Archive for February, 2014

 

So I love comics. I love movies.

Naturally I love comic book movies. Ok, well not all of them. Some of them suck pretty badly. However a majority of them, especially as of late, have been pretty damn good. (I mean, have you see the “Guardians of the Galaxy” Trailer??)

If you don’t know anything about the comic book fandom let me explain. If you are part of the comic book fandom, I apologize for the explanation, but feel free to expound upon it.

The best thing about the comic book fandom is the accessibility to the industry folks. This isn’t just at comic conventions, but really heavy within social media. Right now there are a handful of creators that I could email and ask a question and actually get a response- that is NOT some auto generated non-sense. How many sports fans can say that? Or movie buffs? It’s not like I could shoot an email to say, George Lucas and not get an almost instant response like some comic book writers and artists.

That is, in my humble opinion, what makes us unique as a fandom. It’s great. It truly is! There are extremes, but in general, comic book fans are pretty effing cool about things. So much so, I cannot begin to tell you how many charities the industry has, or when something goes south (i.e. 9/11, Hurricanes, Typhoons, Earthquakes etc) the fandom- and the industry- rally together to help in anyway they can.

Do you want to know how many times my faith in humanity has been restored because of the fandom? Too many to count. Some of which never made any news, that was only known by a handful of creators and the people that were in trouble.

However there is something that I need to address. This is strictly aimed at those extremists. In this case, the ones that go nuts around actors and other celebrities in the industry.

 

STOP IT. 

FUCKING STOP ACTING LIKE MORONS. 

Yeesh.

Working/Living in Chicago I have come across a lot of celebrities and politicians. So much so, when I interviewed for a job for a new flagship store on State Street years ago, the GM flat out asked me how I would react in X or Y celebrity walked in. Considering we were attached to a famous hotel, the 2 years I was there, I lost count how many times we had to close down per orders of Secret Service (yes, THE Secret Service) or block off areas for incoming movie stars/sports teams to avoid a rabid fan attacking someone.

This post was really started after reading this– a tiny bit whiny- a beit heartfelt post about certain fans of the Hiddlestoners fandom. What’s a Hiddlestoner? A fan of Tom Hiddleston. You know him probably best as the guy that played Loki. To be honest, my favorite role he has done hasn’t been Loki (which is just mindblowing), but actually as Prince Hal in The Hollow Crown. But that’s also because I am a Shakespeare fan. Regardless, I was discussing this with my fellow Movie/Comic Geek best friend, Scourge. We started doing comparisons, and he came up with a great analogy that I am totally giving him credit for:

Robert Downey Jr= Elvis Presley

Tom Hiddleston= The Beatles.

Both actors have wholeheartedly embraced their roles as Iron Man and Loki respectively. Downey runs around and sometimes I wonder if he doesn’t think he is Tony Stark.

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What’s great (and could also backfire eventually) is that the Marvel Studios office encourages this. It feels as though the West Coast office has been trying to bring the comic fandom ideal over to its movies for awhile. I thought that for quite some time. But 2013 SDCC confirmed it for me.

 I would like to point out that it takes some mighty fine talent to quiet Hall H with the move of one finger. Hiddleston just cracks me up with the above video. Along with some of his tweets. Its obvious that he loves not only playing Loki, but the fans.

Image I am very tired of seeing fans attack celebrities- whether its in the movies or in the comic book world. In this day and age of 24 hour news, it feels as though fans demand, nay, expect to have this instant gratification from their idols. Do I admire and respect Hiddleston and Downey? Yes, because they are damn talented actors. I think it would be absolutely hilarious to have both of them at a dinner party because, I have the impression from interviews they have both done, that they are genuinely nice, funny gentlemen.

That’s the catch folks- what you see in interviews, clips, pinterest, tumblr etc, is just that- an impression.

Think about this: you are going about your day, running some errands, doing a bit of shopping at your favorite store, maybe grabbing coffee and catch up time with a good friend. Then some random person whom you have never seen before nor probably ever will again, walks up to you acting like you are the oldest friends on the planet.  This happens EVERY TIME YOU WALK OUT OF YOUR HOUSE.

After awhile, wouldn’t you get a bit pissed off?

Don’t give me the story that “Oh celebrities know this comes with the job” Bull shit, absolute bullshit.  They know they will have fans, that some of their anonymity goes right out the window, but it does NOT mean, that as a fan you have the right to interrupt them at any given moment.

