because I haven't figured out how to swap all my stuf from one print-on-demand place to another. However, you can always get the excellent
Infrequently Asked Questions
The Leaden Angels
Alt Oscars 2012
400 Fave Movies
500 Fave Songs
100 Movie Murders
Angryflower.com generously hosted by Brunching Shuttlecocks.com
Hey, look over here!
And why not check out Ted Rall?
Fri, Apr 18 -
Sorry, y'all, you loyal readers, you folks, for continuing to fail to give anything amusing to you other than a dumb cartoon every Friday. For example:
Fri, April 11 - Nice Days!
They may not happen all the time, but jeez, they sure are welcome when they do. If you happen to be in Seattle then you know what I'm talking about. All the rest of you will have to take my word for it, but trust me, nice days are the BOMB. Seriously, it was so nice out, it made me wanna get down on my knees and thank the gods for making me a smoker and giving me an excuse to pop out and enjoy the sun every hour. It's a treat!
Anyway, in unrelated news, here's a cartoon. It's called
Hey, folks, check it out. I just joined with three other extremely opinionated cartoonists--Ted Rall (LA Times), Scott Stantis (Chicago Tribune), and Stephanie McMillan (Minimum Security) in a joint project called "Four Cartoonists of the Apocalypse"! You can see an introductory video and text about it here: www.beaconreader.com/projects/the-four-cartoonists-of-the-apocalypse.
It's going to be accessible at the Beacon Reader, which offers reader-funded journalism. If you support our work on Beacon for $5 a month, you get access to everything we do, PLUS great journalism by all the other Beacon contributors. Not only that, you'll get cartoons and essays written exclusively for Beacon that won't run anywhere else.
I know, it's a little bizarre for me to be pitching a subscription service from my own site, which is free. But I'm intrigued by this project, I like the folks involved and I want to give it a try. The four of us disagree (vehemently!) on a lot of things, but we all believe that cartoons can and should be dangerous, challenging and thought-provoking. This makes it hard to get support from some mainstream corporate media outlets. Also, the great print media meltdown has slashed salaries and fees for cartoonists. But political cartoons can survive, and thrive, thanks to their readers.
The good news about the role of the Internet in journalism is that it makes you, the individual, the editor and publisher. If stuff is important to you, you can fund it directly. You'll see cartoons and writing in various formats -- editorial cartoons, comic strips, comics journalism, graphic novels, essays, columns. Offerings also include debates and discussions between us, as well as books, t-shirts and more.
I know, I know. It sounds crazy, like straightjacket, no-unauthorized-visits-even-from-family nuts. But it's so crazy, perhaps it might work! If you're curious, check out the introduction to the "Four Cartoonists of the Apocalypse" on Beacon, www.beaconreader.com/projects/the-four-cartoonists-of-the-apocalypse, and please consider trying it out.
Fri, April 4 - Nobody's Fool
I believe we can all agree we're well past the scabrous April fools day where we're forced to endure "jokes" from people who only get a chance to try to be funny once a year.
Meanwhile, the professional funny people continue to poop out such crap as
Fri, Mar 28 - Convening in Seattle
Hey, folks, this weekend in Seattle is the Emerald City Comic-Con, or ECCC for just-barely shorter. I'm not tabling this year, so, uh.... sorry, Seattleites who might have wished to buy some stuff from me. Not this year. But there will be loads of stuff to get, not least the wondrous Monsterpedia 3, done by so very many talented colleagues and former colleagues at PopCap, findable at booth 1308 at the aforementioned ECCC. And of course, being a comic convention, in addition to all the wonderful examples of graphical narrative that will be on offer, there will be much and extended consumption of
which I'm sure we all agree is great for everyone. Have a fun and sun-dappled weekend, y'all!
Fri, Mar 21 - Friday!
Yep, it's another Friday, folks, and you know what that means. It means a brand new Bob the Angry Flower comic! Surely I have one, right? Yes, I do! It's... hmmm... what was it called again? Oh, yeah,
At last it is here: the time where I announce the new stuff I've been burbling about for the last couple of weeks. It's a new archive! What's new about it? To the eye, absolutely nothing. It looks exactly the same. But now, when you click on the links, they'll take you to simple but functional comic pages which have such modern 2003 innovations as "Next" and "Previous" buttons. O Brave New World, that it has such wonders in it! There's even a "Random" button so you can bounce around the Bob the Angry Flower archive for all eternity if you want. It's great! Why not check it out?
Fri, Mar 14 - Whoops!
Sorry, folks, I'm a bit late in the update this morning... we had some distressing news yesterday at PopCap about layofffs, so there's been a fair amount of drinking. Regardless, here's a cartoon; it's called
Not quite ready, but very close. I realize I was probably overstating its importance last week; it won'treally change everything. Still, it's a definite improvement. You'll see soon enough.
Fri, Mar 7- Robo- and other cops
Hey, have any of you dear readers seen the new Robocop movie? I've heard from a lot of people that it's really good -- better, in many ways, than the original! In tribute, then, I offer
I don't want to make any announcements until it's all ready to go, but I'll throw out a tease that one of the greatest people I've met in America has done me, you and this site an enormous service pending shortly. Maybe I'm overstating it, but... no, it's pretty good. Gentle readers, please harass me to implement this wonderful new thing!
Fri, Feb 28 - A Brand New Cartoon!
Here's a brand new cartoon! It's called
Fri, Feb 21 - Flu Boy
Hey, folks. I'm feeling' kinda flu-y, so I'm afraid I'm not up to writing a gigantic update for y'all this week. However, I intend to mitigate this tragedy slightly by offering not one but two instances of cartoon gaggery. The first features the return of unbeloved gag character Escherichia Coli, Specimen B as he confidently takes on the burdens and responsibilities of our
And the second cartoon is a fill-in strip for good ol' Keith Knight of The K Chronicles, who is helping his dear wife recover from a bout of pneumonia. So, in the style of the Keith Knight, here's
Fri, Feb... Jesus, really... 14?
Happy Valentine's Day, y'all! Here's a cartoon about
Fri, Feb 7 - Let Go My Lego
Folks, readers and additional beings, I don't know how you are all reeling into this new weekend. Were you watching Seattle invert itself on the streets in love and belief for the Seahawk's lopsided win? Did you observe it through Facebook? Did you have a completely different news feed in which our civic barfing and assemblage played no part?
I ask these questions as though I expected answers. But of course there can not and will not be those, cuz I'm typing away at Dreamweaver's code display with no other applications open. My aged computertron sighs and shudders every time I ask it to do more.
Where am I going with this? Anywhere? Nowhere? Was there any kind of...
Ah, yes! The title of this post, "Let Go My Lego." I am unthinkably ready to see the new Lego movie. I feel that it will speak directly to me on so many levels it will take weeks and weeks of me yapping at people about how great it is, if only to work out for myself how great I think it is. Why do I think it's going to be so great? Because it's by the dudes who made Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, an artwork that struck to my soul when I first saw it to the point that I can't really talk about caring about things in any context without bringing CWACM up again and again. I'm mechanical that way.
And since those geniuses, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, made Cloudy so profoudly to me, I'm now trembling at the prospect of their sensibilities being turned towards Lego, the toys, and the making of movies thereof. I await their understanding like a newborn babe.
So, I'm looking forward to the Lego Movie!
Beyond that, I have my own meager creation to present, a creation about creation. It's diagrammatic and insanely self-indulgent and it's simply about
Fri, Jan 31 - Super the Bowls
I'm typically among the first to jump on the "I don't give a shit about football or sports in general" anti-bandwagon. I mean, what's the point of not being interested in something a lot of the people around you like and enjoy if you don't take the opportunity to sneer and establish how superior you are to them? So, typically, I wouldn't be much interested in the Super Bowl. But, well, I've come to understand it's something of a big deal here in America, and this year ye olde Seattle has its team in the game so it's pretty much the thing this weekend. Even if you're not watching the game, whatever you do will be in some sense a specific act of not-game-watching. So I kinda want to, even if for no other reason that it's a chance to get roaring plastered.
But what about cartoons? Isn't Sunday drawing day? If I get super pished watching the game, how the hell am I going to draw a strip? It's hopeless! Or... it is not hopeless? What if I got a cartoon ready ahead of time? What if, as of this writing, I had already done so? Why, then, the possibilities would blossom like a megafractal bomb wrapped in posies.
The following cartoon is not that cartoon. It is an earlier cartoon, drawn further in the past. But despite it playing no role in whether I'm able to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday or not, it still adresses a key fact of great importance and moment. After all, we're all affected if
Fri, Jan 24 - Another
Quite indeed another day, all us living beings! We get to be alive and see all this crazy poop play out! Better yet, we get to be a part of it, spitting out actions and feelings and stuff and loads and loads of whatnot. Fun! I hope y'all agree!
Thus, the latest cartoon:
Fri, Jan 17 - So Sleepy
Hey, folks! Do you like sleep? Do you? Cuz I'm gonna level with you here: I love sleep. I love it a ton, particularly when I've gone without for any appreciable length of time. So what I'm gonna do, is I'm gonna post this update and then I'm gonna crawl in to bed and engage in a lengthy period of voluntary unconsciousness.
But what about the holiday anecdotes and talk of frozen Canada I promised last week? You're in luck, loyal readers. I have packaged such up in a cartoon and now present
Fri, Jan 10 - Back to the Front
Howdy folks, I'd like to spend a lot of time reiterating all the things I've said to my fiends back in Edmonton over my my lovely days there. I'd also like to expend some time writing about the marvelous differences I experience betweeen then and here. However, I've been so busy experiencing those differences -- and processessing them, including tonnes of drinking-- that I find myself here in front of my home computer typing up an update and seeking to smoke bowls and think more on them, and not spend my time running around in endless circles trying to write them down for an update.
So, angryflower.com simply proceeds without apology into 2014 with.... checking my notes and the comics I've arrayed around my apartment... 2 cartoons for y'all, and here they are!
Hilarious, on some accounts, and then another, funnier, fart-filled
Thurs, Dec 19 - Peace and Goodwill
All right, folks, I've got a plane to catch back to Edmonton, which I'm told is ball-freezingly cold at the moment. I'm gonna be gone for a couple of weeks, so this is the last update of the year. But! Since I love you guys all so much, I'll give you this week's cartoon like so:
and then I'm gonna follow that up immediately with next week's cartoon as well, in this fashion:
Wow! Cartoons a poppin'! Have a happy bunch of holidays, folks, and I'll see y'all next year!
Fri, Dec 14 - Er...
...yeah, it seems I plum forgot the update last night. But no fear, gentle readers, cartoon there is, and I shan't dash off to work without delivering it to you all in this manner:
Fri, Dec 6 - Peggle 2!
Golly golly golly! After what seems like six eternities but has actually been only two and a half years, Peggle 2 is finally ready to go on sale next Monday! It's been a hell of a ride, some of it bumpy, but durn it if I don't feel some genuine feelings of accomplishment and pride. How about that? Look, there's even a bunch of preview videos! Thus, all you folks who have XBox Ones or will have them by Monday, I recommend you immediately buy our game and play it for entertainment and amusement. It's only $12 and it's actually worth it! Fun abounds! Next-gen console gaming at its finest! We've got pixels and everything!
In cartoon news, there's a new Bob the Angry Flower cartoon, and it's this:
Fri, Nov 29 - Thanks Given
And now that the turkey and stuffing has been consumed and the wine imbibed, all that remains is to present you folks with a cartoon and pass out. So, here's a cartoon! Have a good weekend!
Fri, Nov 22 - Pretending
Longtime readers of the Bob the Angry Flower cartoon may recall that every so often this strip veers off into insane musings on highly abstruse concepts of mathematics and physics. This occurs because I have the layman's deadly combination of great interest and utter ignorance. Such is the case with this week's strip,
in which I play with notions in cartoon form because that way I don't have to learn any of the math. Some friends have seen preview versions of this strip, and have assured me that Bob's picture of how this scenario might play out is, let us say, highly unphysical. So, if you get the opportunity, don't do what Bob did in the hopes of repeating his results. They are hogwash.
Fri, Nov 15 - Alumnuses
Sorry, readers, those who might remain, this is yet another drunken truncated weekly update, after having consumed as many gin & sodas as possible in the shortest amount of time among the greatest number of PopCap folk, primarily former, who chose to be at the Belltown Pub this most recent Thursday.
Given my current inability to focus or to expound on anything, I think the safest route at the moment is to drop this week's
cartoon and then bail without taking any questions. Happy Fridays, ladies and gentlemen!
Let the formerly broken link above be a lesson to all of us --me especially-- on the perils, not just of updating your web site while howlingly drunk, but of the keen and overwhelming of the Quality Assurance phase of any endeavor. Check your work, folks (and me)! It saves time in the end!
Fri, Nov 8 - Topics
Hmmmm... let's see... No Hallowe'en coming up to babble about and nothing of any particular import having just happened to discuss... I admit I'm at something of a loss to find a topic for this week's update. Surely there must be a point of interest? A day of the week to yimmer on about? A violation of justice or dignity to expound upon? There must be! And yet... No solstice, no equinox, no grand peculiarity of weather... nope. I'm defeated. Beyond noting that I'm cautiously looking forward to this new Thor movie, I have nothing else to say this update, and that's
Fri, Nov 1 - All Hollows' Eve
I spent some time last week bitching and complaining about how nobody could possibly celebrate Hallowe'en on a Thursday night. Now that Hallow's Eve has come around and I'm discovering, to some considerable surprise, that it is possible to celebrate a Thursday Hallowe'en, I'm agahst. With dressups and drinkings galore, even! So, gentle readers, having been swept up in this unintended celebration of other-ness and being-selves that is, fundamentally, what North American Hallowe'en is about, with the attendent drinkings and so-ons, I will get back out on the streets and to it, leaving you, my stalwart Bob fans, with this most simple of cartoons,
Fri, Oct 25 - Hallowah?
Jeez, Hallowe'en on a Thursday. That is the worst possible day Hallowe'en can be on. You can't Hallowe'en after Hallowe'een and nobody goes balls out on a Thursday party, so you've gotta do all you Hallowe'ening the previous weekend. That is to say, this weekend. Robbed of a whole week of prep time! The outrage! It's sufficient to drive an otherwise calm and levelheaded citizen to
Fri, Oct 18 - No Fault
Wheeeeee! Look at that! We didn't have the global economy torpedoed by a mindless cabal of one-eyed troglodytes! This time. This calls for a drink! I think I'll have another!
Gravity is so damn good
Just thought I'd throw that out there. I've seen it twice, in 3D but not in IMAX, and I liked it just as much the second time as the first. Everyone --and I mean everyone, even the people who dislike it-- at least agrees that it's a technical triumph, an act of movie magic that recalls those bygone epochs when audiences would gasp and ask How did they do that? But what I like about it, the thing that blows me away, is how intennsely emotional it is. In terms of its dramatics it's almost unbearably simple, clear and focused like a laser to the point that it's almost not even characters in a story so much it's a visual poem. On the surface it's about a disaster in space, but more than anything it's about loneliness and disconnection, and its flawless execution of a world without, well, gravity, where things drift without regard to each other, achingly out of reach, left me breathless, my face damp with tears. So, yeah. Go see it. By orders of magnitude the best movie I've seen this year.
Thanks to all the fans and others who came by the APE table last weekend in San Francisco. Sales were light but acceptable, beef brisket was consumed, charming minicomics were purchased and friends were hung out with. Yay!
I have one. It is this.
