Archive for July, 2008

Could it be?–The Dark Knight Review!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 31, 2008 by DJ D

All right. I know, I know. Go ahead. Give me a lot of crap about it. I mean, I DO have a life, you know! Well, not really. My original plan was to do a quick, non-spoilerfied review right after the movie to give my immediate impressions of it, and then later do a full on proper one. Well, the good news is we’re fast forwarding to full-on proper. A warning though…

SPOILERS DOTH ABOUND!!! Be warned all ye who venture forth. Seriously, I’m not holding back. You can’t sling a dead cat without hitting a spoiler in this review. If you haven’t seen it yet by now you’re a weenie anyway (I’m looking at you JoshC!). Dang Canucks. Nothing but excuses…

Right, now that the finger pointing is over…I present my incredibly shamefully late review of…THE DARK KNIGHT!

First off…OH MY GOD!!!

THAT is what i’m talkin’ about!!! Ok, where do I start? I had the same thing happen half way into this one that happened during Batman Begins. I wanted to turn to the person next to me and say, “I can leave right now and be happy”, and then I realized I had over an hour left.

While I do have a few minor complaints (I’ll get to those in a minute), this thing was such a pleasant surprise. There were so many moments there that made the movie much better than it had to be. For example–Jim Gordan’s “death.” Despite seeing all the trailers a million times, I totally forgot that he would have to appear later in the film. So many times in the trailers we saw scenes of him right after they had arrested the Joker–scenes that had not yet happened in the movie at the time of his death, so I should have known that there was no way he could be dead, but I had totally forgotten about that because I was so involved in the story. I’m glad I did forget it to because his reappearance later was as much of a shock to me as it would have been to anyone who went in not knowing a thing about the movie. Speaking of Gordon, Gary Oldman can just do no wrong as far as I’m concerned. He’ll go down as the best Jim Gordon ever. I don’t think you can top that really.

Which brings me to another point. I wish now that I had not seen SO much about this movie before going in. I’m traditionally very paranoid about spoilers and don’t really want to know anything. I even refuse to read the jackets of the books of my favorite authors when they come out. But I was balls-to-the-wall spoiling myself left and right on this one, just devouring everything I could find about it before it came out cause I was so excited about it. I think I would have enjoyed it a little more if I didn’t know so much ahead of time, but it was still amazing. I saw the first 6 minutes of it weeks ago when it go leaked online and had gone back and watched it several times before going into the theatre. I also saw a leaked picture of Two-Face which turned out to be accurate, but even that didn’t take away from how shocking the reveal was the first time you see him. My god, that make-up was perfect. That was the perfect blending of practical effects and CGI. It could not have possibly looked better than that. And I hate CGI. I’m a practical makeup and animatronics man all the way.

How about that Bat-Pod! I’m still not totally sold on the Tumbler cause I’d rather see a traditional, sleeker looking Batmobile, but I guess the wide tires make sense now. Seeing the Bat-Pod appear for the first time, and the way it was pulled off, was definitely one of the most unexpected, pleasant highlights of the movie. I just about lost my shit when he basically drove it up the wall to turn around. And how about the tires that spin sideways! Awesome! Oh, and I gotta say, I’ve never seen a helicopter clotheslined in a movie before. “This ain’t good!”

Alright, now on to the good stuff–Heath Ledger’s performance. Absolutely genius. The “making the pencil disappear” scene got applause in the theatre when I saw it and I think it was one of the best scenes in the movie. Also, just all his little nuances. How about waddling down the street in the nurse’s uniform, fiddling with the detonator button! Hilarious. Possibly the funniest scene in the movie.

As a side note, I think one thing that isn’t getting mentioned much in reviews is how amazing the big special effects are. I think they’re kind of getting put on the backburner as far as credit goes because they’re getting overshadowed by the performances of the actors, but the scene where he finally gets the button to work and the hospital blows up…I mean, my god what an explosion! That thing just kept going and going. Not to mention the whole thing with the helicopter and the semi and the Bat-Pod. You can really tell where the budget went.

Back to Ledger. Everything about his performance was just spot on. From his nervous ticks to his apparent rage. He was both really genuinely funny and terrifying. How about the switcharoo when Batman thought he was racing off to save Racheal? Awesome. I’m usually good at calling those kinds of things but I totally didn’t see it coming. I was really hoping we’d get a definitive story on how he got the scars and a bit more of his origin, but all we got were the two he told, neither of which I belived. I think he just liked to bullshit people just before he killed them. I’m also glad that we got a few really great speeches from him where he basically summed up his whole philosophy and why Batman can’t ever kill him and why they kind of need each other. The argument about Batman finally just killing The Joker has been brought up over and over in the comics, but this was the first time I’ve seen it summed up in a way that just made sense.

