Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Special Birthday Show Tomorrow!

I'm 35 and hosting. What will that be like?

Thursday, May 31st

in the Guero Lounge at Julep
9 Avenue A bet. 1/2 Streets
F/V trains to 2nd Avenue


There will be drink specials, nihilism, and next-day apologies. We will be collectively celebrating the birthdays of RG Daniels and Jon Clarke and anyone who's birthday falls in between (you know who you are). And there's more:

Tom McCaffrey has quietly amassed a downtown legacy that is beginning to creep into the collective New York comedy conscious (whoa, too many hard C's--anyway). He has appeared on Comedy Central & VH-1 multiple times. His droll take on everything from hip-hop blow jobs to aging cops in movies more than validate Tom's humor and originality. He performs nightly on some of NYC's freshest stages and this Thursday, Tom's at POTTYMOUTHS.

+ special guests: Mad Dog Mattern, Summer Krieghauser, Jonathan Randall, RG Daniels, Ed Murray, and Jeff Ragsdale
Hosted by Jon Clarke

Friday, May 25, 2007

Batman 5: Dead End

There are fan films and there are fan films. Then's there's "Dead End".

This was intended to be Sandy Collora's reel but it leaked out at the 2003 San Diego Comicon. people went nuts. The story was thin but the look and especially the costumes sold it. Didn't hurt that Collora was an assistant for Stan Winston.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Batman 4: The New Adventures of Batman

I'm a Batman fanatic and I barely remember this. In 1977 Adam West and Burt Ward reunited as voice actors in a new Batman animated series. "The New Adventures of Batman" ran 13 episodes but now it's coming out on dvd. At the time "Superfriends" was still airing so I imagine a second series wasn't looked upon favorably by fans (much like JLU viewers hated the arrival of "The Batman").

It looks awful, thanks to the addition of Bat-Mite to the cast. Though the opening titles didn't help. Anyone know why the characters are pitching a show you're already watching?

Yeah, I'm buying it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Lois Lane

It's my birthday. You know what I'd like? Adulation.

Im very proud to announce the latest Play Cole action figure animation, "Lois Lane: Intrepid Reporter". Like "William Shatner on the Muppet Show", this took months to create. But this is shorter, tighter and boasts an expanded cast. Everyone from Pat Dixon to Maddog Mattern did voice over work on this and every one of them knocked it out of the park. Hope you like it.

How does this tie into Batman Week? Cause Batman's in it. And I play him.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Batman 2: LEGO

Renee loves LEGO. I love Batman. So when LEGO announced they acquired the Batman license last year, we were both interested. With the baby coming, we cracked. We bought and built a little Arkham Asylum, figuring it will still be compatible when our child's old enough. It should be, considering these bricks were made in 1961.

"Star Wars" changed LEGO when they partnered in 1999. That line was so successful that it spawned cg animated films and video games in the LEGO style. Batman has followed suit. The video game will be out in 2008 but this short introduced the line. Batman can't get any cuter than this.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Batman 1: Harvey Dent

It's Batman Week at Not In My Book! There are a few reasons for this:

1. I love Batman.
2. It's my birthday this week.
3. There's a Batman related surprise coming.
4. Here, we do what I say.

Shooting has begun on the sequel to "Batman Begins". Right now it's called "The Dark Knight" and Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan have returned. Even better, Two-Face and the Joker are the villains. But you probably know all that. What you may not know is Warner Brothers has just released the first official picture:

That's Aaron Eckhart as Harvey and eventually Two-Face. Already he looks more the part than Billy Dee Williams or Tommy Lee Jones. The only movie I've seen Eckhart in so far is "Thank You For Smoking" and if that movie is any indication, he's perfect. No pictures of his Two-Face makeup yet, but there is a surprise if you go here.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Friday, May 18, 2007

Opposite Game

I'm enraged at the post office today, which I know will do me no good. I can't fight the post office. They got thousands of employees who don't do a damn thing.

But this makes me feel better. It's Maggie Faris and Mike Drucker playing the opposite game. Show me two more likeable comedians and I'll be their friends too.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Diamond Buys Art Asylum

Here's the official word:

Diamond Select Toys and Collectibles, LLC (DST) is excited to announce its acquisition of select assets of New York based Art Asylum Inc. The acquisition, which is effective immediately, comes after a long and prosperous relationship between the two companies.

