Commentary

  • Happy Birthday, Mel Brooks
    I wrote this in 2013, recently rediscovered it, and still enjoy it. We are so lucky to have Mel Brooks. If you’re not laughing, you’re not living. And if you’re not living you’re–A ZOMBIE! KILL IT! But for lessons in how to do that, you’re better off consulting World War Z author Max Brooks. So until the zombie … Read more
  • Mr. Robot Fan Theory: The Machine Worked
    Hello, world. I’ve been learning Python, Javascript, and Java the past week, and as a complete newbie, I had a warm moment to leatrn that “Hello, world” is the common first thing to run in each program. It’s a nice way to start a journey. Being who I am, it came to me (and likely … Read more
  • Yes, Virginia, Die Hard Is a Christmas Movie
    I’m back at Does This Still Work?, where I finally get around to watching Die Hard, and I’m here to tell you: it’s got all the elements of a Christmas movie, just set against the heartwarming action of a hostage situation. The part we should really be concerned about is the inspirational B-story of a … Read more
  • Android 12’s Material You Is Terrible & You Know It
    Material You is ugly, Android 12’s design choices tank its functionality, and Boomers ruin everything. And worst of all: it’s imposed on you without option to revert under the hypocritical guise of “personalization.”
  • Midsommar is Hereditary but Better
    Hi, it’s me, the guy who hated Hereditary so hard I now own all the Google results for any variation of “Hereditary bad.” I watched Midsommar with my girlfriend, who rented it over my objection that we steal it and reclaim the money A24 will never refund to us. And guess what? I really liked … Read more
  • War Crime Comics: The Hood
    I am now a monthly columnist at 1-900-HOT-DOG, building upon my previous guest posts. Featuring a snazzy new painting of moi by old friend and polymath comic wizard Michael Bramley! First article: War Crime Comics: The Hood, a Nerding Day adventure in which I look into the Golden Age of superhero comics to examine not … Read more
  • The Return of…Micro-Face!
    What’d you do with 2020? I spent every day grinding through Indelible, Inc. #6, which wasn’t originally a grind until I got into the third month or so of trying to organize the century-long spell that binds its villainous conspiracy. Along the way, I did an immense amount of reading into the history of, among … Read more
  • Did the Goonies Really Save Their Homes?
    I’m doing some pop culture stress-testing over at RSVLTS, the pop culture site turned clothier turned pop culture site again, and first at bat, is revisiting The Goonies to see if the math shakes out on this fun childhood fantasy about saving the day, kissing the girl, and one-upping your tough older brother. The RSVLTS … Read more
  • Does This Still Work? ‘The Jerk’
    My longtime stand-up comedy buddy Joe Dixon (he hosted the first open mic I ever played) and my more recent buddy via Joe, George Romaka, host a podcast where they check how well old movies hold up artistically, creatively, and culturally. From their list, I picked The Jerk because I knew it was prime Steve … Read more
  • 1-900-HOT-DOG: Where Are the Beverly Hills Teens Now?
