Friday, February 17, 2006

Random Thoughts

Haven't blogged since Monday, and figured I'd throw some stuff out... warning, this may be about all I say until Monday!

The Week in Review

I had my review this week... it was kind of a good news/bad news situation. The good news is that the actual review was very positive, and very complimentary. Obviously, my boss thinks the world of me!

The bad news was the raise itself... 3 percent. I'm told that the average has been 2.5 percent, so that's better than average.

But still... 3 percent. This is my third year at this job, and I'm still making quite a bit less per hour than I was at my last job in Wisconsin which 1) I hated, 2) Didn't appreciate me at all, and 3) I hated (I just felt that last point was worth making twice). Does the fact that I really enjoy this job offset what I'm paid? To an extent, yes.

And I do understand that there are circumstances that inhibit my getting a bigger raise... the fact that the parent company is trying to be sold, for example.

Will I decide that I need to look for something else that pays more? I honestly don't know. My field is pretty dry for work in this area, so if I did look for a new position, I'd have to look at Tacoma or Seattle... which would initially mean a long commute, and eventually moving.

For the time being, I'll probably just wait and see.

Weekend Plans

Saturday will, naturally, begin with Weight Watchers. After that, we're going to rush home, let the dogs out to potty, have a quick breakfast, and then head to Seattle for this bike expo that Jessi wants to check out. Now, to be honest, my interest in this bike expo is nil... but Jessi has gone with me to more than a few comics shows, so I figure the least I can do is go to this with her.

It would be nice if we took her car, however... not that I'm complaining!

No idea what we'll be doing the rest of the weekend... although once we get back, I'll be doing late invoicing of eBay auctions that'll be ending while we're in Seattle.

Smallville

Caught up with the last two eps of Smallville tonight. Last week's ep... well, it was all right. I always like episodes with lots of Chloe, but of course, for a lot of the ep, Chloe wasn't Chloe. I felt like Lois was wasted in the ep, as well.

This week's episode, with Cyborg, was a bit better... and more intriguing.

A few points in general on the series, though...

1) Why the hell is Martha Kent trusting Lionel Luthor? You'd think that given all the problems the Luthors have caused the Kents, and how much Jonathan distrusted them, that she wouldn't turn to Lionel so easily.

2) Didn't Clark and Lana break up several episodes ago? They seem to be each other's "unflushable" (a reference you'll only understand if you've seen the first episode of "Coupling" -- and if you have On Demand from Comcast Cable, you can see it for yourself and understand)

TV Shows They Won't Make, But Probably Should

There's a few comics that I've long thought would make potentially great TV shows... but there's a caveat on the first two that I'll share with you: They have to be half an hour long at the most. Well, one of them could go an hour... and it's possible the other could extend to an hour, but I'm not sure.

The first one is The Spirit. Yeah, I know there was that made-for-TV movie a while back, which I never saw... disregard that entirely. It never existed, for all intents and purposes.

A Spirit TV series would require a few things:

1) Whoever produced it would have to be a huge Eisner fan, and be as faithful to the concept as possible.

2) It would have to be amazingly cast... especially in the case of Denny Colt himself, but also in the main supporting cast... Ellen, Commissioner Dolan, and Ebony.

3) It would have to be a period piece, which shouldn't be a problem.

Also, Ebony couldn't be portrayed exactly as he was in the original comics, as we're all well aware. But I don't think he'd have to be changed that much.

The show, as I see it, could almost be adapted straight from the comics... clever use of CGI at the beginning of each episode to put the Spirit logo in the opening sequence (yeah, no standard opening credits each week... use the time to put in more story... they already do this on The Closer, for example). I see this has a half-hour series because it would probably have to be very padded to fill an hour.

Oh, yeah... get some of the best comics guys who've also worked on TV (or vice versa) to do the scripts. I'd bet Peter David could knock out some whiz-bang Spirit scripts!

The second comic I think would make for good TV is... The Phantom Stranger. Again, look at the comics as your inspiration. There could be two different kinds of episodes... the ones where the Stranger takes an active role, and the ones in which he basically narrates it. Just like in the comics! The Stranger is the only cast member who's in every single episode, obviously. The SFX budget could be fairly low, except for episodes where the Stranger is battling the darkest forces of evil, and has to open up an economy-sized can of mystic whoop-ass.