Fri, Oct 11- De to the Fault
Yep, it's some fun now, what with the American experiment careening to an explosively amusing implosion far faster than any of us might have guessed, raised as we've been in a world where the United States reigned supreme for a bunch of generations. Who might have thunk it? Not Obama, that's for sure. Osama might've, and actually published to the effect, but who took that tall skinny beardo seriously on global politics? NOBODY, that is who. And yet here we are facing the
In the meanwhile... Comics!
Do, all you San Franciscans and assorted additonal humans within range, do come check out the Alternative Press Expo, at the San Francisco Concourse Center for the very last time, where actual cartoonists such as as Keith Knight, Shannon Wheeler, and Raina Telgemeier, as well to mention Miriam Libicki, along with me, Stephen Notley, the author of Bob the Angry Flower, will be purveying our wares with such fierceness you might even think cartoons are an actually real art form with creators and artists truly saying stuff with pictures and words! Check that shiat OUT, why don'tcha? It's relatively cheap and it'll get you out of the rain, if there is any!
Fri, Oct 4 - Sprint at the Marathon
The remainder of the year, at least for me, is shaping up pretty clear. Do what I can at PopCap to ensure our Peggle 2 game ships as best I can help make it as a debut title on XBoxOne (Xbox1? XBone?). Support my teammates as best I'm able seems to be the answer and to be honest I'm looking forward to it.
Also, next week, I arrive in San Francisco for the Alternative Press Expo along such luminaries as Keith Knight, Shannon Wheeler, and Raina Telgemeier, as well to mention Miriam Libicki!
Such august company! I must summon additional lifeforce to be excited about comics as well as about Peggle! Tricky, but possible! I promise a new publication at APE. It will inspire awe in all who see it such that the adjective they choose to describe it will be "awesome," meaning at the very least that some awe was involved in the experience.
That typed, here is a Bob the Angry Flower cartoon about
Fri, Sep 27 - Badly Broken
I suppose I'm looking forward to this weekend's Breaking Bad finale as much as anybody, even if I'm now largely convinced it'll be anticlimax with a vengeance. But I'll admit I'm also heavily distracted by
Fri, Sep 20 - Five Drive
Gonna be another quick update this week, folks, as I've treated myself to an early birthday present in the form of some sweet and salty Grand Theft Auto V. Thus, my digits tremble in rageaholic anticipation. Mmmmmm... so many cars! So many cutscenes! So many minigames and radio stations! I'll be able to, to... to buy suits! And take pictures! And customize hats! Oh, yes, all these and more. It will be... glorious.
So, as I say, a quick strip, another in the burgeoning tale of Harlo and crew. Where this story is going I know not where, but I'm reluctant to let it go for reasons not immediately apparent; maybe I just enjoy drawing these folks. Continuity-deriders, have faith... all this will be over soon enough! But in the meantime, breath deep the mind-moving exhations of the
Fri, Sep 13 - Quick and to the Point
Hey, all right, how are you folks all doin'? Good, Okay? Don't really wanna talk about it? That's fair. I don't want to waste your time, so I'm just gonna leave this
comic here on this web site and let you go on about your day. Have a good one!
Fri, Sep 6 - Ooh! Ooh!
Ooh! Not to say "Ooh!" too many times, but I'm lined up to get a copy of Visual Studio at work soon! This excites me. What is Visual Studio? Well, as I understand it, Visual Studio is the primary application programmers use to open, edit and save segments of code that drive the workings of, say, programs such as Peggle 2, a game on which I am and have been furiously working.
I'm certainly no programmer (or developer, or engineer, or whatever term is best liked these days by those who make livings wrangling all them crazy functions and classes and sub-classes and memory allotments and driver schedules). But I'm certainly excited about gaining insight into the strange tinkertoy workings of game-making, all those mad dependencies. Not, again, like I'm going to be contributing to those. Most assuredly not. But I will be able to make changes and then construct (or "build") our game on my own computer without having to make changes globally that wreck everything for everybody. I'll be able to ruin things on my own time! YES!
I'm probably getting ahead of myself. No doubt once I get Visual Studio and have the sacred texts opened to me I will find myself utterly bewildered, unable to make sense of the simplest assertion, crying like a newborn to any professional developer within distance to help me understand. Indeed, I look forward to it. Not the crying and the begging for help, but the part where I think I understand something and then learn that I totally don't. And I'm just talking about figuring out how to track stuff through the code; I'm not even thinking about working out all that crazy programming language in which "+" and "++" are HELLA different words, not to mention all the sick sorcery that goes on once you start laying out square brackets  so and like ][ so for arrays and such. I'm told linear algebra often plays a role in all this.
Given all this excitement, I hope you'll forgive the terrible prophecy, you know, the one, inscribed on the tombs of the ancients, the one that spoke of the
Fri, Aug 30 - Dampy
Golly, it sure rained in Seattle today! This is actually something like news. One hears that Seattle is rainy, but really it's mostly misty. Actual committed raindrops dousing in tandem are rare. But not today! Curtains of downpour rolled in across us from the northeast. Genuine rain. Startling!
Meanwhile, a Bob the Angry Flower cartoon was published on the internet, and it was called
Fri, Aug 23 - At the World's End
Enjoyable. The World's End, I mean, the new Simon Pegg/Edgar Wright joint, currently boasting a 93% at Rotten Tomatoes. It ain't that good, but it's good. As a meditation on letting go of the past, the changes wrought by time, and the necesssity to drink heavily and quickly, it's funny as hell. It's also sad as hell at the same time, a trick not many movies can pull off. Whether you cling to the past or march into the future, you're doomed either way, it seems to say. More of a downer than the stoned mastabatory glee of This Is The End, this summer's other apocalypse comedy, but more heartfelt and more capable of swinging from the side for the real laughs. Rough chuckles, at it were.
On a completely different topic, here's a cartoon about
Fri, Aug 16 - Poor Elysium
Man, I wanted to like Elysium so much. And I did like some of it. It looks incredible. The robots and spaceships are impeccable. The stuff in space is glorious. And yet... and yet... it's like Blomkamp knew he wanted to set up a bunch of cool shit, but then forgot he needed to do soemthing with it all.
Take the suit, for example. From the poster and trailers you can see that Matt Damon ends up getting a fancy exo-suit bolted to his skeleton. Cool! I guess he's gonna be some kind of super-powered badass now, with the suit giving him the edge he needs to... to... nope. Not really. The suit doesn't really factor into it. Sure, it plays into the plot with some Johnny Mnemonic-style cybergoofiness, but augmented ass-kicking? Maybe a dribble, but hardly enough to justify making such a big deal about setting it up.
That's just one example. There are others that I'll not get into for consideration of the spoiler-averse, but time after time I kept thinking, V-ger-style: is this... all that there is? Where's the big play? Where's the rebellious rage? Where's the nightmarish catharsis? You're not really gonna end the movie like that, are you? But he did, durn it!
Anyway, all that's neither there nor here, not when there's a fresh Bob the Angry Flower cartoon to present, not when we're all looking forward to a little
Fri, Aug 9 - Bam! August!
Hey, folks, how are you digging your August evenings these days? Are they suiting you? Making you feel all right? Enjoying some clement weather now and then? Great! Glad to hear it! It seems like nice days and nights like these are just recompense for strictly adhering to our
Man, I don't want to brag or make people feel bad for missing it, but the inaugural Golden West Music Fest last weekend in sunny Ardmore, Alberta was absolutely delightful. The weather? Perfection, golden sun on blue skies dotted with fluffy accomodating clouds drifitng by with needed shade at all the best moments. The venue? Just right, big enough to feel spacious but small enough to enable two-minute beer runs from stage to camp and back, spacially compressed like unto Grand Theft Auto or Red Dead Redemption. The people? The best, friendly, accomodating, committed to partying but adult enough to handle themselves and bring sufficient beer for their own needs plus a bit extra just in case. The music? Played by friends, speaking to our common Albertaness and Edmontonialism, satisfying crowds and unifying all in good good times. Everywhere was ease and contentment, the Canadian ideals of peace, order and good government in soul-soothing abundance. As I've mentioned to folks both there and on my return, I'm not a big believer in Heaven, but if there is such a thing it was there on earth. Well done, all the folks who put it on, and may it rise bigger and better and phoenixy-er again next year!
Thurs, Aug 1 - Golden West
Gonna be a short update this week, dear readers, as I'm packing up to head north for the inaugural Golden West Music Festival, which promises to be utterly the bomb but will require some early up-getting on my part to make the plane. So! Without scads and loads of additional ado, allow me to present to you, with all gravity, the
Jul 26 - Almost August
So, hey... you folks have a good time at Comic-Con? Crazy, right? And when you came back and everybody asked how Comic-Con was and you ended up telling the same stories over and over again? Brilliant!
What's that? You didn't go to Comic-Con and you're curious about how Comic-Con was? Well then, a quick summary:
- I didn't see too much of the Con, and only heard second-hand of all the astonishing revelations. There were some good ones, I hear! The name of the new Avengers movie, the Batmanning of the next Superman movie, Galaxy Guardians guarding all over some galaxies, TV shows n such, additional pregnancies and births among cartoonists... news everywhere!
- Mostly I spent time at my table and sold books. By a cursory glance at my records, I sold 101 books. Thanks everybody and anybody who came by and plunked down some dineros for my lafferies. Keeps me going!
- Went to a Kamau Bell standup show. My feet ached and my stomach screamed for filling. Turned out the venue was standing only with cursory bar food. After being shooed away from sitting at two sets of steps I gave in, ordered wings, took my shoes off and flat sat on the floor of the House of Blues eating wings. Not the best frame of mind to see a comedy show but thank Christs, Kamau Bell and his writers are really funny! I gotta figure out a way to check out his show Totally Biased on FX. Comcast isn't helping.
- My one celeb-spot was in the company of one Augie Pagan, celestial artist currently at PopCap Games, drinking in the Room at the Top at the Hyatt. George R. R. Martin was drinking along with some folks the next table over. Golly!
- Hey, how about that Monsters of Alt Comics panel? It was great! Or at least that's how it seemed to me, who'd set to fast drinking whiskey before, during and after the panel. We got the slideshow going thanks to the able skills of Keith's friend Kenny Leung, and then we bibbled and babbled about being 20-year fogeys in the toon biz. We got some laughs, and I think expressed the idea that unrependant individuality, while not neccessary or sufficient for longevity in this "art" thing, certainly was a common element among the four toonists present at the panel.
- Hmmm.. anything else? Ate tapas, drank absinthe, consumed olives, bought random porn (and some not so random... Superman vs. Spider-Man... the XXX version?!?! Fascinating! Though, regrettably, not as interesting as it could've been), endured a nonstop glass-on-glass shriek of "Would you like to get zombified today?" two tables down every 20 seconds for three or four hours every day, slept, bought milk, enjoyed the provided breakfast at the Residence Inn (sausages and bread and coffee and endless little milk cartons!), consumed more olives, drank milk, hummed to myself, packed up and flew home. WOOOOOO! COMIC-KHAAAAAAAANNNNN!!!!
However, that's the past. What of the present, or at least the recent past? Why are you avoiding the question? Could it be that you're
Wed, Jul 17 - Monsters of Alt Comics
All right! San Diego Comic-Con starts TODAY. Well, Preview Night, at least. It promises to be a hell of show, better than all the previous Comic-Cons smashed together in a ball! On what do I base this extraordinary claim? Why, merely the fact that, as a result of a last-minute panel cancellation, I will be appearing along with the estimable Keith Knight, the ferocious Ted Rall and the langorous Shannon Wheeler on the fresh minted Monsters of Alt Comics panel, there to make merry and dish on secrets of being a marginal cartoonist for 20+ years. Here's the description:
Monsters of Alt Comics, Saturday 3:30pm Room 5AB
Join Alt-weekly Ink-slingers Keith Knight (the K Chronicles, the Knight Life), Stephen Notley (Bob the Angry Flower), Ted Rall (L.A.Times, MAD), and Shannon Wheeler (Too Much Coffee Man, the New Yorker) as they celebrate 20+ years of answering why they don't draw comics like Garfield. The four expound on the myriad of ways they've managed to thrive in a profession that has seen many of their peers throw in the towel.
What fun! I even made a slideshow! So if you get a chance, swing on by and bring a bottle of Jameson. Wild Turkey or Jack Daniels would also work.
Yep, it was great. I didn't leave the theatre dripping with my own ejaculate, but I had a thorougly enjoyable time. I liked plenty about it, but I think what I liked most was its sincerity. There's not a cynical frame in the film. You can tell Guillermo Del Toro just aches with love for the world he's put together, the characters he peoples it with, and the testament of hope and optimism it embodies. It just felt good. Morally good. I'm itching to go again, just as soon as I can rustle up some primo IMAX 3D tickets. Hooray for giant robots!
Speaking of hooray, there's little more inspiring (to my mind) than the story of
All right, peace! I'm out! See you at the Con!
Fri, Jul 12 - Oh Man Oh Man
Okay, I don't want to jix this or anything, but I'm starting to get this idea that Pacfic Rim could be realllllllly satisfying. I already know I want to see movie with giant robots beating up giant monsters, so the only real questions are just how much awesome sauce will be on tap and how big a ladle I'll able to weild stuffing in all in my movie-hole. I'm thinking 28 kilograms and 2 metres long, respectively, but that's just an estimate.
Ah, but it's not tomorrow yet (unless it is! oh boy oh boy oh boy!), so I suppose while I wait for time to tick its way over there, I might as well prsent you with all the goings-on as reported diligently by the crack team at
So San Diego Comic-Con is coming up with a fierceness. As usual, I'll be there, flower hat akimbo, selling books to anyone who'll stand still. Anybody who wants a slick copy of a fine Bob the Angry Flower book had better go back in time to months ago when the tickets weren't sold out and get one. Pick one up for your buddy, while you're at it; I'm sure he'll appreciate it! It's Nerdvana!
Fri, Jul 5 - Latey!
Whoops, hey, whoa, totally forgot it was Friday and the world needed a Bob the Angry Flower web site update. Long weekends, they mess with the head. Plus, lingering effects of Pride Parades can manifest themselves thusly
Fri, June 28 - Weakness & Strength
Hey, everybody, welcome back. For all you folks hoping I might have a searing indictment of the new Kal-El movie in cartoon form for y'all this week, sorry to disappoint. Instead we find
Given that, I do still have some thoughts about Man of Steel. Last week I talked briefly about how I felt the creators of the new movie were honestly trying to find a way to make Superman relevant. They broke him down into his component elements and rebuilt him, and what they ended up rebuilding was an alien demigod discovered among us, along with all the fear and terror that would inspire.