    Ugh, teens, they’re the worst. Except for the elderly, who are trying to take us all with them when they die. And middle-aged people, we’re boring. And children, who are irrational animals. And babies, who pollute everything. Anyway, the worst teens, as you might expect, are the rich ones. That’s why over at 1-900-HOT-DOG I … Read more
  • Critics Don’t Know Anything; Avoid ‘The Assistant’ at All Costs
    I’m far from a structuralist hardliner. By all means, flip things around. Change the way stories are told. Form follows function, and if you can make it fly, I’m buying a ticket. But ughhhhhhh, nothing happens in The Assistant. At its most generous description, The Assistant is a series of vignettes very well enacted by … Read more
  • Profiles in Manlitude: John L. Sullivan
    Gentlemen and brutes, you would both do well to study the life of John L. Sullivan, aka The Boston Strong Boy. He was not only the first world heavyweight champ of gloved boxing, but the last bare-knuckle one. A mighty Irishman with a prodigious appetite for food, drink and fisticuffs, Sullivan fought over 450 matches in his career, … Read more
  • ‘Grimjack’: The Russo Brothers’ New Project Is My Personal Nerd-vana
    If I made it to the top of the Hollywood heap and directed the highest grossing film of all time, I know exactly what my next move would be: Grimjack. I’ve mused on how it could be done a hundred times — all of them terrible ideas because I’m not a film-maker. But to my … Read more
  • ‘Grimjack’ & Me
    or, How a Lunatic Murderer Coached My Teen Years It’s the smile that makes Grimjack who he is. You might argue his trademark characteristic is the scar on his eye — and it’s true that was the first thing I noticed when I discovered him a lifetime ago — but it’s not, nor the streak … Read more
  • Thanos Is a Nice Guy, and Thus, a Villain
    Just in time for NY Comic-Con, I wrote a piece for MEL magazine analyzing how Thanos is a nice guy in the least nice sense of the word. In fact, going back to 1973, his near-complete history of villainy — almost all of it written by Jim Starlin — is driven by textbook “Nice” Guy … Read more
  • ‘The Devil’s Child’: A Little Richard Biopic Would Blow Every Other Musical Biography Film to Smithereens
    Oh, does your musical biography picture show the musician displaying early talent as an irascible child? Bully for you, but the Little Richard biopic will still have it beaten, because it’s going to feature a 14-year-old Richard “War Hawk” Penniman opening for Sister Rosetta Tharpe in a turban before going full drag as “Princess LaVonne.” … Read more
  • How to Damn a Movie in Three Words
    From the gleeful schadenfreude of this Guardian review of Serenity comes this brutal slice at the — apparently very bad film’s– knees in one proper noun and its least relevant / most pertinent adjective: The arrival of Baker’s femme fatale ex-wife Karen (Anne Hathaway, blonde)  Whoof. Don’t ever let me on your bad side, Charles … Read more
  • You’re Not Crazy: Hereditary Was a Bad Movie
    Last night, for the first time in my decades upon this earth, I asked a movie theater for my money back. They declined, and I can have no peace, because the most heartfelt statement of my 2018 will be this: God, I hate Donald Trump. But a close second? Hereditary is a bad movie. Not only bad, … Read more
  • Infinity War: It’s a Marvelous Time to Be Alive
    Like everyone else in America who wasn’t eradicated in the course of Thanos’s quest for the Infinity Stones, I was front and center for Avengers: Infinity War. I was present for the original one in comics, too, both the brain-meltingly high-stakes Infinity Gauntlet that this film most resembles, and the follow-up Infinity War. (I think I ran out of … Read more
  • Journalistic Correction Time: I Was Completely Wrong About Guy Gardner
    Back a ways, I wrote a piece for Cracked, 9 Iconic Superheroes Based on Real People in which I said Howard Chaykin had designed the uniform of my favorite superhero, Guy Gardner. That’s the way it was always told to me, and that’s the way I even recall reading it in an article or two. Well, thereafter, … Read more
  • New Thrillist Post: Every Jaw-Dropping Moment on TV This Year
    Over at the ol’ Thrillist I had time to compile the most stunning moments in 2017 television (warning! TV spoilers are like the entire point of that article) alongside my colleagues Christie and Andrea. It didn’t matter if it was a cliffhanger, a twist, a reveal, or whathaveye as long as it made us leap off our collective American … Read more
  • New Thrillist Piece: The Best Free* Viewing on Amazon Prime
    Hey, look! New article by me at Thrillist: The Best Shows & Movies to Stream on Amazon Prime, in which I run down the broadcasts most worthy of your time, both native and immigrant to the streaming service. Is Veronica Mars on there? You’d better believe Veronica Mars is on there. And also some neat stuff you’ve probably never … Read more
  • Hedy Lamarr Was 007 and Q in One Person
    Pursuant to today’s Google Doodle, here’s a piece I wrote for Maxim years ago, about why Hedy Lamarr is your hero and/or fantasy woman: TIME CRUSH: Hedy Lamarr Listen, brother, there are more ladies in Heaven than Earth, and these are the ones we dream of in our philogyny. If Maxim were around in Ancient … Read more
  • Cracked: 9 Iconic Superheroes Based on Real People
    Look! Superheroes you didn’t know had real-life counterparts! So: story time. My favorite Super Bowl memory was that time I didn’t see Janet Jackson’s breast. 
