January 31, 2010

I Saw The Worst One

Empire magazine asks it readers to vote what they thought were the worst movies ever.

The magazine recently published the results of the voting, and while it seems to skew heavy towards films from the last 25 years, it certainly is a list of some horrible, horrible films.

I was pretty proud of the fact that I had not seen any of the films (okay, I've seen parts of some of them) in Empire's 50 Worst Films Ever - until I got to the #1 film.

The worst of the worst.

The king of cinema crap.

It may be the worst of the worst, but it's Batman - I can't not watch.

I used to try and defend the film, but now I can't even do that anymore. It really is a horrible film.

Kid Quote of the Week

"You, Mrs. Crosby, and Mrs. Rodriguez are like our middle-aged cheerleaders."
- Ian, providing the perfect backhanded compliment for the energetic support some of the moms provided Ian and the rest of his fifth grade basketball team.

January 29, 2010

Axe Cop

Axe Cop is an online comic by Malachai and Ethan Nicolle. The comic stars Axe Cop, a police officer who vanquishes evil by using a fireman's axe to chop the bad guy's head off, and his partner, a half-man/half-avocado who used to be a half-man/half-dinosaur who used to be a cop who used a flute for a weapon.

Yes, it's as crazy-cool as it seems.

Best part. It's written by a 5 year-old boy.

Ethan Nicolle is an Eisner Award nominated comic book creator. Malachai is his 5 year-old little brother.

Malachai comes up with the beautifully bizarre Axe Cop stories and Ethan brings them to life in pencil and ink.

Go read the stories.

January 28, 2010

A Teacher's Dream

Zoe is building up a reputation for being the sweetest person on the planet and a teacher's dream student.

All of her teachers over the last few years have remarked on how wonderfully agreeable Zoe is in class, and how  positive her outlook remains regardless of how badly things might be going.

She's no pollyanna - she will let you know when she doesn't like what's going on - but she has a pretty strong spirit.

Heather has been substitute teaching a little more frequently at the kids' school this year, and subsequently is hanging around with some of the teachers more. Today, they got to talking about Zoe and one teacher offered up this to explain Zoe's demeanor in school:
"You could tell Zoe to go sit on a tack and she would. And then she'd say, 'Isn't this fun!'"
Yep, that sounds like Zoe.

Road to Fun

I've been waiting for this for quite some time.

A number of years back, TCM showed all of the Bob Hope and Bing Crosby "Road to" movies on New Year's Day (or something like that).

I watch a bunch of them and thought they were just the greatest.  Hope and Crosby were such fantastic entertainers and so genuinely liked performing together, that these "Road to" movies are like a guilty pleasure to watch. The two of them seem to be having so much fun in the film that it becomes contagious. Plus, all the little cameos read like a Who's Who of Hollywood from the 1940's.

TCM is doing it again. They've lined up all 5 "Road to" movies and will be airing them tonight starting at 7pm (CST). It starts with Road to Singapore and finishes with Road to Bali.

Not sure if I will make it through all of them (I'd be up until 3am), but I'm going to try to see most of them.

January 27, 2010

Cool Device - Horrible Name

The iPad looks fantastic. I certainly would love to get one. What I find most appealing is being able to have music and books together in one device.

However I don't know how I'm going to get over the horrible name Apple chose for the device, especially after someone pulled this Mad TV skit out of the archives.

Why couldn't they have called it iSlate or iTablet or Kindle-killer.

Oh well.

Dick Tracy by Joe Staton

Joe Staton is one of the many artists who have contributed work for a charity art auction taking place this month.

Based on his rendering of Dick Tracy, I would love to see a Dick Tracy comic handled by Staton.

Then again, anything would be an improvement to the insufferable pencilings of Dick Locher.

January 26, 2010

5 Things I Think

  • Maybe if I saw the movie I would think differently, but based on everything I’ve read and seen I’m just not that interested in James Cameron’s film Avatar.

    In fact, I was surprised it won the Golden Globe last week. I don’t recall gushing reviews over the film.

    Is it really that good? I don't understand all the buzz around this film.

  • I was just thinking this over the weekend.

    Zoe will make a mistake and exclaim "Oh, poop" and Heather and I don't bat an eye.

    But if Zoe uttered an "Oh, shit" we would probably give her hell.

    Semantically the two proclamations are the same, but our reactions are so dramatically different.

  • I thought the appearance of Robin in his Earth-2 togs just another fantastic twist in the always outrageously fun Batman: The Brave and The Bold cartoon.

    That show is a blast to watch.

  • Every time a NFL football game goes into overtime I can’t help but think that the NFL has the worst overtime rules in all of organized sport.

