If I Could Be a Fictional Character: Part Four

Miss Marple_Poster

In Part One of this ongoing series, I posed this question: Have you ever thought about who—or what—you would want to be if you could be any fictional character from a cartoon, comic book, comic strip, game, animated movie, or a literary work? Then I presented and ruled out my first choice because, yes, you are allowed to change your mind. After that, in Part Two and Part Three, I proceeded to present my second and third choice, both of which I also ruled out, for reasons I explained. Now, in Part Four, I am going to present my fourth–and final–choice, for reasons that I will also explain. So, aren’t you relieved that my personal journey toward resolution has at last come to an end? (You really don’t need to answer because I know you are.) Read more

Comic Books Translated to Film: Part Two

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) Marvel Comics & Walt Disney Studios, Director James Gunn, Producer Kevin Feige

Part Two: Five Comic Book Films Worth Watching

Every comic book reader is going to have his or her own idea of what is a successful translation of source material to film. This list is entirely my personal opinion.

1) Scott Pilgrim vs the World

Based on the Scott Pilgrim series, this film somehow manages to capture all of the awkward magical oddities of the series in live action. While there is something really enticing about the art series of the comics, the movie mimics that tone with its tight pacing, bright visuals, video game gags, information panels, and humor.

2) Persepolis

One of the most beautiful translations of comic art to animation, this autobiographical film perfectly captures the story it’s based on. With good reason, since the film was written and directed by Marjane Satrapi, the author and artist of the comic.

3) Men in Black

This film is perhaps the Who Framed Roger Rabbit of comic book adaptions. It takes an idea from the source material and then creates an entirely new entity out of it. Normally, this is something that can be frustrating for fans of the comic. In this case, for me, the MIB film is one of my favorites. Lightly based on the second issue of the comic series, it manages to capture the unique ideas from the comic book world and build on them in a new way.

4) Guardians of the Galaxy

One of my current favorite comic book adaptations, this film succeeds in a way that many adaptations don’t. It completely stands on its own. With the many original story super-hero films that keep being made, this film is a wonderful look at how adaptations can–and should–be made. It has a strong, fairly concise story arc that is character driven, and it is full of humor and action. It also manages to stays true to the heart of the 2008 comics without making you feel like you are reading a single issue in an ongoing series.

5) Ghost World

While this quirky, slow moving, coming-of-age story isn’t for everyone, the movie manages to capture the comics cynical protagonist and sharp humor.

TMNT 2: Out of the Shadows “Spoiler-Free Thoughts”


Yesterday I took my daughter to see the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It wasn’t an excellent movie, but I liked it better than the first one a few years ago. My inner 10-year-old was so giddy seeing characters like Beebop and Rocksteady on the screen! This movie was the movie I had hoped for with the original run of the Turtles films back in the early ’90’s. Read more



My father had a reproduction of Edward Hopper’s famous painting Nighthawks hanging in the living room in our old house at 1714 West Hammond Street.

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“Star Trek Continues” Continues to Continue

Star Trek_Come not between the Dragons

Greeting 3Twinseans!

In previous posts I’ve mentioned several Star Trek fan film projects. One of my favorites is Star Trek Continues–new episodes of the original TV series from 1966-1969.
They have a new episode out for the summer: Come Not Between the Dragons. This episode, which is sixth in the series, features the original crew of Captain Kirk’s Enterprise being pursued by an unknown creature that threatens to destroy the entire ship.

You can catch the episode on YouTube:

Don’t forget to check out Star Trek’s YouTube channel for the previous episodes.


Come Not Between the Dragons (2016) Created by Gene Roddenberry; Based on Star Trek: The Original Series; Developed by Vic Mignogna; Directed by James Kerwin, Vic Mignogna, Chris White & Julian Higgins; Production Companies: Trek Continues, Inc. & Dracogen; retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSFHGyLYQ-c

Featured Image: Come Not Between the Dragons; Google Images (2016), YouTube, https://i.ytimg.com/vi/uSFHGyLYQ-c/maxresdefault.jpg


If I Could Be a Fictional Character: Part Three

Gone with the Wind_Poster

In Part One of this ongoing series, I posed this question: Have you ever thought about who—or what—you would want to be if you could be any fictional character from a cartoon, comic book, comic strip, game, animated movie, or a literary work? Also, in Part One, I shared my first choice (yes, you can change your mind), which was Cinderella, but I ruled out the blonde beauty for several reasons, not the least of which was her marrying a guy who most likely would turn into a frog soon after their wedding vows. Then, in Part Two, I introduced my second choice–a superhero; however, I ruled out that option as well mainly because I’m terrified of heights and refuse to go leaping over tall buildings or soaring through the air, with or without the benefit of wings. So, now, ready or not, I am going to share my third choice with you, and that choice is a character from a novel–but not just any novel, for reasons I will explain.  Read more

Comic Books Translated to Film


Part One: Comic Book Violence

Art can paint a striking picture of a very ugly scene in the same way that a violent novel can use words to shape the way a reader interacts with the scene described. I have found that when violent comics are translated into film, even stylistically, there is the idea that in order to be true to the comic, the film must display graphic violence in minute detail. I think it’s interesting to look at the way we interact with horror and violence in drawings versus live action. Or how the art itself affects the impact of the scene.



Pretty Deadly often uses stylist violence as a visual metaphor. Would the intent of the artwork be captured in directly translating the scene to live action? Read more

Gaming History–Game Over?

The secret Atari video game burial grounds

This is the first in a series on the history of gaming!

Imagine a world without video games. No Mario, Zelda, Halo, not even Pong. Games are a distant memory, lost to the ages, thanks to poor business practices and market downturns, and the video games that do exist are poorly made and remnants of a once booming industry that has collapsed. It’s not some bizarre dystopia with cruddy video games instead of an oppressive government, it’s something that very nearly happened in the early 1980s. Thanks to a combination of poor games, market saturation, and a disastrous cash-in on a beloved alien, we nearly lost video games forever.

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Untimely Passing: Part Two

Space Galaxy Texture

What time was it? Jake Newton wondered. He couldn’t ask anyone like the movie travelers did, and there was no corner newspaper stand to check. All he had was a cold, dark disinterested silence and nothingness to share his final moments with as he gazed at distant stars too far away to offer even a hint of warmth. Oddly, though he was sure no one could hear him scream, he suppressed the urge to test the old cliché even for the sake of his own hearing. He chose to preserve the last breath within him until the inevitable moment when he would pass out and involuntarily donate it to the vastness of space, which would become the victor in the battle for his life and still not care one bit. Read more

If I Could Be a Fictional Character: Part Two

wonder-woman-Lynda Carter

In Part One of this ongoing series (the number of parts as yet to be determined), I asked if you had ever considered who—or what—you would want to be if you could be any fictional character from a cartoon, comic book, comic strip, game, animated movie, or literary work. And, yes, I know that gives you a wide range of characters from which to choose, especially since the category “literary works” includes fairytales, folk tales, poems, short stories, novelettes, novellas, and full-length novels. Come to think of it, one could argue that this latter category also includes comic books, which means I really didn’t need to specify comic books in the beginning, now did I?

Anyway, semantics aside, also in Part One I introduced my own first choice, which was Cinderella, but I then explained why I eventually ruled out the glass-slipper-wearing, pumpkin-coach-riding blonde beauty. So, tonight I am going to share my second choice with you, although admittedly I once again changed my mind after weighing the pros and cons, but ruling out number two brought me at least one step closer to deciding who–or what–I would want to be if I could be any fictional character my little heart desired. Read more