Newsarama note: Today, we kick off what will either be a shining moment at Newsarama, or something we will look back on and say, "Yeah - that's when things really started going downhill. Well, downhill more than normal." That said, we welcome artist Ethan Van Sciver to Newsarama as a weekly contributor with his column, "Your Time Is Now Mine."
No, your time is non-refundable.May I introduce myself? I'm Ethan Van Sciver. I'm a comic book artist, and I'm here to be your friend. Newsarama dispatched one of its many satellite reporters, Vaneta Rogers, to ask me if I'd be interested in unwadding the wadded wads of wadding on which I scribble my thoughts, pleadings and wild allegations. They wondered if I'd then assemble them into something semi-coherent, type them out on Microsoft Word, and then offer them weekly to those interested in reading a load of absolutely nothing. I agreed. Until recently, I've been doing this for free on message boards such as Jinxworld and CBR. But why do nothing for nothing, when you can do nothing for something? And Newsarama is giving me lots of something. Lots.
You'll be even angrier about that after you've read two or three of these "columns."
Item: So I understand that in England, they call them "bollocks", and this is where you should aim your Doc Martins, ladies and gentlemen, when you encounter a comic book convention attending young man with a sign that says, "Free Hugs." Having just returned from London MCM Expo, I noticed that this phenomenon, which is a rare annoyance here in the States, has proliferated to the degree where it seems as though the whole point of attending a convention is to walk around smugly offering to mush your filthy underpanted scrotum indiscriminately against the midsection of another, at no cost to them! This can't be what the Founding Fathers, Lee and Kirby, intended! It's irritating on so many levels. Advertising this as something that is "Free" is intended to imply that it has value, and as such, is a bargain at this price. But see, I take it for granted that offering affection to these bastards would cost me nothing. Likewise, if you'd care to have some of my Great Dane's excrement, it is also "Free". You may cut my lawn for "Free", as well.
This has to stop. Does finding a girl or guy that you think is swell and asking them out still work? Or have we evolved past that as men and become a cowardly gender of Xeroxed irony, pleading for human contact at this price of our very dignity? I ask you! Sir, you can still behave like a gentleman even dressed as Goku the monkey-tailed boy, can you not? I think yes, and then especially, you must.Item: Amazon.com reports that preorders for "A Classic TV Christmas 3-DVD gift set" were through the roof, almost exhausting supply! And of course they were. Everyone wants to relive the holiday magic that Bob Hope, Donnie and Marie, and Sonny and Cher brought to families throughout the 1970's. It wouldn't be Christmas without Sonny Bono, would it? (Oh no…! Wouldn't it?!!!)
In case you're one of the thousands who was sent a polite "Your DVD is backordered" email from Amazon, I'll give you my thoughts on "A Classic TV Christmas 3-dvd gift set" here and now. Aren't you glad you visited Newsarama.com today?
Disc One: Bob Hope For The Holidays: Bob Hope, aged 116, and family, invite Joey Lawrence, The Judds, and OJ Simpson into their charmless, music-free living room to stand around in awkward silence and watch clips of past Christmas specials in which Bob makes jokes about Harry Truman and Senator Joseph McCarthy, then topical. Surprisingly, considering the people involved, there is no death except for cheer and fun, and then Bob and his wife lip sync "Silver Bells." They pray 1991 will be better together. They were to be disappointed.
Disc Two: The Donny & Marie 1978 Christmas Show: Somewhat less bleak than Bob Hope's offering, Donny and Marie instantly kick off into sublime Holiday merriment when the entire extended family show up in the Utah mountains on horseback and sleigh. I'm singing right along with them as they plow into their log cabin, which is a filthy mess, and survey it with momentary disappointment. But then the Osmond patriarch says, "There's more than enough Osmonds to clean this place up", and they all say, "Yeah!" And then they clean it. Such optimism! Such big, white teeth!
Things go bad when they realize that Donny and his wife are missing, though. They get worse when we find them, and discover that Donny has taken his wife out into the snowy backyard to sing "Three Times a Lady" to her. That was close to the worst thing I've ever seen. I was also confused because I didn't know that there was a chubby lesbian in the Osmond family, but that turned out to be Jimmy. Those teenage years are tough. They seemed to be hopeful that young Jimmy would be the Next Big Thing, but alas, this was not to be.
Disc Three: The Sonny & Cher Christmas Collection: I think it's best to warn you not to watch this one last. Watch it first, because going from Donny and Marie to Sonny and Cher may create a good news/bad news teeter-totter of depression that will require candy to medicate. Let me say, I don't know much about Sonny and Cher, so I'll ask you: Did these two people like each other? It felt like Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf to me after only three minutes. Sonny looked disheveled and sweaty. Cher looked cold and impassive. I'm not sure if they were friends with the Osmonds. Probably not.
I didn't survive 5 minutes with S & C. Your mileage may vary.
Overall, I give the whole set an enthusiastic C+. The "+" is for the cameo by Emmanuel Lewis during the Bob Hope disc. Emmanuel reminded me that in the 80's, middle-aged African Americans who had a syndrome that perpetually made them look 7 years old could be adopted by wealthy white couples, and everyone thought that was okay. At the time I thought it was fine, but now it makes me feel icky. President Reagan could have put a stop to this and didn't, and that's the greatest failing of his administration.
Item: Old Man Logan, by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven, is the best story on the stands right now. I'm hooked.
That's all for this week. Please leave your angry comments below, in the space provided by Matt Brady and Newsarama.com. I'll respond if and when possible.
-Ethan Van Sciver