    The game is essentially decided by a coin flip.

  • I think there are few things tastier than chocolate and peanut combined together.

    And one of the best ways to combine the two is in a confection referred to as "Buckeyes"
  • January 25, 2010

    Visiting My Dad

    My dad’s crazy hectic schedule for his campaign to win the primary election in DuPage County for one of the open Circuit Court Judge positions has not left him a lot of time to talk or visit with me or my family.

    The election is on February 2 – just a week away. He is in the homestretch. Every waking moment is given to shaking hands, smiling, and rallying enough support to win the election.

    So I thought we would do the next best thing and visit the giant head of my father currently on display alongside Ogden Avenue in Lisle, IL. Not quite the same as dinner at the old man’s house, but I thought it would be sufficient in a pinch.

    Brian McKillip Billboard

    We all thought Dad looks pretty good. He’s holding up surprisingly well considering the stress and strain of the campaign.

    And just like any other McKillip get together, we had to make time for group photos.
    Everyone spread a little closer together.

    Lovin' the Billboard

    I know that compared to my Dad we all seem pretty small, so here’s a close-up of me and the kids:

    Can you believe it! His head is soooo big!

    Good times.

    January 24, 2010

    Kid Quote of the Week

    What is my 8th favorite color?
    - Zoe, coming up with the craziest questions for a game show that I have ever heard

    January 22, 2010

    Batman by Ted Naifeh

    I'm totally digging Ted Naifeh's sketches of Batman and related characters. Not sure if he's trying to audition for DC in a plan for them to throw a Batman story his way, but I enjoy the perks of getting to see how he sees the character.

    Some Quotes and Thoughts

    Read a few quotes this week that struck a chord with me.

    The first one comes via the shitmydadsays twitter feed.
    "No, I'm not a pessimist. At some point the world shits on everybody. Pretending it ain't shit makes you an idiot, not an optimist."

    Besides finding this quote laugh-out-loud funny, I felt like I could relate to the message behind the quote.

    I am often tagged with the label of "pessimist" because of my tendency to consider or anticipate all of the ways something could go wrong.

    What people don’t understand is that I don’t expect things to go wrong – which would be the definition of a pessimist – I just want to take time to consider what could go wrong and plan out how I might need to respond to that change. Maybe I take more time than necessary to consider all of the bad, but that still doesn’t mean I expect them to happen. I just don’t like being surprised or not ready with a response.

    The other was a comment by someone to an article on HuffingtonPost.com (I don’t remember the article)
    This is why we can't look to politics for answers. One party is a streamlined, effective machine that gets everything it wants, no matter the obstacles, but has terrible ideas on just about every modern issue. The other has far better (though not perfect) ideas and aspirations, but makes a herd of cats look organized, and a monkey in kitchen look competent. You can't vote for Republicans, because their string of successes are absolute losses for everyone around them and the planet as a whole, and you can't vote for the Democrats because they can't wash their hands without getting a black eye, let alone actually accomplish something meaningful. Politicians only do the right thing when forced to, dragged kicking and screaming all the way, by a populist movement that they can't ignore. That's the only thing I can think of that might serve as a feasible substitute for both the t-est-icles the democrats forgot on their way to Washington, and the morality that the republicans have never had.

    Which pretty much sums up why I loathe politics, have little faith in any level of government, and tear my eyeballs out in frustration over the voting public’s continued acquiescence to a two-party political system.

    And I don’t even want to talk about the Supreme Court’s insane decision yesterday that will now allow corporations to spend money on political campaigns unabated. I thought the US government was for the people by the people. The Court said in its decision that it was a matter of Free Speech. When did a company earn the same rights as an individual?

    This leads me to my a third quote I stumbled into that does a good job summing up what I think the Supreme Court decision means for the future of our democratic representative government.
    "We are moving to an age where we won't have the senator from Arkansas or the congressman from North Carolina, but the senator from Wal-Mart and the congressman from Bank of America." - Melanie Sloan, director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

    January 20, 2010

    Zorro by Chris Samnee

    A group of comic book artists launched a blog, Comic Twart, this week based around this basic premise: one member of the group will suggest a character to draw and then everyone else has to draw and post there artwork.

    There is a lot of great artistic talent involved and I'm kinda excited to see what sort of work we see over the next few weeks.

    The inaugural subject is Zorro.

    I found Chris Samnee's entry to be my favorite.

    Just working with blacks and whites, his Zorro artwork has an level of energy that I can't remember since Frank Miller's first Sin City story.

    I pretty much liked all the Zorro entries, by Samnee's stood out.