As I said last week, I wasn't satisfied with their results. So I did a bit of my own investigation into Superman's roots by buying The Superman Chronicles, Volume One. It's DC's collection of all the original Superman stories all packed up, from Action Comics #1 through #13 to Superman #1, spanning from June 1938 to July 1939. I'm not going to get into a big dissertation on how those stories reflected their age and how Superman came to embody so many hopes, dreams and fantasies. I will, however, relate some quick facts about Superman's early adventures thusly:
Action Comics #1:
Superman fights: a belligerent governor's butler, kidnappers, a lobbyist
Superman stands up for: an innocent woman, Lois Lane
Action Comics #2:
Superman fights: the same lobbyist, a munitions magnate, warring generals
Superman stands up for: the men in the trenches
Action Comics #3:
Superman fights: a corrupt mine owner, rich socialites
Superman stands up for: working miners
Action Comics #4:
Superman fights: a corrupt football coach, other football players
Superman stands up for: a shmoe 2nd-string football player
Action Comics #5:
Superman fights: a natural disaster
Superman stands up for: train passengers, Lois Lane, endangered townsfolk
Action Comics #6:
Superman fights: Superman-merchandising shysters
Superman stands up for: Lois Lane, himself
Action Comics #7:
Superman fights: crooked bookies, a henchman
Superman stands up for: an honest circus owner, Lois Lane
Action Comics #8:
Superman fights: a dirty criminal fence, the cops, corrupt slumlords
Superman stands up for: impressionable youth, people in slums
Action Comics #9:
Superman fights: a self-aggrandizing cop, a snitch
Superman stands up for: himself
Action Comics #10:
Superman fights: a cruel prison warden
Superman stands up for: prisoners
I haven't read Action Comics #11 yet, but no doubt he'll be fighting uppity civil-rights lawyers to protect the states' ability to limit voting rights, and I'm confident he'll go on to fight namby-pamby liberal faggots to protect the principles of traditional marriage. That's always been Superman's style: standing up for the establishment.
Wed, June 19 - Irly
Irly, as in ahead of time, like this week's update. Normally it's all about Friday; this week it's Wednesday. Sorry to pop the new cartoon on y'all ahead of time, but I'm going camping for a bit and I'll not be around computers. So! Please early enjoy this remarkable cartoon on the subject of
Jun 14- Man of Lead
So I saw the new ubermensch movie. I still don't know what to make of it. Some bullet points:
- the air battle was everything I ever wanted to see in Superman 2.
- for the team making this movie, they made the conscious choice to disassociate themselves from all the classic Superman tropes -- the bright colors, the Clark/Superman dichotomy, the Lois/Clark/Superman triangle, the clear unambigous moral sense derived from a salt-of-the-earth American midwest upbringing -- in order to recreate the super-man from the ground up. I applauded their intentions and results when they did it with Batman, and I applaud their intentions with a superman.
I DON'T KNOW HOW TO HANDLE
- the grey, darkened, leaden visual motif that defines the film; Kryptonian technology is made of lead. All the colors in the movie are leaden. Superman's bright blue and red aspirational colors are dulled blue-and-red-tinged greys. Colors do not and cannot exist in this world.
- Pa Kent's bizarre moral lessons for his son: you must never reveal yourself. Protect yourself at all costs. You may want to help others, and that's good, but you must never do it in a way that compromises your secutiry. Even if that means... especially if that means... watching your father die when you could save him except that might reveal you. Never help someone if it means endangering yourself.
- the odd ways that different Kryptonians dealt with being on Earth, some folding up and whimpering at their new-found x-ray vision, others going straight in and bashing full-bore Superman-style without concern. Maybe it was their Kryptonian battle-armor? Was it some kind of super-man power substitute? Wouldn't that have applied back on Krypton when Jor-El and Zod were fighting? Not sure.
- how the Batman movie had more laughs than the Superman movie.
- the appalling destruction porn, especially given how the Avengers last year, an admitted popcorn fun movie, still took moments to consider the death and loss of such an event and put their heroes to the task of preserving and protecting innocents, while this dark and serious and real-life movie never spared a single second on us even though clearly tens if not hundreds of thousands of people would have been killed by the events of this story.
- the fact that, had I never heard of Superman in my life, this movie would have seemed in its tone and rhythm like a large-scale horror movie, awful and grey and destructive and fearful.
- my unfulfilled wish that Clark or Kal or whoever he was might emerge colorful and alive as Superman, the Man of Steel.
That said, why not go see it? Check it out and decide for yourself! Meanwhile, Bob the Angry Flower concerns himself with
Fri, June 9 - Spoiled!
Golly, there sure was a lot of chatter Monday morning about the Game of Thrones episode the night before. People were all up in that shit. Hey, I was there too; it was a hell of an episode. What I found odd about the discussion that ensued, though, was that the bulk of it seemed to revolve around the morality of hinting at plot details of a recently broadcast episode of a television program, rather than, say, the morality of murdering several dozen people at their wedding. Makes sense, I guess; in our modern world one is more likely to face inadvertent spoiling than apocalyptic oath-breaking. Still, I was surprised at the butthurt. I mean, this is all based on books, right? The cat's already sorta out of the bag as far as what kinda stuff is gonna happen in the show.
Anyway, that's not why I called you all here today. No, you're here to bear witness to the online publication of a brand new Bob the Angry Flower cartoon called
Fri, May 31 - Wilful
I'm not entirely sure why I chose "wilful" as the title of this week's update. I typed it out and it seemed right. Perhaps I meant "Wiful" as some kind of improperly spelled retrocausitive callout to a character awaiting in the future, some figure of personhood named Wiful who will manifest him-or-herself in the comic in the weeks to come. I doubt it, though. Much more likely I'm lit up like a Hallowe'en tree festooned with radiant gin & sodas and I'm simply babbling to myself and the dozen handful readers of this gallantly updated website.
Regardless, I hope all you folks out there have enjoyed your most recent week as we skate remorselessly towards the bittersweet summer solstice now less than a month away. Life, I am assured, is for the living, and it is in this generous spirit that I offer you all a
Fri, May 23 - Trekkin and More Treks
I don't really want to add to the internet explosion of hate and denigration offered towards the new JJAbrams Star Trek film by those who hate and denigrate it. I must, however, reveal Bob's reaction, which is succinctly expressed in this brand new Bob the Angry Flower cartoon, called Star Trek
Fri, May 17 - SpIFFy!
I just got back from the SIFF (Seattle International Film Festival) opening gala and I'm rather lit. I'd love to go on and on about the premiere movie, Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing, and the ensuing evening, but for now I'll confine my comments to saying that it was a lot of fun.
But immediately time arrives to turn all attention to this week's Bob the Angry Flower cartoon, a cheap, cowardly broadside against someone dear to all of our hearts, and it's called
Saw this on some co-workers' advice and darned if it's not too bad. It's not the most thematically or emotionally ambitious movie ever, and as a number of reviewers have complained, many of its ideas are first- or second-order derivatives, and maybe it's just that my expectations have been beaten into bloody submission, but it was good to watch a film that didn't blare insulting stupidity in the first ten minutes (I'm glaring at you, Prometheus). If nothing else, its visual aesthetic of magnificent sterility is as meticulously considered as anything in the genre. Watching the movie is like drinking a tall, thin carafe of perfetly distilled water, a refreshing change from most movies where it feels like you're being asked to guzzle half a can of repurposed donkey piss. I hadn't thought much of director Joseph Kosinski after Tron: Legacy, but I'll definitely give him a nod for this one.
Thu, May 9 - Early to Rise
Hey, folks, this week's update title refers doubly to the fact that it is early by a day and to the fact that the reason it's early is because I'm heading up to springy Edmonton this weekend to attend a raging fundraiser for the nascent Golden West Music Festival, a journey for which I will have to get up early this morning. Hence the double-bladed import of the "early" reference in this week's update title. I hope this paragraph settles and clarifies any lingering confusion regarding this issue.
So, it marching on towards midnight and me hoping to get some solid sleeping in, I'm gonna wrap this baby up with a link to this week's strip, currenlty and forever entitled
Fri, May 3 - Hickory-Smoked
That's a bit how my apartment smells this evening, happily the only seeming end result of a fire that made the news and had the building surrounded by fire trucks just three hours ago. Seems there was a fire in the trash chute, or the bin underneath it. Smoke billowed from the roof, evidently. Luckily, nobody was hurt and the fire was contained, which to my mind greatly calls for a hearty mug of
Fri, Apr 26 - Cowtell
Sorry for the slender cartoooning and ridiculously abbrevieated work on offer this week. I'm moved, but not yet fully moved, and I've had to make the hard corporate Bob the Angry Flower Inc. decisions about where best to put my limnited resources. I never asked for these responsibilities (other than by taking them all on by drawing a cartoon and establishing an internet website where these cartoons would be made available now and forever more), nor have I ever had any sensible idea what I was doing at any stage of this 20-year process of creation, presentation, lamentation and continuation.
All that said and booked, I will confess to some residual curiosity about just what exactly happened this week when
Fri, Apr 19 - Behind
Behind, as in the times, when one is posting a cartoon written, conceived and executed during the halcyon innocence of last week. My, the times, they is a changing! If only there was a way to travel through or otherwise experience time in a way where we could, if even for a moment, grasp the elegant simplicity of
Fri, Apr 12 - Tiiiii-ming!
Timing! As in, this move has utterly messed up mine, such that I keep blanking on the updates until Friday morning. Here's a cartoon! Laff it up, fuzzballs!
Fri, Apr 5 - Going to the Motions
Hey, folks, yet another lightning-short update for y'all this week. I know, I know, it's been a lamentable trend for some considerable time now. My current excuse is that I'm in the middle of moving, a necessity necessitated by the people who own my building gearing up to demolish it. Finding new digs, separating stuff into piles for retention and ditching, worrying about scheduling haul-aways... it's all been giving me bad cases of the frazzes and the nerves. It's the sort of process that leads to strangely unamusing fantasies such as
Fri, Mar 29 - Holy Smickers!
Yikes! Sorry, folks! With all the Thursday nighting I got up to last night, I very nearly slid off to work this morning without having done the most important thing a man can do on a Thursday night: update angryflower.com! Luckily for all, however, I recalled just in the proverbial nick, and I present this week's strip.
As an added bonus, after the linking/bad html fiasco of last week, I'm going to check, double, check, triple check and quintuple check the link to this week's strip to absolutely ensure that it is, in fact, the link to this week's strip. Service!
Fri, Mar 22 - Tempus Adventure
Y'know, there's no experience in this world better than watching 10 episodes of Adventure Time back to back, or if there is, I certainly refuse to consider any evidence for its existence. There's no point in really getting into the details since, as is so frequently the case, I'm the last person in the world to find out about it and you guys already know how math it is. I just wanted to reassure everyone that I too, finallly, have joined you all on board.
In unrelated news, a new Bob the Angry Flower cartoon is available, and it's this one!
VERY ADVANCED UPDATING - correction
I posted the above strip Friday morning, Mar 22. Stupidly, however, I forget to check the link, only to realize the next morning that the aborna.html retained the image from last week's cartoon, Crusty. Whoops. The link should be fixed now, and I thank all those who wrote in and all those who didn't on noticing that the site was messed up.
Fri, Mar 15 - Ozzum!
I'm gonna babble a bit about the new Oz movie, but before I do, here's a sad comic from last week, to wit:
Oz the winderful and wonderful
Studious readers may recall from last week a small post of complaint about the new Oz movie.Well, bite my tongue. This eve on the recommendation of a trusted friend, I went and saw the new Oz. Someone needs to be drowned in monkey feathers, and I suppose that someone is me.
Because! I liked it. My friend Matt Homberg sold it to me last night by expressing surprise that none of the reviews mentioned the overall Sam Raiminess of it. He was angry at how nobody talked about the visual references to Army of Darkness.
I'd feared the film to be a horriffic next step from the abominable Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. I'd feared this because the trailers seemed to promise the same: sensously colorful digital environments surrounding bewildered actors striving separately in green-cloaked empty soundstages serving a shallow story about nothing, not even the images.
Oz: The Great and Wonderful is not that.
Where Burton's Alice in Wonderland was cynical and trivial, Oz is innocent and playful.
In brief, cuz it's late and I shan't spend the time to write a wholly coherent review, here are some points:
Oz's art direction is lively. The computer-generated world in which the movie takes place has amusing and striking elements. It's a green-grassed world, but it's made of loops and graceful arches, little bridges across nothing. It's an up-an-down world rather than a flat studio filled in with digitalis.
The pacing was quick. Matt said it was like Army of Darkness. I've always held Evil Dead 2 much higher than Army of Darkness, but when I saw the movie I understood what he meant. It's snappy, immediate, light on its feet. It's like a well scripted casual video game, making jokes and presenting images and ideas and unironic character moments just as long as it takes for the audience to perceive them and then moving on.
It's utterly silly and completely sentimental. It's got nothing to offer but platitudes but it offers them with an open hand and an open heart.
The actors are all into it and game. Franco mugs and twirls and cracks jokes and acts quick and surprised like Ash. Mila Kunis arrives talking like an L.A. spooked girl dressed like, well, dressed like a woman with a giant floppy hat, a smart red velvet jacket, a silky blouse and a pair of sleek leather pants that reveal quality. Kunis's sister, Rachel Weisz, appears more straightforwardly fantasy-dressed with a sparkling dark gown and flashes of flint in her eyes, while Michelle Williams sports numerous outfits matching her chimeraic roles as yearning farmgirl, monstrous shadow and sternly earnest Glinda (spoilers!).
I contrast O:tGaP to Burton's Alice and Wonderland on many points, but the point I'll bring up this moment is how Alice in Wonderland presented a single girl surrounded by digital environments and digitally distorted co-stars while Oz tells a digitally enhanced, digitally backgrounded story about four human actors (with a couple of CG characters along for the ride).
Plus, as Matt was kind enough to point out, this movie is Sam Raimi all the way, with classic Sam Raimi camera gags, the Sam Raimi we forgot we loved when we were done with Spider-Man 3. There's a freshness. Army of Darkness and Evil Dead 2 references abound.
So, wrapping up and going to bed... Oz the Great and Wonderful is an innocent and playful romp. It's what we're marketed so often and have had so rarely delivered.
I got into it so early in the scenes, I spent no time trying to work out how it related to other Oz works. I liked it as it was. Colorful, simple, unironic and fun.
Fri, Mar 8 - Ozzy Oddness
I'm not afraid to admit, I'm terribly confused about this whole Oz the Great and Powerful business. I get that it's a prequel, but is it a prequel to the novel The Wizard of Oz, the movie Wizard of Oz, the novel Wicked or the musical Wicked? Or some combination of all four? And how does Return to Oz fit into all this? I mean, I'm as excited about unnecessary metatextual confusion as anybody, but if I have to actually go see this miserable film to find out the answer I swear to God I'm gonna drown somebody in monkey feathers.
Anyway, how about a cartoon, a tender little jape simply entitled
Fri, Mar 1 - Very Solemnly
Fri, Feb 22 - Hey look!
It's a cartoon!
Fri, Feb 15 - Loverlings
St. Valentines was a good day, wasn't it? A great opportunity for those in love or loving systems to confirm and strengthen their loves, and also a great opportunity for those not in love to consider the worths and deficits of their own states in regards to the global love co-ordinate. A wonderful date for all of us as a part of love!
I'm not going to spend a lot of time talking about love in this update. I do have a cartoon to deliver. And indeed, as I drunkenly and stonededly type these words, I find myself looking for every angle of escape. A gloriously simple lane presents itself, shining with refusal and unwillingness to talk about anothing other than this new cartoon. It is this current week's cartoon, and it's about drones as we see
featuring Donny the Drone.
Fri, Feb 8 - Getting to it
I think, for this update, rather than indulging in a load of witless rumination on this or that aspect of the month of the year or the day of the week or any of the other gosh-this-Tuesday-feels-like-Thursday babbling I tend to favor, I'll cut directly to the chase and post this week's strip thusly:
Bam! Efficiency! I love it!