Scourge worked at a restaurant for awhile back in Ohio. Because of the location of said restaurant, he ran into A LOT of celebrities (I mean, the list is pretty extensive and mindblowing). When X person would walk into the restaurant, he would eventually have to take over the table because the waitress was wigging out to much or have other patrons back off because the celebrity couldn’t even finish their meal.

The most Scourge would ever say to these people that would even address the fact they were celebrities was “Hey I really liked [insert album, game, etc here]. Thanks for that”. Even that sentence was a bit much for him. Scourge told me that usually it was the silent head nod acknowledging their presence and then leaving them be.

Best example of crazy that ticked me off:

When Public Enemies was in town filming, I noticed one night that there were no parking permits put up around my neighborhood. On my way hope I also noticed alot of gear trucks parked along certain streets. The next morning Scourge and I went to go return a DVD . Scourge went in one direction and I doubled back over to Portage Theater where I was pretty damn certain they were filming. I made small talk with the lighting guys unloading a trailer. Outside of talking about gear, they refused to mention anything.

Scourge called me to tell me if I ever was going to hire a security firm, not to hire X company because the guard was a chatty cathy. Turns out Scourge found out that Johnny Depp was inside the theater.

Kick ass.

Meanwhile I called Ellie Sully and told her to make her way over to the theater, because at the least, as a production designer, she had to see the costumes that the extras were wearing. It was hotter than Hades that day and the three of us were sitting on the curb of a side street just watching everything. Ellie Sully was looking at things from an artist perspective, while Scourge and I were dissecting security and operations. Eventually the neighborhood kids figured out what was going on, and someone (not us) told them that Depp was inside. There were these 4 girls, around the age 15 that were absolutely having a melt down that Depp was inside.

We decided to hang on the curb to see if we could catch a glimpse of Depp. Not because its Depp (that was a partial reason) but Ellie Sully wanted to see his costume while Scourge and myself were making a bet on a security procedure of how they were going to get Depp out of the theater and around the mess of one ways in the neighborhood back to his trailer on the other side of six corners.

Sure enough Depp came out and I was right on my guess of how security was doing things. Depp gets in an SUV an as they pull out on the side street, he rolls his window down to wave to everyone. That was nice!

Then the 4 girls in question proceeded to chase the SUV throughout the neighborhood. Meanwhile the three of us decided to get something cold to drink, so we walk to the other side of six corners to a store where the trailer happened to be in the parking lot. I just remember watching the girls faces as they tried to figure out how we were already there, munching on stuff after Depp’s car pulled in. Depp got out and went right to his trailer to get changed. Do I blame him? Nope.

The girls were so disappointed that they were crying. I am not saying the simple crying, but the type of crying that involves huge gasps of air because they are practically hyperventilating. Eye roll.

I can’t speak for musicians but I can say making any sort of film is EXHAUSTING. I don’t care if you are actor, crew, producing- whatever role, it is exhausting. It’s a mind drain. It’s emotionally draining. You wouldn’t think this, but trust me, its true.  Art in general is an artist putting some part of themselves on the world stage for everyone to dissect and analyze.

So in essence, if you see a celebrity outside of an actual appearance they are making at a convention or tv show etc. Be nice and leave them alone. If you can’t help yourself, be polite, don’t take up their time. They are human beings and just think about how you would feel in their shoes.

So to those out their that are all in the “beatlesmania” type knocking on glass windows as a celebrity is trying to eat dinner or asking for an autograph while in the bathroom (I saw this happen once) STOP IT BEFORE YOU RUIN IT FOR THE REST OF US!  

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Right now I am sitting on a couch next to Ellie Sully (go check out her comic here).

I have known her for now almost seven years. We first met working in the salt mines (not literally, but it felt like it) of an RPO firm on a smoke break one day. Been friends and co-workers since. She was also laid off with me back in July.

Here’s the thing, despite all the BULLSHIT going on each other’s lives (and at a couple of times, at the same time), we try to push each other to be better…. at everything. This could be being better artists or better at whatever day job we are at. Sometimes, its just pushing each other to get through the day.

So, when it comes to Ellie Sully and her dad, Gin, KM, Danny Boy and his wife, C,  or Scourge, I’ll treat them like royalty because they are ALWAYS, I cannot stress this enough, ALWAYS there to help in both good and bad times.

There are some people, and I will refer to them as Jack and Sally (not real names), who I thought were on this list and they were for awhile. Life happens, and they have fallen off the face of the planet. Some of this is for legit reasons, but before the legit reasons happened, it was a struggle to hang out with them or even talk on the phone. I was the one always reaching out and adjusting my schedule so I could see them.