    January 19, 2010

    Jay vs. Conan: All You Need To Know

    Over the last few weeks there has been a lot of stories concerning NBC's bungled handling of their two night-time talk show hosts.

    Of everything I've read or seen, this Taiwanese CGI news cartoon does the best of summing everything up.

    Stand Firm Against the Tide

    Ian will argue that "every other 10-year old had a cell phone, so why can't he have one."

    And Heather and I will counter with "not every 10-year old has a cell phone."

    Then I find this chart and start mentally working up a new counter-argument to use.


    5 Things I Think

  • Nothing ruins a good three-day weekend like a stomach virus that systematically works its way from family member to family member in our house.

    It started with Zoe Friday night and ended with Heather on Monday night. In between it hit Emma, Ian, and me.


  • The Jack Kirby sure could draw. At this point I’ve read and seen enough of his work to know and appreciate the genius of Jack Kirby.

    However, this artwork started making the rounds on the inter-webs over the weekend and it made stop and marvel again at the wickedly trippy design skills of Jack Kirby. The art samples are designs for a college production of Julius Caesar in 1969 that Jack Kirby worked on.


  • I can’t wait for this to air during the Super Bowl:

    Nothing like milking your one season of domination for as long as you can.

  • I’m trying to figure out how this guy got himself into this situation.

    Ballboy Has Accident on Court, Delays Match

    If you’re old enough to serve as a ball boy at the Australian Open shouldn’t you be old enough to gauge when you will need to use the restroom?

  • I miss the old Pac-Man cartoon show that I used to watch on Saturday mornings.

    It’s not on DVD yet, but you can find plenty of samplings on YouTube.
  • January 17, 2010

    Kid Quote of the Week

    "Why did He (God) even need dinosaurs?"
    Emma, asking the questions I don't even know how to come up with answers to.

    January 14, 2010

    Good News - I Guess

    The Doomsday Clock was moved back 1 minute.

    It now stands at six minutes before midnight (i.e. doomsday).

    The move backwards was deemed appropriate because of the "hopeful state of world affairs", according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

    Bent Objects

    Terry Border is a very creative man with a deliciously off-center sense of humor.

    I want a print of one of these photos for myself.

    caught orange handed

    January 13, 2010

    Lord of the Rings on Stage

    Perusing the monthly email I receive from the Chicago PBS station, WTTW, I saw this:

    Two reasons I want to watch:
    1) I'm a Lord of the Rings geek

    2) I love these sorts of behind the scenes shows. Sometimes I find the "how" a movie or stage production was put together as equally fascinating as the final product.

    January 12, 2010

    5 Things I Think

  • What do you think it means when in a dream you’re having about starting a new job, not only is your mother there to check on you, but Sylvester Stallone stops by and chats up your mother like a old lost friend?

    I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to stop thinking about that.

  • I think football head coaches (college or pro) who wear those little headsets while the fume up and down the sideline (or stand emotionless with a look of complete passivity if you a Chicago Bears head coach) look totally dorky.

    I got to thinking about the now ubiquitous head coach headsets this past weekend while watching the NFL Playoffs and kept seeing the Pepsi Throwback commercials. We’d see Tom Landry and then see Bill Bellicheck. It made me think of watching Joe Paterno prowl the sidelines a few weeks ago in their bowl game.

    Sure, having that little communication device on your head might be helpful to keep everybody on the same page, but you look like a dork.

  • What is it about sweaters that make them look so dated. I can pull a shirt or a pair of pants out of my closet that was bought back in the 1990’s right now and you may or may not be able to place the garment as clothing from that decade. But as soon as I hold up a sweater someone shouts "1993!"

  • I know that columnists have to turn in a set number of pieces a week of a certain length, but I think David Haugh could have worked a little harder last week.

    On Sunday the Chicago Tribune ran a Haugh-penned piece on what might have happened if the Chicago Bears had landed Alabama coach Nick Saban 6 years ago when they offered him the head coaching job.

    This is the sort of silly and pointless "What If" writing I expect from fan-run blogs/websites, not that sort of column I go to the Chicago Tribune for.

  • You want a glimpse at what pure happiness looks like?

    Catch a 5th grader sinking his first shot in a school basketball game.

    The sense of joy is contagious.
  • January 11, 2010

    How To Choose Which Cereal to Eat

    I don't eat cereal anymore. I stopped sometime back when I was in college.

    Found that I was hungry thirty minutes after eating a bowl of cereal, so I got to thinking eating cereal was a waste of time.

    Anyway, Heather and the kids eat plenty of cereal. We have got boxes of it everywhere. So while this decision chart might not be helpful for me, I think everyone else in my house could benefit from it.