  • Annotated [Kinda]: ‘The Multiversity: Pax Americana’
    I started to do this for Man Cave Daily, and then the schedule exploded and now it’s well and truly past its opportunity. Anyway ComicsAlliance did it more intelligently than I ever could, and others have done it more thoroughly. And poignantly (though with some errors, e.g. Nora O’Rourke). Anyway, here’s what I managed to get done. 
  • I Interviewed Comic Book Jesus!
    I’ll catch up with everything I’ve gotten done at Man Cave soon (and boy are there loads of it), but this is too cool not to share: fifteen minutes in Heaven with Grant Morrison, talking about next week’s Ultra Comics, general description of The Multiversity, and what he’s got cooking with Wonder Woman. Oh, and we … Read more
  • 5 Performers Who Succeeded with Dubious Talents
    I’m back at Cracked! This week’s article is about people who either lacked talent but succeeded BECAUSE of it, (not despite, which would describe most of the Billboard 100 who are just ciphers for the music industry execs to make the records they want to make) although in editing the title got changed to 5 Star Performers Who … Read more
  • I Interviewed Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti
    Boy, did I have a good time in Chicago. I usually just wander around, say hi to some friends in artists’ alley and see the city. Generally, the less I’m at the show, the more fun I have (and the more local cuisine I sup up). But this year I was interviewing creators for my … Read more
  • The Mountain and The Viper [spoilers]
    I apologize profusely for this but I’m working through my grief. Spoilers below the cut
  • You Have a Responsibility to Be Funny, Adam Sandler
    We know Adam Sandler is funny. We’ve seen it happen. It’s not a fluke. And look, everyone has their missteps. But at least something like Little Nicky, you can say he tried for an intriguing idea, or Zohan, you can see why it would be funny in the right hands. But I don’t think he’s trying … Read more
  • These Are the Most Cold-Blooded Poems Ever Written
    Today is Great Poetry Reading Day at the end of National Poetry Month, so I took some time over at Cracked to catalog The Most Cold-Blooded Poems of All Time. In western lit. In the last few hundred years. …Yeah, this might just be a list of poems I like because they’re cold-blooded. But it’s still … Read more
  • Cracked: The Weirdest Alternate Versions of Superheroes
    Had a new piece awhile back on Cracked, but my website got hacked, so I couldn’t post it here before. Apocrypha — there’s always some. A lot in this one, actually, but hey, them’s the sponsored articles.  This was originally the lead: No doubt a few of you gamers were confused when Injustice offered you … Read more
  • New Cracked Column: Five Physical Traits that Determine if a Character Is Evil.
    Hi, internet! Let’s be best friends forever with my newest contribution to the Cracked collective:  Five Physical Traits that Determine if a Character Is Evil. You’ll like it because it names a lot of movies you recognize, and then you can feel safe because we all share these pop cultural experiences even if we didn’t … Read more
  • Lindsay Lohan Posing Sexily for Other Magazines
    I wrote and ‘shopped this for National Lampoon last year and it’s finally up. Copied it below as well since they’re undergoing some site changes. Few joys on God’s earth compare to the delight of seeing a woman naked for the first third any time. When a lady chooses to reveal herself to a man, … Read more
  • Happy Thanksgiving!