Oh, speaking of unexpected stuff, I was really jazzed to see Scarecrow show up. He’s always been one of my favorite Batman villains and was one of the best parts of Batman Begins. I hate to see that he’s been downgraded to just petty crook at this point but it was a pleasant surprise to see him show up again. That was one thing I’m glad I didn’t have spoiled for myself.

A couple more positives:

–Morgan Freeman. Another one of my favorite actors that can do no wrong. His character has become more and more prominant in the comics for yerars and is a welcome addition to the movies and I’ll be looking forward to seeing him in another one.

–Michael Caine as Alfred. Michael Gough will always be my favorite Alfred no matter what, but Michael Caine is Michael Caine. He always gives a solid performance. I can’t say I’ve ever seen anything of his that I didn’t like. So yeah, good choice. He never lets me down. The funny thing is, aside from the cartoons, I’ve yet to see a single Alfred in the TV show or movies that looks remotely anything like he actually looks in the comics. Not even close. The cartoons are the only ones getting it right.

Now, the negatives:

1) This I can forgive, but in a perfect world, I would still change it. When I first saw the first photo of Ledger as the Joker and found out it would just be some guy in smeared makeup I was really pissed off. I ranted and raved about how this would ruin the franchise and toally hated it. There is no excuse why in this day and age with the makeup and technology that’s available (Two-Face? Hello???) that you can’t have a fully actualized Joker. Head to toe, white skin, with giant grin stretching from ear to ear. I mean, look at what they were able to do with Nicholson almost 20 years ago, and it was amazing and still holds up today. Having read the Batman comics since I was a kid, I’ve always liked the Joker origin. I actually really like the idea of him falling into the vat of chemicals and getting transformed and going insane. I really wanted to see The Red Hood. I still stand by that, and had I been in charge, that’s what we would have seen. But, luckily the script, direction, and Ledger’s performance were so amazing, that I’m willing to loverlook it. I don’t agree with it, but I’ll go with it. He totally won me over.

2) Christian Bale as Batman. Michael Keaton will always be Batman to me. Hands down, no argument, you’ll never change my mind on this one, so don’t even try. I like that we got a genuinely good actor in the roll these days. They could have done a lot worse than Christian Bale. But I have to say, as Batman, the delivery of his lines was just laughable at times. I had this same issue with Batman Begins, and it was the one thing that bugged me all through that one. He just completely over does it with his lines. It’s over the top and kind of distracting. Something about his big mouth and slight lisp really bothers me. Keaton was always so understated. There was always a clear difference between Bruce Wayne and Batman in his performance, but it more lied in just being stoic and cold. I think that worked much better. He lowered his voice almost to a whisper. Don’t even get me started on Bale! God, that growl. Come on. It was so distracting and at times was laughable in scenes when it really shouldn’t have been. In Batman Begins it was just annoying, in this one, I really stilfled laughter at how corny it was. If he just reigned it in a little and toned down I’d like him a lot more. Let’s face it, when shot correctly, just about anybody looks good in that suit, but it’s the subtle things that make a good performance, and I’ve got my issues with Bale’s. But, he did a good enough job at everything else, that I’m willing to look past it. I don’t like it, and I don’t agree with it, but I’m willing to let it slide.

3) Which brings us to the suit. This thing’s just way too busy. Have you seen this new one? It’s got all these little pieces all glued on to it and everything. I know it’s supposed to all be functional but there’s just too much going on there. Weapons wise, I love it. I love the new gauntlet weapons and the fact that his gloves basically give him enhanced strength. I love the gliding ability and all the bells and whistles. I love all that crap. I want to see more of it. Batman’s always been about the gadgets, and I can’t get enough of that stuff. The thing I have the biggest complaint about though, is that it should just be sleeker and more uniform. I hate to harp on it, but I still think Keaton’s suit in the first movie is my favorite. I’ve always liked the yellow oval (though I see the purpose of it not being there), and I love what they did in that one with making his cowl into a bat-shape and integrate into the oval. I’d actually like to see that in the comics. The problems I have with the new suit weren’t actually that apparent in the movie because you rarely see a fully lit shot of it so you don’t even notice, but it does look kind of silly. I still say an updated version of the ’89 suit is ideal. Keep all the new gadges, but just stay with basic black and loose all the grey pieces.