Fri, Feb 1 - RENTS
Golly, this January went on for some considerable time. I'm not complaining; there are plenty of things I resolved to do this month and didn't, but I'm willing to chalk it all up to extended January hours of sleepiness. Now it's February, this brash new year 2013 elbowing its way itnto our lives, calling and responding from the echoes of our souls saying, "Okay, enough naps. Let's get to it!" No doubt all you dear readers have its to which you should attend, as do I, and high time insists the time for moving is now. What motion will occur? I don't know about you folks, but I'm curious and intimidated to find out, even if the result is dreary stasis.
That said, as always and every Friday, another Bob the Angry Flower cartoon births itself to everyone everywhere, this particular strip being called
Rocking and also Boxing
It's well past bedtime, but I take this moment to commend the staff and owners of Seattle's Rock Box, a fiendishly great Japan-style karaoke establishment mere blocks from my home. Their setup is among the best I've ever seen, multiple rooms of varying sizes in which one can bellow one's throat to bursting with all the very latest tunes (Book of Mormon and other Trey Parker greats notwithstanding). Their book is excellent, stuffed with musical numbers, and they run drinks to you with a ferocious intensity I would otherwise only associate with Russian Spetznaz officers. Plus, they have a lively and congenial front room karaoke setup, liquor abounding, in which one may sing and linger and encounter quite the charmingest of Seattle folks unified by a mutual need to sing their pulsing, emotion-laden hearts out. Well done, Rock Box! You're an inspiring example of local enterprise!
Fri, Jan 25 - Guns and Whatnot
First the whatnot, in the form of this week's strip, a little pictoral commentary called
It's called "The Golden New Age"
Guns and gun control have been much on people's minds of late. While I haven't done a strip on the topic recently, I have had a few folks write me to ask, "Hey, what was that strip you did where everybody's got nuclear weapons?", presumably noticing that the strip did in fact discuss the issue with typically Bobian obliqueness. So, just to get it out there for folks, the strip is called The Golden New Age. It's in the archive!
Fri, Jan 18 - Steely Man
Okay, seriously... can anybody explain to me who's eager for a dark and gritty reboot of Superman? I mean, I suppose on paper it makes sense, people like theChristopher Nolan-esque pseudo-real approach to Batman, so why not give it a whirl with the big S? But Superm,an just doesn't seem like that kind of guy. He's not that kind of legend. I think it might be kind of neat to go back to his earliest roots when he was a big bright underdog power fantasy who poped gangsters and crooked senators in the jaw and ripped safe doors off their hinges, but a solemn, psychological exploration of an alien ubermensch seems super wrong-noted to me. And does every superhero have to wear the same weird rubber material for his suit? I dunno, man. I just don't know.
Anyway, in a completely unrelated matter, here's a cartoon.
Fri, Jan 11 - The Mizzes
Saw Les Miserables. But first, a cartoon!
I don't actually have too much to say about the ol' Miz. I liked a couple of songs okay, but most of it sounded kinda like treacle. I found myself not giving a flying rat about the pretty-boy who shows up later as Cosette's love interest, and indeed the last hour or so is pretty damn tedious. On the other hand, darn it, I do like me some Anne Hathaway. Just can't help myself.
Fri, Jan 4, 2013 - Newy!
All right! A new year! Smells good! Lookin' forward to it! Good times! Yeah! Woooo! Let's do this! A cartoon!
Bam! And then... another cartoon!
Life just keeps getting better forever and ever! Testify!
Thur, Dec 20 - Holidays and New Years and Such
Hey, folks, I'm running a tad late on getting out of the house to catch a plane back to Edmonton for the holidays, so this is going to be a quicky update. Here's a cartoon!
There won't be an update next week, as I'll be too busy frolicking in the northern snows and being far away from my computer, but no worry, there'll be cartoons two when I get back on Jan 3. So, all you folks out there, have a roundly satisfying last few days of 2012, and let's pick this up again on the other side! WOOOOOOOOOO!
Fri, Dec 14, UrHobbit
I've seen the film and I'm not yet sure what I have to say about it. I supppose the easiest and most necessary thing to talk about is the remarkable new formatting by which the fillm is presented. That is, I saw it at 42 frames per second as well as in three dimensions. What was that like? It was startling and unusual. The film opens quietly, easing viewers into controlled spaces where they may deal with the oddnesses of how they're seeing. It then explodes into all of everything, hitting viewers with a prologue akin to that shown at the beginning of Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings, a swirling presentation of apocalypctic events to set the story. As a viewer, I observed what was happening even as I dealt with how strange and odd it felt to have these events presented in this way.
Once the prologue is complete, simpler storytelling takes hold. A scene unfolds with characters we know in a time we can place them. It will be up to each and every individual viewer to decide how to or whether to accept the framerate and additional dimensions on their own time. Some may never accept, while others may say "Fuck it!" and shut off the parts of their perceptions that are getting in the way of enjoying a scene in which Martin Freeman as Biblo Baggins becomes increasingly frustrated at more and more uninvited dwarfs arriving at his door.
Does Bilbo's Uninvited Party set the scene? Are we properly introduced to the characters and given reasons to care about everything they do? I invite viewers to decide. For my part, after having been presented with a startling way of seeing cinematic storytelling and given time to absorb and accept that way of seeing, I embarked on Biblo's journey with him.
Once I'd agreed to set out with Bilbo, however, I fear the movie set itself to other problems, such as how to depict a dealing with three trolls, or how to make sure the dwarfs had their bits, or how to present a goblin attack, or how to get us to the elven town of Rivendell, or how to introduce apocryphal story elements described in appendices to the Lord of the Rings, such that over some time I found myself wondering what had become of Bilbo. I'd lost him a bit.
I'll fully admit to being honestly distracted from Bilbo by Radagast's appearance. Yes, I was excited to see Sylvester McCoy, the 7th Doctor, appear in Middle Earth as an addled wizard, and yes, one of my favorite moments from the entire film was hearing Radagast snort with confidence about the ability of the rabbits hauling his rabbit-sledge. Indeed, who the hell to whom am I apologizing? All that shit RULEZ!!!
Indeed, I'll wrap up by concluding that the movie, while starting out in a troubling place for the eyes, brain and mind, gradually builds itself on all points, establishing itself and its storytelling, until as it rolls up to its last few minutes, it's delivering on 46 barrells, thirty-eight of which it promised before even budging from the gate.
All Hail the Hobbit! YEAHHHHHH! Let's do it up next year with DRAGON MEAT!
Given the furry feet...
shall we indulge in another Bob the Angry Flower cartoon? I believe we shall:
Fri, Dec 7 - Almost Hobbit
I'm still wrapping my head around the notion that by this time next week, barring death or blindness, I'll have seen The Hobbit. Longtime readers of angryflower.com may recall that the Lord of the Rings films were, to me, a Very Big Deal. I hungered and fevered and wondered and worried and stabbed anybody who stood between me and seeing the films at the earliest opportunity.
This time around, I'm not so manic. I'm looking forward to it, and I'm grateful to PoCap for having arranged an early screening for us, and I've no doubt there will be much to enjoy. But I'm not crazy for it. At least, not yet. Still a week to go. Who knows what insanities might emerge as the time approaches?
There is one, a rather silly effort entitled
Fri, Nov 30 -Last Month 2012
Directly stated, it's not properly the last month of this year of our Lords 2012. It's the last day before the last month leading up to the 2013th year as set by our Pope-established calendar. Of course it's a bit of a mess, particularly if you start looking even a little bit into days and calendars and how various establishments like to roll out new calendars the moment they're in charge.
Likewise, it's only a little bit before the Mayan calandar runs out of days and faces its own unique Y2K crisis. It's a bit of a puzzle about how we're still getting upset about calendars created by peoples we've thoroughly wiped out not quite a thousand years ago, but we all know how it is. If anybody said anything with great confidence about our future, we're all obliged to worry.
Putting aside all the fusses, complaints, and fears of the new, please allow me to submit a very few addtional things.
, the Melbourne Transity Authority has given us all a catchy tune about how not to die. Here's the YouTube link! Hooray!
, noted unicornal specialist Bjorn Unicorn of the Peggle Institute has, after a lamentable absence, begun to renew his blogging responsibilities at pegglefever.com. He's always good for a laughable insight, no matter how much his magical duties have fallen across realistic waysides. No doubt he has good explanations for the messes, or perhaps not.
, dear readers, all you folks who still roll by angryflower.com on lazy Fridays to see what's up, there is another cartoon comic strip. Nobody on this Earth will say it is good, nor will anyone say it is current, but I'm confident all will agree that this new strip is
Thu, Nov 22 -Amerigiving
Hey, folks, just a quick little update this week as I prepare to dash out of America for American Thanksgiving weekend. Stay safe on the roads out there, don't eat too much, and always, always beware of
Fri, Nov 16 - A Galaxy Far Away
With the election over and the mind starved of easy things to think about, I suddenly find Star Wars rushing unbidden back into my thoughts with the Force of a Kashyyykian hurricane. On suggestion of one of my best PopCappian colleagues, I find myself reading the Timothy Zahn novels for the very first time, thrown tumbling and thrawning into a world where the prequels never existed. Super crazy, particularly for a guy who's always considered himself to occupy the cutting edge of Star Wars knowledge. Taking the Timewarp back to Zahn's 1992 is crazily tripping me out. I'm feeling all
Fri, Nov 9 - Relection
How about that election, huh? I've gorged on so much schadenfreude I thnk I'm gonna pop. I may have my problems with Obama on a lot of fronts, but for now I'm just gonna luxuriate in the crestfallen features of America's leading pundits as the realization dawns that no matter how hard they clap their hands and wish, Tinkerbell ain't getting up ever again. Ahhhhhh... so refreshing.
It's curious they haven't yet called Florida with 100% of the vote in, but I presume they're ironing out any last irregularities or dealing with those last few ballots improperly
Good luck for the next four years, folks! Upwards and onwards!
Fri, Nov 2 - Prelection
After what seems like six eternities, this misbegotten 2012 Election year is finally shuddering to its sloppy, amibiguous finish, and I think I'm not alone in saying the whole dreary mess can't be over too soon. I'm tired of polling and worrying and anticipating; let's just do the damn thing. We have other matters to attend to, matters awaiting the decisions of
Fri, Oct 26 - Earlowe'en
Yep, another one of those years when Hallowe'en comes at precisely the wrong time, mid-week, such that to celebrate the weekend before seems too early and the weekend after pointless (as it always is) cuz it's already November. This is the first year in my living memory I haven't put together a costume; 2012 keeps coming up with surprises. Luckily there are a few older outfits to be deployed in fresh circumstances, but still, there's no denial: it's a copout.
But what are you going to do? Stuff seems all frightful and fraught these days, and while that's appropriate for the Hallowe'en season, it ain't exactly fun. Fortunately in times of stress and troubles like these, we can and alwys have rely on the labors of the
In case you're wondering why I'm giving the subject of this week's strip such a hard time when his policies regarding such haven't been newsy of late, I direct you towards Mitt Romney's 5-Point Plan. Note the only mention of "workers" and the proposed defense of same. It's policy, folks!
Fri, Oct 19 - Back from APE
Yep, we went and had ourselves an Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco last weekend. Fun! Even as everybody was paying more attention to the New York ComiCon, a brave selection of indy cartoonists bucked the trends and did APE instead, bless 'em. Thanks to everybody who came by, especially Shannon Wheeler, who helped me get through my 20 Years of Bob the Angry Flower talk with minimal casualties, and Keenahn Yung, longime Facebook liker, who helped the hours disappear by bringing me a bottle of magic elixir (gin!).
Even as we all reeled from Keith Knight's first-ever non-showing at APE, as compensation the table next to me was occupied by no other than megalegend Sergio Aragones, supreme class act, who even took a few minutes to explain to me how he approaches all those dizzying two-page murals with dozens of characters in 'em. Thanks, Sergio!
Who wants a cartoon? I do! It's kind of Hallowe'en-themed this week, which I know is a bit early, but it's all I got. Please enjoy
Fri, Oct 11 - EAT!
Quick update this week, folks, just long enough to feast on the sublimnity that occurs when
and then we whisk away to
This being the Alternative Press Expo this weekend in San Francisco at the Concourse Exhibition Center. It's a comic convention without superheroes! Who will there be? Well, off the top of my mind I think we can expect Sergio Aragones , Eric Drooker, Gilbert Hernandez, Jaime Hernandez, Mario Hernandez, Ben Katchor, Miriam Libicki and Jim Woodring! Golly whiz, that's a lot of tooning talent on hand!
But that is not all. I, Stephen Notley of Bob the Angry Flower, will also be there, and I'll even be presenting a talk with slides along the following lines:
Sun, Oct 14
20 Years of Bob the Angry Flower
Join preposterous Bob the Angry Flower creator Stephen Notley plus secret guests such as Shannon Wheeler in a rollicking discussion of flower hats, Avengers love, dinosaur insolvency, music in comics and why drawing a flower cartoon for 20 years seemed like a good idea at the time. Karaoke will remain a fierce possibility!
Even better, Shannon Wheeler of How To Be Happy, Screw Heaven, When I Die I'm Going to Mars and obviously Too Much Coffee Man fame will be backing this panel up with his own unique brand of caustic wit and indelible charm! What a remarkable event this promises to be! I can't wait to see how it turns out!
There is a sadness; my longtime con-frere and co-monster of indie comix, Keith Knight, will not be manning the booth next to me. However, the sting of his absence is mitigated by the fact that none other than cartoon megalith and supreme human Sergio Aragones will occupy Keith's usual spot by my side. I just found this out and I'm frankly a-twitter! HOLY MACKERELS AND ASSORTED SMELT! I hope I don't annoy Sergio's pants off, though I also kind of hope I do just for the pants.
So if any of you dear readers happen to be in the area this weekend, do swing by and buy!
Fri, Oct 5 - Headline
And then there was text. And when the text was done, lo, did there appear a clickable header image of the title of a cartoon, like so:
And lo did the cartoon appear, and announce its trivial gag, and disappear again and forever into the ever-churning Internet.
The Alternative Press Expo (APE!) next weekend in the balmy San Francisco Concourse Exhibition Center... will occur! Extraordinary cartoonists will be present. Who? Well, at the very least we'll see such featured guests as
Not to mention other than to totally mention Eisner-collecting Shannon Wheeler of How To Be Happy, Screw Heaven, When I Die I'm Going to Mars and obviously Too Much Coffee Man fame, who's agreed to master the ceremony of a Bob the Angry Flower panel, to wit:
Sun, Oct 14
20 Years of Bob the Angry Flower
Join preposterous Bob the Angry Flower creator Stephen Notley plus secret guests such as Shannon Wheeler in a rollicking discussion of flower hats, Avengers love, dinosaur insolvency, music in comics and why drawing a flower cartoon for 20 years seemed like a good idea at the time. Karaoke will remain a fierce possibility!
Come on by!
Fri, Sep 28 - Oh yeah real it up
I hope we're all enjoying the plunge, by which I mean how we in the northern hemisphere are dropping super fast now into long low night.
Yes, quite so, indeed every year readers may count on this site to babble about seasonal changes as though the gradual darkening of days was a new thing. And yet, golly dammit, after a whole summer it always feels fresh!
Hrmph, yes, well then, let's continue our mutual trajectories and only take a tiny slice of time to
I'll openly admit it's been a rough year, one in which reasons for living have found themselves few on the ground and scarce in the trees. It's been all too easy to see something new and exciting only to chew it down like jerky into cuds of disappointment. I've been accused by friends of not being able to enjoy or like anything lately, and the worst part is I've agreed with those accusations. I've seen Prometheus and The Dark Knight Rises and Dredd and found myself with nothing to say except to bitch and complain and attempt to seize conversation just long enough to say how crappy I feel these fresh new things to be.