But honestly, for the most part, a PS series could be very low-budget.

Another comic I've long thought would make an excellent tv show is Challengers of the Unknown. Heck, it's one of the most high-concept books ever! It's X-Files except that everyone believes! Again, a minimal cast (the Challs themselves). Only one standing set needed (Challengers HQ... and it doesn't even have to be in a mountain).

Those comics are the ones I think could be brought to TV economically in live-action.

Of course, there are other comics (heck, other properties) that I think would probably be better served in animation than in live-action.

So... I now present for your entertainment...

Jon's Top Ten List of Animated Series That'll Probably Never Get Made

1. Doc Savage -- Adapted from the novels, with each novel being broken down into five-part episodes (which would be great in case enough eps get made to show reruns five days a week, plus it's a convenient format for releasing DVD "movies"). Adapt the best of the original novels, of course! Get good voice people on the show. And have Bruce Timm design it.

2. Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth -- It's a no-brainer, really... it's a great Kirby concept, and think of the toys that could be based on it!

3. The Avengers -- Not Ultimate Avengers, not "kind of sort of based on the real Avengers," I mean THE AVENGERS! It'd be a licensing nightmare, but do this series based on the freakin' comics! Episode one: Loki tries to use the Hulk to take out Thor, and accidentally creates a super-team! The line-up changes as the series goes on, but once an Avenger, ALWAYS an Avenger!

4. E-Man -- I kid you not with this one. E-Man has been one of my favorite comics for a long time, and I think this could be a fun series... and it could be done in the pseudo-anime style that Teen Titans is done in, and it would work, I think... or maybe just a slightly modified art style based on Staton's.

5. The Doom Patrol -- Spin it off from Teen Titans!

6. Shazam! -- Spin it off from Justice League Unlimited... and add in Junior, Mary, Uncle Dudley, Tawky Tawny, and so on... Yeah, we had a Shazam animated series long ago... but it could be so much better!

7. Hanna-Barbera Superstars -- Hey, that's not fair! I'm using characters that originated in animation! This concept (which would require a better name) would team-up the H-B superheroes into a new super-team... comprised of Space Ghost, Birdman, the Galaxy Trio, Mighty Mightor, and whoever else we can dig up. Have them brought together by the genie Shazzan, and you'll get the 40-somethings like myself watching (if for no other reason than to say, "Wow, I can't believe they brought these guys back!).

8. Speed Racer: The New Adventures -- Yeah, I know, I did it again. And yeah, they did a new Speed Racer show that pretty much threw out all the coolness of the original show... so we ignore that. The New Adventures looks like the original series... just with a better budget... and maybe use that CGI that looks like drawn animation to do really cool stuff with the Mach 5 -- just remember, THE MACH 5 IS ALREADY FREAKIN' COOL, IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE CHANGED!

9. Underdog: The New Adventures -- So sue me... I've always loved Underdog, and I think new Underdog adventures could rock! Unfortunately, this live-action/CGI movie that I've heard rumors about could make this an impossibility.

10. Popeye The Sailor Man -- Yes, Popeye. Use more of the Thimble Theatre stuff, use the Fleischer cartoons as your visual basis, and NO MUCKING WITH THE CONCEPT! Popeye does not have any children except for Swee'pea, Wimpy is not going on a diet. Use Bluto and Brutus if you want, but when Popeye's had enough... when that's all he can stands, he can't stands no more... out comes the can of spinach, the traditional music starts, and things get violent (and stuff that gets hit tends to turn into other stuff). Popeye should not be overly PC!

Jon

1 comment:

  1. Jon,
    Unfortunately since you wrote this the Spirit fell into the hands of Frank Miller (and became a feature film from Lionsgate in 2008). What a train wreck!

    I'd love to see Nick Cuti and Joe Staton get an E-Man show. I also think your Marvel Family show was a good idea, but Marvel has hired away Paul Dini and Boyd Kirkland has died. I'm not sure WB Animation has the talent to pull it off anymore.
    Thanks!

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