4) What, no Batcave? I understand the reasoning. This takes place very shortly after the events of the first movie and you can’t expect the manor to be rebuilt just yet. But, I want to see a full on Batcave, dammit! Yes, giant penny, dinosaur, and everything!

5) Officer “Renee Montoya” Ramirez. I was so jazzed when I first saw her cause I thought we’d finally get to see Renee Montoya. I’ve always been a big fan of her character in the books. I can’t put my finger on it, but over the years the writers have always done a really great job of crafting her into an interesting character. I actually hate that she’s the new Question now because the Montoya that we know is gone forever. So, when I saw her in the movie I was really excited. But, it’s not till much later you actually hear her name, and it’s just some chick named Ramirez!. What a jip!. I guess the rationale is that Montoya wouldn’t actually end up feeding info to Joker’s men, but why not just eliminate that from her character altogether. Invent some other cop character to be your fall-guy. I just didn’t really appreciate the Montoya “tease”.

Alright, that’s all the griping I’ve got. Otherwise, absolutely it’s the best movie to come out this year and possibly the movie that has me more excited than any other movie this decade. As for the next one, there’s a lot of controversy over whether or not the Joker should show up again. I was actually disappointed that there wasn’t one final scene where the Batman goes to visit him in Arkham. I really wanted to see him in a cell, and possibly get a glimpse of a few of the other lesser known villains in there. I don’t have a problem with someone else playing him. That kind of thing usually bothers me, but in this case we don’t have much of a choice and the Joker’s been reimagined so many times now it’s kind of fun to look forward to a new take on him. As for Two-Face, I don’t believe he’s dead, and it’s already been pretty much established that he’ll be the main villain in the next one. I heard a rumor the other day that David Tennant might possibly be The Riddler. Honestly, nothing would make me happier. I’ve become a huge fan of his on Doctor Who and I can’t think of anyone better to play him. I think that’s perfect. It’s funny, cause I was so pissed when I found out Christopher Eccleson was leaving the show cause I didn’t want to see anyone else playing the Doctor. Man, was I wrong. I’m such a huge David Tennant fan now. I think Nolan’s gritty, more realistic version of The Penguin would work too. I think someone online mentioned Paul Giammati for that. I could see it. I’m not sure what my first choice for him would be, but I could see that.

Alright, that’s all I’ve got. It’s after 5:00 in the morning now and I think I’ve gone on enough about it. I’ve still got some Bat-themed posts coming up. I’ll get round to them as soon as I can, and when they’re done I’ll move on to some other stuff. Looking forward to reading all your reviews and see what you guys thought of it. Hopefully I’ll get round to it tomorrow night. Not making anymore blogging promises though. I apparently have a hard time living up to them.

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1 More Day Till The Dark Knight and I’m Geeking Out!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 17, 2008 by DJ D

Ok, so I know I said in the last one that I was going to have all this crap for you guys to read between now and THE BIG DAY, but I’ve had a bit of a complication. As some of you know, my brakes went out on my car last week, causing me to run out into the middle of an intersection. After saying a few choice words and hitting the emergency brake I managed to get it back to safety. By safety I mean the parking lot of a Mexican restaurant not too far from my house. I contemplated trying to make it to the house, but seeing as my own emergency braking reflexes were the only thing keeping me from the cold sweet hands of death, I left it there and had it towed the next morning. It’s in the shop now and I won’t have it back till Friday. Apparently, everything that’s possibly related to the braking system, from pads to roters, to all kinds of other parts I had never heard of have to be replaced. The roters apparently just broke clean off. The final damage is going to be somewhere around $500.

However, the good news is…

I’m seeing THE DARK KNIGHT tomorrow night at the midnight show!!! The one movie I want to see more than anything this year! Batman vs. The Joker for the first time on the big screen in 19 years!!! Zippity-doo!

Sooo, anyway I’ve been homebound the past week, aside from bumming rides to get to work and back. I know what you’re thinking. “Well, DJ D, if you’ve been sitting at home all this time watching E3 coverage and The Two Coreys and stuff, why couldn’t you have been writing. I mean, you sure are on the daggum X-E all the time!” I got 2 answers to that:

1) You’re absolutely right. I’m a weenie.

2) Most of the Bat-blogs, as I call them, required a ton of pictures that I took with a roll of film that I was going to get developed the day my brakes died…so, it sits right here next to me and I’ve had no way to go anywhere to get it developed, so it’s kind of trapped in there. Good stuff, too, I promise. Remember that Cure show I went to a while back??? (Oh, and YES, I will connect it to Batman…sorta). So yeah, all that stuff’s coming next week, after the obligatory review of THE DARK KNIGHT. Yes, the all-caps are necessary.

