February 28, 2009

Are You Ready for the Watchmen?

I'm not.

And most people going to the movie won't be either. Seriously.

I just reread the graphic novel. It's a brilliant work, not overrated at all. When people say it's the best graphic novel ever, it is quite possible that on a technical level they speak truth.

And there is a message and a moral in there that takes helps take it to that level as well.

But the story is not an uplifting story. The characters are not good people. The heroes are not heroic. (Generally speaking.) It's a tough story, a powerful story, and if the people making the movie have done their job (and word is they have) when you walk out of the theater, this story will stick with you.

I'm not sure I want to see it. The real world is depressing enough as it is, right now. And I'm going to subject myself to three hours of it?

But on a spiritual level, the story is an interesting exploration of morality and amorality in a world without God.

Watchmen, the graphic novel, is a powerful story. But I just don't think the movie-going public is ready for this story. Dark Knight pushed the envelope . . . Watchmen just may tear the envelope open. And I shudder to think of what will happen if it does well. Already, WB execs have been saying that they want their upcoming superhero movies to be darker and grittier.

Dark and gritty? Watchmen has that in spades. If it makes money? Get ready for knock-offs that don't come from nearly as well crafted a story . . .

~ Ben


"The Way of the Writer" is a new thing I plan to do with this blog. I'll be using it as a "topic heading" for any posts about writing and the writing life that I do here.

I don't claim to be an expert or a master or anything like that. I'll just be sharing my own thoughts and experiences about the practical side of writing, the spiritual side of writing, the exciting side of writing, and the dreadful side of writing.

The artwork was done by the amazing Tim Baron, specifically for me for this project! (He rocks! Check out his blog if you ever get a chance for a peek at the macabre and the holy . . .) The Samurai above will appear in each installment of "The Way of the Writer".

~ Ben

Samurai art by Tim Baron, (c) 2009

February 27, 2009

Reverend Fun

Okay. Admittedly, my cartoon yesterday was dumb.

But here's a dude who's doing it right:

Reverend Fun.

Some of my favorites:





And the winner:


But there's a TON more at his site, and they're all pretty funny.

I'll be adding this comic to the list on WebComics.cc this Sunday!

~ Ben

February 25, 2009

Really Bad Obama Joke

Ben Avery Cannot Draw #1
by Ben Avery

The man in the first panel is the United States' president Barrack Obama.

The man in the second panel is Germany's president Horst Kohler.

The quote in the first panel is word for word from Mr. Obama's speech last night.

The quote in the second panel is word for word from . . . well, a lot of places.

The car was invented in Germany, of course.

Yeah, it's dumb, I know. The word play just flowed so well in my head, I had to do something with it.

~ Ben

February 6, 2009

America's Dumbest Criminals: Klingon Edition

What a maroon, as Bugs would say.

I mean, using force and threatening harm to someone just to satisfy your selfish needs is bad enough.

But if this guy is, indeed, a fan of Star Trek, he's the type of fan who watches for the skin tight costumes and big 'splosions . . . he's obviously not watching for the moral discourse.

More from TrekMovie.com, including a photo of the crime.

~ Ben

February 3, 2009

HEROES follow-up


That's what yesterday's episode was.

There were some interesting developments, like Peter can only have one power at a time . . . instead of having ALL the powers of everyone else. Nice way to dial him back a bit. But the dialogue was awful. The motivations were spotty at best. This episode had one purpose: to spin all the characters around and set them in place for the next plotline.

Unfortunately, it forgot about the characters, well, character to do so.

~ Ben

February 2, 2009

Heroes . . . save THIS cheerleader, PLEASE!

I've been a cheerleader for Heroes since the beginning. I'd consider myself a fan. I almost schedule my life around it (almost, but now with Hulu and/or NBC.com I don't need to -- it ends up online within 24 hours of broadcast).

While Heroes isn't as engaging as, say, Battlestar Gallactica or Lost, it's a fun diversion. On a more spiritual/storytelling level, I've been enjoying some of the themes of heroes/villains and redemption and good/evil.

And when other people are making fun of it or criticizing it . . . I've been enjoying the ride. The first season? Fun characters, interesting ideas. The second season? Not as strong, but still interesting things happening. And I liked the brother and sister, and would have loved to see season 2 play out as the producers had intended. The writer's strike tripped that up. And that led us to Season 3, the current season. The first half of season three . . . felt . . . okay. Just okay.

How can I cheerlead about something that's just okay? Huh?

How can I go to my "geek" meetings and be taken seriously by my fellow geeks? Don't get me wrong . . . again, interesting things were happening. But the shortened season 2 led into a lackluster season 3.

So the second half of season 3 begins tonight. So, will Heroes be able to Bring it On? Or was season 2's truncated resolution and season 3's meandering end up being the beginning of a tailspin as Heroes crashes and burns.

They already "saved the cheerleader and saved the world" . . . but can they save THIS Heroes cheerleader? Meaning me . . .

~ Ben

STAR TREK Superbowl ad . . .

So now we have a situation in our American culture where advertisements are sponsored by more advertisements! Talk about the snake eating its tail . . .

Bah, who cares! It's Star Trek!

I love the theme they seem to be presenting of how Kirk is "destined for greater things". It's something that happens to be true for everyone in the entire world, not just hotshot space cadets . . . and something that people tend not to realize.

"You can settle for an ordinary life. I dare you to do better."

That's one of the things, in different words, I tried to impart to my high school students, and also my Sunday School students. It's what Christianity, in many ways, is all about. How many people live up to their God given potential? How many people just live their life, going through the motions, with no greater destiny in mind?

Yeah, there's probably some things about this movie I won't like. But this idea, seeming to be a theme for the movie, excites me.

~ Ben