But hark! Something is good! It's this:
I never thought a goofy comic crossover could be anything other than ass. And yet IDW's Star Trek Next Gen/Dr. Who crossover series Assimilation^2 delivers core Trek and core Who simultaneously, meaningful to both. Scott Tipton and David Tipton deserve mass props for plunking the worlds' words into such distinct shapes. If you, dear readers, find yourself in a comic shop in the next little bit, and if you've ever given a millipoop about either Trek or Who, then I'd heartily suggest you ask about "that Star Trek/Doctor Who comic that just came out." It's still coming out, so let's buckle up for fantastical science-adventure!
APE, by which I mean the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco at the Concourse Exhibition Center, is coming up two and a half weeks from now, October 13th and 14th weekend. Who's ready? Certainly not me, as I'm booked to deliver a 45-minute talk about Twenty Years of Bob the Angry Flower thusly:
Sunday, Oct 14: 11:45 - 12:30
20 Years of Bob the Angry Flower Cartoons
Join preposterous Bob the Angry Flower creator Stephen Notley plus secret guests in a rollicking discussion of flower hats, Avengers love, dinosaur insolvency, music in comics, and why drawing a flower cartoon for 20 years seemed like a good idea at the time. Karaoke will remain a fierce possibility!
I haven't even started to put this presentation together yet, so y'all can be assured it'll be a barn-cracking good time when it eventually manifests itself, particularly given Eisner-winning Shannon Wheeler's harsh and unrelenting masterhood of ceremonies! Show up to see and question! And then buy
some books, why not?
Fri, Sep 21 - Important Analysis
Sorely needed in these irrational times, and who better to consult on such matters than
Mike Ross talks to Bob!
It's true. Mike Ross of gigcity.ca had a searing conversation with Bob the Angry Flower. It's all here at this link about Mike Ross's interview with Bob the Angry Flower at GigCity . They talk about the new book
and why you should buy it. It's compelling content!
Fri, Sep 14 - Exclusive
Experience now, and only now, here for the very first time, a bold cartoon entitled
Fri, Sep 7 - Inside Sanity
For all readers who never got the chance to check out, live, the wondrous exertions of last week's Acro-Cats... I sorrow for you. Truly those cats were better showpeople than so many multitudes of humans paid serious human currency-coins to likewise entertain. We try, us humans, and sometimes we deliver. But when faced with the pure emergent quality displayed by performing cats... well, we people can only play all-too-earnest catchup.
Daleks be popping
As an acknowledged human, I've had a longstanding fascination with the physicality and mentality of those wondrously terrible beings we all know as the Daleks.
Admittedly, the Daleks are fictional. Thus, real people shouldn't spend so much time on Daleks' non-existent problems and natures.
And yet... creators keep making episodes of Doctor Who and keep extending the Daleks' fictional existence for hapless folks like me, whether we like it or not. Case in point, last week's new episode The Asylum of the Daleks.
I'm coming to the gradual realization that I don't care about the Doctor, or Amy, or the Doctor and Amy and Rory, or all the permutations of their fanciful human-like interactions. I discover that all I care about is Dalek nature. I want to know what it's like to be a Dalek. I feel connected to these ruined, mutated once-humans, distorted by war and radiation, retreated to their travel machines with nothing left but brilliance and the will to survive. I want to know what it's like to be an insane Dalek. Indeed, when it comes to a visit to the Asylum of the Daleks, I simply want an introduction to
Plus, Daleks are really satisfying to draw!
Fri, Aug 31 - AcroCats!
Man, sometimes it's really worth it to go and do something you normally wouldn't. Take, for instance, the Amazing Acro-Cats. A friend at the bar, while flipping through a copy of the Stranger, found an ad for a cat show. A cat show? What's a cat show? None of us knew. She expressed an interest in seeing it, and a number of listeners readily agreed to go check it out. Not all of us are cat-fanciers, mind; indeed, skepticism prevailed throughout the group, and many mocking jests were made prior to the show. We figured we'd go see the crazy cat lady and at least have a story to tell.
Now, I'm not going to claim this was the greatest entertainment ever presented, but dammit, it was a fun time. The cat lady was not a crazy cat lady at all, but a rather charming, self-effacing cat lady with a witty sense of humor about herself and her cat show. And what's a cat show? Why, it's a show in which cats walk on poles, jump through rings, roll on balls and, in the finale, bat away at cat-appropriate instruments such as cowbells and wind chimes to create 20 to 30 seconds of cat-generated (and, briefly, chicken-generated) musical sounds.
The trick to a cat show, you see, is in not trying to get a few cats to do a lot of tricks; rather, you get a lot of cats to do one trick each. Once you've laid out these ground rules and gotten the audience on your side, you can run an amusing line of patter around the cats' responses and non-responses to the general enjoyment of all. It's like watching a prop comic's act, except the props are cats.
The remarkable thing, and why I bring it up at all, was how all the snarkiness and irony I expected to direct at the experience melted away in the face of the cat lady's earnest sincerity. There was a simplicity and honesty in the show that was charming as hell. We were a buch of ironic, cynical dicks looking to laugh at some idiotic gong show, and we left as a happy group bearing warm and easy smiles. Now THAT's entertainment!
It's a guh-guh-guh...!
And speaking of shows about things, here's a cartoon!
Fri, Aug 24- 8Days to DALEK
Sorry, cats, ladies and readers, I'm really just too busy trying to discover how mad a Dalek would have to be to not just exterminatad by its/his/hers fellows but rather committed to an Asylum of the Daleks. When you start with Dalek insanity, what does it mean to be insane by their standards? Tantalizing! However, in the meantime, as we all wait, please amuse yourselves with a discussion about how
Fri, Aug 17 - And Then
you are faced with another crucial choice. THE crucial choice. No time to think, no time to act, only time to do what you can to preserve the
and in case that's not enough,
HAVE YOU BOUGHT
And if not, why not? It's an honest question. Please be descriptive.
Fri, Aug 9 - BUY BUY BUY
Howdy all, just lettin' you know the newest and 8th Bob the Angry Flower book,
How to Operate a Chair, thusly displayed:
is now for real for sale. BUY IT FOR THE LOVE OF ALL YOUR GODS!
Meanwhile, a lot of folks are busy trying to figure out the best political course of action when a crazy madman takes the time to, in front of them: murder two football teams, display a nuclear bomb, and shoot the only man on Earth able to disarm said bomb. Chances are this madman will also deliver a load of impossible dribble about turning the city over to the people but, luckily, he will also offer the best, strongest and most willful members of the audience a good solid chance at redemption in
Geek Girl Con
Oh, and short notice, but for any of you Seattleites out there, drop by ye olde Geek Girl Con this weekend at the Conference Center. It's Geeky, it's Girly, it's Conny and there will be Bob the Angry Flower books for sale in the Artists Alley area. And yes, I'm aware that I'm not a girl, but I am a geek, and that is enough.
Fri, Aug 3 - Hulking
Sometimes somebody comes into your life. It may be a real person, or it may just be a person you've seen on TV. Whatever the course this person took, it lead them to you, and you are forever changed as a result. For me, this week, it's Nightlife Expert Jon Taffer, the impossibly ugly brutish star of Spike TV's Bar Rescue. I can't explain or justify how or why he touched me so deeply, but deeply touch me he did, and in kneeling obesiance I offer in his name
The Dark Knight, Risible
I haven't really gotten enormously into this movie publicly, but the folks over at, I guess, jest.com seem to have seen the same movie I did.
Fri, Jul 27 - Doing Best
Thank goodness we live in a world where people with augmented abilities -- "super-heroes," if you will -- have devoted themselves to helping others. With the many arrays of social suffering, whether they be crime or poverty or rank injustice, we can always count on these anonymous heroes to step forward for the good of all. So let's raise a glass or four to these unsung champions who do the best for everyone, never needed our thanks or congratulations, every night putting themselves on the line
Fri, Jul 20 - The bat... maaaan
I trust all you everyfolks had a good handful of days the last little bit. And to you Comic-Con 2012ers, even more so; sad I couldn't join and be there and sell you some books. But sometimes events occur in life that obviate other obligations and the last coupla weeks was one of thems.
I didn't update last week, so there are two this week, and they are
Minor laffs abound!
A quick note to angryflower.com readers who also dwell on Facebook: Google Chrome has started seriously messing with basic html and simple tags such that Facebook sharing buttons on comic pages are rendered unusable and every strip is labelled "angryflower.com/null.html." Like many internet collapses on this site I swear I'll try to fix it, but like so many, I probably won't because I don't know how.
Seriously it's messed up. Chrome doesn't present an option to view the page source (base HTML), and if you save an html file and examine it, you'll somehow find it went from 8 lines of HTML to 97 lines of unwordwrapped-in-Notepad extra garbage. How? Friends, these are the mysteries of the Internet! Let us all enjoy!
Yes, yes, I know. This is the Internet screaming at me to upgrade. Good ol' HTML is simply no more allowed and I'm being told, forcefully, that I must evolve or die.
What am I getting at? Just that this fumbling Web 0.2 site is messed up and broken (a shocking surprise to regular readers, I am sure!), and that while I haven't figured out how to fix the problem, I do know it's occurring and I must evenmore worry about how to upgrade this Webular Internetted Siteplace into something viewable by 21st-Century folks. Perhaps I'll hire the Peel Library kids who converted the entire history of the University of Alberta Student Newspaper The Gateway into internet-readable form! What a great way to move money to people who need it!
Fri, Jul 8 - Spinning
Golly everybody, what I'd really like to do right now is tell you how awesomely the amazing new Bob the Angry Flower book, How to Operate a Chair, will be available for purchase at this year's San Diego Comic-Con.
Regrettably, for friend death reasons, that will not be so. I won't be attending this year's Comic-Con selling the new book How to Operate a Chair, nor will I be present at the 20th Anniversary of Bob the Angry Flower panel previously scheduled from 3 to 4 Saturday in Room 4. To all you who wish sorrow and sorry this way, thank you. Thank you and Ssorry back, and some more thanks. You're quite right; it sucks. Nonetheless, it's happening.
The new Bob book, How to Operate a Chair, will appear freshly at this year's Alternative Press Expo, this year San Francisco Oct 13 & 14. Furthermore, links will soon appear on this page on how to order the book directly and awesomely from ComixPress.com.
In the Meantime
Let's all laugh a bit at terror and awfulness, thusly
Thurjun29_12 - PostSolstice
Welcome to the other side, folks. What other side? Why, the other side of the northern hemisphere's maximal sun intake of 2012, of course. From now on until late December days get shorter, friends, and once you've exhausted all the gags at Prometheus's expense you simply have no other choice but to seek out and indulge in
Wed, Jun 20 - Lord
Oh, if only there was one of you, Lord, if only you were around to take notice. Sadly, regrettably, you remain silent for reasons of your own and you insist we get by with material examinations of such mysteries as
Thur, June 14 - And by the way
here's a comic about nothing right this moment very particular, not about any movie or current event, just some classic old-skool Bob stupidness taking the form of a
Fri, Jun 8 - Movie Times
Dammit, I am in no mood at all to be disappointed by
Fri, June 1 - Coming Soon
May I present
Yep, it's that time of two-year where a young man's fancy turns to making another Bob the Angry Flower book. Bob the Angry Flower: How to Operate a Chair will be the 8th Bob book, and if I may say, this one's a corker! Not only does it have a number of wildly amusing comics in it, but this particular baby features over 25 wacky Bob pinups from some of comics' and games' most brilliant creators such as Shannon Wheeler, Ted Rall, Keith Knight, Matt Bors, Jen Sorensen, Ruben Bolling, Rich Werner, Tom Beland and Karin Madan. The breadth, creativity and individuality these pinups displays leaves me in awestruck abasement, especially since I suddenly realize I spelled Jen's name wrong throughout the book. Goddammit!
The book will debut at this year's San Diego Comic-Con (July 11-15), with online sales here at angryflower.com beginning simultaneously. So, Bob fans, I heartily urge you to consider purchasing at least two copies of this most auspicious object the moment you become able, allowing you to truthfully boast to your children, grandchildren and great-nephews that you got it "right then." It's a fun book!
As we speed away from the confounding events of the Zenth/Penrose storyline, please allow yourself a light palate-cleanser of a Bob strip, an old-fashioned gag which invites us all to do everything we possibly can
Fri, May 25 - An End
Things can be odd, stuff can be weird and the world can be bursting with confusing mixtures of good and evil, truth and falsity, reality and imagination, life and death. When posed with such perplexing conundrums, sometimes the proper response --the only rational response-- is simply to
Fri, May 18 - Heart Penrose
Really, he's pretty much the coolest mathematician going right now. He loves the purity and artistic wonder of pure math structures but he's mindful of the need to seriously get real if you're going to apply your noodlings to mathematical physics and he also took the time to write a 900-page book about all of it and refused to ditch the math to make it understandable because dammit, knowing the math is what makes it understandable.
I don't know the math, but somebody does, and that's why we need to hold on just
By now everybody knows The Avengers is loads of laughs . A movie doesn't get to 93% on Rotten Tomatoes by sucking or being forgettable. If you're reading this you've seen it and likely you agree. So much fun. Hulk thrashes ass. Tony Stark is good juice every time he appears. Hawkeye has moments. Black Widow has moments. Captain America gets moments! Thor… well, Thor got the least of the goods but if you think back even he got plenty to do. Audiences agree: Avengers is awesome.
There's no need for me to reiterate all the other reviews. Instead, let's consider the review of noted movie troll and established hater, Armond White, and what he has to say in his "Pavlov's Franchise" review at City Arts. To paraphrase, he excoriates The Avengers as utter trash without a hint of artistry, enjoyable only to the pablum-eating idiot masses who probably voted for Obama. Empty entertianment through and back.
And though I thoroughly enjoyed The Avengers, I must say Armond has a point.. The film is empty entertainment. It is fully directed at satisfying the audience. It never confounds or threatens them. There's little sense of danger. Does Avengers do the true work of art, challenging and troubling and expanding and deepening its audience's human experiences? Ultimately, fun as it is, it doesn't.
Essentially, the Avengers is a big bursting bowl of popcorn entertainment. Fun to eat but meaningless after. Utterly empty.
Or… is it? Many many films have been offered to the public as big bowls of popcorn but this particular one has found itself to the audiences' taste where so many previous such offerings have been consumed and hated (Transformers 3 being an excellent example, a movie I fell asleep during). Most summer superspectaculars promise a bowl of popcorn but deliver instead an ashtray of burnt corn and unpopped kernels. Yet Avengers is different. Why?
I would say it is because it is an exceedingly well-popped bowl of popcorn. There is artistry in the popping of the corn. How? The Avengers is about connections over time. Let me give you some examples:
Example 1: There's that scene early on, Steve Rogers/Captain America's first scene in the gym. We've already been smoothly transitioned into this (coming from "No, it's fought by soliders" from Nick Fury's previous SHIELD cabal scene). Cap's doing his thing, punching bags. He and Fury do some banter and then there's the bit where Cap says, "I doubt there's anything that would surprise me," to which Fury responds, "Bet you ten bucks."
Most summer blockbustersplosions would have left it at that. Quip accomplished; let's move on. Avengers delivers the joke, and then, as we who watched it know, it drops the actual punchline several scenes later, when Steve Rogers wordlessly digs a ten out of his jacket and hands it to Fury on the bridge of the airborne Helicarrier.
