Tagged: The Big Bang Theory

Martha Thomases: Like A Virgin

I don’t like to brag, but over the weekend, I deflowered three virgins.

Oh, who am I kidding?  I love to brag.

Lest you think my sex life is more interesting than it actually is, I mean the above statement metaphorically.  As you know if your’e female, breaking in virgins isn’t really that entertaining.  Instead, what I will now describe is how I took three friends to their first comic book convention.

Lucky for them, it was MoCCA.

Going to your first anything can be intimidating, even something as simple as a county fair or a school dance.  Every event that has occurred more than once has a history.  Often, there are traditions and customs with which you are unfamiliar.   The way the media portrays comic book conventions, whether on Entourage or The Big Bang Theory or next year’s talk show wars, can be unnerving for newbies.  Does one need to dress as a Stormtrooper?  How do you know what you’re looking at?

At MoCCA, my friends didn’t have to figure it out.  The tables were welcoming, with clear signage, lots of books on display, and friendly smiles by the creators (at least on Saturday, when I was there.  The closest thing to cosplay was aggressive hipster-ism, which I noted primarily through the prominent number of heads adorned with hats.

Best of all, my friends didn’t require an undergraduate degree in graphic story-telling to be drawn to the books.  Two of my friends are leftist political history junkies, and I soon lost track of them as they found book after book that intrigued them.  My other friend, who shares my love of the obscure laugh, joined me in celebrating a new book from Shannon Wheeler and various other booths.  There was one by a woman whom I think was named Stevie Wilson, who had a sign claiming her books were all about coffee, feminism and cats.

Everything I want in one place.  I wish I could find her again. Stevie (if that is your name), please tell me how to buy your books.

I hope that, when my friends go home, they continue to be curious about graphic story-telling, and start to explore the kinds of books that appeal to them.  I hope find more joy.

And next year, if they’re in New York at the right time, I hope they go to MoCCA with me again.  Perhaps, for the occasion, we will all dress up like John Lewis.

Photo by KLGreenNYC

(Not) Inspector Spacetime update – Blossom to voice BOOTH

Mayim Bialik (Blossom, The Big Bang Theory) has been cast to voice the Inspector’s time traveling ship the BOOTH in Travis Richey’s second web-adventure of Inspector Spacetime Untitled Web Series About A Space Traveler Who Can Also Travel Through Time.

Mayim’s first major role (if you don’t count Pumpkinhead, and believe me I debated that) was in the Bette Midler film Beaches, playing the 11-year-old version of The Divine One, an uncanny similarity only surpassed by Bette’s actual daughter Sophie.  Her TV fame came with the series Blossom, which ran for five years. After a number of voice roles in cartoons and video games, she pulled back from Hollywood to (now get this) get her bachelors, and eventually her PhD in neuroscience.  AND raise two kids.  She’s now appearing on The Big Band Theory as Amy Farah Fowler.  And clearly, she is awesome.

Travis Richey first appeared as The Inspector on NBC’s Community in a 30-second parody of Doctor Who.  The Internet took the thirty seconds to its bosom and cultivated it into a full continuity seemingly overnight.  The past Inspectors, the villains, and Jeffrey, who everyone hates.  Actor (and officially the 11th Inspector) Travis saw the potential of the character and submitted a script for an Inspector adventure, a project which was met with resounding apathy by the producers.  When Travis chose to self-produce a web series, NBC and Sony suddenly… exhibited reticence.  He plowed ahead with a cannily de-branded version, raising the funds via Kickstarter.

The second series is beginning production now, including Bialik as the voice of BOOTH, which is smaller on the inside, but is able to reconfigure its interior dimensions so “there’s always room for one more”.

From Travis’ press release:

Travis and Mayim reconnected by chance after being seated next to each other on a flight from Milwaukee to LA in November 2011, and the conversation included talk of Inspector Spacetime and looking for opportunities to work together.  “I am thrilled to be part of the Inspector Spacetime world,” said Mayim.  “As a Doctor Who fan, Inspector Spacetime satisfies all of my theatrical and nerdy desires. Putting on an admittedly poor fake British accent and working with the awesome and talented Travis Richey made me feel like a bonafide nerd-girl.”

More details about the series, including upcoming new like plans for toys and a comic book, are available at the website, TheInspector.TV.

Marc Alan Fishman: And the Geek Shall Inherit the Earth

The Joy of Tech comic

A few weeks back, an esteemed colleague of mine (oddly enough this time, not Mike Gold…) pitched a debate for my podcast: “Have nerds won? And if they have… is it a good thing?” Well, it was a great idea, and the debate on my show was fairly one sided. Now, after plenty of time to steep on the topic, I can plainly state my opinion; we have, and it is.