    Even if you are anti-cereal like me, you have to click through and see this full sized. It is fantastic.


    Happy 75th Birthday, DC Comics

    75 years ago today, on January 11, 1935, New Fun #1 went on sale. The comic was published by the company that would come to call themselves DC Comics and provide its readers some memorable characters and stories.

    DC is celebrating 75 years of publishing by releasing some projects that aim to showcase the rich and diverse history of DC Comics. A new version of the History of the DC Universe, a new, updated edition of Who's Who, and DC Legacies, which plans on telling the tale of the history of the DC Universe as experienced by the characters who live in it.

    I'm just glad they've hung around this long to publish fun and innovative stories starring some of the most interesting characters in literature.

    January 10, 2010

    Kid Quote of the Week

    I like the word "Steamshovel."
    - Zoe, providing further proof that she will always remain a mystery to me.

    January 08, 2010

    Happy Birthday to the King

    He would have been 75 years old today.

    I can't be at home to watch all the great Elvis movies TCM is screening, but it's all-Elvis music all-day in my office at work.

    January 07, 2010

    Another Reason to Own an iPhone

    So I could have one of these toys to play with.

    Parrot A.R. Drone

    (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma / January 6, 2010) Parrot A.R. Drone, a four-propeller flying drone that connects to an Apple iPhone or iPod Touch via Wi-Fi with a video-streaming camera hovers at the Consumer Electronics Show.

    January 06, 2010

    One of These Doesn't Belong

    The US Post Office announced their special stamp issues for 2010. The release that caught my attention was the one planned for this summer that will feature comic strips.

    Beetle Bailey, Dennis the Menace, Archie and Friends, Calvin & Hobbes, and finally Garfield.

    Beetle Bailey and Dennis the Menace are suitable honorees. They were funny comics in their time, though they now hang around for nostalgic sake.

    Archie is a classic comic character better known for his comic book incarnations than comic strip appearances, but I guess I can let that slide. (Though after comparing the Archie comic strips being produced today against the Archie comic books being published today, I think its best we ignore Archie’s comic strip existence.)

    Calvin & Hobbes is a one of the great, enduring pieces of comic strip art that is superb not only for the life and creativity that Bill Watterson brought to the form, but also because he understood that the time comes when you said your part and you need to leave the stage.

    But Garfield? It’s a comic strip that was intentionally designed and produced for the greatest licensing potential. There was little sense of creation because the artist loved the medium. Jim Davis saw an opportunity and aggressively (and very successfully) built a licensing empire on the back of fat orange cat.

    I hate Garfield, and I hate that it is included in this collection of stamps.

    January 05, 2010

    Don't Apologize. Just Win More Than You Lose

    This ad was run in yesterday's Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times.

    While I appreciate the sentiment, formal apologizes aren't what I look for from my professional sports teams.

    Show me that you are trying to make the team better and win more games than you lose each year. Don't just rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    5 Things I Think

  • I think I’m thinking a lot about comics a lot more than usual right now. Comic books, comic strips, movies based on comic book characters, animated versions of comic book characters – not sure why it’s dominating my brain’s free time, but can’t say that I'm not enjoying it.

  • Don’t know why I didn’t think of it earlier – the library is perfect for getting more comics to read. I renewed my long lapsed library card last week while I was on vacation, and have already taken inventory of what’s on the shelf at our local branch.

    I also plan to put our library’s online reserve system to good work this year.

    (Sure I'll continue to read traditional books. But I got a stack of those for Christmas and I’m looking for new comics to read)

  • I think I would like to have this as a poster for my office (at home or at work)
    Best Calvin & Hobbes fan art ever.

    [found here]

  • I think that until the day I die I will still get a thrill out of seeing DC Comic heroes animated.

  • I think it will be great fun reading through this: Batman: The Animated Series Writers Bible

    I’ve already downloaded the whole document.
  • January 04, 2010

    The Evolution of the Computer

    Saw this comic today and it caused me to consider two things:

    1) Sometimes I think life would be simpler if computers weren't in them.

    2) Happy that in the next month we will be jumping from #3 to #5 on this evolution chart of computers

    And then when I go back and read this post I realize what a screwed up head I have.

    January 03, 2010

    Kid Quote of the Week

    "Gold, Frankenstein, and Mir"
    - Emma, explaining to Zoe what the Three Kings brought to the baby Jesus.

    January 02, 2010


    Today's date is a palindrome - written forwards or backwards it is the same number.

    To celebrate, starting at 12:01pm I will start working backwards until I go to sleep at the same time I got out of bed this morning.

    (luckily Heather let me sleep in late today)