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#108: Red Hot Christmas

December 25, 2006

Notes from the Manager

There's been a bit of a fuss about Black Christmas -- not only because it's a Christmas horror movie, which is kind of retarded, because there have been plenty of those (including the original 1974 Black Christmas this new version is a remake of), but also because it opens on Christmas Day.

What I want to know is... so what?

How is this really more offensive than just any other blood and guts fest out there? I'm not a fan of the genre (although I must admit I enjoyed Nightmare on Elm Streets 1, 3, 4 and 5 as a teenager, because those films at least had a little imagination and some fun special effects), but shouldn't just the whole killing people thing be offensive enough to Christians, regardless of the fact that it's set on Christmas? Or have I just been blissfully unaware of the pro-Christian slasher flick genre all my life?

In more than one article I've read on the subject, they make special note that Christmas horror movies and other non-horror "anti-Christmas" films like Bad Santa never open on Christmas Day.

Well, no shit. It's not out of respect, folks. It's because by Christmas, people have already had their fill of Christmas: Christmas movies traditionally get a boost leading up to and on Christmas, drop a relatively normal amount for the next week, and then nosedive in January. (I'm basing this on a totally unscientific analysis of Christmas movies' weekly performances from the past several years at BoxOfficeMojo.com.)

By putting out a Christmas-themed horror movie on Christmas Day, I'm pretty sure the Weinsteins are either making a dumb move -- or, more likely, burying a film they know would bomb, while smartly going for broke at the same time, hoping for a huge opening week tally thanks to all the controversy this stunt release date has generated before it quietly disappears from theaters in three weeks.

I'd have done a strip about all this, if it wouldn't have been basically a rehash of the Da Vinci Code strip.


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Leonard Nimoy (1931–2015)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

I was never a huge Star Trek fan, exactly. I love some of the early episodes, and I think Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is one of the greatest science fiction movies of all time. I enjoyed Star Trek III and IV, too, for what they were. I read a bunch of the DC Comics Star Trek stuff at that time, because my brother bought them. And I watched a bit of the Next Generation and then fell off the wagon. Kirk and Spock were my Star Trek, and the Star Trek 2–4 “era” was its peak for me, warts and all, because that’s the “era” that really hooked me. And really, for me, it was all about Wrath of Khan.

In addition to playing Mr. Spock, of course, Leonard Nimoy did a lot of other things. He was on Mission: Impossible. He directed a few movies (Three Men and a Baby!). He was a photographer. He was the voice of Civilization IV. But one thing I really loved of his was Standby: Lights, Camera, Action, on Nickelodeon from 1982–1987, which provided a behind the scenes look at movies like Star Trek III, Return of the Jedi, 2010, and more. Nimoy hosted and occasionally interviewed guests like George Lucas. As a budding film nerd in the pre-Internet Dark Ages, behind the scenes specials like Standby: Lights, Camera, Action were hard to come by. I ate that show up.

Anyway, as you’re undoubtedly aware by now, Leonard Nimoy passed away on the 27th. As cartoonists do when they’re sad about these kinds of things, I drew a picture:

Leonard_Nimoy

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