Category: Men I Love


Scott BakulaOkay, not really, and I have to admit that I haven’t been following Chuck since the middle of last season, but it doesn’t change the fact that I’m super excited to find out that Scott Bakula has been added to the roster of guests at Wizard World Comic Con this April 14th to the 16th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (yay! new venue!).

Scott will be joining Jeri Ryan, Amy Acker (FRED!), Sean Maher, Paul Wesley (at least he doesn’t sparkle) and a slew of others at this years Comic Con.

Keep your eye on the Wizard World Comic Con site for more announcements and schedule of events.

Guess I better get off my butt and get caught up on the last season and a half of Chuck.

And I still think Chuck’s dad is alive!

This came on my iPod this afternoon and it made me happy, so I thought I would share.

Glad to hear that Nik is still touring – maybe he’ll make it to Toronto sometime.

JRR Tolkien

Caricature by gaumgospel

Today would have been JRR Tolkien’s 120th birthday.

To celebrate, Tom Hawking, the contributing editor over at Flavorwire has put together a gallery of beautiful and strange editions of Lord of the Rings  and The Hobbit from around the world. The list includes Professor Tolkien’s *least* favorite cover art as well as bizarre interpretations from Poland (which really should surprise no one who has seen CHUD’s extensive coverage of Polish movie posters) and other international editions.

To see an exhaustive listing of Tolkien cover art, please visit the Tolkien Book Covers Gallery and The Tolkien Library

Here are my personal favorites, some from Tom’s list and others from The Tolkien Book Covers Gallery.

The original | Polish Edition | British Folio Edition | 2005 Houghton-Mifflin set | Finnish Edition

So, please join me in raising a glass and toasting the author of one of the most enduring and beloved books in the English language:

“THE PROFESSOR!”

Bob Anderson

RIP: 1922-2012

There is no doubt that sword fighting can be a vicious, brutal form of combat. The damage a blade can do to an unprotected body is staggering. It’s dangerous regardless of which side of the weapon you’re on.

It’s also sexy as hell.

Thrust and parry, lunge and retreat, en guard, riposte all combined to make a sword fight as graceful as it was deadly; a beautiful balance between strength, grace, steel and flesh.

No one knew this better than Bob Anderson, Hollywood’s sword fighting virtuoso who passed away yesterday at the age of 89.

After retiring from competitive fencing in 1952, Bob started working as a stunt man in Hollywood movies, where his first job was to stage fights and coach Errol Flinn in The Master of Ballantrae . Over the years, he became the most sought after fight coordinator and sword master in Hollywood, working continuously for six decades on some of the most notable films of all times including the James Bond films From Russia with Love, Die Another Day, Highlander, The Princess Bride, The Mask of Zorro, the Star Wars Trilogy and Lord of the Rings.

A quiet man, it was years before his true contribution to the Star Wars films was fully known. For years it was believed that he merely coached and choreographed the fight scenes for The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. In fact, Anderson was performing in those fight scenes, a fact that George Lucas wanted buried for fear it would adversely affect David Prowses career. The deception did not sit well with actor Mark Hamill, who finally revealed the truth in a Starlog interview in 1983:

“It was always supposed to be a secret, but I finally told (director) George (Lucas) I didn’t think it was fair any more. Bob worked so bloody hard that he deserves some recognition. It’s ridiculous to preserve the myth that it’s all done by one man.”

According to Leon Hill, Anderson’s assistant:

“David Prowse wasn’t very good with a sword and Bob couldn’t get him to do the moves. Fortunately Bob could just don the costume and do it himself.”

Anderson’s best work was arguably done on the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Not only did he train the actors and choreograph the fight scenes he also developed individual fighting styles for each of the cultures of Middle Earth based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s descriptions in the text. His genius is seen most notably in the Weathertop sequence from The Fellowship of the Ring, where Aragorn fights his first battle against the Ringwraiths. Remember that this was Viggo Mortensen’s first day of shooting, only arriving in New Zealand a few days before. It is a testament to Bob Anderson’s skill as both a choreographer and teacher (and Viggo as a student) that they were able to pull off the scene as amazingly well as they did with so little preparation.

I first became a fan of Anderson’s after seeing the movie Highlander, although I didn’t know it at the time. After seeing the battles between Christopher Lambert and Clancy Brown, I walked away wanting to be able to do that; to dance with a blade whirling around me. It was so fluid and beautiful and I was left in awe.

