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Strictly Speaking 2/23/2009

In Space, No One Can Hear You Rock On

alien_from_the_movie.pngThis week we unlock Ripley's hibernation pod to find out why she hates Joss Whedon. Then, we wrassle with the issue of Marvel trying to swine Mickey Rourke's bank account while they're also trying to heist you for your cash at the comic shop. Next, I'll tell you why you should avoid the calimari when you go see Watchmen. Finally, we will check out why the final frontier totally rocks hard tasty abs in the new Trek flick.

 

Get Away From Her, You BITCH!!!!

alien_from_the_movie.pngIn her old age, it seems Ellen Ripley is not entirely content to drift right through the core systems.

Larry Carroll from mtv.com writes:

It’s official: Ellen Ripley is the most badass female movie character of all time. So now the only question that remains is a simple one: Will we ever see her again? "You know, Fox was going to do another one," Sigourney Weaver said to us recently while accepting Ripley’s honor. "They had it written. Joss Whedon wrote it."

As Weaver remembered it, however, the script from the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" mastermind just didn’t rock her world. "It took place on earth," she explained. "Which, I have to say, just really didn’t interest me. And I just felt that every time we went out there, we needed to have a really original piece."

Which is a shame, because Weaver said that at the time she was perfectly willing to take on the Aliens once again. "I was all for going back to the original planet; I thought that would be interesting," she explained. "But I was alone in that; we couldn’t really agree on what would be interesting."

Click here for the full article.

Now…I dunno about you. But the first time Sigourney Weaver got ideas about shoving her fist all up in the franchise’s shit-chute, we got Alien3. Hey, don’t get me wrong, I loved The Ripley in Alien and Aliens. But you know what else I loved? The idea that William muthafuckin’ Gibson was gonna write the screenplay for Alien3. And sans Ripley, sans Weaver, that screenplay rocked asses. If you don’t believe me, read it for yourself. It would have focused solely on Hicks and Newt because Weaver was not, at the time, interested in reprising the role of Ripley.

But you know what happened? Weaver changed her mind about being involved with the flick, and they had to come up with a script that included her character in it. In large part because she had negotiated a producer credit for the film.

Now…there are a lot of reasons why Alien3 sucked asses, and I don’t wanna get into them here. But Gibson’s script was literally the only one that did not suck predator balls.

...I dunno if predators have balls, actually, but if they did, all of the other Alien3 scripts would be sucking on them...

So forgive me if I’m not gonna jump up and do an Irish jig about whatever the fuck Sigourney Weaver thinks would and would not work for another Alien movie.

I’m not especially happy with the state of the AVP franchise; AVP: Requiem sucked slightly less than the first AVP. But it was still a largely piss-poor flick. And what AVP tells us is that fan boys are not equipped to save the world. Since I’m a fan boy, I suppose that makes my opinion of what the Alien franchise needs to do a bit suspect. So, I’m not gonna offer it. I know my limits.

But I know what it needs to not do, and that’s listen to fucking Sigourney Weaver. Because if they do, then all of this…this bullshit…well you can just kiss all that goodbye.

Game over man.

We're fucked! We're doomed!

Ease down, Ripley! We're just grinding metal!

Alright I'll stop.

Will He or Won’t He?

mickey.jpgOkay, I’ve been pretty much convinced of the steel-clad awesomeness of Mickey Rourke ever since Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man. Oh, don’t front. Sure it was a bunk-ass flick, but Rourke was awesome in it. And Sin City did nothing but reinforce that awesome. So why is Marvel trying to fuck awesome in the ass by shelling out only $250,000 to snag Rourke for Iron Man 2?

 

Ross Kenneth Urken from nymag.com wrote last week:

With Mickey Rourke basically a lock to win Best Actor for his performance in The Wrestler, the only lingering mystery around this weekend's Oscar ceremony is who he'll bring as his date. So, when we ran into him at last night's Domenico Vacca show at Bryant Park (this is Rourke's first Fashion Week in thirteen years, if you can believe it), we asked him to spoil that surprise, too. Since it won't be his Chihuahua, who will accompany Rourke to the Kodak Theatre on Sunday? "Unfortunately, my agent," he told us in defeat.

But so what if ICM's David Unger doesn't look good in a dress — at least he's battling Marvel for a bigger paycheck for Rourke for his rumored role as a villain in Iron Man 2, right? "Right now, we're not doing Iron Man 2," Rourke told us grimly.

