Author Archives: Joe Vince

About Joe Vince

I'm currently looking for a job in journalism. I've worked in the business for 11 years in various positions, including the arts and entertainment editor for a daily newspaper in South Bend, Ind., and the managing editor for a free weekly entertainment publication in Milwaukee. If you're reading this blog, it means you're probably interested in comic books or I offended you or made you laugh. Preferably both.

Comedy Kickstart: ‘The West Wing’

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Weekend jukebox: Happy birthday, synthetic life form! Listen to this!

A weekend without music is like beer without alcohol. That’s why I’m taking a cue from former MKE editorial assistant Adam Lovinus who used to keep the office filled with wicked beats thanks to a computer andYouTube. Sadly, I don’t have Adam’s skills, but I do have a computer and access to YouTube. So allow me to kick off this weekend right.

This week, in honor of the creation of the first synthetic life form and Pac-Man turning 30, I’ve put together this collection of science and geek songs. Here are the rules: no parodies, no themes, no songs that suck (that means you, The Touch).

My playlist designed for your aural enjoyment is after the jump.

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Is Sawyer from ‘Lost’ really Iron Man? One comic book artist thinks so

I’ve gotten into a habit of using this blog as a way to point out celebrity doppelgangers. Guess what, kids, this entry continues the trend. With a bit of a twist.

One of the best superhero comics on the shelves lately has been Invincible Iron Man, written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Salvador Larroca. The book captures the wonderfully fun tone of the Iron Man movies but still maintains its own identity without confounding new readers who might be coming to the series after enjoying one of the films. That’s no mean feat, and Fraction should be commended for those efforts, as well as turning Tony Stark into this charming, libidinous sci-fi capitalist who you’d love to hang out with but would never leave alone with your girlfriend … or your multinational corporation.

However, starting with last month’s issue, something odd happened with the visual portrayal of the main character. I don’t mean Iron Man (who’s sports a sleek new armor design). I’m talking about Tony Stark.

As of issue No. 25, the role of Tony Stark was being played by … Josh Holloway?

That’s right, Sawyer from Lost has made the jump from the small screen to the small page.

Personally, I’m not all that bothered with an illustrator who “borrows” a face for a fictional character. There’s a long history of comic book artists using actors as the models for their characters. Fred MacMurray was the visual inspiration for Captain Marvel (the Shazam! version), and the creators of the comic Wanted based the look of their main characters on Eminem and Halle Berry in an effort to get them interested in playing the roles in a film version. (It didn’t work; James McAvoy and Angelia Jolie got the parts instead.) Of course, not all comic book fans are as charitable as I am, and some comics fans can become quite outraged over an artist lifting a famous face or swiping from porn poses as well as other artists.

What throws me off, though, is that Tony Stark already has a celebrity face: It’s Robert Downey Jr. The guy who has played him–fantastically, I might add–in two highly successful Iron Man movies and will be reprising the role for an Avengers film and probably Iron Man 3. If you’re going to use an actor as a model for Tony Stark, why aren’t you using RDJ? Using an actor who is notable as one of the most popular characters (sorry, Sawyer, you’ll  always be behind Hurley) on the most talked about show right now is just distracting.

The most puzzling example of Holloway’s “modeling” comes in the final panels of Invincible Iron Man #25, as Tony Stark “suits up” into his new armor, which he redesigned that issue.

I wouldn’t have noticed the similarities between the above paparazzi shot and Larroca’s illustration if hadn’t been for the following panel in the comic …

… where the artist renders the identical pose Holloway strikes in a cologne ad, just throwing in a high-tech repulsor unit, some muscularized undersheath and armor plating to make it more Iron Manly.

I don’t have any interest on whether this practice is unethical or just the price of doing business in the entertainment business. Has Holloway’s image and likeness been wrongly appropriated? Is Larroca just tracing and not illustrating? Has the artist created a substantially transformative work using these photo references?

I don’t know, and I don’t plan to lose sleep over it. I save my moral outrage for things like government corruption and TV carriers screwing up their signal during a crucial episode of a beloved program. My only hope is that Josh Holloway is receiving some type of payment for Marvel’s use of his image, because clearly his Lost salary has never been enough that he can afford shirts with buttons, let alone the shirts themselves.

IMAGES Marvel Comics (Invincible Iron Man #25); ABC

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Shame on your bad policies, Facebook! (Don’t worry, we’re still totally friends)

What a tangled, complicated relationship the media has with Facebook.