Marc Alan Fishman: The Anti-Big-Bang Hypothesis

Fishman Art 130119Welcome back everyone. It would seem that last week I ignited the Internet ablaze by admitting I’d not seen “Wrath of Khan” until the week prior. The fine people folks trolls at Fark.com labeled me an ignorant dork. Ignorant of what I don’t know. Dork? Agreed. But then one of the feistier folks in the thread scoffed “I bet this guy loves Big Bang Theory.” And it’s pretty clear that’s an insult.

Well, motherfarkers? I do.

Now, let’s be absolutely clear: I like the show. I don’t profess to say it’s anything more than exactly what it is, a network sitcom. And amongst it’s pre-taped, live audience laugh-track, script-by-way-of-a-writers-room brethren? It’s on par, or maybe slightly better at times, than the rest of the dreck it sits with. No, an episode of BBT will never be regarded as a game-changing piece of television. But when did it ever have those aspirations? Anyone who took time to watch more than five minutes of the show would realize that it’s cut from the same cloth as all other inoffensive PC drivel. To think that it somehow had the ability to rise above that line is a thought shared only by people whose optimism borders on the terrifying.

With all that being said, let me lament again: I like the show. Quite a bit. The show celebrates a culture I myself am very much a part in. The fact that between the traditional tropes, I’m getting legit winks and knowing nods to characters, stories, and knowledge only really appreciated by a subset of society is a boon. Just this past week, the ladies of the cast had a subplot about reading comics and getting into arguments about them. Could anyone here tell me 10 years ago we’d predict we’d have a popular television show that contains characters who argue over the semantic properties of Mjolnir? Moreover, would you then say that said argument would actually be qualified as “nerd-worthy?” Well, if you’re raising your hand, then your pants are on fire.

For those naysayers out there, and I know there is a rising crowd of them, I beg you to truly mull over the gripes you’re bringing to the table. The big one? “Big Bang Theory is offensive to nerds!” OK. Well, guess what, Internet? I must have not received my invitation to the official nerd message board where I would make my vote. I certainly must be amongst your ranks. I own unopened toys. Long boxes. DVD box sets of defunct cartoons. I know the frame count of Ryu’s hadoken and why being several frames shorter than Ken’s makes it a more effective special move in Street Fighter 2 Turbo. Certainly if that doesn’t allow me access to the secret nerd cabal, I don’t know what will. To imply that the show, which again is a mainstream situation comedy, is offensive to nerds is offensive to me.

Is it offensive because the laugh track is cued up to moments that laugh at the main characters’ foibles instead of celebrating them? Perhaps it is. Or perhaps it’s a motherfarking laugh track, meant to usher the masses towards the guffaws. And guess what, internet? The fact that Howard Wolowitz admits to playing D & D is in fact funny to the uninitiated. Did I laugh when he said it? No. But then again, I didn’t get up in arms because the people in the studio audience did.

Nor did I sound the flugelhorn of justice when the same jackanapes chortled over Leonard getting picked on, or Sheldon doing just about anything on the damned show. Simply put, the show is aimed squarely at the lowest common denominator. To bemoan this fact is to hold a mirror up to every other sitcom in existence and shake your fist in anger. You can then join your true brothers in arms – the offended handy men who watched Home Improvement, the spiteful OB-GYN’s and jazz musicians in a murderous rage over The Cosby Show, and of course the bewildered radio psychiatrists aghast over Frasier.

The fact is Big Bang Theory caters to the median pop-culture nerd. The person who is vaguely aware of comics, Lord of the Rings, and perhaps Doctor Who. The show was built around the predictable notes of countless other shows before it; all of which can be explained. To think that we as a counter-culture are owed a TV series that doesn’t laugh at us, but with us… need only look to all the shows we’re already watching. Doctor Who, Toy Hunter, Star Trek, Battlestar: Galactica, Face/Off, Adventure Time, and so forth. Simply put, there’s already a boatload of shows that cater to us as a culture. Stop crying over the one that dares to poke at us for being dorks. As they say: let your freak flag fly. Maybe even laugh once in a while.

The way I see it, Big Bang Theory is plenty nice to the main cast the haters feel are nothing but forever picked on. Over the course of several seasons, Leonard (and Raj) have boinked Penny, Howard has gone to space and found love, and even Sheldon has found a partner. And sure, the audience has had their fair share of yuk-yuks over the boys’ failure, but to imply that the show is anything but loving of their stars is laughable at best. And for those who would say that the show is somehow regressing the nation to hate the geeks, dweebs, nerds, and dorks of the world… I offer a shoulder to cry on. There there, it’s O.K. I know it hurts when the big bad jocks push you into your locker, citing that they wouldn’t do it, had it not been for last night’s episode. Wipe those tears off, nerdlinger!