But Harry Knowles at aintitcool.com counters with:

It seems in the interview below... that Mickey is signaling his desire to be a part of IRON MAN 2, to work with Favreau - to act with Robert Downey Jr - But he isn't committing, he's waxing on about how it would be nice if it could work out. And it may work out.

Check the interview here:

Look Marvel, you and I haven’t had such a good relationship over the past few years, but I’ve really liked some of the movies you’ve put out. Especially Iron Man. Jon Favreau? Good choice. Robert Downey Jr.? I had my doubts, but he rocked. Nice Nick Fury cameo at the end. So why are you determined to turn this movie into your bottom-bitch by skimping on the bankroll?

Look, pimpin’ is neither easy, nor is it cheap, bitches. Meet the man’s fucking price already. According to magic-man Joe Quesada, your books are worth it right?

Which leads to my next item, conveniently enough…

Marvel Says "Fuck Yo’ Wallet"

joe-pimp2-copy.jpg
From my cup of joe:

JM: Now you said something interesting the other day that popped up in a panel about the "ghettoizing" of comics…

JQ: Right. And it’s really caused me to think a little bit. And I think it caused the audience to scratch their heads and put some thought into it as well. The question that was posed by a fan at a panel was about the price of comics, and what goes into the thinking behind pricing and how we wind up with a cover price. It wasn’t an angry question at all. It was more of a "thought process" question and what goes into these decisions. While it’s understandable why these questions are coming up now people have been asking this since comics went from 10 cents to 12 cents.

We discussed many of the obvious reasons why comics cost what they do today. You know, the nuts and bolts expenditures of hard costs. And as we were going over it I brought up the idea that one of the things that while comics for so many years lived with this perception by the mainstream that we were nothing but a children’s medium and dumbed down literature, we as an industry, internally ghettoize ourselves with this nostalgic belief that, "Oh, they used to cost 10 cents. They used to cost 25 cents. That’s what they should cost." That somehow we are a cheap and in many cases, not very valued commodity. Quite frankly, I don’t want to believe that or think that way. Yet we cling to it and in today’s modern world, it sets up what could be unreasonable expectations. So, is it possible that as a whole comic’s really are underpriced ?

Now, before anyone jumps out of their chair, I am in no way saying that they should be priced higher, this is me merely posing a question and trying to look at it analytically sans my own nostalgic feelings about the whole thing.

Seriously, we work very hard, every day to keep the price of comics where they are. And by asking this question, all I’m trying to do is to highlight how hard we do work and what we have to go through—and that’s Marvel, or DC, or Image or anyone—to keep the prices as low as they are.

Lets just look at it from the penciler’s point of view. The sheer man hours. Don’t even think about an editor, an inker, a colorist, a writer, any of those other essential people for now. Just a penciler. Think about the hours he or she puts in per day, just to do a single page—they’re all highly skilled professionals, and the work and the thought process that goes in—just think about that. It can easily be 10, 12, maybe 14 hours a day just to complete one page, that people hopefully will love. ONE page. Not a 22-page book, just one page. Now start multiplying that by the 22 pages and the hours and the days. Now multiply that by the writer, inker, colorist, on down the line. And add on to that the editorial man-hours, production staff, marketing people and materials that go into it. And you have to start thinking about just how much value there is within a single comic. Quite personally, I think we give a tremendous value and bang for the buck, but living against the specter of 10 cents an issue makes it very hard to get that feeling across.

Lets also look at it from another point of view. There are many more things pulling at our incredibly skilled talent pool these days than ever before. Today, comic talents have many more places where they can earn a living, and sometimes a better one, than in comics. You take any artist who sits in his room for 10, 12, 14 hours a day to do one page and ask him, "Hey, do you think those 22 pages, that month of your life, do you think $2.99 to $3.99 is a fair price for your artwork?" They’d probably have to really think about it for a bit, especially when they know they could probably get more in other industries. For so many of them, they do this because they love it. But for us, we have to compete and do whatever it is that we have to do to keep our great talents right here in this industry.

 

So, okay. I can dig it. I do some scribblings here and there. I know how hard it is to do line work, and digitally color and ink art. I know how hard it is to write a story.

But if Marvel is gonna be boosting its prices up by a dollar, they’re gonna have to prepare themselves for the possibility that muthafuckas will just stop buying their books. I know I’m cutting back to a mere handful of titles. I mean, what do you think this shit is? Crack? With a 22 page high? Because that’s the only way this market model works, lads. With something that produces an inelastic demand.