Art Asylum was founded in 1996 by Digger T. Mesch and Donna Soldano as a development and design house, and quickly became home to some of the most talented designers in the toy industry. Their work has been manufactured by some of the best known companies in the industry, including Toy Biz (Marvel Toys), Playmates, Hasbro, Play Along and a host of other companies. After several years as a development house Art Asylum created Art Asylum, LLC and turned to manufacturing and developed lines for licenses including Batman, Star Trek, Tony Hawk, Bruce Lee and KISS.

The effects of the acquisition will be felt immediately in the toy industry, as the fast growing DST, one of the leading toy and collectible manufactures for the specialty market, now has the added value of an industry leading design house. DST is consistently putting out many new products a month from licenses including Marvel, Spider-man 3, “24,” and Star Trek and now with the added depth that the Art Asylum name and experience brings, DST will look to become a major player in the industry.

DST has contracted Art Asylum in the past for their Star Trek and Marvel lines, but will now have the full breadth of talent in house, and available for upcoming releases – including the new Battlestar Galactica line and future projects.

“Art Asylum made its mark on the toy industry with its unique style and top of the line development. We are excited to have access to all the tools that built the company and utilize them to help grow our business even further,” remarked Chuck Terceira, Director of DST.

Art Asylum’s most notable and longest running brand, Minimates, will now lie in the hands of DST which has utilized the Minimate brand previously with its Street Fighter, Rocky and most notably Marvel licenses. Minimates have become the #1 block figure brand in the world and aside from DST’s lines, there have been successful lines based on DC Comics, Lord of the Rings and KISS. The 2” scale action figures, with 14 points of articulation, are heading into possibly the biggest year ever with DST, which has a full stable of licenses prepared to add to the ever growing Minimate Universe.

Moving over to join the DST team as part of the deal are Donna Soldano and Robert Yee of Art Asylum. Soldano, one of the founding partners of Art Asylum, has vast experience in both product development and overseas production. She brings to DST over 10 years of experience in developing toy lines for both the specialty and mass markets and along with her wide knowledge of the industry. Robert Yee has occupied several posts in the toy industry including serving as Director of Legal Affairs for Toymax Inc. and serving as Director of R&D for Monogram International. More recently Yee, an original member of the Art Asylum, rejoined the company in 2005 to head up product development. Yee’s legal knowledge coupled with his experience in leading development and overseas production teams will be fully utilized by DST.

Adam Unger, who served as a vice president at Art Asylum, will be working with DST on a consulting basis during the transition with a focus on new business development and sales.

Digger T. Mesch recently formed Dig Deep Entertainment in Hong Kong. Dig Deep is focused primarily on developing Digger’s original content for film and television but continues to create high end design and development of 3D product and events. Dig Deep recently developed DST’s Marvel Civil War bust line and Marvel Zombies. Digger will be available for consultancy on the projects that Dig Deep Entertainment develops for DST.

“The acquisition takes DST’s level product development and production departments to new levels, and we are excited on all fronts,” added Terceira.

I'd known about this for a while but for some reason, this press release makes me sad. I've been working with the Asylum on and off for about ten years now but I mostly remember 1998-1999, the one year I spent in the studio. The work was great, the jokes were loud and the nights were long. I barely made enough to eat. But it didn't matter. I was having the time of my life.

Art Asylum was the turning point of my career, bridging my floundering comic book work with a lucrative time in advertising. I learned how to work in an office environment and deal with extreme personalities (which we all were). I got to work on Marvel, DC and Star Trek, for crying out loud. It doesn't get any better than that.

Robert's already invited me to the new offices and I'm happy to visit but it won't be the same. Renee found out a few years ago her college was closing its doors. Now I know how she feels.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Soldiers Can't Post

Remember the pictures I showed of my cousin Sean in Iraq? Turns out today he wouldn't be able to see them. That's because the Pentagon is cracking down on soldiers' internet usage, blocking sites like myspace and youtube.

