Five Things: Places I Love on the Light Rail

Posted: January 8th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

I know this topic has been covered much more thoroughly by Light Rail Blog (and I encourage you to click & subscribe), but I figure I’m in the camp of “more support never hurts”, so here’s a quick list of spots I love to frequent along the Light Rail route.

(to non-Phoenix readers, sorry)

1.) All About Books & Comics
In truth, I first started going to this shop because of their Central location, but the service and ambiance at AABC would keep me coming back even if I moved. Just like a bar, a barber shop and a burger place, every nerd needs a comic book shop to call his own, and this one’s mine.

2.) Phoenix Muni / Chase Field
There’s something about being able to leave work at lunch time on a spring day and spend the rest of the afternoon at the ballpark. Admittedly, we’ve been getting total crap baseball for our dollar here in Phoenix lately, but I still hold out hope that someday we’ll stop being ripped off when it comes to America’s Pasttime. Until then, enjoy the day games when a team you like comes to town.

3.) AJ’s Fine Foods
This may seem like an odd addition to my list, but other than Pizzaria Bianco, this place serves the best slice of pizza along the Light Rail. I like to go there on Thursdays after-work and grab a slice, a salad and a random craft beer before I head home.

4.) George & Dragon
As much as I like The Turf, my pub will always be the G&D. This place is always packed on Friday nights and most weekends, and has everything you’d need in a watering hole. Huge drink selection: check. People watching: check. Good wings: check. Random accents: check.

5.) Cheese-n-Stuff / Pane Bianco
Depending on what mood you’re in, these two represent my favorite place to get a real, honest to goodness sandwich. For randomness, Pane Bianco has rarely let me down, and the ingredients are always top-notch. For comfort food, Stan & his family at Cheese-n-Stuff are my go-to. Get a Doughboy and a Yoohoo and you’re set for the rest of the day.

Because I haven’t had enough Spider-Man on here lately

Posted: December 5th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Because I haven’t had enough Spider-Man on here lately


I bought the first issue of the new “Big Time” series in Amazing Spider-Man the other day. Pretty good story, enough to get me to keep reading til the next Ultimate Spider-Man trade comes out.

Are you excited?

Posted: November 3rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Are you excited?

I know I am.

I didn’t want to believe Evans as Cap at first, but these shots make me think it’ll work.


image taken from Agent M

tokidoki x Marvel Hulk Hat

Posted: October 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on tokidoki x Marvel Hulk Hat

I’m very sure I’m being influenced by the tweets coming out of NYCC this weekend, but this may be my next wishlist item. Or at least a good way to warn people that I could Hulk-Rage all over their incompetence.

tokidoki x Marvel Hulk Hat.

Crazy Cool Comic Cover

Posted: September 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | Comments Off on Crazy Cool Comic Cover

(yeah for alliteration…)

Spotted this great cover by Michael Avon Oeming cover for Bendis’s new book. I haven’t been reading much in the way of Comics since I finished Powers & Ultimate Spider-Man (and Avengers is continuously over-turning), but this minimalist cover by Oeming will definitely stoke my attention.

The Endorsement: Scoot Pilgrim vs The World

Posted: August 15th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on The Endorsement: Scoot Pilgrim vs The World

After my burrito-defeato at Verde on Saturday morning, I decided to take in a movie before the guys came over to record episode zero of our podcast. My original intent was to see Inception, so that I didn’t have to keep hiding from every spoiler linked on the damn interwebs. Timing, however, precluded my waiting til the next showing, and I opted to see Scott Pilgrim instead.

Since the whole premise is about boys fighting over a girl, and the graphic novel was more cartoony/less graphic, I imagined this was going to be a totally girly experience that I’d walk out of. Boy was I wrong.

1.) The sequencing in Scott Pilgrim is probably the closest anything has ever come to capturing the way my brain works when I go into nerd overdrive. 8-bit sounds and arcade/NES graphics may seem kitschy to the MTV crowd, but for me, this is pretty much how great nostalgia works.

2.) The bands in the movie, while fictional, where actually pretty good. In fact, I downloaded the soundtrack on my iPhone while I was still watching the movie.

3.) Towards the last 1/3 of the movie, I found myself wondering if this was going to join the select few movies that I wished were available to purchase while still in the theatre. The cinematography is great, and somehow reminds me a lot of Eternal Sunshine.

4.) Michael Cera ALMOST broke away from playing himself in this role. So close… you’ll get ’em next time, slugger.