Because if TV sitcoms have taught me anything? It’s that it’ll all be forgotten next week.

SUNDAY: John Ostrander


Martha Thomases: Attack of the Con Brain!

People with cancer describe a phenomenon they call “chemo brain,” a side effect of the tumor-killing drugs that also destroys their short-term memory. I would like to coin another term.

Con brain!

Con brain is what happens to an otherwise mature adult after several days spent in the company of a hundred thousand comic and pop culture fans enclosed in a relatively small space for a comic book convention.

My experience started out simply enough. My friend, Vivek Tiwary, was on a panel at Jim Hanley’s Universe on “A Celebration of Pop Music Comics”, and he wanted me there, since I helped him to get the deal for his graphic novel with Dark Horse. The panel included friendly faces like David Gallaher and Jamal Igle. To my surprise, it also included Punk Magazine editor John Holmstrom, whom I’ve known for decades and who, in my opinion, is the most ripped-off person in comics and graphic design (a bold statement, I know, and too long an explanation for this column. Ask me later). Both Vivek and John gave me shout-outs, proving that I am the most important person in the rock’n’roll/comics intersection.

The next day, I went to the Javits Center early for a meeting. As it turned out, the hall was closed to anyone but exhibitors until later in the afternoon, but I know how to stride in with a group like I belong, so that wasn’t an issue. Everything went swimmingly. Alas, I made the mistake of leaving the hall, and had to use my hard-won knowledge of the building’s labyrinthine tunnels and hallways to get back in.

By the time the show actually opened, things quickly got so crowded and noisy that I couldn’t hear any of the people with whom I was walking, nor could I see where I was going. I went home, put a cat on my lap, and chilled.

On Friday, I had the most surrealistic experience of the show. I attend a bereavement support group that meets near 34th Street. When it was over, I walked to the center, going past Herald Square and Macy’s, Penn Station, Madison Square Garden, and large swaths of Manhattan with office buildings. And, interspersed with tourists, people with jobs on their lunch hour, and the normal New York horde, were people in costumes heading west. If anybody but me thought it was odd to see anime characters and guys with capes and masks walking down the street, they kept it to themselves.

From then on, all is a fog. I saw more people I like (including Walter Simonson, whom I might have hugged a little bit too long). I got hit in the face with more backpacks. I ruined more pictures by walking between the photographer and the subjects, because, I’m sorry, but just because you are in costume doesn’t mean you get to take up an entire aisle.

Still, I noticed a few things. It seemed to me that almost half the attendees were female, a huge change since I started going to these things. I don’t know if shows like The Big Bang Theory have reassured girls that they can handle geek culture, or if there are simply more of us out of the closet, but it’s a much better feeling from my first shows, when women would confide in me that they were followed into the bathroom by guys who couldn’t believe they were really girls at such an event.

Perhaps as a result, there were fewer artists in Artists Alley promoting characters with gigantic breasts and other impossible tricks of anatomy. I only remember one, whose super heroine had breasts started just under her clavicle and ended at her armpit. I mean, I like a little uplift, but, you know, ouch.

By the end of the show I sounded like every character in every action movie ever made, muttering “I’m getting too old for this shit.” I’m starting to feel that, as a short older person, I need to be lifted up on a chair and taken around the rooms carried by four shirtless body-builders, like a sultan from a Bob Hope sketch.

Still, I was moved by this story on the Bleeding Cool website, comparing four days at a comics convention to a religious experience. I envy those of you who get to experience this for the first time.

It’s a treasure. Don’t bury it.

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman


Kevin Sussman Upped To Regular On “The Big Bang Theory”

Finally, the comic book store owner on TV that comic fans can respect (as compared to that guy on The Simpsons) gets some respect of his own as Kevin Sussman gets a regular gig on The Big Bang Theory. Deadline Hollywood has the details:

Leonard, Sheldon & Co. may be haning out at the comic book store more often next season. Kevin Sussman, who plays the comic book store manager Stuart, has been promoted to a regular for the upcoming sixth season of the hit CBS comedy. He has been recurring on the show since Season 2, appearing in 15 episodes so far. I hear Sussman’s deal is of the “7/13″ kind, meaning that he likely won’t be in every episode like Big Bang‘s core cast. This is the fourth promotion for a Big Bang recurring player, following similar upgrades for Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik, who now appear in virtually every episode, and Sara Gilbert, who left the series.

Stuart played a key part in the relationship between Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Amy (Bialik) as it was Stuart’s date with Amy that prompted Sheldon to make her his girlfriend. His character also was behind a bet that produced one of the most popular images from the show with the main gang dressed as  Catwoman, Wonder Woman, Batgirl, and Supergirl.

