Friday, January 11, 2013
Questions Week: Question Fair
This may not be the kind of question you're looking for - but any reason you changed the font on the blog? I had grown attached to the old look.
The reason is technical. I was using an old and now unsupported, template (the simplest possible one) from an older version of Blogger. The new Blogger, which I'd resisted as long as I could, cut the right-hand side of any picture posted at 400 pixels width, and I couldn't modify the unsupported template's overall width. So I switched over to a newer, wider, and still clean enough template to fix those problems. Needless to say, I've still got a few older posts to re-format so that the pictures are in the right spots.
Why hasn't James Bond been to Canada?!?!?!?!
He's talking about THIS MAP which shows all of the Bond's travels to date. And yeah, we noticed, Snell. Moonraker does have a scene in a plane over the Yukon, but it's before 007 gets involved. I can't believe, for example, they haven't tried an opening stunt at Niagara Falls, or a chase sequence in the Alberta Badlands. I mean, look at that landscape!
French language comics (French language anything) that Anglophones are missing out on/should be translated.
I'm not sure what the situation is as far as what's been translated or not, but there are so many English-language comics readily available, Anglophones must miss out on a lot of other-language material (and this is true of other media as well). I'm in the same boat. A Francophone with an English degree who consumes a lot more English-language media than I do French. (In media taken as a whole, French doesn't even come in second - that would be Chinese.) And so a lot of my French comics favorites (or bandes dessinées) are older books which should be readily available in translation. I have friends who love newer stuff coming out of France and Belgium (the bande dessinée capital of the world), but I haven't really fallen in love with the stuff. But let's say I don't name the classics like Tintin, Asterix (I've read them in both languages, and they rewrite all the puns, it's a pretty amazing translation effort), les Schtroumpfs, Spirou or Lucky Luke, I might steer you towards Valérian (an imaginative space opera), Philémon (positively surreal) and Achille Talon (originally 2-page humor strips by Greg, he later got embroiled in adventures). The latter is actually worth mentioning because I don't know HOW it can be translated successfully. Talon's whole shtick is an incredible verbosity and language play, with rivalry between neighbors or a soul-crushing job as background. I make it sound depressing. It isn't. Except when I was a kid because the characters' absurd pomposity meant I didn't really get it. Definitely one to enjoy more as an adult.
What is a Bozon?
My physics may be a bit rusty, but I do believe that's the subatomic particle that is responsible for bringing the funny, named after the famous clown that discovered it. Among its applications, we count the Slapstick Uncertainty Principle, which states you can either know the location of a banana peel, or its slipperiness, but not both.
Mike Zeidler asks two questions:
1. If you could have any technology from the Star Trek universe, what would it be?
I can't say PADDs anymore, can I... Quite simply, non-invasive medical equipment. Scan me, tell what's wrong, psssssht me with the cure, that's the kind of doctoring I want.
2. Could you explain Joss Whedon to me? I love Trek, Star Wars, LSH, Doctor Who, even the Buffy movie, I even get the "singular artistic vision thing" because I adore all Bryan Fuller stuff, but I just can't get into Joss at all. What am I missing?
I think what works for me that he creates characters that are, for all the fantasy and stylized language, true to life. That is to say, the heroes have some pretty impressive flaws (Buffy, for example, is a self-centered whiner), and the villains the qualities that make them more beloved than the heroes (usually, a sense of humor and of the dramatic). But that's part of the overall plotting, which in most cases manages to give everything a slight twist, turning left just as you thought it was going to go right, playing with genre conventions to achieve the effect. And each series is truly ABOUT something, has an overall theme and its permutations, which tickles my literary fancy. I'm aware his personal ticks, when listed out of context, will inflame non-fans (our next question asker, for example) with "THIS AGAIN?", but I don't think Whedon is any worse on that score than many other auteurs, like Aaron Sorkin or Quentin Tarantino. Either you accept the recurring tropes (too-cool-for-school language, empowered young girls, making you love characters then MELTING them, etc.) and enjoy how they are put together in any given story, or you let it bother you and give up on it. I've chosen to do the former.
1. When are we gaming again? (I realize this is a loaded question, as my schedule just became at the same time very limiting, but also frightfully predictable.)
I feel your pain. I'm currently involved with orchestrating a Survivor even on campus, but once that's over, I'm posting some availability on Doodle. We've got 3-4 games on the go, so it's time to get cracking.
2. Combining your love of cinema and comics, what is (to your knowledge) the greatest comics movie that never saw the light? Examples: Cameron's Spider-Man with Schwarzie as Doc Ock, or Burton's Supes movie with TOUR DE FORCE ACTOR Nic Cage as Kal-El?
Neither of those would have been very good. In fact, a LOT of comics-related movies that weren't made would surely have been HORRIBLE. Because I know that for you, horrible movies are awesome movies, my answer will be this: In the early 90s, there was a Sgt. Rock movie in development. Sounds awesome, right? Except this one had Arnold Schwarzenegger in the role. Yes, they would have made the prototypical American soldier an Austrian. It would have been directed by John McTiernan (Die Hard, Predator) and had a script by Steven de Souza (Commando, The Running Man, Die Hard 2). A big action resume, but is Sgt Rock REALLY about the action? Or is it about Easy Company's cross-section of humanity? (There's a new Sgt. Rock picture on the works, by the way. And apparently, the latest script takes place in the future instead of WWII... sigh.)
Beholder. Hands down. Well, no hands, really. I fell in love with the Eyeful Evil at first sight when I opened the original Monster Manual.
4. 0 Oscar nominations for The Dark Knight Rises; is this good? Circle one: Yes / Yes
5. FYI Justified season 4 started yesterday. Get on that season 3, son!
That's not a question. Justified Season 3 DVD has just arrived. I'm on it!
6. Where should I go next in Skyrim? Do I go punch vampires, join the rebellion, or do I deal with Delphine's nonsense?
I don't know ANYTHING about Skyrim except what I read on your blog, but I'll say join the rebellion. I don't know what you're rebelling against, but it sound the most character-driven. However, if the vampires shimmer in the sunlight, please feel free to punch the hell out of them.
And that's all the questions in the suggestion box! Thanks for asking, hope you liked the answers. If you want to keep playing, I'll see you in the Comments section.