So, that leaves me tonight with a couple of ideas I wanted to discuss that didn’t require the services of CVS. One of them is going to be fairly long and involved and will require a certain degree of research, and I kept putting it off, and just decided to do it next week. It may be more relevant next week anyway, after I’ve given you my review of THE DARK KNIGHT. The other one is as follows…

First off, I want to apologize for what you are about to read–especially to you non comic book reading folks. What you are about to see is probably the nerdiest thing you’ll ever read on this site and is the result of 20+ years of Bat-Geekyness and comes from the mind of a man who lately has had way too much free time on his hands. I promise, that while the next few posts will be Batman related, they will be much more accessible, and then of course I’ll be off my Batmania kick and will move on to other stuff. But for now, I give you…WEIRD BAT-NAME CONNECTIONS!

Ok, growing up and reading the comics and watching the old Adam West re-runs and stuff when I was a kid, I started to notice something. There are a few odd connections in the comics, movies, and TV show with respect the names of the characters and the actors involved. Just some weird coincidences. Bear with me and just hear this out…

The Joker, before he becomes the Joker, is a guy by the name of Jack Napier. His back story has been told and retold several times and there are variations on it.  Sometimes he’s presented as a failed stand-up comedian, sometimes a gangster, sometimes a worker in the Axis chemical factory. The character himself has even joked in the comics that he himself doesn’t even remember too much from before he took a dive into the chemicals that transformed him into what he is now. It looks like that origin will be somewhat different in The Dark Knight, but that’s neither here nor there. Anyway, the one thing that has remained the same so far is his name, even in Burton’s first movie–Jack Napier.

This is the man that played Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne’s butler, in the 60’s Batman series with Adam West.

His name was Alan Napier. Here’s a few things about him: He was the cousin of Neville Chamberlain, Britain’s prime minister from 1937-1940, and was the great-great-grandson of Charles Dickens. When he was first offered the role of Alfred, he had no idea who Batman was. He’d never even heard of him, but when they told him how much he would be making, he butlered-up. Here’s something else. in the series finale of the Justice League cartoon, Batman goes undercover to investigate The Thangarians, and he does it in makeup that makes him look just like Alan Napier. So, how about that one?

In 1977, in order to revive the popularity of the 60’s Batman show, a cartoon was made called The New Adventures of Batman. It had the voices of Adam West and Burt Ward doing Batman and Robin, as well as a bunch of other people from the show. They also introduced Bat-Mite. God only knows why. Alan Napier didn’t return to do the voice. Instead, it was this guy:

Charles Napier. No relation to Alan Napier at all. He’s a famous character actor and if you haven’t seen him in a movie (chances are you have), then you’ve heard his voice cause he’s done voice work for just about everything. He did all the growling for The Hulk in the old Hulk series, and he was one of the guards that Hannibal Lector kills in The Silence of the Lambs. Funny, cause Edward Norton was in Red Dragon, and now he’s playing…The Hulk. Ok, now I’m just getting off on a tangent. The point is…

The Joker = Jack Napier (played by Jack Nicholson–hey, there’s one!)
Then you got 2 different guys, totally unrelated, both playing Alfred, and they’re both named…Napier. Cowinky-dink? I think not.

Here’s another. Robin was played by Burt Ward in the old series. Robin is Bruce Wayne’s ward…Ok, that one kind of sucked. Moving on.

Ooh, speaking of Robins…

The first Robin in the comics was named Dick Grayson. He’s now all grown up and has the secret identity of Nightwing. Back in 2000, DC put out a series called Batman: Gotham Knights. It was written by a chick named Devon K. Grayson. Hmmmm…

Now, we come to the most recent Robin, the third one, named Tim Drake. Back in the early days of the Batman series, a writer by the name of Arnold Drake wrote a lot of early scripts for it. He also helped Bill Finger get a lot of the recognition he deserved. Bob Kane invented Batman, but Bill Finger had a lot to do with his early success, but for years never got any recognition. He helped to create The Joker, The Penguin, Catwoman, Two-Face, and The Riddler. Arnold Drake also went on to create Doom Patrol and Deadman.

