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#781: A Good Day to Die Hard

February 18, 2013

Notes from the Manager

I have to admit, since I’ve been doing movie jokes again (or rather, jokes about new movies again rather than jokes about movies in general, like in Book 6), I’ve had this nagging feeling that I’ve already done just about every one of these jokes before. Which is probably to be expected after 6+ years of doing a comic strip. And sooner or later, I’ll probably be right. Whenever that finally does happen, sorry! Hopefully it will be different enough that most of you won’t notice.

Anyway. A Good Day to Die Hard opened this weekend. I don’t really hate the sequels; I think Die Hard 2 gets a bad rap, and that it’s actually decent — just not nearly as good as the first one. I never saw all of Die Hard with a Vengeance, but what I saw didn’t really encourage me to see the rest. I enjoyed Live Free or Die Hard as a dumb fucking movie with some pretty fun action. “The new one” looks even bigger and dumber, and the reviews I’ve seen support my hunch, so, like the fourth one, it’s a rental for me, at best.

What I can’t get around with any of them after the second one is that they missed the main thing that made the first Die Hard great: he’s a normal fucking guy. John McClane was the antidote to the Arnolds and Slys of the 1980’s. Now, he’s a superhero, just like the rest. I saw Die Hard for the first time in high school on cable, and it was fucking magic — so for me, these sequels don’t count. When I do watch them, I just pretend they’re about some guy named Jon MacLaine. Or something.

See you Friday.


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“Autobiography” (excerpt)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

So I finished my Master of Fine Arts degree—technically as of March 31, although I’m still working on a couple of assistantships. But I got my diploma in the mail today.

This is one of the weirder things I did in grad school. It was a project I did for a Graphic Design Studio class, and the only stipulation was that you had to make a collection of… something. I chose to do a “collection” of twelve books that shaped who I am as a person. Not necessarily books that I still hold dear, but that really connected with me when I read them.

So, I call it an autobiography, although obviously it’s not. I decided to make a story scroll using clippings from these books, cut and pasted to build a NEW story (a creation story). I made scroll handles for it from wooden dowels (painted bronze) and bronze drawer handles on all four ends.

It was roughly 6¾ feet long if you completely unrolled the scroll, so I’ll only show the first bit here. You can click through to the Patreon page I posted it on a couple of years ago if you want to read the whole thing. I made it public so anyone can see it.

The books are (in no particular order): The Book of Job, translated by Stephen Mitchell; The Illustrated Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking; Cages by Dave McKean; Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood; Epileptic by David B; Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman; Hamlet’s Mill by Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechen; Justice League: A New Beginning by Keith Giffen, J. M. DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire; Metaphors We Live By by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson; The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan W. Watts; and The Complete Winnie-the-Pooh & The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne. (The Pooh books are technically two separate volumes, so it’s really thirteen, but I now own a single-volume collection of them. I also read Justice League in the issues first, not TPB, so whatever.)

Enjoy! Or just kind of squint your eyes and wonder why this is something that graduate students spend their time doing. But hopefully you’ll enjoy it.

autobiography-part-1

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