Wasn't it bad enough when they couldn't get armor? Now they can't even get fake girls to be their friends?

This has nothing to do with bandwidth resources and everything to do with controlling information. The government was happy with the old system of one letter every six months. The fact that soldiers can give their loved ones a first-hand account of the front lines has to scare the crap out of the Bush administration.

Luckily the ban does not include Iraqi internet cafes (which I'm surprised exist). Looks like it's a good time to own an Iraqi internet cafe. Except of course for the whole being in Iraq.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Things I Still Like Even Though I'll Be a Father Soon

1. Drinking
2. Tit jobs
3. The word 'godammit'
4. Unemployment
5. Guns n' Roses
6. Sleeping
7. Not cleaning the litter box
8. Internet porn
9. the Evil Dead trilogy
10. Tim Warner

Monday, May 14, 2007

Comic Movie Countdown

Rotten Tomatoes has posted a countdown of the best reviewed comic book movies. I've seen most of these plus a few that never got reviewed. You don't want to know where "Captain America" would have placed.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


It's been a busy weekend. We went to the Buffy Sing-a-long Friday with Bill and he wrote about it. Today we're shooting with Alex, Ed and Drucker. They're all fantastic to work with and make the process easy. How good are they? Well, here's Drucker at Comic Book Comics. Man, that was a good show.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodiguez can do whatever they want, can't they?

I had time to kill before the show last night so Steve Klausner and I went to see "Grindhouse". We were very glad we didn't bring the wives. The violence in this, especially Rodriguez's "Planet Terror" is far and above anything I've seen outside of Troma.

The conceit here is that both films are homage to the 'b' splatter flicks of the 70's. In other words, the good old days when movies were shitty. Rodriguez and Tarantino have made something unique: a Sci-Fi original that plays in multiplexes.

Both films are a hell of a lot of fun, if anachronistic. With the bleached film look, 80's synthesizers and film scratches I assumed these would be period pieces. That is, until characters started text messaging each other.

Rodriguez really gets into it with over the top violence and characters in a very simple zombie movie. There's not much to tell here because Rodriguez does what he does perfectly. It's crazy, almost comical and built around a few major set pieces.

Tarantino's work is harder to decipher. He goes with the concept but basically makes a Tarantino short film. Well short for Tarantino which means feature length and a simpler plot. There are no twists in "Death Proof". We get the same story twice; once as a horror picture and once as an action picture. I've always said the only difference between action and horror is how the protagonist fights back. Tarantino proves this theory. Oh, and the characters talk. And talk and talk and talk. The 90's dialogue style is back in force. Thanks to Quentin Tarantino and Larry David I didn't write a plot until 2004.

As I watching these films, it made me realize something about the two biggest directors of the 90's: it's not the 90's anymore. The last decade has treated each director very differently. While Tarantino came on as the next Scorcese, his films have become increasingly indulgent and insular. "Jackie Brown" was fascinating but cryptic, "Kill Bill" was one movie too long and "Death Proof" doesn't get going for at least an hour. By refusing to cut his famous dialogue, Tarantino is in danger of marginalizing himself.

Rodriguez on the other hand became a cult icon with "Desperado". And since he's been under the radar, he's had more time to polish his craft with different genres. He's gone from being the man who made "From Dusk Till Dawn" to the man who made "Sin City". He's managed to become a true filmmaker on his own terms, while Tarantino has managed to remain Tarantino.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


I'm hosting an improv show tonight with Fiefdom. I know some of the guys in the group but I've never seen them live. Drucker says they're great so I have high expectations.

It's a daunting task to host an improv show. The audience isn't there to hear rehearsed material so I'm going to have to wing it. Should I do crowd work? Half written ideas? Try to sneak in my 'A' material? I have no clue.

I wonder if this is how improv guys feel all the time.

Mo Pitkin's
34 Avenue A (Cross Street: Between 2nd Street and 3rd Street)
New York, NY 10009

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Buddy Rich

"If you're not having fun out there, then fuck you!"

It took some doing, but I finally found the infamous Buddy Rich tapes online. Buddy was an incredible jazz drummer but he saved his greatest beatings for his band.