The way I see this working is if they mix heroin into the paper. Heroin so pure that it is absorbed directly through the skin and into the veins of internet fan boys everywhere. That way, Dark Avengers, New Avengers, fuck, Wolverineavengers, it won’t matter baby.

Just remember, don’t get high on your own supply, Marvel.

But maybe it’ll work out in the shittiest economy we’ve seen in years. Maybe folks will choose Spider-Man over food and/or gas. It could work. And if it does, Marvel will have enough money to make sure they can fucking-well pay Mickey Rourke.

They’ll Look Up and Scream, "Save the Squid!" And I’ll Whisper, "No."

smile.jpgScifiwire reports on Zack Snyder’s valiant effort to combat idiocy in Hollywood.

"When I originally got the script, the squid was gone from the [end]," Snyder said, adding: "I was like, 'OK, well, we should try to put the squid back in the movie. We should see if that's a thing that could work.' And, really, I think the reason why we in the end decided that it was probably best not to was that it just ended up adding another ... 15 pages to the script. You know, just to kind of make that make sense. Because you couldn't just cut to it like you do in the graphic novel."

Unlike the graphic novel—where the giant city-destroying squid is revealed in a large panel once you turn a page—the movie had to lay narrative groundwork throughout its story to set up the appearance of such a creature in the end.

"I knew that ... if I spent that time with the squid, that's just time ... that I wouldn't have for ... Manhattan or Rorschach or ... the Comedian's funeral," Snyder said. "Because ... those are my favorite parts of the book, you know?" He added: "There's something elegant about [the end we chose]. If you're going to stay with the characters and the [idea of creating an] 'Other' to hate, ... there's something elegant about that Other being God. To me, anyway."

 

A lot of my fellow fan boys are griping about the absence of the squid. But I’m not. I find squids repugnant unless I am devouring them for being insolent sea bitches.

You see, I’m one of those fan boys who thought Watchmen was so pure that it should never be turned into a movie. Well, at least I was, right up until I saw the first footage of it. My doubts were erased, and I saw the light.

But this is still gonna be a bitch to translate onto film. And you know, I accept that some things, like a fucking giant alien muthafuckin’ squid might not translate as well as the purists would hope. After all, we still gotta sell this shit to the mainstream audience. And they ain't exactly up on giant fuckin' squids and shit. They got a low tolerance for that level of strange.

I mean, there’s still muthafuckas out there who hated Lord of the Rings because it lacked Tom Bombadil singing and what-not.

Part of the burden of joining polite society and encountering scary things like girls is realizing the hard truth that some of the shit you like is lame. So sit back and just suck down a cup of Malin Akerman.

jupiter.jpg

To Boldly Rock…

star_trek_poster1.jpgtrek movie.com reports that rock and roll can save Trek in an interview with writers Orci and Kurtzman

Roberto Orci: Obviously we were comfortable for Christmas, because that was its niche. But we all feel it can sustain what it needs to sustain in the summer. One of the things we said early on is that Star Wars and Star Trek are always the ones being compared to each other by certain people. Why is Star Wars able to surpass all of that even though they’re all in space and some characters are similar? It just felt like Star Wars had a little more rock and roll than Star Trek had.

Alex Kurtzman: so we figured the missing ingredient for this one was it needed a little rock and roll. And if we succeeded in doing that, I think it will meet the summer expectations. Star Trek was essentially a submarine naval battle, except in space. Star Wars was flying down the trench of the Death Star at the speed of mach 70,000 to shoot a little bullet into a hold. The experience as a viewer you have is different: there’s a speed I think associated with that experience. To my mind, there was no reason they had to be mutually exclusive. Obviously you have to be very true to spirit of what Star Trek is and you cannot violate canon, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some of that as well.

tribble wut? 

Did I hear that right?

Trek needs some…

…some rock and roll?

Is this a subtle hint that the Excalbian dudes will be showing up in the movie? Or that Nimoy is gonna do some hot Vulcan-on-Horta mind-meld action?

Well.

I guess they are trying to make Trek for the…next generation. A Trek for the Deep Space-90210 set. So they can undertake the same enterprising voyage of green space bitches that I once took. Trek is…no longer mine.

Rock and roll…presumably, that’s some sort of metaphor for kick-ass action, and maybe some titty.

But shit, is JJ Abrams directing this muthafucka or McG? Maybe they should have cast Jason Statham as Kirk, so they could have him kung-fuing the shit out of romulans in a suit while some hardcore guitar riffs play in the background. Hire Jet Li to play Sulu.

Now that’s Trek that rocks.

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