Monthly Archives: July 2013

The Real Duck Dynasty

oh130731ZZ Top played a concert outside my dorm during my freshman year in college at Baylor University in 1977.  At the time, Baylor (a Southern Baptist school) was toying with loosening up their straight laced reputation (no dancing on campus) so as to appeal to a more diverse range of students (like me). Having ZZ Top play was an experiment — a short lived experiment after a cloud of pot wafted across the quad.

ZZ Top never played Baylor again.

I lasted three years before transferring to UT.

Leave a comment

Filed under Comic Commentary

Watch Out For Bass Flooding

oh130730The last panel was supposed to be RJ saying “bass flooding” was a near rhyme of flash flooding — which is a thing. Unlike “bass flooding” — which is not a thing. But T was not convinced that bass and flash were not near rhymes and made the above change unilaterally (though in this instance he did write me at 2:51 AM asking for clarification, but somehow I missed the email).

Bass/flash? Near rhyme, right?

Don’t answer that.

Leave a comment

Filed under Comic Commentary

Sharknadopolooza

oh130729I didn’t see Sharknado, but by any measure it has to be rated a huge success if only by the amount of social media buzz it’s generated. Of course there’ll be a Sharknado 2, and 3 and 4 and who knows how many.

This is a good thing. These days we don’t have enough collective water cooler moments to ridicule exploitative crap involving extreme weather and sharks.

Cue The Weather Girls:

It’s raining sharks! Hallelujah!

 

1 Comment

Filed under Comic Commentary

Welcome Our Robot Surgery Overlords

oh130728Almost two months ago I had successful surgery to remove a benign colon polyp (along with 10 in. of colon). Today’s cartoon is a thank you to my surgeon, Dr. Francis Buzad.

Dr. Buzad operated on me with the Da Vinci Surgical System.

davinci_surgical_systemThe Da Vinci is a robotic surgery system where the surgeon sits in front of 3D-HD using a joystick and foot pedals. It was originally developed to be used  remotely, but is now used in over 2000 hospitals around the world. Doesn’t it kind of remind you of those alien abduction stories with the probes?

Here’s a video of Dr. Buzad doing a similar surgery (warning: graphic and confusing):

They made four 1 in. incisions in my abdomen and 1 two inch incision below my belly line (where the excised colon was removed). I went in the hospital on a Tuesday morning and went home Thursday evening.

Anyway, pretty cool, cutting edge stuff.  They found the polyp during a colonoscopy. Had I not had the surgery, the polyp was the type that would have developed into cancer.  Our lesson today: Get a colonoscopy when you turn 50 (or 40 if there is a family history of colorectal cancer). It could save your life.

Oh… Dr. Buzad was in the surgical suite with me.

And he didn’t wear flip-flops.

2 Comments

Filed under Comic Commentary

Call of Duty: Teddy Bear Delta Force

oh130727I’d play Call of Duty: Teddy Bear Delta Force. Wouldn’t you?

Leave a comment

Filed under Comic Commentary

The One With Games Involving Sticks and Dirt

oh130726I’m not one of those “things were better back in the good old days.” Things weren’t better, they were just different. Well, one thing was better…

I was a lot younger.

1 Comment

Filed under Comic Commentary

Watching Bad

oh130725While Hollywood films have been struggling, television is doing just fine. Take Sunday night right now.  I watch True Blood, The Newsroom, The Killing and Copper.  All really good.  Or, really good when Aaron Sorkin allows someone to reel him in and protect him from his worst tendencies. Also, The Bridge looks promising. I can’t wait for Breaking Bad to come back. I know Walt’s going down, I just don’t know how.

Anyway, now you know I watch a LOT of TV.  When I’m, you know, not writing Hedge or writing and drawing Odd Squad or directing shorts or staring at the ceiling and twiddling my thumbs.

Thumb twiddling being the universal signal to attract the muses.

Leave a comment

Filed under Comic Commentary

Johnny Depp Explains What He Was Thinking

oh130724I haven’t see The Lone Ranger, but it sounds like a real mess. I’m acquainted with one of the writers, so I’m anxious to hear what happened behind the scenes. Train wrecks like The Lone Ranger have many causes. Most likely there was a lack of consensus on tone and style. These huge tentpole movies are made by committee. And committees aren’t known for having a coherent, consistent singular vision.

Another explanation is that it’s really, really hard to make a great movie. Too many things can go wrong. When it happens it’s like a happy accident.

When it doesn’t…

…crap happens.

5 Comments

Filed under Comic Commentary

Catapult All the Stupid People Into the Sun

oh130723The other problem with Verne’s film is that that the only people left will be Verne and me. And I’m not dancing with Verne.

He won’t let me lead.

And then there’s the whole body slime issue.

Ick.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Comic Commentary

Mock’Em, Stop’Em Robots

oh130722This is the summer of the mega-block buster duds from the Hollywood clone factories. Pacific Rim, Lone Ranger, White House Down, Turbo and others have gone down in flames. Given Hollywood’s pathological aversion to risk and long-ago succesion of power to accountants, these present day disasters aren’t surprising. All the above films were green-lit 3-4 years ago in the middle of a successful run of huge budget summer popcorn movies. The problem is, it’s folly to base future offerings on present day results. Too many variables. Too much will change. Too hard to predict the public’s taste. Yet they do it anyway.

The solution: Make more cheaper movies of varying genres and risk assumptions. For every Lone Ranger which clocked in at over $200 million, you could make almost seven $30 million dollar movies.  Experiment. Run some of the films day and date in theaters, pay-per-view and online.

This is sort of what’s done in publishing with a high volume of titles produced for modest costs to deliver a few best-sellers — which in turn support the  high volume of titles.

Of course, no one will take my advice because of the weak link in film making: humans. You get on the map making small movies that break out, but you don’t stay there by making small movies. It’s a front-end loaded business. Most of Hollywood, from everyone above the line to agents and lawyers all make money from failure. Or, more precisely, from pre-failure. When the economic model for success in Hollywood (for individuals) has nothing to do with whether a film succeeds or not then you’ve got a real long term problem.  If Hollywood took my advice they would be shifting the risk from financiers to the individuals that package and make the films (which is happening to some extent). They would also be shifting the reward in the same direction (which is not happening to any extent). But it won’t happen, because most people are naturally conservative and will value stability over progress.

That is, until the stable life you’ve built slides into the ocean during a mud slide of mediocre movies.

 

3 Comments

Filed under Comic Commentary