The Final Eagle Awards have Landed

The Final Eagle Awards have Landed

By ‘UK Correspondent’ Steve Morris

The last-ever Eagle Awards have just concluded here in good ol’ Blighty (that means Britain), with the ceremony due to switch names over to “The MCM Awards” in 2013. End of an era, awards-fans! In lieu of us not liveblogging the awards ceremony Oscars-style (complete with a drinking game in which you have to down a pint every time Scott Snyder wins something), here is the complete list of winners:


Dan Schaffer’s “The Scribbler” Starts Filming This Week

Filming on Dan Schaffer’s graphic novel The Scribbler begins later this week in Los Angeles for a live action theatrical film release.

Schaffer’s graphic novel was originally published in 2006 by Image Comics.  A new “director’s cut” of the graphic novel is being prepared by the recently re-launched First Comics™ for release in conjunction with the film’s opening. Schaffer penned the screenplay adapted from his graphic novel.

The thriller centers on Suki, a young woman confined in a mental institution and being treated with an experimental machine dubbed “The Siamese Burn, designed to eliminate multiple personalities.  As the “treatment” progresses, Suki starts to be haunted by the realization that if “The Siamese Burn” is successful, which one of her personalities will be the survivor?

Katie Cassidy, already with comic connections as Dinah Lance in the CW pilot Arrow, stars as the title character Suki.  The cast also includes Garret Dillahunt (Winter’s Bone), Michelle Trachtenberg (Gossip Girl), Eliza Dushku (Dollhouse), Gina Gershon (Killer Joe), Michael Imperioli (The Lovely Bones, The Sopranos), Billy Campbell (The Killing, The Rocketeer), Sasha Grey (The Girlfriend Experience, Entourage) Ashlynn Yennie (The Human Centipede), Kunal Nayyar (The Big Bang Theory), and T.V. Carpio (Limitless). NightSky Production’s Ken F. Levin is producing with New Artist Alliance’s Gabriel Cowan, with Cowan’s NAA co-founder and partner, John Suits, directing. Caliber Media’s Dallas Sonnier and Jack Heller will executive produce the film alongside NAA’s Kerry Johnson.

This is Daniel Schaffer’s seventh screenplay to be optioned, and the second to be filmed so far; the first, comedy/horror film Doghouse from Schaffer’s screenplay, was released in 2009 by Carnaby International and distributed by Sony Pictures (Jake West directing).   Schaffer is also known in the comics world for his comic series Dogwitch and his graphic novel Indigo Vertigo (with Katiejane Garside).   NightSky is a production / management firm which also reps Schaffer as a writer client.

The Scribbler is the first of four films in a co-production between New Artist Alliance and Caliber Media.  The two companies have previously produced two movies together, which are both currently in post-production: Static, a horror-thriller starring Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes), Sarah Shahi (Fairly Legal) and Sara Paxton (Darcy’s Wild Life), and 3 Nights In The Desert, starring Amber Tamblyn (Joan Of Arcadia), Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games, American Beauty) and Vincent Piazza (Boardwalk Empire), which Cowan directed.  NAA, known for making over 2000% profit on their first film Breathing Room, premiered their latest feature Extracted at this year’s SXSW.  Growth, another NAA film directed by Cowan, went to #1 on iTunes and has its worldwide television premiere this weekend on The Syfy Channel.

Schaffer has a 7-page preview of The Scribbler on his website.

‘Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons Comes To Broadway in ‘Harvey’

‘Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons Comes To Broadway in ‘Harvey’

Português: Jim Parsons na Comic Con 2009

<knockknockknock> Harvey…

<knockknockknock> Harvey…

<knockknockknock> Harvey…

The Roundabout Theatre in New York has set Emmy-winning The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons, Jessica Hecht and Charles Kimbrough for a Scott Ellis-directed revival of Mary Chase’s 1944 Pulitzer Prize-winning play Harvey. Preview performances begin May 18, 2012 at Studio 54, and the play opens June 14 for a limited run that ends August 5. Parsons is playing Elwood P. Dowd (the James Stewart role in the movie), a guy who befriends a six-and-a-half-foot-tall invisible rabbit.

Yes, that’s during this year’s San Diego Comic Con. So unless Dr. Sheldon Cooper has a working transporter, it’ll be tough for him to be there this year… or will it?

The Point Radio: Katee Sackhoff & Eliza Dushku on “Batman: Year One”

This week, one of the most revered story arcs in DC history becomes a direct-to-DVD feature. BATMAN YEAR ONE hits the shelves and we talk to Katee Sackhoff, Eliza Dushku and long time WB Director Andrea Romano about translating the comic to film. Then there was New York Comic Con – what a weekend – and do we have news for you!

The Point Radio is on the air right now – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun for FREE. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE on any computer or mobile device– and please check us out on Facebook right here & toss us a “like” or follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.