News sites have been reporting about many people’s concerns and outrage over Facebook management changing its policies and sacrificing members’ privacy and content at the altar of commerce. They’ve been chronicling the flight of users, and they’ve even been “debunking” the idea that there is a Facebook backlash.

However, some sites have even been vocal about objecting to what Facebook has done. This can, however, cause an interesting juxtaposition. Take this Read Write Web article, for instance:

Oops.

To be fair, taking a stand does take a back seat to using social networks to increase web traffic.

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Matthew Morrison, NPH, Tim Cigelske: Same guy or part of a government plot?

If you’ve read this blog before, you know I can have difficulty telling people apart. Like say Amy Adams and Isla Fisher.

Tonight, I’m hitting a trifecta of people I can’t tell apart. Or at least people I think look strikingly similar. That’s because Neil Patrick Harris is a guest star on Glee, and maybe it’s just me, but I think he has more than a passing resemblance to the show’s male lead, Matthew Morrison.

Of course, if I’m going to bring up Neil Patrick Harris and Matthew Morrison in the same sentence, then I definitely need to mention their identical triplet, Milwaukee’s very own Tim Cigelske. C’mon! You can’t tell me that you don’t think these guys could be brothers. Or possibly the result of some government project to create an army of incredibly nice, incredibly talented and incredibly sexy men.

When I make claims like this, everyone demands evidence. So if it’s evidence you want it’s evidence you’ll get. Just check out the way Matt, Neil and Tim love to hang around with their hands in their pockets and pose wearing T-shirts.

Or look at the way they like to shove their rockin’ bods in everyone’s face and go shirtless.

And while Tim and Matt have the greatest physical resemblance, Tim and Neil share some scary mannerisms when it comes to wearing shades, as well as having really weird attachment to T-shirts.

In fact, the only way I can really tell Tim and Neil apart is to find pictures of them when they were a whole lot younger.

If all this photographic proof hasn’t shown you how I could get mixed up from time to time, then you’re a lost cause. Even Tim’s wife asks for ID before she lets Tim get into bed. Why do you expect more out of me?

♦     ♦     ♦     ♦

And since I’ve pretty much destroyed all of  Tim’s dignity (hey, man, you started it), it’s only fair that I mention Teecycle’s T-shirt photo shoot from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 22, at the Urban Ecology Center.  If I have to tell you what Teecycle is, you’re dead to me and pretty much the entire world, because only a dead person wouldn’t know about Teecycle and its mission to recycle T-shirts and help the River Revitalization Fund. So click a link already, dead person.

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Taking over the world (and your attention span) one site at a time

Over the weekend–in between fits of anger directed at demented fathers who get sexual gratification from belittling teenage boys–I “rediscovered” my Tumblr account (there’s a feed from it on the right-hand rail) and decided to consolidate and reorganize my web presence on the various sites and networks I play around on.

My WordPress blog will continue to feature longer written pieces and graphics-heavy entries. My Tumblr site will be for quick-hit posts, as well as streaming a feed from my WordPress blog and Twitter. And of course, Twitter is where you’ll find me shouting obscenities and craziness like some English-speaking pteradactyl you’d find panhandling for change on the corner.

If you’re like a lot of recovering phencyclidine addicts, you can’t get enough of my writing. If that’s the case, head over to Milwaukee Moms where I’ve got a couple recent articles up on the site with more to come.

Finally, in case you haven’t been in this neck of the woods for a while, here’s a look at some of the things you’ve been missing:

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Comedy Kickstart: “Arrested Development”

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Weekend Jukebox: 10 musical reasons why you should love Nick Cave

A weekend without music is like beer without alcohol. That’s why I’m taking a cue from former MKE editorial assistant Adam Lovinus who used to keep the office filled with wicked beats thanks to a computer andYouTube. Sadly, I don’t have Adam’s skills, but I do have a computer and access to YouTube. So allow me to kick off this weekend right.

This week I’ve picked some choice cuts from the work of Nick Cave, one of the most atmospheric singer-songwriters out there. You will never be bored listening to a Nick Cave song.