The Avengers is filled with these kinds of slightly delayed gratifications. Here's another:
Example 2: In the first Tony/Banner scene in the Helicarrier lab, there's the moment we all remember when Tony's chatting Banner up and then suddenly stabs him with a pin. Banner looks up with amused surprise just as Cap walks in and calls Tony out for provoking Banner and endangering everybody. The scene plays out from there as Tony and Steve bitch at each other and Cap leaves the scene unsettled. Other scenes ensue, and then we return to another scene with Tony and Banner where Tony says to Bruce something like, "You're on tiptoes, my friend. You need to strut." It's a joke that isn't just a joke on its own, but a moment that connects. Tony wants to see Banner strut and so do we, so when Bruce Banner finally lets loose it feels amazing.
It would seem like these kind of simple this-and-then-that storytelling techniques should bore audiences. And they would… except that modern super summer action blockbuster movies just don't seem able to accomplish even these basic building blocks of how to get an audience onside.
In a modern empty blockbuster, action scenes don't erupt because the stakes have been raised to the level of immediate action on the part of the participants. Instead, action scenes now occur to escape from supposedly dramatic scenes that are going nowhere or --even worse-- to get out of scenes that might be in danger of resolving the plot right then and there. Velocity is invoked for its own sake or as a reward for sitting through all the scenes of actors talking.
That's not to say Avengers doesn't indulge in a lot of this. But at least Avengers does it knowingly while maintaining the primary importance of connections. Scenes conect to scenes, characters connect to characters and ideas connect to moments. So, when the big extended 45-minute action sequence begins, we're ready for big moments that have been set up and perhaps not paid off… which is why those moments, when they arrive, are so damn satisfying.
Setups and payoffs. Connections between people and ideas. And since that's what this whole movie, ultimately, is really about --a bunch of people who make no sense together coming together and yet they do… that is, The Avengers-- the whole thing not only feels good but IS good. It means something after all!
Fri, May 11 - The Zenth Is/Are
And the Avengers?
I'm still collecting my thoughts, so I'll give the stragglers another week before blasting everyone with spoilers. So far it's awesome crowd-pleasing fun, empty and ultimately trivial... or is it?
Fri, May 4, Avenger Day
It's always made me a little sad that the Marvel universe all-star team named itself The Avengers in response to DC's Justice League. Generally speaking I'd rather be on the side of justice versus vengeance. At the same time, I'm a Marvel kid through and through so I'm looking forward to some avenging!
At Any Rate
another Bob the Angry Flower cartoon appears now:
Fri, April 27 - RETURNING
Just when we thought old issues had been dealt with and laid to rest, somehow they arise again as we explore the multivariant complexities of
Cabin in the Woods
I'll follow the established non-spoiler approach to discussing this movie in that I recommend it, it's fun, it's interesting, it has revealing things to say about horror movies.
Curiously, given all everybody says about how the movie runs on surprises, it really doesn't. Instead it runs on insight and analysis, speaking to the audience as though they understood or were about to understand everything it has to say. It plays its biggest "surprise" at the outset, in the very first scene, playing its trump card to be understood and appreciated.
It's clever. It's clever almost to a fault, and it grieves me to say this, because had I been clever enough to come up with its approach I would have played it out the same way. I would have tossed suspense in favor of examination. I would have gone for gags rather than mystery. I would have sought to illuminate, to bring light to a world built on shadows and darkness.
I keep saying "I would've," but I didn't. Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon, they put this idea and approach together; they made it work on its own terms. Go see it! See it and see it with other folks! See it and talk about it! It's super cool!
Wed, April 18 - Bejillickers!!!
I don't know about you folks (and yet I fear I do), but the last little bit has been quicker and more flavorful than late. Good? Yes? Evil? No?
In such cases I've found it useful to
Fri, April 13 - Moneyball
Last year wasn't really all that super great for movies. Not a whole lot stuck out. I will, however, confess a latter day attraction to Moneyball, a movie I would not have expected to like or even be interested in. Of course it helped that it hit me where I'm most vulnerable, as we see in
Golly, I can feel it, coming into shape, arriving, forcing itself into existence. Got some neato stuff gonna be in it. I think you folks will dig!
Fri, April 6 - Hail n such
I'm told that an icestorm of hail arrived itself on our streets of Seattle yesterday. I must have missed it, eating a mushroom/italian sausage crepe with parmiagiana sauce as I was. Apparently it came at went quickly and only bothered Seattleites who happened to dare to be outside during the key thirty minutes or so.
Regardless, all this is meaningless in the context of the extraordinary, life-affirming, sex-having Zenth storyline which continues to present itself along such lines as
Gaming and Hungry
I'll take a moment or two to speak on the Hunger Games movie. I'd read the first book and it seemed it could easily be made into a film. It was punchy, dynamic and visual, and while it focused (as novels do) on the internal consciousness of the main character Katniss, there would be obvious ways to externalize these feelings into a story for the screen.
When the movie came out, I watched it on opening night and spent the first half trembling with frustration and anger as I found myself constantly ejected from the film by jerky camera movements and unnecessary cuts. It was as though the filmmakers had consciously built into their film a suite of 5, 7 and 8-year-olds constantly kicking the back of my seat.
"Here's a scene between Katniss and her young sister Prim. Let's cut and jump all the time so we can't focus on these two characters or how they feel about each other. Instead let's constantly skitter and scutter because it's 'real,' forever preventing the audience from feeling the film, engaging with the characters, entering the film narrative or enjoying the story."
I literally (actually literally) spent the first half of the film trembling with ever-increasing rage, ever more frustrated at the filmmakers' refusal to allow me to watch their film, seriously considering getting up and walking out, only balking because I sat with a group of friends whose experience I wished not to interrupt.
After all this jittery nonsense in preventing me from feeling anything and dragging me along with events I was never allowed to properly experience, we arrive at the Tributes' Parade, an obviously cinematic sequence displaying Katniss in all her compromised glory along with her fellow tribute Peeta, both presented to a blase future society as incredible wonderments, the Girl On Fire (along with the Boy on Fire) wearing sci-fi future outfits of astonishing flame.
Honestly my fingernails bit into my palms with anger as this sequence once again shoved my eyes away from the spectacle. I never got a chance to be with Katniss during this moment. I wasn't able to absorb the both of them uncomfortably dealing with their roles as dolls in the best dress-up ever. And I couldn't feel pleased and satisfied as a confortable Central Section audience member seeing the lowly tributes paraded before me. Jittering shaking jump cuts, cinematic styles I must imgaine were intended to draw me into the world and the moment, instead forced me away from the story every second and half second. Seriously I think at one point I licked blood from my fingernail-gouged palms, was the rage.
Thankfully the movie entered the second half, the actual killzone. Here the filmmakers' "You can't-see-anything" aesthetic made more sense, so I didn't feel constantly assaulted by the stylishtic choices. And when Katniss (spoilers) gave Rue what she could as a burial and presents her defiant hand gesture to the camera she knows is there, only to cut away to Rue's Section and their boiling anger and Rue's father exploding in uncontrollable rage, then and only then the movie hit me for real. It meant something, more than the books had at that point. I wept.
So, go see the Hunger Games! Expect spastic camera actions and edits. Wonder why you don't feel as connected to the characters and the story as you did when you read the book (assuming you did). Take moments as you can. Enjoy Jennifer Laurences's Katniss as best you're allowed to. Try to feel relationships and emotions in defiance of the filmmakers' stylic indifference or open hostility to same. And, y'know, read some books and some more!
Fri, Mar 30 - Enough Marching
Yeah, yeah, it's been fun lingering in March. I personally greatly appreciate not having to go into April until I had to. But go we must, have to we all, so here's a quick Bob the Angry Flower cartoon to accompany on the journey.
Fri, Mar 23 - A Game of Hunger
Hey, readers! Are you excited about the Hunger Games movie? If you're not, you should consider becoming so cuz it's about to be the giant thing. I advise getting on board one way or the other, either by reading the book or books, or by watching the movie, or by firmly establishing a "Fuck Hunger Games" stance right now, cuz get ready. If the lineup outside the Cinerama Thursday night for the 12:01 screening is any indication, we're about to be culturally inundated with hungry, hungrier and ever hungriest games.
As though we weren't already.
Anyway, I meanwhile promised last week that we'd be out under and away from the worst of the Zenth storyline. Judge for yourselves if it's so, thusly:
Fri, Mar 16 - The Worst
Once we get out under and ahead of
chances improve for all of us being better off. Or at the least such is my firm belief.
Fri, Mar9 - Zenthy
Sorry folks and Bob readers but you're on another story journey. I've been drawing comics twice a week for three weeks to make pages and here's the first of the fiercelessly hopeless awful new stuff, utter babble going by the nomenclature of
As far back as Feb 3, 2012 I called out to readers to launch suggestions for the next, 8th, Bob the Angry Flower book. Many of you responded, and I received far more notions than I ever thought possible.
The title's not yet quite ready, but readers be assured. Though no contest was announced, prizes will be given. Submitters who nailed the title will get books. Furthermore, many submitters who submitted amusing titles will also get books.
Occasionally it behooves this page to recognize the existence of anything beyond it, and this is one of those times. Thankfully there's a Bob the Angry Flower-related reason to go, in this case one of a powerful depiction in the midst of an overall story so brilliantly right it could not have come from any other brainpen than Jason Yungbluth of Weapon Brown, Clarissa and Zogg of WhatIsDeepFried.com. If you have any interest at all in a perfectly realized wasteland filled with the broken corrupted refuse of the Sunday edition comix pages, do start at the beginning with Weapon Brown. It's shockingly vulgar.
Fri, Mar 2 - Yes it's March
Snuck up on us, it did, March 2012, lurking behind February's leap year extra day before springing out from the bushes all fangs and teeth and pillows and stuff. Bastard! Why does March always have to be such a dick of a month? Or perhaps, wait, it's not March's fault, maybe we should all instead blame the
Fri, Feb 24 - Remember
To kick off this special Academy award-oriented angryflower post, I am proud to present Paul Notley's Alternate Academy Award List, covering the years 1927 to our current days. I'll admit it's a bit baffling for the first few decades, but once you get into the years you remember, it's pretty neato! He gave Best Picture in 1981 to Raiders of the Lost Ark for the sake of God! GENIUS!
And speaking of Oscar-winners, one should always avoid the
Fri, Feb 17 - Super Bowing
How long ago was the Super Bowl? Six eternities? And yet I can remember almost like it was earlier today, just after lunch, the strong, insistent emotions I felt
Fri, Feb 10 - CUBE!!!
We haven't moved far into this particular month of this particular year, but we've gone far enough for us to really, truly, emphatically and deeply re-evaluate our understanding of gelantinous cubes and their natures. We've found it easy to dismiss their personhood, their character, their habit of screaming "Cube" whenever random adventurers make their random appearances. It's appalling and it needs to stop and it's all a terrible result of selfish
Book 8 Title Names
Last week I asked for some suggestions for the title of the next and eighth Bob the Angry Flower book. I'm humbled and delighted at the ideas, notions, possibilities and lively names I've received. Readers who sent stuff in, thank you. I've had a handful of ideas churning around already, but many of your submissions are forcing me to stop and rethink. Funny stuff coming in from many sides, good ideas of which I hadn't conceived. Ultimately the book can only have one name, but to all of you who have launched proposals myward: you have helped to create this next book. I am grateful. Additional notions may be delivered thiswards, and I hope to hell and damn I can come through for you on the final product. Uhhhh... EXCELSIOR!
Fri, Feb 3 - Unification
blah blah blah blahdebalh some stuff for this part of the web site updating
Oh! Pardon! Didn't see you folks there! I was just trying to get a simple template down for elementary updates such as the following
a cartoon of the simple sort, making no pretense to wider relevance or import.
New Book Number 8!
Hey, readers, there's another Bob book coming up, debuting July 2012 at San Diego Comic-Con.
But OH NO! I haven't finished it, nor do I even have a title!
If any regular readers, all 36 to 87 of you, have ideas for titles for the new book, please send them my way!
Fri, Jan 27,2012
And so we arrive at another Friday, another seven-day span where most of us are still alive. It certainly seems a bit silly to blabble on about these kinda days, but honestly I have no choice.
Thus, here all bear witness to the
Fri, Jan 20 - Snowmageddon
Yow! We had a whole lot of snow in Seattle this week. Generally snowfall in itself is no big story, but Seattle being as uncomfortably geographical as it is, the slushy deluge shut the city down for two days, with hundreds of thousands of people left without power. I count myself incredibly lucky not to have been in their number, as my place would've rapidly cooled to freezing without the intervention of electrical heat. Let's hope the power crews are able to get stuff up and running as fast as possible.
On the theme of disaster, then, I present
**Note: A drunken fool gained access to angryflower.com and posted the following spray of madness as an update. While it would be simple to edit the mess into readability or erase it entirely, I think it's important to leave the incoherent nonsense as it is as a reminder of the critical importance of not allowing soused idiots anywhere near HTML editing software.**
Friday, Jan 13 Januraies
Go on Mark Millar's Wanted kill-everbody super fun times, as though we never cared about anything other than bad shitty horrible killing and somehow bad shitty horrible killible of everbody getting cool enough so's we all love super-killing and then some.
I don't quite to mean that every action is like unto a torture, not do I imagine that every action performed beyonded will always leaded to horror.
At best I'd hope independendt actions could go out themselves and build individual Alchemies in the Kush Edmonton Neighborhods. I honestly hope you all people and readers string great hope throughout across as many funs and peopleness as you are able. I will confess I slept a lot and then more so, slumbering deepling as best as I could into possible moments of crazed hilarious world-destructions and cute-girl dream-madmadnessses.And some cartoons:
I'll go on to say it was great this full 2011-endyear, cool and easy, leaving the dog and cats to places and people who fully rather did them better on comfort than I would've myself.
Gave me time to hang with humans, and humans I did hang with, groups and piles of them, Edmontonians abounding, honestly fun folk throughout. Seriously, non-Edmonton readers, it''s a chilled but good time to slide around.
And I've been a terrible person to which to listen for the last few runs of word. TERRIBLE, I say!
Oh, and there's a new strip. Please enjoy and learn from
Fri, Wed, Dec 26 - UrrrOrrggg
It's a comic!
Wed, Dec 21 - Christmastime
That's right. I said it. Christmas. As in Noel, as in old school mangers, as in wise men and special stars and babies born to Jewish virgins. Suck it, haters. All you wacky believers in non-Christian religions are just going to have to deal.
Seeing as how it's Christmas, that typically means I'm heading back to Edmonton for the occasion, and so it is this time around. As a result, I'll not be here to do Bob the Angry Flower updates until next year, and as a result of that, I now present to you the year's final two cartoons, one after the other. First we have
for your Christmas edification. Once you've finished rubbing various oils and myrrhs on your gut to ease the pain of all the laffs, you may then proceed to
for additional jollity and moral scolding.
Is that it? Seems so. I hope all you wonderful folks enjoy the rundown to the rest of the year, and hey... today's the solstice, I believe! YEAAAAAAAAHHHHH! Days start getting longer again! YESSSSS. See y'all next year!
Fri, Dec 16 - Yep
Hope all y'alls getting ready to bid farewell to this 2011 thang, cuz it's going away no matter how you feel. Here's a strip to deaden the pain and make it light-hearted!