Incidentally, if you look close in Burton’s first Batman movie (my personal favorite movie of all time), Bob Kane kind of makes a “cameo.” When Alexander Knox walks into the newspaper office and everyone is heckling him because he’s been chasing the Batman story, one of the guys hands him an artist’s rendition of Batman. It’s a cartoon of a bat standing up, wearing a suit. The signature at the bottom right corner is Bob Kane’s.

Am I losing anybody yet? I only got one more…

Christopher Drake–He’s a composer who wrote the music for 2 of the short films in the new Batman: Gotham Knight thing that just came out–“Have I Got A Story For You” and “In Darkness Dwells.” And no, I STILL haven’t gotten it yet. I’ll get it this weekend, I swear.

Tim Drake = Third Robin
Arnold Drake = Writer on the early Batman books
Christopher Drake = Composer on Batman: Gotham Knight
The conspiracy gets thicker and thicker…

So, what have we learned tonight, kids?

I really need to get my car out of the shop on Friday because I have to get out of this house.

9 Days Till The Dark Knight and Batman’s Delivering My Pizza!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 9, 2008 by DJ D

I am a terrible person. A terrible, awful, neglectful person. If this blog were my child, I should be taken away in handcuffs and shamed by my neighbors. Yes, I left it in the custody of you nuts, and I appreciate that you’ve bothered to check in from time to time. My statistics page says that you’ve done your part. However, while I was busy going to Megaparties and talking about horror movies and planning wild and crazy trips to the beach with all of you, my poor little blog sat here all alone, save for the occasional loyal visitor looking for updates that were never there. Well, today friends, I’m here to say I’ve turned over a new leaf. I hath seen the error of me ways, and as I sit here at 4:30am on a Wednesday morning, I embark on what will be a writing frenzy the likes of which haven’t been seen since a certain someone decided he would vow to write a new article every day of the summer for a party that can only be described as Mega. Ok, maybe I’m just being a little dramatic, but the point is, there’s a certain movie coming out in a little over a week that’s got me so giddy you’d think somebody up and shot sunshine straight up my skirt. The following will be just the first of many related articles in the coming days. I give you…..THE DOMINO’S DARK KNIGHT PIZZA BOX!

If you know anything about me, it’s that I’ve been obsessed with all things Batman since Jesus was a junebug. My level of Batman nerdiness ventures into that of the Trekkie, meaning if there was a comparable thing to Trekkies for Batman people, I’d be right up there. So for that reason, all the posts I write between now and next Friday will be Batty somehow, and I’ve got a few I’m cooking up so I hope to keep you guys entertained fairly well as we all wait for the big day to arrive. And who knows, after the obligatory movie review that will come sometime next weekend, I still might find something Bat-related to ramble on about. But, let’s kick this thing off with the pizza I ordered tonight.

Domino’s is all up in The Dark Knight. Their website is super decked out in contests and promos and shit. The way it works is you have to order The Gotham City Pizza Special. It’s basically a large pepperoni pizza, with 50% more pepperoni than usual for $9.99, and by ordering it online you gain access to The Dark Knight Vault, which contains exclusive clips, downloads and the chance to win all kinds of prizes, such as $10,000, autographed goods, and a Dark Knight Xbox 360 Elite. Apparently, only 110 of this thing exists. So, obviously I had to jump all over this. But, here’s the thing, it’s not just the stuff on the website that’s cool, it’s the freaking box the pizza comes in! Once I found out that there’s a Batman related pizza box out there, I HAD TO HAVE IT! So, tonight I made a little call. It turns out, there’s 4 of these things total. Each one has a different thing on the bottom that you can cut out to form your very own Batman costume. Don’t get too excited. It’s not exactly as fancy or complicated as it sounds. It’s more like, if you happen to have a cardboard Batman costume laying around, Dominos throws you some accessories, but still…..it’s a mother effin’ black Gotham City themed pizza box!

Now, in my excitement I made a bit of a mistake. See all the aformentioned groovy stuff you get in the previous paragraph by ordering online? Well, that’s just it. You have to order it online. Instead, I called my order in cause I wanted to make extra sure that it would be delivered in the Gotham City box, not noticing the rules and such, so I don’t have access to The Dark Knight Vault just yet, which sadly is a high priority in my life right now. But, seeing as there are 3 more of these bad boys to collect, I’ll have more chances. This promotion only runs through July though, so I better get on it. Oh, and one of the perks of getting into The Vault, is you get access to a super secret new trailer that’s only available there. It’s not gonna be on TV or attached to any other movies. To that I say, “Hey, Domino’s, let me introduce you to a little upstart called YouTube. You might wanna look into it. I hear good things.”

