Archive for December, 2007

Claudia Black, Need I Say More? (Dragon*Con 2007 p2)

Sunday, December 30th, 2007

Fade Into Black, Claudia Black

Claudia Black Signing at Dragon*Con 2007

Looking at Claudia, even from a distance in the signing lines at the Dragon*Con, you could tell why she was such a great actress. Waiting for people to come up to her in the line, she would frown slightly, and you’d find your mood plummeting. Then someone would text her something, and she’d grab her phone with that irrepressible energy she has, and her face would light up…and your world would suddenly seem like a choir of angels popped up on your shoulder. Her expressive ability is so natural and infectious…I’ve only seen it in a handful of actresses like Audrey Hepburn…and I never actually got to meet her. The funny thing you’d never know about Claudia in this picture…she’s like 8 months *very* pregnant! I was really worried about her attending the Dragon*Con in that state…She’s certainly a brave one! Anyway, the picture is crappy, but she still looks great in it, as she did in person. As a huge fan of Farscape (the show I consider the best sci-fi series yet done), and a massive admirer of everything Claudia does, it was a highlight of the show to meet her. End geek moment #2 here…

My Lexa-cellent Adventure (Dragon*Con 2007 p1)

Sunday, December 30th, 2007

Me and the magnificent Lexa Doig

Me and the Luminous Lexa Doig

I was never the world’s biggest fan of Andromeda, I’ll be entirely honest. It had some good seasons, and some good episodes, however. The best thing about the show was the utter likability of the cast. The best actual story concept in the show was the character of ‘Romi, short for Andromeda. Lexa Doig played Spock to Sorbo’s Kirk on the show, except, instead of a super-rational Vulcan, she’s a super-rational android. She’s kind of like a ship’s masthead come to life, a living personification of the warship Andromeda, brought to life Galatea-like by the ship’s engineer. Lexa was wonderful because she did not *look* like an android warship, but was instead a rather waifish and delicate-looking young woman. You get the sense, watching Lexa onscreen, that she is really beautiful. You meet her in person, and your opinion may change. She’s super-beautiful. The camera, surprisingly, doesn’t capture anything like her perfect skin and intense warmth. She is extremely accessible and charming, the picture of an ideal convention guest. I didn’t really get to talk to her…The design of the Stargate signing booths was horrible for any kind of interaction, designed for maximizing profit and not for interaction at all. I did see her briefly at the Pro Hospitality Suite, but she didn’t stay long and I didn’t have a chance to say “hi” there. Anyway, I insert the rather poor picture of her here (my apologies Lexa!) and encourage anyone who gets a chance to meet her not to pass it up! Now this geek moment is ended…

Self Portrait

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

Clipart Self-Portrait, Dialogue Mine


This is me. The image is clipart, the text mine…If you ever wanted to understand me (and I can’t imagine why you’d want to, but this is a blog!), here it all is in black and white. ;)

Juno Film Review

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

Score:

Entertainment: 92%

Crafting: 95%

Intellect: 80% (first half 95%)

Acting: 98%

Notable: Direction, Script, Universal Acting, and Cinematography

My draws to this movie were threefold (in order): The description of the film as “postmodern”, the music of the original and authentically poststructuralist, Kimya Dawson, and the extraordinary Jennifer Garner (no analysis required). The film is about a 16 year old girl, named Juno, who impulsively (or, as the film suggests at several points, with a vague intention) gets pregnant. The actress, the irrepressible Ellen Page (notably Kitty Pride from X3), is luminous and easily dominates the film. Her voice is richly intelligent and seems to belong to an older person, but her petite elfin body and pale, unmarred skin (played well in some very clever cinematography) suggest an even *younger* girl, leading to a fascinating juxtaposition of “reads” on her character. Not to dwell to much on my first hope for the film, but this was largely crushed. Of course, this was completely expected and did not ruin my enjoyment of the film. The second half of the film in particular devolves into a quest for cultural normalcy, while the first half revels in individual choice and the open seeking for identity and, at several points, achieves what the reviewers were keying on as “postmodern”. At one point in this first half, Juno goes into a small and typically charming fit about the point of the term “sexually active,” saying “what does that even mean?” Making a postmodern point that one cannot subjectively turn off one’s sexual identity and nature, and pointing out that “active” is an unreasonably fluid term in that phrase’s context. This is where the film is at its most interesting. The music by Kimya Dawson is, I expect, for most viewers, the film’s primary revelation. Her childish voice and ragged, sharply-pointed melodies mirror the exact juxtaposition of the Juno character. In fact, I’ve rarely seen a score so carefully melded to a film’s intent. In a way, the film functions best as a primer for Kimya’s music (this being high praise). As to the last point of interest in the film, Jennifer Garner is well-served by this film. If anyone forgets, or doesn’t realize, how inordinately elegant an actress is, her utterly brittle, dialogue-stark, and exposed performance in this film tell it all. As an actress, she gets remarkably poorly-served by her films. Her role on “Alias” highlighted her range and charm very well, but only the film “13 Going on 30″ has even touched on her greater ability. However, that film is so delightful, so perfectly a part of its time and place, that it stands alone quite nobly to showcase this unique actress. Films like “Juno” remind us that she is still out there, still able to surprise and devastate. Her character is interesting because she is deeply flawed, something gorgeous leading ladies probably find hard vehicles to find. She is a distant, cold, and uninvolved wife, neither supportive or connected to her husband. This is made very clear in the kinesthetics of her body language and her obsession with the possession of a child. It hints at some greater trauma in the couple’s past. Justin Bateman (suddenly looking like a slightly younger, American version of Branagh in this film) is superb as her disconnected husband, himself flawed and foolish, not at home in his own cold white and sterile house. Yet, if Garner is a terrible wife, her single desire of denied parenthood, is slowly revealed as her perilous and joyous singular agenda. Few actresses can convey obsessive conviction and capacity for joy like Garner, and she blazes that charm here when she gets her moment. Her ability to do brittle angst is new here, I haven’t seen that before.