Fri, Dec 9 - Oh, the Weather Outside
...isn't too bad, actually; for the moment, relative clemency prevails. I just got back from checking out a neat little Star Wars art show half a block from my apartment (good nerd site io9.com has story and pictures here). It was similar to the Muppet Rawk show I saw a few weeks ago, in which local artists did various album covers with Muppets, but different in that it also featured a lot of pieces officially licensed by Lucasfilm, including animation sketches from the Family Guy parodies. Generally the whimsical local renditions are more interesting, but there was some pretty damn hot licensed stuff in there as well, and I say this as a thoroughly jaded Star Wars fan. It's always striking to see dozens of diverse artists turned loose on a touchstone cultural icon. You get your head spun around every time.
Meanwhile, last week the United States Senate passed a hip new National Defense Authorization Act to keep American people safe like so:
Fri, Dec 2 - Good Lord
It's December already? How the hell did that happen? Sneaky work, 2011, sneaky work. Though, to be honest, I won't be sorry to put this year behind us; it's been a bit sucky. Besides, next year will be the astonishing 20th anniversary of Bob the Angry Flower. Impossible to believe, but it's the truth. Way back in 1992 ol' Bob made his Molotovin' way into all of our lives, and somehow he's still annoying us with goofy adventures such as
Fri, Nov 18 - ZipzapSay
Hey, y'all, this week we're gonna do something a teeny bit different. I'm out for the weekend and the following week, but rather than post the one and then the other a week or two later, let's try posting the done comics all at once! Shocking, alarming and wrongheaded, but it's going to occur. So bolt yourselves down for not one but TWO Bob the Angry Flower cartoons this week, knowing that next week there won't be a new strip and just a flailing web site update without a strip to justify its existence. MAN, that had better be a good update!
Daring and exciting, I think we can all agree! Here's this week's strip, a nerdy yelling on physics I've decided to call
And then, if your guts have settled down after the tumultuous laughter the previous cartoon set in motion --and do take your time, I know hilarious comics can set both body and soul a-shivering beyond their normal tolerances-- I hasten y'all to gaze your wondered eyes on a cartoon far more physical and organic, distressing, disturbing and enlightening, a strip speaking to all of our hearts and needs called
Fri, Nov 11 - Descending Up
Whoa damn, that daylight savings time switch sure hit hard this week. Yeah, we got the extra hour on Sunday, and yes, I napped the hell out of that hour with great satisfaction. Several times over Sunday, I looked up, saw it was an hour earlier and took on another refreshing half-hour snooze. Several times.
But as with all things good, the price must be paid in triplicate. And so it is we discover the sky cloaked in rampant blackness around 5 o'clock. Suddenly, as though by magic! Welcome to the slide in towards Winter Solstice, gentlefolk and additional people. Welcome. Hope you enjoy the ever-darkening view!
I'm oddly into this part of the year, and I'm sure if I went back to last year's post this time I'd find myself expressing precisely the same sentiments I'm typing now. I'm terrified to look for fear of succumbing to the temptation to simply copy n' paste.
Being in the rundown to the finish line of the year is what I like about this time of the season. Knowing it's gonna keep getting darker for another month or so, but when we sail past December 22nd, 2011 we'll know we're on the other side with longer and brighter days ahead of us all the way up to June 20, 2012, a wonderful amazing midsummer day when everything starts turning to crap again.
I really need to stop being so interested in seasonal change. It gets super boring. Here, then, is this week's Bob the Angry Flower cartoon, cunningly entitled
Fri, Nov 4 - Post-we'en
I hope all you wonderful folks out there had an enjoyable Hallowe'en, filled with fantasy and favor, liquor and beer and pigs-in-blankets. Especially the pigs-in-blankets part. I had some this Hallowe'en and let me tell you, if you didn't, you're missing out. So deliciously weinery!
It seems to be getting noticably colder out there as well, so I trust you good people will bundle up accordingly with all appropriate
Oh, and one more thing. I know I'm grindingly behind the curve on this as I am on most things, but golly, Parks and Recreation is a jolly good show! You should watch it! Ron is my sudden new hero of all things.
Fri, Oct 28 - Craft Work
It's gonna be a quick and tight little update this week, y'all. I took the last week off and now it's down to a matter of hours to create some kind of comprehensible Hallowe'en costume for Friday at the PopCap offices.
So I do hope you will all forgive me, not just for the slenderness of this particular update but also for the rambling madhouse Daleksex-mania content of last week's post. Sometimes... sometimes weekly cartoonist/bloggers go nutballz, and rather than inflicting their crazed mumblings on random passersby on the street, they deploy their twisted dreams to all humanity via this compu-linked network of stuffs.
Do I have a point? Only that I intend to devote the rest of the evening to wigs and scissors and tape and sheets of colored paper, but before I can do any of that I am obliged to ensure that you all you wonderful, wonderful people, readers all, have full access to
Fri, Oct 21- Dalek Sex?
Do Daleks have sex? And I don't mean, I'm not asking if Daleks bone each other. I'm wondering if Daleks appreciate and understand the notion of sex.
Not gender, as in the distinctions between he and she, that is to say linguistic distinctions. I'm just curious if Daleks have any impression of sex as a biological distinction, as a species divided into two biofoms with separate roles in biological reproduction.
We already know Daleks do not make gender (linguistic) distinctions. Daleks do not have hes and shes in their language. Indeed, the only way we know Daleks tell each other apart is purely through status and shell coloration. High-status Black Daleks issue orders to non-blacks. Non-blacks, regular Daleks, perform their duties as ordered. How do non-black Daleks distinguish between themselves? We simply don't know. They say "I obey," but do they really identify themselves through "I," linguistically?
Obviously the named Daleks, the Cult of Skaro, are able to use specific identity identifiers for each other, but as far as we know, they're the only ones.
But do Daleks have any notion of sex, biologically? Are they aware of male and female as separate slices of a single species, through which genetic variation may be advanced without having to wait for random mutation? They are, after all, the ultimate mutations of the Kaled race, a race much like our our own, a human-like race that had given over all to victory and science, knowing the results of radiated transformations, even before Davros's distortions. Somehow they went from a human-like race into a one-eyed mutated cloneblob encased in shells. Was there anything of sex left after that transformation and degradation?
Seemingly not, since we've never seen evidence of sex (biological distinction) or gender (linguistic differentiation through pronouns) in any of our encounters with them.
Why am I so interested in Dalek sexes and genders and in how Dalek sexes and genders are distinguished from each other? Only beacuse I need to be interested in something at the moment. So, sexy gendered Daleks, you're IT!
Why yes, folks, now you ask: am I mad? Quite so. I am fully mad. I wish this new cartoon conveyed the curent insanity but it only hints. Still, we must not forget the importance of terminologies, to wit:
Fri, Oct 14 - Chillz
I know, I know, referring to weather being in any way "cold" here in Seattle is as laughable as a clown barrel of monkey japes, particularly to folks who hail from, say, Edmonton. Still, t'was a drear chill in the air this rapidly darkening eve, a whisper of what's to come, bepeaking shivering and dampness on the way --and that's not even considering the wreath of ice soon to descend on my fellow Canadians up in Canadia. Brrrr. Bundle up, folks! Could be a cold one this year.
On occasion drawn funnies are presented to the public on this "web site," and so indeed we see such now, a tidbit called
Fri, Oct 6 - One Returns
From APE, of course, the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco, held this last weekend in the Concourse Exhibition Center, site of many independent cartoonists and many many many many many many many many many many many more excited vaporous water molecules whose sworn duty was to induce sweat and swampy heat on the indy strippers for selected hours of the days.
Nonetheless, I would count APE 2011 as a success. Sales, brisket, Keith Knight and his table crew Lonnie Milsap and Ken Tanaka, catsleep, drinks, jobniking with Mirian and Mike (Happly Blirthdays, Mike!), Van de Graffs ionizing air at street partiers, stunning veal ribs, Hark! A Vagrant books and superstar Shannon Wheeler, all packed into the same sweating greenhouse for two days. Don't you wish you'd been there?
Anon, anon, here we present yet another searingly powerful BtAF cartoon:
Fri, Sep 30 - Six of one, APE of the other
APEbreak, folks! It's time for the Alternative Press Expo again this very weekend, Oct 1-2, in humid San Francisco at the Concourse Exhibition Center. Come one, come all, see the witless cartoonists attempt to move bound sheaves of paper in exchange for other sheaves of paper! See a number of them succeed while others fail! Featuring for the first time for sale anywhere The Gunt Chronicles in minicomic form! Amazement! Products! Comic books and local funnies! WHEEEEEEEE!
Meanwhile, on the Internet, a cartoon appeared:
Fri, Sep 23 -- Autumnal Equinox
Hey, lads and female folks, welcome to the autumnal equinox! What is the autumnal equinox, you might well ask? Nothing much, really. It's just the day whereby night and day are the same amount of time in our northeren hemisphere of our planet called Earth. Since the summer solstice days have been getting shorter and faster. At this point days will continue to get shorter, but they'll get shorter *faster*. The rate of daylight loss will begin to abate from now until the winter solstice .
Not enormous, and indeed, mostly invisible. Days will continue to get darker and nights will continue to extend. But even as days shrink and nights grow, the night-growing will slow each and every day until it comes to a stop at December 21, whereupon it will reverse and verrrrrrry slowly start to turn into bigger an better new days into 2012.
I find myself babbling far more than I shoud on these Q1/Q3 moments, yapping on and on about our sun fluxes as we decsend into our solar trenches and launch into our solar crests. Indeed I've likely repeated myself a year or two ago or even more recently.
But I can't dismiss the way it feels to live on the crust of a tiny illuminated clot of dirt swirling around a mega-titanic ball of unlikely fusion reactions, particularly as the dirt-ball rotations over time come to allow such things as viruses, jellyfish, turtles and Christmas to manifest themselves.
Blah blah blah stuff stuff stuff here's a cartoon hope y'all enjoy or smirk on it!
Fri, Sep 16 - Fall Approaches
Aw, man, I was just starting to really get used to these long, warm evenings, and now they're draining away like syrup down a gutter. Really tasty syrup, no less. Bummer! Someone must be made to answer for this outrage, and in order to identify whom, it's time for a
While you got a chance, why not play some Pig Up? We added all kinds of crazy new crap to go along with all the old crap! Check it out!
Fri, Sep 9
Holy Precious Screaming Mother of Gods
does DHL have some serious problems.
DHL, for folks who may not know, is an international delivery service. Like FedEx. Or the post office. Except international. And cheaper. Much, much cheaper. Though not cheaper than the post office.
What they do, see, is they take money from a person with the promise of taking something from that person and delivering (if you will) that something to another person.
They're pretty good at taking the money and the something. Persons hoping to move a something somewhere are attracted by the low charges DHL asks in recompense for this activity..
Where they have a bit of a falling-down problem, sadly, is in the getting of the something to the place or the person to whom it was sent. The delivery aspect, as it were. The completion of the job, one might say.
Quick story. I arrived home last night to discover a DHL sticker stuck to my door. My eyes rolled. Someone had sent something to my home, where this kind of problem arises constantly, rather than to my work, where it never does.
I took the sticker indoors, called the number, and sought to arrange a different delivery address. I was told, with great patience by DHL's customer service team, that I would have to send a fax back to DHL in order to make that happen.
Was there any way I could do it without sending a fax? Regrettably, there was not. I could, of course, easily sign the sticker on the back to tell the courier to leave it sitting on my front porch. Easiest for everybody, really. The DHL courier leaves the package. Somebody else comes along and takes it for whatever reason. I come home to no package but the confident assurance that the package was, indeed, dropped on my front porch. Everybody wins.
Though I tell a lie. There was a way to have the package redirected without sending a fax. All I had to do was write a note and attach it to the sticker (the sticker not having room enough for the instructions). The note would instruct the courier on how he or she might walk around the block and deliver the something to my building's leasing office.
To be sure, leaving the note was no guarantee. Once I signed the leave-it-on-my-porch line on the sticker, the DHL courier was entirely within his or her rights to ditch the thing on my porch and bail. Any additional hints or suggestions about how he or she might attempt to deliver the packager were of course up to his or her discretion.
It's a little thing called trust.
Gotta a cartoon for the world, an insightful one filled with... uh... what was the cartoon?
Fri, Sep 2 -- Fall Falls
Hey, everybody, welcome to September! We all know what September means, right? It means the end of summer and the beginning of Fall! Jillikers!!!!
Except not quite. A lotta places, particularly northish places, have found their summer pushed over into their fall months and have partied accordingly.
Into this arrives
Fri, Aug 26 - Cowliens and Aliboys
Hey, all, yet another week has trundled through the gearworks of our universe (or at least this local bit), and you all know what that means, right? RIGHT? It means another Bob the Angry Flower cartoon, delivered fresh on the internet like a child newborn. Here it is!
Cowboys and Aliens
Finally got around to seeing this. Full disclosure: I've got a grudge against this movie. Back in 2000 I and PopCap co-founder Jason Kapalka got together to write a spiffy sci-fi western called Planet Texas. While it was adjudged indeed spiffy, the market for same was cooling with dramatic speed in the wake of the release of Wild Wild West. Jason went off to create Bejeweled and PopCap, I went back to drawing Bob comics, and that was mostly the end of our Hollywood adventures. Every so often, though, we'd hear about a project in development, Cowboys and Aliens, "based" on a graphic novel of dubious quality ("based" in the sense that they kept the name). Resentment, therefore, has always simmered in my breast about this film as it developed.
Now, after a decade and change, the film is made and out. What of it? I only have a few comments.
1) The aliens are stupid and boring. Without getting into spoilers, they look like default Hollywood aliens. They had greasy skin, a basic humanoid shape with disproportions, acted like dumb monsters, and even pulled out the old chestnut of climbing along walls and ceilings just like the aliens in Aliens.
2) Daniel Craig's protagonist character wasn't stupid, but he also wasn't interesting. I never felt connected to him, and I never gave a shit about what he'd gone through or was going through. I got his basic story in the first grainy flashback, so I really didn't need three more grainy flashbacks to fill in the details. It's not Craig's fault he was asked to play an amnesiac character. But unless you're careful, amnesiac characters are not interesting. They weren't careful.
3) Honestly, I think the movie would have benefited if Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford had switched roles. Ford has the ability to catch you and carry you along. Craig is good at reserve and menace. Given that Craig's character was supposed to be the guy you gave a shit about while Ford's character was supposed to be hard and cruel but with slowly revealed chinks in his emotional armor, the casting switch could have brought something interesting to the film that wasn't there when I saw it.
4) Overall, the movie felt like a bachelor's casserole. Characters have arcs, but the arcs don't interact in any meaningful way. Imagine a bag of Shake n' Bake. Now picture stuff you might find in a bachelor's larder. Pieces of porkchop. An egg. Fish heads. Some macaroni. Maybe some jellybeans. Dampen them and toss them into the Shake n' Bake bag one at a time, extract them breaded, dump them in a casserole dish and bake for 10 years. That's the movie. Scenes trundled into each other with all the dramatic intensity of a script that kept looking to hit 130 minutes and continued to come up 70 minutes short.
It's a cool concept --War of the Worlds meets the Old West!-- but when it came to coming up with a story, the ball got punted down the field, out of the stadium, around the block, down the highway, onto a ferry to the next city, back and forth a few times in the next city's park and finally into a bank's marketing department whereupon it was offered drinks, refused them and signed a piece of paper.
Before I saw it, my thumbnail review was that it would turn out to be "Well-produced garbage." And I think I pretty much stand by that. I liked Sam Rockwell, I liked Harrison Ford though he was in the wrong role, and I liked seeing Adam Beach get some work. That, really, was about it.
