't get enough of this stuff.

Batman and the Outsiders is a title from the mid-80's that I've always wanted to read. Written by Mike W. Barr with art first from Jim Aparo and later from Alan Davis, the series featured creators and characters that I really find interesting. Unfortunately DC has not collected this original series in trade paperbacks.

Maybe DC will release the series as part of the "Showcase Presents" line of books, where they collect up to 25 issues of a comic into a 500+ page paperback book. It's printed in black and white, but DC only charges $16 for the collection. It's a steal. I already own Showcase Presents: Shazam vol. 1, and plan on picking up Showcase Presents: The Brave and the Bold - The Batman Team-Ups vol. 1 (featuring a bunch of great Carmine Infantino, Ross Andru, Neal Adams, and Jim Aparo artwork) when it comes out in January 2007.

10 days until Santa comes!

And check out the other comic book advent calendars: Polite Dissent and Yet Another Comics Blog

hollyMerry Christmas

December 14, 2006

Sweet Polly Purebred!

underdog movie poster


Yes, that's the move poster for the in-production live action film adaptation of the Underdog cartoon.

Oh, humble and lovable Shoeshine Boy, what are we going to do?

the REAL underdog