My playlist designed for your aural enjoyment is after the jump.
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Observations on the ‘Iron Man’ sequel: One geek’s perspective and nitpicks

  • One does not put a twist in a dirty martini. You either serve it with olives or a twist of lemon, not both. I don’t care how sexy Natasha Romanoff is, Tony Stark wouldn’t except that drink from her. He’s a refined drunk.
  • Emily Blunt would’ve made a superior Black Widow to Scarlett Johansson. There is no way I believed Scarlett was a Russian-born redhead with bio-engineered augmentation that increased her strength and retarded her aging. She’s just not that good an actress to covey all that in her 20 minutes of screen time.
  • The Iron Man armor would compensate for Tony’s drunken stagger. Even three sheets to the wind, Tony would be walking just fine thanks to the armor’s internal gyroscopes. Duh!
  • Firing up to 6,000 rounds a minute, War Machine’s M134 minigun would’ve been out of ammo before reaching Stark Expo’s botanical gardens. I’m even being generous by assuming the minigun had its own ammo feed and didn’t share rounds with the rest of War Machine’s arsenal. In fact, why even use a minigun? Tony Stark can build the Iron Man armor, but no one’s come through with an operational electromagnetic railgun, something that’s just about a reality in the real world? Do your research, Favreau.
  • I understand that Tony is still getting learning how to use the Iron Man armor in combat situations, but I cannot suspend my disbelief enough to think that James “Rhodey” Rhodes–a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force–wouldn’t be savvy enough to incorporate aerial attack maneuvers when using the War Machine armor. Why punch Whiplash when you could blast him long distance with your repulsors?
  • Repulsor beams fired at one another would not cause an explosion, no matter how long the build up. They would merely push off each other. Even if they were to explode, there would be no heat from it. Repulsors release concussive energy, not thermal. Everyone knows that.
  • Why didn’t the Black Widow use her electrostatic “widow’s sting” during her fight entering Justin Hammer’s facility? Instead, she used electrostatic discs to incapacitate her attackers. Lame.
  • Don’t even get me started on Captain America’s shield.
  • Are we to believe that the new element Tony made was adamantium? I hope not. I’m willing to give the filmmakers a lot of leeway when it comes to adapting Marvel history, but can they at least keep Dr. Myron MacLain as the discoverer of the alloy?
  • Given the amount of scenes that appeared in the trailer and not in the film, it just goes to show you that ad libbing only works if you have a sturdy story structure to hang it on. Otherwise, what you’re left with is a choppy series of humorous character interactions and gigantic action set pieces instead of a cohesive movie. The first film was this roiling ball of organic chaos generated by the charisma of the performers involved and held in check by a tightly paced plot. That same chaos is evident in the sequel, but it feels artificial. The narrative is too thin to contain it,  letting the audience see the seams that keep the movie together pull, fray and pop. Overall, IM2 is enjoyable and fun to watch, but not entirely satisfying.

NOTE Only one of these is my honest opinion. The others are for comedic effect. So don’t flame me, d-bags.
PHOTOS Paramount/Marvel Entertainment

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Underrated Crush: Judy Greer

Maxim says Katy Perry‘s the sexiest woman of 2010. People claims Bradley Cooper and Amanda Seyfried are the beautifulest of the realm. And sure, these proclamations have merit, but they’re also very obvious. No one wants to stand in line with the rest of the unwashed masses to pray at the altar of his or her objects of lust.

These celebrities praised in magazines are not the people you get crushes over.

Crushes are the people who are sexy inside and out, not just those statuesque bodies chiseled by the gods. No, you crush on someone because you think you’re the only one who truly sees how cool your crush is.

Underrated Crush spotlights those celebrities I have a crush on that you might never heard of or never thought of as being sexy.

Judy Greer

When I started crushing on her Probably when I saw her in her short-lived sitcom Miss Guided. It was from there that I realized she’d been in many of the things I loved all along.

Why she’s crush-worthy She wears sexy and funny like a silky, sheer dress that fits her body of work like a glove. Just check her out in CalifornicationJawbreakers or Arrested Development.

Why she’s underrated Sadly, Judy’s most visible roles are as the buddy in rom-coms. The Wedding Planner, 13 Going on 30, 27 Dresses … she even plays the “friend” to future Underrated Crush Sarah Chalke in the USA network movie Maneater. And now she’s starring in Marmaduke. What a terrible waste of talent.

Where to check her out Definitely watch her in the aforementioned Jawbreakers, Arrested Development and Miss Guided (there’s no DVD for this series, but you can view episodes here). She also makes appearances in the films Lolliove and The Specials and does fantastic voice work in the hilarious animated FX series Archer. Plus, if you want to see a little more of Judy Greer, check out her small role in Adaptation, which is also a damn good film.

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