A shame, because if it had been a giant hit, the market for sci-fi westerns might have heated up enough that a good one might have been able to lurch from the grave and find new life. Instead, we have another decade of fallow before anybody dares try this mixture again.
Fri, Aug 19 - Dammit!
Here it is, Monday morning, and I totally forgot to do the update. Worse, I don't even have the excuse of drunken amnesia to deploy; I actually got home last night at a reasonable hour with not a drop of the sauce. If anything, my distraction was far more insidious and embarassing; I ended up playing The Sims Social.
Well, I gotta get to work, so enough blurbling. Here's a cartoon about justice!
Fri, Aug 12 - The Apes, How They Rise
Saw Rise of the Planet of the Apes this week. Generally, I liked it. I keep thinking that there have been a slew of action/sci-fi movies which default in their third act to a swarm of [x] breaking out and threatening to destroy humanity, but now I consider the case the only one really popping to mind (awfully) is I, Robot.
Regardless, Rise of the Planet of the Apes does, as the trailers suggest, feature a swarm of [x], in this case apes, breaking out and threatening to destroy humanity. But the appealing thing about RiseOTPOTA is that when it happens, you seriously root for the apes. Yeah, humanity, one thinks, get some! About time, you damn dirty people!
This, plus the presence of Brian Cox in his standard role as old reliable movie bastard who nonetheless gives his performance some lovely shades of color, puts this one a decent shoulder above this year's slough of summer dreck. Almost memorable, it is.
The strip this week is, I'll admit, a bit of a mess, a collision of a number of half-baked angers and frustrations coming together in a lumpy stewpot I've chosen to entitle
Enjoy, my lovelies, enjoy!
And for those who checked out the game I've been working on at PopCap, and for those who have not so checked out (shame on you!), I encourage folks to examine and place themselves on the alar of Pig Up, now featuring new features such as bug fixes, new sound effects, new Style Moves and the exhilarating opportunity to RIDE THE COW (to ride the cow, begin the game and immediately drop towards the ground for fun and moos. Offer void after 20 seconds). And if you do happen to click the link our of idle curiosity, I beg thee to play at least two games and come back the following day and play at least one additional game. Retention numbers are currently everything!
Have a good weekend, y'all!
Fri, Aug 5 - HOW DANDY!
Dandy is as dandy does, I've never said. But now I've said it once, dammit, I'm gonna start saying it all the time! Who doesn't want things to be dandy, and, by extension, do dandy? Nobody, that's who! In the next few weeks I'll make everyone around me wish they weren't with my insistence of the importance of general dandiness. Mark it.
Speaking of dandy things and ideas, here's a comic-stripple confection
Fri, July 29 - Con Report
Well, Comic-Con came and went, as it does. Comics were sold, pitches were pitched, cute girls in odd costumes were observed and prodigious quantities of overpriced gin were resentfully consumed. YEAHHHHH--- it's COMIC-CON, BABY!
This year sales were, well, rather terrible, though they picked up a bit on Sunday, God bless. Thanks to all who came by and helped a brother out by dropping a few coins in the tin cup! Gracias, folks! Thanks also to the creators of the Square app for iPhone; had that thing not existed, the selling picture would have been seriously gloomy. As it was it was merely irking.
On the positive side, I think it was a better con this year than last. Last year had an oppressive vibe, tens of thousands of people overcrowded and frustrated, anger and irritation misting over the crowd like the stink of a comic convention with wholly inadequate air conditioning. I don't know what was different this year, maybe the lack of huge movie events, perhaps invisible behind-the-scenes changes enacted by the Con organizers, but people actually seemed to be having a good time. I saw smiles. Kids were running around oohing and ahhing with wonder and delight. Perhaps folks weren't as disposed to drop mid-sized amounts of cash on a humble flower cartoonist and his amazing, groundbreaking strip collections, but they were enjoying themselves.
I'd also like to direct a shout to my table neighbors Keith Knight (The K Chronicles, The Knight Life, think) as well as Lonnie Millsap (My Washcloth Stinks) and Ken Tanaka (Everybody Dies). Ken's book was a particular hit, charming the bucks out of all who beheld it, and his energetic carny hucksterism was an inspiration and constant goad. Good con, lads! Let's do it again sometime!
Ah yes. I've got a Bob the Angry Flower cartoon for you folks. It is
Captain of the Americas
The damn thing premiered at Comic-Con, but I was too busy trying to sell books to see it. I only got around to the bloody thing last night, if you can believe it. Jolly good fun, I'd say. It's not enormously ambitious, but its modest grasp and reach are well suited to each other. Of the modern superhero films it's most comic-book like: unpretentious, simple and uncomplicated. The production design is clean, functional and occasionally impressive, Chris Evans turns in a performance not once reminiscent of his turn as the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four movies, and the action scenes are reasonably well staged and bunched towards the end of the movie. All that and a twinge of melancholy. Not a gritty re-imagining, not a self-conscious parody, it's a silly action movie and it seems to be at peace with that. Kudos.
July, 20 - Con Cornding
Howdy, y'all! I'm dropping this update a tad early in the spirit of concording. That is, concordance, which is to say things happening at the same time (I think that's what concordance means, but I admit I'm stumbling on the keyboard right this second).
The first big thing occurring this week is, well, San Diego Comic-Con. It will be happening and I intend to be right there along with it from Wednesday (July 20, today!) all the way to Sunday (July 25, five days from now).
I'm too drunk to figure out how to print out a nice little con map for where I'll be other than to say that I'll generally be in the
Small Press Area, K16, Aisle 1400.
Same place as I've been for some four or seven years. Keep an eye out for the BTAF banner and the dude with the flower hat; you'll discover the BTAF locale and me (unless I'm snoking, which all shoud expect to be often).
Bob the Angry Flower books, long difficult to get, will be on free sale in this location during the above-mentioned span of time! Get them while they are hot! Significant and evergreen gags will be available, stuff that is just now as straight up as it ever was. Talkin' 'bout the real thing, folks, comics-style, from the past to the ongoing right-now future!
Oh Some Interested Gods
At the same time as paper books will be pushed onto haplessly lucky patrons (credit card orders now taken!), the other thing I've been spending time on will be exploding in my absence. I talk of course about
the exciting new PopCap Facebook game just now out and open to all who care to fly!
For those who read this remotely, read and enjoy. Ideally, click and play the PigUpness. For those who read remotely with intention to be at the Comical Con, read, enjoy, remember and drop by.
The ultimate is this: Bob the Angry Flower books will be available at Small Press Area, K16, Ailse 1400 all con long, and the co-creator of Pig Up! will be in exactly the same place for exactly the same length of time.
Credit card sales will be!!!
And what's the cartoon? Simply this, you people without emotions:
FEEL SOMETHING, DAMMIT!
Fri, Jul 15-- Whuff
I've probably used "Whuff" as an update title in the past. I've been in many Whuff moments before and I expect to be in many in the future. "Whuff" is a general term, one meant to express an inexpressible emotional reaction of both excitement and horror, hope and fear... the kind of sound you make when no other sound sounds right. Maybe you've been there.
Why Whuff? Ahhhhh... soon, readers, soon. So close. I am held to silence for reasons that make sense to many, sometimes even me. It's all part of that inexpressibility I discussed earlier. But hang in, dear readers, hang in, and all will be expressed, said, explained and URLs provided.
Anyway! What does the above burbling have to do with this week's update and the cartoon posted within? Happily the answer is nothing. And so with little further ado, I present
Fri, Jul 8 - The Bar Eats You
This is one of them times when you look around and discover you jest got eaten by the bar. And when I say "you," I really mean "me," in that the bar has eaten me fully and left behind neither bones nor bloodspatters nor even a shoe. No, this time the only thing the bar left behind was
Fri, July 1 - Canadian Day!!!
I am saddened that I, a Canadian, will not be surrounded by Canadian soil and Canadian humanfolk on Canadian Day. Nonetheless, I solidly expect Canadians so blessed will be able to enjoy their righteous holiday in my absence.
But weep not for me, friends, weep not. Busy pleasures present themselves to this Canadian soul. I have bags full of happiness and solid satisfaction to sustain me in this arid weekend of un-Canadianness. As it happens sometimes Canadians must go abroad, must bring the Canada to all those Canada-benighted lands that are not Canada. We do it with pride and courage and topped-up levels of Canadian belligerence to spread the C-word. Or I do, at least.
What am I getting at? Surprisingly little. I'm just typing for a bit to make this update look like something with some thought rather than a single image linked to a cartoon. But y'all have found me out, so I'll rebut with
This week: greyscales!
Fri, Jun 24 - Far far far too late
If I had any kind of sensible Web 2.0 schedule, I'd have posted this five days ago. But as regular readers of this site --those of whom who still exist-- know, angryflower.com has never been about 2.0s or sensibilities. All down the line it's been about abominably outdated web page design and regularly updated cartoons, even if the cartoons in question are 4 days past their due date. Very much like the following:
Fri, Jun 17 - Almost There
This time of year is always bittersweet for me. It's great to be on the runup to the longest day of the year, but I can never dispell the onrush of autumn lurking in my mind, waiting to spring the moment we pass the solstice. As I've heard it said, autumn is coming.
Who wants a cartoon? Anybody? You? Really? Honestly? Seriously? Okay, thanks, you can put your hand down. Here it is.
I spell labor "labour" above in solidarity with my Canadian brothers and sisters battered by a senseless hockey loss. Fellow Canadian citizens, this u's for you.
To the purpose, I wanted to let y'all know that a self-described huge fan went ahead and animated a Bob strip and then posted it to YouTube. It's called Bob the Angry Flower Tribute! and if you're curious I strongly counsel a swing by the link to check it out. Who can guess the title of the strip?
Fri, Jun 10 - Well Then
I hope everyone enjoyed X-Men: First Class as much as I did, which was quite a bit. I admit I responded to simple pleasures, hearing Kevin Bacon drop crisp German and then Magneto forcing French and Spanish (with subtitles!) on his enemies. As a Facebook friend mentioned, it elevated the whole proceedings.
It was bad to see the black dude ejected from the story 9 minutes after he appeared and the Hispanic girl launched from the good guys swiftly after as though from an unspoken edict from above declaring the X-Men had to be whitest. That aspect was not cool.
Most other aspects, however, succeeded, from McAvoy's insouciant forehead-tapping privilege through Fassbender's multilingual learning curve to Mystique's frantically aimless and searching sexuality. X-Men First Class maintains focus among a good solid handful of characters just as Thor's focus falls apart four minutes in. Solid effort, though, Branagh, and I'm eager to see you give it anothe shot with a story not built around the main guy's naptime!
With little additonal ado, here's this week's Bob cartoon
Fri, Jun 3 - Xmenxmenxmen!
I'm actually really pumped about this new X-Men movie. Sure, the last couple have been abominable, but a new cast and no Wolverine bode well. Boding even better is Matthew Vaughn, whom regular readers of this site would know I adore ever since he dropped Kick-Ass on us last year. Throw in a period setting and some hot chicks and I think we have a winner. Early reviews seem to support this hope, so we'll see.
Anyway, you came here for a cartoon, not a pre-movie gush, and so I now present
Fri, May Two Seven in a Base Ten Thingy
Golly, another Thursday night rolls around finding me again too plastered to even attempt to do a proper update. If only gin didn't taste so awful!!!
Anyway, a cartoonistic amusement of sorts
May 20, 2011 - Okay, Yes
I'll get around to talking about Thor eventually, but tonight it's late and I just wanna feed you folks
May 13, 2011 - Thor?
Alas, not enough people made their way to Thor before I can feel comfortable declaiming loudly and spoilery on my site about my impressions. Got on it, folks! In my stead this time we refer all inquires to the
I'm afraid I'm far too liquored to responsibly post in a public forum, but I will note that game-sound recording sessions can be very amusing!
Michael Bolton rockets into my heart from the abyss of nonexistence with his efforts in this catchy piece.
Fri, May 6 - THOR!!!!
Okay, I admit I haven't seen Thor yet, and I'm not even sure if I'll see it today, given work-related efforts that are likely to take fun precedence. Still, for all those who perhaps agreed with the sentiments backhandly presented in Mjolnir, I think we can all agree this thing is going to be awesome and will have something that looks like a giant robot but is actually a giant suit of armor infused with some kinda wacky Asgardian god energy or something. Give me it now.
Anyway, in the current spirit of doing cartoons or posting remarks about things long past cool, I direct your attention to
I did this comic only because a couple of weeks ago I happened across a pair of Starcraft strategy guides. Being able to survey in brief the majestic sweep of Starcraftness in only a few dozens of handfuls of pages rather than having to earn knowledge by spending countless hours playing the damn thing, I firmly dig it. Described as "the best computer game of all time," Starcraft presents a vision of such finely tuned game balancing that it essentially serves as prima facie evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence. I don't give a crap about sports, but watching Starcraft bouts with commentary is fast becoming an obsession, so in that spirit I give links to a few enjoyable matches. And by "enjoyable", I mean interesting if you have the slightest clue what the hell is going on; otherwise it's a bunch of YouTube videos depicting blurry computer graphics moving around. But if you get it, seriously folks... gripping.
The Will of the People
We went ahead and had our election in Canada last Monday, and as a man once wrote, it was the best of times and it was the worst of times. Drinking heavily at the Chateau Lacombe in Edmonton on Election Night and seeing monstrously historic gains for the NDP, it should have been a heady vortex of hoarse happy screaming and uninvited hugs. Instead, Canada also saw the arrival of a Conservative majority government, thereby muting most celebratory impulses. Sure, we've had Conservative majorities before, but we haven't had any like this, ghouls shrieking to recover the glory days of the American Bush administration at a time when Republicans won't admit the years between 2000 and 2008 even happened. As my good friend and colleague Fish Griwkowsky points out in this week's column for See Magazine, Canada now enters a shadowed new realm of polarization. Gone for four years are the reliable good sense and general consensus of the typical Canadian landscape; we now face stark and irrevocable diverging paths into the future.
Nonetheless, I spoke of hope on Election Night and I've done it as well on Facebook, saying "if there's anything the NDP is good at and has plenty of experience in, it's being the opposition. Better us than the Liberals with a Harper majority. We'll win the war of ideas in a country where we take such wars seriously." I just hope I'm right.
Fri, April 29 - Election!
For non-Canadian readers, I've got a bombshell for you: the Canadian federal election is next Monday. Crazy, right? You'd think there would've been some mention of it somewhere, a remark in passing, some tiny hint that politcal gamboling was afoot in the CanaSphere. I certainly would've thought so, but no. Had I not friends in Canada on Facebook, I would have sailed through the next week and beyond never knowing the minority government had fallen and been replaced by another minority Conservative government. What's Canada gotta do to get noticed down here? Legalize gay marriage? Done it. How about pot? Pretty much done that too. What's left? It's gonna have to be Gamera. Gamera or Son of Kong.
Anyway, none of that has anything whatever to so with this week's strip, but fear not. This week's strip has something to do with... last week's strip! Or the week before, if you want to get all "correct" about it. Enjoy!
is going to be awesome. Yes it is. Silence, doubters!
Interested in earlier updates? Here they are!
April 22, 2011 - The Gunt Chronicles!
Go nuts! It's content!
And a big mess o' cartoons...
This Web page is created and maintained by Stephen Notley - To complain, simply e-mail email@example.com.
© Stephen Notley 2008