Rest well Bob. Thank you for the amazing legacy. Think I’m going to download Reclaiming the Blade from Netflix tonight.

RIP Harvey Pekar - 1939-2010

RIP 1939-2010

“…In the long run, we’re all dead anyway.”

– Harvey Pekar, The Quitter, 2005

Harvey Pekar, the genius author behind American Splendor has died. He was 70 years old.

Pekar began his chronicle of everyday life in 1976 while he was working as a file clerk at Cleveland’s Veterans Hospital. American Splendor was an unflinching look at Pekar’s mundane and seemingly pointless interactions between himself and co-workers and hospital patients. As it evolved, American Splendor became an ongoing biography of Harvey’s life, his trials, foibles, worries and anxieties, eventually expanding to include his relationships with his wife Joyce Brabner and his adopted daughter Danielle. Harvey never pulled any punches, most notably when writing about his fight against lymphoma in ‘Our Cancer Year’, published in 1994. He would go on to write about jazz, the artists with whom he collaborated, the making of the movie American Splendor staring Paul Giamatti, and the wartime experiences of his friend and coworker Robert McNeill in Vietnam.

Pekar worked with some of the greatest comic artists of this century to produce American Splendor including: R. Crumb, Gary Dumm, Greg Budgett, Spain Rodriguez, Joe Zabel, Gerry Shamray, Frank Stack, Mark Zingarelli, and Joe Sacco. More recently Harvey teamed up with artists Dean Haspiel and Josh Neufeld and cartoonists Jim Woodring, Chester Brown, Alison Bechdel, Gilbert Hernandez, Eddie Campbell, David Collier, Drew Friedman, Ho Che Anderson, Rick Geary, Ed Piskor, Hunt Emerson, Bob Fingerman, Alex Wald and even legendary comics writer Alan Moore.

It was R. Crumb who first started working with Pekar on what would become American Splendor after they met in 1962. It was Harvey’s contention that comic books could be used to tell more than formulaic fantasy stories, that they could be something more:

When I was a little kid, and I was reading these comics in the ’40s, I kind of got sick of them because after a while, they were just formulaic. I figured there was some kind of a flaw that keeps them from getting better than they are, and then when I saw Robert Crumb’s work in the early ’60s, when he moved from Philadelphia to Cleveland, and he moved around the corner from me, I thought ‘Man, comics are where it’s at’.

Always irascible and opinionated, Pekar appeared multiple times as a guest on Late Night with David Letterman during the 1980’s until he was banned for wearing a t-shirt declaring himself to be “On Strike Against NBC”, railing against NBC’s parent company GE and accusing Letterman himself of being a corporate shill. According to Harvey:

[W]ith Letterman … you either lay down and let him insult you or you do something about it. Most people keep their mouth shut and let him dump on them. I don’t wanna do that.

Goodbye Harvey, you were authentic, original and thought provoking. We were all much better for having know you. You shall be missed.

Wil Wheaton riding a unicorn kitty, hunting Orc-John Scazi down with a vengeanceOkay, gang, stop scratching your head. You’re about to draw blood. All will be explained.

For those of you wondering, yes, that’s Wil Wheaton. And yes, he’s riding a wing-ed unicorn kitten whilst wearing his favorite sweater (which seems so much more bad-ass here).  And yes, for some reason he’s going medieval on poor John Scazi who seems to have suffered a tragic telepod accident involving himself and Shrek.

Why? Well that’s up to you. I’ll let John explain:

You write a 400 to 2,000 word fanfic about the picture above. Come at it from any angle you like to explain, illuminate or otherwise bring to life what’s going on in the picture above. Our only request is NO slash fanfic (please). But other than that, knock yourself out.

When you’re finished with the story, in addition to whatever else you do with it (hey, it’s your fanfic, we hold no claim to it), send a copy of the story to fanfic@scalzi.com by 11:59pm Eastern, June 30, 2010 (one entry per person), with the text of the story in the e-mail (no attachments, please). When you do, you’ll enter your fan fiction into a contest.

If your fanfic of the picture is chosen by our Jury of Awesomeness, your story will appear in a special electronic chapbook about the picture, with other stories written by me, by Wil, by Norton Award winner and Best Novel Hugo Award nominee Catherynne Valente and by Patrick Rothfuss, best selling author of The Name of the Wind. You will be paid for your story at the rate of ten cents a word (twice the SFWA minimum professional rate), and you’ll receive a special prize pack of books from Subterranean Press, which will publish the electronic chapbook later in the year.