    I’m talking turkey all around the web this week: “When Turkeys Attack!” on TheFW and “Gaga or Thanksgiving Table Setting” is scheduled to run there today. At some point you should get “Beyond Turducken: Turkey Monstrosities” on Guyspeed, while over at Maxim they’re holding posts for “Strange Foes: Turkeys vs U.S. Postal Service” and “Damn … Read more
  • Grant Morrison does what Grant Morrison wants
    I was excited to draw this page for The Gutters, because the only people who get to draw Grant Morrison into comics are artists for Animal Man or The Invisibles. This page, in no small part due to the fantastic colors, came out looking pretty good after a very, very fast turnaround. I’m a dope … Read more
  • Kanye West: Superstar
    Did you know there’s going to be a Kanye West musical? I can’t wait for the bit where he leaps around the theatre while the Green Goblin pursues him. Original text below. The good: There’s going to be a Kanye West musical! The bad: It will affirm everything he tells himself about himself in the … Read more
  • The Fifth Film Is Where Everything Gets Weird
    MTV asked me to make some mock movie posters showing why the fifth film in a series is always a bad idea. More pictures in the link, but my unsanitized text below the cut here. UPDATE: Lost these images in a site upgrade and all my backups went the way of the dinosaurs in a … Read more
  • The Evolution of the Female Action Hero
    A gigantic infographic featuring the most devastating warriors of womanhood went up at Asylum. It took me 15 22 28 hours to make and is literally six feet tall. Well-behaved women rarely make history, but they once made movies. From then, it’s been a long, slow climb to today, where Hollywood actually allows women to … Read more
  • Mauro on The Gutters
    The Gutters is running a page by our own Mauro Vargas starring Aquaman and Black Manta recreating a scene from The Holy Grail. Go read it there so they see how much traffic he generates.
  • National Anthem Fails
    I wrote an article on National Anthem Fails for Asylum. It’s awesome, and will make you love America. I heard the CIA is using it to undercut al’Qaeda’s recruiting efforts, but I’ve said too much already. No I haven’t: Trombone lengthening carrot ball tuna hat! Silly putty! Fotzpa overshoots Tur! There, now I’ve said too … Read more
  • The Gutters: Top Cow contest
    I illustrated another script at The Gutters, which, if you like it, you should make a point of mentioning in their comments section so they continue to give me work. This one mocks Top Cow’s talent search contest in the manner of an old Goofy instructional video. Here’s your guide to the Easter eggs that … Read more
  • Spider-Man: Turn off “Turn Off the Dark”
    I want there to be a Marvel superhero whose idiosyncratic gesture of superpowers is jazz hands. The sound effect would be “Fosse!” The guys at The Gutters asked me to draw a page, and since their script was making fun of that Spider-Man musical no one should have ever approved, let alone executed, let alone … Read more
  • Toyfare “Rag” pitches that never made it
    Pursuant to the “Hulk to Smash” article, some old pitches and notes: –“Corpse Bride” Sequel Planned sub: Hilton to Wed in June (a brief one about Paris Hilton’s upcoming nuptials, with wedding director Tim Burton coordinating the ghastliness) –“LOST” Villains Revealed sub: Seven stranded castaways behind campaign of terror (this, naturally, would be about Gilligan … Read more
  • Things you didn’t know about Don Draper
    –God was originally going to spend 14 billion years making the universe what it is today, but Don Draper talked him down to 6 days so they could play golf and drink. –When Don Draper steps outside in a rain coat, the sun has the good sense to hide. –Don Draper is obligated to notify … Read more
  • Milla Jovovich Can Do No Wrong
    A roommate once watched “Resident Evil” and rebuffed my teasing by saying it was surprisingly good. Or rather, surprisingly, not bad. For a video game movie and a zombie flick that was more concerned with conspiracies than zombies, yeah, it struck a pretty good tone from the films. I watched it myself, and concurred. Unfortunately … Read more
  • Mad Men & Sexual Roles
    The character Salvatore Romano on AMC’s Mad Men is particularly repressed. While his fellow ad agency employees stifle their desires and dreams in roles carved out for them by society’s expectations, they are able to sublimate them into imperfect but acceptable relationships. Not so, Salvatore, whose homosexual identity is stymied at every expression. His co-workers, … Read more