So, I called them up and waited my 30 minutes, and just like I thought it would, my phone rang cause the pizza guy couldn’t find my place. I just moved here 2 weeks ago and for the first week I could barely find it myself, so I had to walk up the driveway and wave him on in. My heart pounded in an-ti-ci-pa-tion as I jogged back up the driveway and into the house to retrieve my wallet. As I turned around he was standing in the doorway holding…THIS!

Every square inch of this thing is filled with little things to keep me excited before I even opened it. I must have spent 10 minutes looking at it, forgetting that there was food inside. There are quizzes you can take to find out if you’re Batman or The Joker. There are secret codes to get into The Vault. There are warnings not to feed the bats. Hell, even the title and slug line of the pizza is cool–THE GOTHAM CITY PIZZA: CLOAKED IN PEPPERONI. DELICIOUSLY MYSTERIOUS. But, one of the coolest things I saw was printed on the little corners that fold inward on the front. You almost wouldn’t notice it if you weren’t looking for it. It says:

CORRU-SKELETAL TECHNOLOGY

THIS BOX IS ENGINEERED LIKE A PROTECTIVE BAT-SUIT. RADICAL CARDBOARD TECHNOLOGY DEFENDS PIZZA AGAINST CRUSHING FORCES OF EVIL.

“Crushing forces of evil!” Fuck yeah! I’m telling you folks, I haven’t been this excited since the Batmania of ’89. Anyway, like I said, you get accessories to form your own Bat-Suit. I asked the guy if the next time I called if I could ask for a specific box and he said it depended on how cool the person answering the phone was, so maybe I’ll get to collect all 4. Tonight I snagged this one, arguably the best of the 4:

Of course, I won’t be cutting up my box. I have no idea where I’m gonna store these things once I get my pizza-greased little hands on them, but here are the other 3:

I think just the bat chest symbol is pretty rad. I’ll always have a place in my heart for the yellow oval, but this is pretty cool too. I’m not sure what ordering 3 more of these pizzas is going to do to my physique over the next month, considering I only ate half of tonight’s pizza. Plus, I love pepperoni and all, but having 150% of a serving is a bit much. I was kinda wishing that the city of Gotham had an affinity for mushrooms or something….you know, anything to throw some variety in there. They should do a Two-Face themed one, split down the middle, with like half pepperoni, half hamburger. Or, a Joker one, where the toppings are layed out to look like a Joker face. Come on, Domino’s! I mean, that Two-Face thing was a gimme. Luckily, Domino’s just happens to be my favorite out of all the big pizza delivery chains, so this is still an all-around win for me.

Ok, prepare for a change in tone. I hate to end this one on a downer, but I really wanted to mention something else before I wrapped this up. This may not mean much to you non comic book readers out there, but this seriously bummed me out this week. On a serious note, a few days ago the comic book industry lost one of its best talents. Michael Turner lost his battle with bone cancer at the age of 37.

He not only was one of the biggest names in comics, but he was my personal favorite comic book artist ever. I don’t say that just because I’m trying to pay tribute to him. He really was my all-time favorite. His style was one that hadn’t really been seen before and it somewhat resembles the one that I’m slowly trying to achieve (actually, that’s just wishful thinking, I only WISH I could even be anywhere near the same league as that guy). From everything I’ve read about him the last couple of days, he never complained and was just a happy guy who loved life. Most people had no idea he was as sick as he was. I remember that a few years ago he took a hiatus from his company, Aspen Comics, because he was in the hospital for a while.

That was the first time that I, and most fans, found out that he was sick at all. He bounced back from that and got back to work straight away and was fully confident that he had beaten the cancer. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. I think this is also hitting home to me in a big way because one of my own personal best friends, someone who is practically like a sister to me, has been battling it for a few years now. After years of health problems since she was kid, from dialysis, to having a kidney transplant, to now cancer, she is slowly losing the fight. But despite it all, her character is the same as Turner’s. She never complains and always finds a way to make a joke out of things, no matter how serious they’re getting. She is one of the strongest people I’ll ever know. Sadly, it’s a strong possibility she won’t make it to the end of the year.

If you just want to check out an amazing artist, even if you care nothing about comics, check out Michael Turner’s stuff. He was one of my idols and I only wish I could have met him, if only just to shake his hand and tell him that he’s the reason why I’m chasing after a silly artist’s dream and making sure there’s a pencil in my hand every day, working to be where he was. He will be missed.

Here’s his rendition of the big man…Batman, I mean. Oh, there’s some other guy in the picture too.