5.) The movie is filled with attractive brunettes. Ellen Wong is actually a pretty strong character by the end of the story, and I’ve already documented how much I dig Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

6.) How could you not love a movie with a Bass Battle scene? Shoot, it was good enough to convince me that I should really learn how to play my strat and then go buy a bass and be double-sexy.

scott pilgrim trailer with original panels

Obsession, the dark side of nerdiness

Posted: July 23rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

I thought this was especially valid during Comicon Week.  (which, admittedly, I am jealous I am not attending…)

Folks, learn to love creative license.  In truth, on my desk I have a Spider-Man bobble-head holding a fortune cookie slip that says “Welcome Change”, just to remind me to always look for the bright side, or at least look for the positive ways in which this change can allow me to control the situation while everyone else panics.


Posted: May 30th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Comics…

For a while now I’ve been tossing around an idea to do a series of blog posts about why I love comic books, and how they apply to life.

I say “tossing around an idea” because the more I think about it, the more psyched I get, and thus the more complex it seems and bigger it becomes…and I never finish…

In the mean time, in accordance with my on-going minimalist slant, I’ve wondered how to get my love of books & comics to match my love of not having a lot of stuff.  So I sent a question to twitter superstar, and current holder of every nerd’s dreamjob @agent_M:

So I checked out the link he supplied, and came across a bevy of shelf porn.

Now, comparing that to my one-and-only bookshelf:

(Yes, that IS a live shot I took just for you)

I started out going for hard-back books that would look good on display, though clearly I ended up filling the space with various other things.  Suppose it’s time I allocated more resources towards more/bigger shelves.

Tim Gunn, Super Hero Critic

Posted: May 23rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | Comments Off on Tim Gunn, Super Hero Critic

Found these fun videos the other week.  Of course I dig it anytime someone has a discussion about the merits of certain superheroes, or ..well…. anything comic book related, really.

Is Tony Stark America's version of James Bond?

Posted: May 8th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

(Warning: the following may include spoilers.  I don’t think I discussed major plot points, and certainly not anything that a more-than-casual Avengers fan wouldn’t already know, but, just in case….spoiler alert)

Thursday night I somehow talked the GF into going to see a midnight showing of Iron Man 2 with me.  The movie experience was everything I expected it to be.  Not the kind of rah-rah patriotism that will come with the Capt America movie next year, but definitely a better movie than the Fox Marvel titles.

Later on I got to thinking, Tony Stark is a lot like another bespoke aficionado,  James Bond.

Let’s take a look at the similarities:

  1. Both are the epitome of style.
  2. Both have their occupation identified with their suit.
  3. Both are free-wheelers, getting the job done in unconventional/unacceptable ways
  4. Both drive snazzy convertibles
  5. Both seem to always end up in chase sequences.
  6. Both always get the girl, no matter how they act
  7. Both work alone.
  8. Both men are haunted.


So it looks like there are quite a few similarities there, but there is one huge difference between them.

Tony Stark is a billionaire industrialist who had this thrust on him, and much like Spider-Man, has taken up the responsibility that comes with it.

Commander James Bond enlisted to Her Majesty’s Service, and was given his License to Kill for Queen and Country because of the work he was already doing.  Nothing remarkable happened to flip the switch and make Bond become the image of excellence in duty & execution.

So is there something more to this difference?  Does it say something about us that our American superheroes have to have adversity thrust upon them to activate their latent sense of valor, while the Brits are trusting that their team has the right guys to get it done?

I think it stems first from the ever-present distrust that many of us have for our government and it’s agents.  Tony Stark tells the Senate to stuff it, keeps the suit for himself, and we all love it.  18 months after “Yes We Can”, the theater ERUPTED in cheers when Stark tells off the Senate and make our government look like buffoons.  Maybe it’s because we’re a country founded in rebellion

But there’s also the metaphor that we, as Americans, can never have enough, represented by Nick Fury & Pepper Pots.  Why work for one country when you can protect the whole planet?  Why settle for just being a Superhero when you can also still run the company, because you’re a genius and can solve problems nobody else could solve in the blink of an eye.

We are an industrialist nation.  At our heart, we are in love with people who can do things, make things, advance our knowledge, and there-in, our supremacy.  These are things that a single spy, or really any military figure, cannot accomplish these days.

Don’t get me wrong, Starks’s genius, veracity, and work ethic are great ideals to shoot for.  I wish I possessed them in greater quantities.

Of course, we’ll have our own version of Bond very soon….
(Too bad he’ll have to look like Chris Evans)