Jerry Seinfeld was obsessed with this tape and you can hear it quoted in several episodes of his sitcom (George telling moviegoers "I'm gonna show you what it's like!" or Frank Costanza translating Korean into "This guy is not my kind of guy"). I personally ripped off "I'm gonna show you what it's like" in "William Shatner on the Muppet Show". But now I've finally heard the original. I'm adding this to Orson Welles and Paul Anka in the holy trilogy of celebrity screaming.

There are four mp3's here

Monday, May 07, 2007

Equal Pay

Bill's talking about it on his blog today. I can't believe it still exists, especially since it's been 33 years since Batgirl spoke out about it.

I love this video for a number of reasons:

1. Apparantly Batman pays Batgirl. Less than Robin.
2. Batgirl is willing to let Batman and Robin die.
3. That's not Adam West.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Spider-Man 3

What was this movie about?

The first two films were phenomenal. They not only brought justice to one of the most beloved comic characters of all time but they made Sam Raimi an a list director. Raimi's talking about making a fourth film. It's easy to see why since he tried to make four films at once with this.

You get the feeling that the first two films wanted this to be about Harry. Raimi wanted a classic Ditko chracter (Sandman). And Marvel REALLY wanted Venom. They're all here, along with Gwen Stacy, Curt Connors and the Russian landlord who yells "rent!".

Unlike the Schumacher Batman films, which had so many characters there was no room for plot, this movie has so many plots there's no room for theme. Peter goes from confidence to arrogance but what does that have to do with Sandman? Why is Harry addressed, put away early and readdressed in the second act? If all the posters feature the black costume, why don't we see it for a full hour? And why is Venom in this for 15 minutes yet there's two dance numbers and three songs? There's no focus in this film. I'd say it was made by committee but it's so well crafted, I have to say it was made by distraction.

And yet it's worth watching. The action scenes blow the first two installments away. The effects of Sandman are convincing and fascinating. Venom is phenomenal. And the characters all still feel authentic.

I can't say I left disappointed but it certainly wasn't a great film. In the end it felt like watching a season of a tv show or reading a year of the comic. Everything here works, it just doesn't work together.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Pour Man's Comedy

Last night Meghan Hanley offered me a spot at the Pour House. Drucker and I got there at 10 and the place was jammed. There was a pub crawl happening so you could barely move in the place. Looked to be a fantastic crowd.

There was only one problem; they were too drunk to listen. Jokes would get a laugh halfway through the next setup. They would stare and sway while you were doing crowd work. A curtain separated the comics from the rest of the bar. Drunks would peek their heads in but not take a step into the show. It was like being in first class. Everyone wants to know what you're doing but no one dares become a part of it.

The p.a. cut through the rest of the bar. I told them I was the ghost of Abraham Lincoln and they should take off their tops. That got a drunken scream but didn't win them over.

Halfway through my set they all crawled out to the next bar. We did the rest of the show was done for two friends of Jimmy Q. Comics got closer and closer to them until they hovered over their seats.

And yet it was awesome. The energy was right and everyone had a great time. Even the dj thought we were funny. We went home at 1 a.m. feeling like we killed for two people.

And that is comedy.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

New FF trailer

Spider-Man 3 opens tomorrow but Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer will follow in six weeks. And FOX just released a new trailer.

The teaser was phenomenal, simply showing a completed scene. This one is more traditional, with quick clips of the more expensive shots. Seeing more of the film, it appears the goofy shit is back. But the level of awesomeness is pumped way up.

Look for yourself.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Ricky Gervais and Christopher Guest

Apparantly these Ricky Gervais interviews are a series on the BBC. Here's a new one with Christopher Guest (Monica, clear out some time). This isn't the most informative but it's the most fun.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Best Show Ever!

With the baby getting closer, I'm going to be doing a lot less spots. Actually, I'm only doing the good ones. That's why I'm excited about tonight's show at Mo Pitkin's. Lara Yaz and Alex Grubard have a cool little room going in the Sadie's Lounge on Tuesdays and I'll be performing in tonight's show.

Best Show Ever
Mo Pitkin's
34 Avenue A (Cross Street: Between 2nd Street and 3rd Street)
New York, NY 10009