We have plans for the chapbook: We’re going to sell it online, and the proceeds of the chapbook will go to benefit the Lupus Alliance of America, an organization dedicated to finding the causes of and cure for lupus and providing support, services and hope to all people affected by lupus. As folks who know and love people affected by this disease, this a cause and foundation we believe in and want to help. The donation will go through the Alliance’s Michigan/Indiana affiliate.

Awesome.

Good luck! If you enter, be sure to send me a copy so I can publish it on the blog.

BTW, the painting was created by concept designer Jeff Zugale (V), who himself is also AWESOME!

Via: Wil Wheaton, John Scazi

The Buffy CookieJoss Whedon is a super generous guy.

In honour of Entertainment Weekly’s 20th anniversary celebration, Joss has given them his super secret recipe for making Buffy.

“There’s a whole recipe for how to make a Buffy,” he explains. “Take one cup Sarah Connor from the first Terminator movie; one cup Ripley [from Alien]; three tablespoons of the younger sister in [the 1984 postapocalyptic comedy] Night of the Comet; a few sprigs of A Little Princess — the book, not the movies; and a pinch of Jimmy Stewart for pain, because nobody does better pain. Bake those up. Once it’s cool, add a little Rosalind Russell from His Girl Friday. All of this must be in a P.J.-Soles-in-Halloween crust. That’s very important.”

Isn’t that nice.

I wonder if she’s any good served with ice cream.

Uuuummmm….. don’t answer that!

Whedon Fest, October 1st - 3rd, 2010, TorontoWhedon Fest is coming to Toronto!

The con will take place on October 1st through the 3rd at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Centre!  Starry Night Events, the company who is organizing the Whedon Fest describes the event as

…a 3 day unofficial convention to celebrate all that is Whedon. The convention will feature guests and events from Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dr. Horrible and Dollhouse. We will be celebrating the Joss ‘verse. The unofficial convention will comprise of guest talks, autograph and photograph sessions, charity auction, contests, a Saturday night dance, and more!

Nicholas BrendonTheir first guest announcement was made today and it’s a doozy: Nicholas Brendon, aka Xander Harris, will be attending the con. There’s no word as of  yet as to which events he’ll be taking part in.

This is the first event Starry Night will be putting on, so I hope it goes well for them. No word yet as to whether they’ll need volunteers and they are still updating their events list but I’m going to keep an eye on the event and keep you updated.

Anyone else interested in attending?

Robert Downey Jr. is the bestest.I’m not sure I’ve mentioned yet how much I love Robert Downey Jr.

I love the man. I believe he’s an incredibly inspiring person. One of the things that I love about him is his brutal honesty when it comes to discussing his life, his addictions and his brushes with the law. I can’t think of one other person who has been able to turn it around the way he did.

And the fact that he could go through so much and still come out with a healthy dose of humour about himself – he is always able to find the funny about himself and that whole horrible period in his life.

He managed to go up a notch on the FG Respect-O-Meter (patent pending) this week.  When asked if he’s had experience with superhero costumes prior to Iron Man, he responded:

“Growing up, no. But in my mid-30s in Palm Springs right before an arrest, yes.”

OH SNAP!

You rule Robert. I bow down before you’re awesomeness.

Via: People’s Top 10 Celebrity Quotes of the Week

John Barrowman - Damn he's hot!Breathe a little easier Torchwood fans! Fox has canceled plans to revamp Torchwood for American audiences.

HUZZAH!

Guess they couldn’t handle the idea of a simply fabulous leading man, or the queer sensibilities that Russel T. Davies brings to his work.

BBC Worldwide Productions and the FOX Broadcasting Company have mutually agreed not to progress together with a 13-episode serialized ‘Torchwood’ format. We are currently in discussion with several interested networks.

Jane Tranter reassured fans that the show was very much alive and kicking:

“It’s very much ongoing and very much alive.”

Thank the Gods.

I hope they bring the show to a network like HBO or Showtime that will give them the freedom needed to keep the integrity of the characters. Or not. Just keep producing the show so I have an excuse to keep posting pictures and videos of John Barrowman.

Via io9.com