This film would have been perfect if it had stayed true to it’s individualistic beginning. When Juno falls into the trap that all Hollywood films inevitably plop own into, of asking “I just need to know that two people can stay together forever…”, the film slips from its pure plateau of an original character study and falls into traditional agendized romance. We’re intended to see Juno growing up here, but what we really see is her independence as a person waning. This is a minor and personal disappointment however, and I am happy to say that this film is a lovely tribute to the value of adoption and a very sharply-scored tribute to Kimya Dawson. The character-study of Juno has many moving points and gives us an Actress-Who-Must-Be-Watched for many years to come.

The Jenkins Klingonstmas Bash

Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

Weird but “Overly-Intelligent” *snort!*

Slytherins of Atlanta

(click on Pic for Credits)

I was fortunate enough to attend the bashorama (non-religion, only Klingon affliliation, holiday bash) at the Paul Jenkins mega-household. In attendance were the usual suspects of the Atlanta art crew, and due to a marked lack of attendance of spouses and GFs, the boys were up to even more mischief than usual. Many of the hijinx must remain unenumerated to protect the guilty. Some highlights of the party:

- Brian Stelfreeze’ racially-insensitive naming of me as “RGB white”…Astoundingly, this marks my first insulting nickname from Brian in a remarkably long association (at least, that I am aware of…), and I am inordinately proud of it. For those who don’t know, “RGB” is a printing term, and being RGB White would make me the whitest man alive…

- The Klingon-style holiday water annointing of Cully (almost RGB white) Hamner by the unimaginably charming Melinda and the slightly less-bold Sharon Scott, of Ms. America fame (former Miss Mississippi). His rage was legendary, and brought much honor to the esteemed clan of Hamner! Well, perhaps his rage was more Gremlin than Klingon, but we are not of a judgmental temperament.

- The selfsame Melinda proclaimed all us comics artist “Weird and Overly-Intelligent” (personally, I would just have stopped at weird), and Paul ruefully shook his head as all his “normal” guests left and the artists just wouldn’t leave. Why they invite us back, I have no clue.

- Their Corgi (also called “Hello, I will be the tripping dog tonight”) is absolutely the cutest ever. Of course, how can one fail to love a Corgi?

Got Zat?

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

“Got Zat” by Nathan Massengill, Dec. 2007

Zatanna, Pen and Ink with Digital Color, all by NAM 2007

(click for Full Size Image)

Well, by way of apology for not updating this blog as often as I would like, here’s my inappropriately-sexy holiday card. For those who don’t know, the character is Zatanna, a spellcaster who casts her spells by speaking them backwards. To all who read this, wishes for the truest and purest happiness!

Dragonsong

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

I’ve just listened to the unabridged recording of “Dragonsong” again, for the first time in many years. It is a wonderful touchstone story, and easily as good as when I first read it. I have changed so much as a person in the intervening time, and it is fascinating how a truly great story can mean amazingly different things at different times in life. If you’ve never read this, it’s Anne McCaffrey’s masterpiece, and never to be underrated. It helps to read the “Dragonflight” stories first, but as good as they are, they only foreshadow this startling, taut, and very moving little novel of survival. Truly a classic.

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