That gets tiring after awhile. It really does, especially when you are struggling to deal with major problems. I was pissed (and still am to an extent) at Jack and Sally, because I felt left out of sharing certain joys with them. That was pretty much the icing on the cake with me.

Danny Boy’s wife, C, called me first after family to tell me that they were engaged. Was it probably because I introduced the two of them? Possibly, but regardless I was one of the first to find out. C got busy and dropped off radars for a little bit because of wedding planning, which is understandable. The difference between these two and Jack and Sally however is that they made sure to include me in the wedding details and invited me to the wedding. Both of them were actually apologetic at the wedding about not calling etc, which was a funny type of ridiculous.

Everyone in that list above has been trying to help Ellie Sully and myself in some way over the years. Whether it was on a project, finding a job, baby sitting etc. Sometimes its just calling and going “Just wanted to make sure you haven’t killed anyone”.

When you have a friend struggling with something- illness, depression, lack of money- you may not have the ability to help they way you want too. You don’t have a magic wand to fix everything for them (if so… please let me know!), but at the end of the day, the human condition is that we want to feel connected to someone.

Sometimes its the simplest things that you can do to cheer someone up or help them out. Just hanging out and talking over coffee, inviting them over for dinner and a movie. Nothing fancy, just pizza and a dvd! Maybe you are busy yourself, call them- check in and day “hi”… let them vent about whatever is bothering them. Sometimes they just need to be in your general presence and that cheers them up. If you have a few extra bucks, buy them something they like that they can’t afford now (like a comic book… thanks Scourge!).

Like today, sitting on a couch with Ellie Sully as we both goof off online between cleaning her apartment and listening to Animainiacs.

These are the people that you need to cherish and take care of in your life. At some point, they will go through a bad spell and you can help them out.

Hopefully, there is a point where everyone can take a break from the hard times and enjoy a happy moment- like a baby shower, a wedding, a birthday.

 

One of the things that has been tying up my time the last few weeks is helping Ellie Sully and her dad.

Some of the best stories that I have seen have come from “artist alley” at comic convention. This is no slight to the big boys like Marvel and DC but there is just something….. different about Indie Comics.

IC comes across as more personal, more raw. It’s much like indie film. Is it all good? No, but when you find a diamond, it becomes one of those things you want to keep to yourself and not share- in a weird demented way.

However, indie art cannot survive without a little help. Alot of people that do indie comics have day jobs elsewhere. Would they love to be doing art 24/7 and still be able to pay the bills? For a majority of us, that’s the goal. We don’t necessarily believe the ideal that I call the “San Diego Sundance Syndrome” (S4 for short).

Years ago, back in the 1990’s the Sundance Film Festival was the place to go for indie filmmakers. There were a lot of distribution deals made over late night parties and dinners. That’s really not the case anymore, but it still doesn’t stop people from trying.

Since Hollywood has made San Diego Comic Con more of a PR junket than anything, all indie comic artists think that “Oh, if I could get my table in Artist Alley at San Diego, I could get picked up by a major publisher or maybe even a movie studio”.

Hence, S4.

To be quite frank, I would like to be able to have my own business, where it is myself, Ellie Sully and others making art. All day long- comics, movies, spoofs, photos- whatever our heart desires at the moment, but at the same time, we all have enough money to cover the rent etc.

In this day and age, indie art is really struggling. People are more fiscally conservative- which is understandable. Guess what? You can still help without spending a dime. Share their work (legally!!!!!) with others that you think would enjoy it.  Direct people to their websites. Maybe, when you have the money, throw $10 down for a t-shirt or a kickstarter fund.

One of my fellow creatives, Danny Boy, has the following in his email tags “Necessity is the mother of invention”. That’s true, even in the creative world.

So with that being said…. please go take a look and subscribe to Helsig Comix . This is a story that Ellie Sully and her dad started as a joke to tease Ellie’s son… and like everything else … it just snowballed. It’s a great little story that they would like to share with the world.

New Episode every Saturday.

http://helsigcomix.wordpress.com/

@HelsigComix on Twitter to get behind the scenes type of information (and Ellie’s random funny stuff).

If you are on Pintrest, please look for me (MurdocksGirl) and follow my “Geek-Helsig Comic” Board.

Thank you!

I’m Sorry!

Posted: February 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

Ok. I am sorry.

It’s been months since I post and I apologize.

Personally its been a bit rough. Issues with ill family members, estate things- job hunting.

Yes I am still job hunting. I did have a contract for a little bit, but that was about it.

So, I want to apologize. There are going to be more posts… at least once a week if not more.

What do you want to talk about??? 🙂