Tagged: Emily Whitten

Mike Gold: Friendship


Yeah, yeah. Another major convention, a huge mother called the “New York Comic Con.” Emily wrote about some of it yesterday and Martha will be talking about it on Friday and maybe Marc will do the same on Saturday – yep, Marc actually went to New York City while the Chicago Cubs were working their way towards the pennant. He’s a southsider, so I’ll give him a pass. Not sure John Ostrander will.

Ergo, there is no need for me to write about the show. All those folks, as well as ComicMix Utility Infielder Glenn Hauman and columnists Ed Catto, Molly Jackson and Bob Ingersoll, were there and I think all or most were actually on the Javits Center floor more than I was. Besides, if you’ve read my deathless prose long enough you could probably write my review yourself. All I’ll say is, the major difference between the New York Comic Con and the Black Hole of Calcutta is that the latter has free parking.

So, instead, I want to talk about friendship.

Missing from the floor was my friend Jamie Graham. He’s the guy who lent his name to the Graham Crackers chain of comic book shops, which is one of the larger chains around. I’ve known the guy since, roughly, the Year Gimmel. In addition to comics and our common antiquity, Jamie and I have a lot in common – we’re both Chicagoans, we’re both hockey fans, and we’re both mindlessly acerbic.

You’re probably thinking by the end of this column, Jamie is going to wind up dead. This is not the case, and that is not a spoiler alert.

Last Thursday, my daughter and fellow ComicMix staffer Adriane Nash received a call from Jamie saying he had a personal emergency and he would not be accompanying his crew to the New York show. Well, that sucks but, honestly, I saw him two weeks before at the Baltimore Comic Con and about two weeks before that at Chicago Wizard World, so missing him in New York wasn’t a catastrophe. I haven’t had the chance to connect with him since the show ended – after each four-day convention comes about three solid weeks of catch-up. Four, if you count catching up on your sleep.

I mentioned Jamie and I are hockey fans, as is Adriane. This is true, but Jamie’s dedication to the sport exceeds mine, and perhaps exceeds reason as well. If his enthusiasm was akin to Stumbo the Giant, then I, as a hockey fan, am at best the mayor of Tinytown. As such, my friend had tickets to the New York Islanders/Chicago Blackhawks game held last Friday night. The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup last year, and the Islanders were having their home opener in their new home, Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. That means tickets were almost as hard to acquire as fresh air was at the New York Comic Con.

So I get a call from Adriane. She says Jamie has a present for us and he’s Fed-Exing it overnight for receipt Friday morning. OK, we both figured out what it probably was… as did you. While I was in Manhattan Friday hobnobbing with the elite, Adriane called to confirm our suspicions. She had the valued tickets in hand.

She was in Connecticut so she jumped into her car – named Brak, by the way – and I waddled out of my friend’s apartment in the city. Shortly thereafter, both of us were hit with a cloudburst of biblical proportions. We weren’t happy, but we would swim to the Barclays if we had to. For me, the arena was only a 25 minute subway ride away and, because subways run in a hole in the ground (as the song goes), the massive rain delayed me and about a billion other people waiting for the Lexington Avenue express. I got there, sweating profusely due to the heat of compressed humanity, an hour later. Hell, if I wanted to sweat I would have spent that time at NYCC.

The new arena is elegant with great sight lines but lousy bathroom placement (again; I could have stayed at NYCC for that). The game was great and the Islanders were sharp in their new home debut. I’m a Blackhawks fan, so you’ll forgive me if I point out that my team won – in overtime.

Jamie could have, please forgive the pun, hawked those tickets, probably for serious money. Nope. He sent them, at some expense, to Adriane and me. That, folks, is friendship.

I’ve said before that the best part of being in the comic book donut shop is that the folks in the adjoining seats are wonderful people. I have been blessed with a great, great many fine friendships, many quite enduring.

Like my friendship with Jamie Graham.

I love you, man. And I thank you.

Marc Alan Fishman: Deadpool Will Kill DC To Death

This evening, whilst pondering and pontificating over what point I should pencil in the ole’ puter, I stumbled across this clip and its pretty sister clip. Suffice to say, color me curious, kiddos.

Contrary to the predilections of our esteemed Emily W. over here on ComicMix, I’ve never been fond of the Merc with a Mouth™. More often than not, I’ve found him to be a useful tool for a writer to take a short catnap and still be paid. I’ve often found most iterations of the chimichanga eating, joke cutting, kill-first-ask-questions-why ‘Pool to be lighter than light fare. I mean, check-off your aforementioned beats (with the chimichangas, and killing, and the what-not) and end it incoherently, and voila! Instant noodles in comic book form. Now with the character coming to the silver screen, the Marvel and Fox co-production will face becoming more than a farce to ultimately feast at the feet of the fans. Phew!

In less alliterative words: Deadpool, if handled properly, could be the death knell of DC and their movie making enterprise. How would a red-suited slapstick killer be so powerful you ask? Well, given the very nature of the character – as seen in the clips referenced above – the power to break the fourth wall is inherently at the ready. And Deadpool is very lucky to have a completely covered mouth when in full crimson regalia. Allow me to do the math, short-stacks. While doing their eventual ADR work for the film, the writers (and Marvel) will have the opportunity to poke more than a few wink-and-nudges right into the beefy chest of their rival.

Set to debut a month prior to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, who here can’t see a possible future in which ‘Poolie crushes it at the box office? No doubt chock full of gore, laughs, and potentially lethal barbs fired at the angst-to-be that is DC’s milieu at present, it’s not that far flung to think that as popular as Batman and Superman are, one can’t deny that a Deadpool that rips the World’s Finest a new sphincter might turn more than a few heads. In the same era Marvel drop the Guardians of the Galaxy on the unsuspecting public – to the tune of over 400 million space-credits (not counting merch sales) – having another C-Lister take a few box offices over just seems like a wonderful insult to injury.

The Deadpool movie is written by the dude who made the hilarious Zombieland, and stars an absolute wit like Ryan Reynolds in the titular role (heh, tits…). That being said, there’s no chance in hell it will bank more money than Batfleck and company. But all it’ll take is a few glancing blows by ole’ Wade Wilson before DC is out of the gate, and suffering.

Given how self-serious DC seems to be with each released promo, I’m more than ready for a laugh at their expense. Somewhere between the Samoan Bad Ass Aquaman, and Bald-n-Angry Zuckerberg, Deadpool will have plenty of targets to play with – all while shooting guns and killing mobsters or whatever. While I’m sure the Deadpool movie won’t be specifically targeting any DC property amidst its running time, the fact is they’ll have plenty of opportunities to sneak in some serious body blows. Combine that with a potential massive profit (beyond all that money they made on literally every other movie in their rolodex…), and frankly, I don’t know how Superman and Friends live to see another day. But I digress.

Deadpool will be the popcorn catnip immature nerds will flock to. With Looney Tunes mashing itself with curse words and death, you simply can’t get the raunch-loving masses any more in a tizzy. OK, you could promise some boobs or something, but let’s not get hasty. While I’m not one for purchasing Mr. Wilson’s exploits within the pages of his on-and-off series’ from the House of Mouse… I’m apt at least for 90 minutes worth of brain rot and guffaws at the local megaplex.

Which, I have to say, is a hell of a lot more than I’m willing to give DC these days.