Star Wars fans know that what ended up in the 1977 movie wasn't quite where George Lucas started when he was banging out ideas. The Skywalker family was originally Starkiller, and the title itself had a "the" stuck at the beginning. Lucas fleshed out the ideas quite a bit before he had a shooting script and a budget from Fox, but decades later, his 1974 rough draft has inspired something interesting: a series of comic books that will start publishing next month.
Here's the latest puzzle of a dream: last night, I dreamed that Flattop and 88 Keyes, two of the Dick Tracy villains, were in St. John's. Doing what, I'm not sure, but they were at a swanky party that I was attending. Some odd-looking faces, but they didn't seem to jibe with other characters I could recognize ... at least before I woke up!
This was a nice surprise: the latest instalment of Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's Century series of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was released today, so I downloaded it straight away through the Comics app. It's just $4.99 digitally.
I've haven't read it through yet, but I was schoolboy-giddy enough to flick rapidly through the pages quickly, looking at how this one is put together ... and to see what winks, nod, in-jokes, allusions and asides are packed inside. There are quite a few, right at the surface, from Bond girls to 30 Rock to Doctor Who to the Lion King, of all things. I imagine it would really help, again, to be English to spot some of the background characters who pop up in these books!
I'm setting it aside for the weekend. It looks like a treat, with the same attention to detail and sidebar production values (the fake ads are as complicated as anything else) as the preceding ones.
[Surf’s Up, as published in The Telegram in St. John's on Thursday, March 1, 2012. Yes, that's a while ago. Better late than never!]
The saying goes that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb – or should that be the other way around? (The proverb may have it as the former, but my perceptions, incorrect as they may be, are with the latter.)
I don’t know what weather we’ll have today, as I’m writing this in advance, but I have a suggestion or two on making sure you’re not caught off guard, whether you’re heading out for a walk or to the slopes.
The Weather Network iTunes, Android, BlackBerry, PC A weather app came with my phone, and yet the Weather Network’s app is a must-download. Why? Because it’s frightfully easy to use, and it comes ready to roll for every platform. It’s my digital standard.
SkiMarble Snow Report iTunes What are the conditions like at Marble Mountain? Or at other major ski resorts in Canada, for that matter? These two apps will be appreciated for ski enthusiasts, who (I know from experience) can get very fretful about tiny changes in the forecast and accumulations. Snow Report is sponsored by trendy retailer The North Face, so be prepared for a sales pitch, and bear in mind that what you read is based on latest filed reports, which means they may not be as up-to-the-instant as you’d like. Unfortunately, Snow Report doesn’t list Marble Mountain, which makes SkiMarble the go-to app for skiers heading to OMJ and other runs. A webcam helps set the scene.
Weather office Environment Canada’s consumer site is filled with far more than just temperature readings. I use it frequently for all kinds of things, particularly radar and satellite views of coming storms. (In the news business, storms on the march are taken seriously indeed.)
@ryansnoddon I happen to sit about 30 seconds away from CBC’s meteorologist, and yes, I’ll cop to strolling over to ask him specific questions (such as, “My son’s Scout camp this weekend – yay or nay?”). Here’s the thing: Ryan tells his coworkers nothing more than what he tells everyone who subscribes to his Twitter feed, or says on the air. He keeps up with each day’s details, and looks after the whole of the province to boot.
Elsewhere this week
Sporcle www.sporcle.com/ What comes after “hey, where did we go?” in the Van Morrison song Brown-Eyed Girl? If you said, “days when the rains came,” you’d do well in one the “finish the lyrics” brain-teaser here on Sporcle, as you race against the clock to get all the right answers. Incidentally, I answered, “days when the rain came” … and got it wrong, until I realized the correct word was the plural, “rains.” Yes, it’s that precise, and that applies for punctuation, too! Check out similar quizzes while you’re here.
Comic Booked www.comicbooked.com/ I was a pretty big comics fan in my day, and that would be the mid-Seventies. If I could rub a couple of dimes together (I remember with horror when comics went from 15 cents to 20, and then – gasp! – to 25), I was picking up the monthly instalment involving someone with a cape and/or mask. My son is submerging himself in comic book culture, spending his allowance (oh, that seems familiar) at the comics shop. I found this for him: a roundup of news about the industry, adaptations for the movies and TV, and miscellaneous threads, many about characters and series he doesn’t yet know or hasn’t yet bought. Hmm… maybe I should set this aside for a while!
YouTubeTime www.youtubetime.com/ Want to send your friends to a specific instant in a YouTube video? They won’t have to sit and wait for the first part to pass with this tool. Enter the desired time and the link of the original video, and voila, a new link that will take you right to the marker.
John Gushue is a digital editor with CBC News in St. John’s. Twitter: @johngushue.
This summer's reinvention of Spider-Man is coming pretty quickly on the heels of the Sam Raimi trilogy. Nonetheless, it looks like it'll be different, and a little darker, to judge from the new trailer out this week. (A key point: Peter Parker invents his webslinging apparatus, whereas the Tobey Maguire version woke up with the sticky powers like, um, some teenage hormonal thing.)
Anyway, I'm pretty sure I know I'll be buying two or three (depends if Martha wants to tag along with the boy and me) tickets in July.
I've never seen an episode of Young Justice, but the characters look familiar from the time when I inhaled DC comics in the Seventies. I still got a laugh out of this parody, which successfully matches images with audio straight from Winnie-the-Pooh.
Dot Dot Dot is Morse code for the letter 'S,' the full message Guglielmo Marconi claimed to have received atop Signal Hill in St. John's in 1901. It ushered in the age of telecommunications. My maternal grandfather worked as a telegraph operator for Canadian Marconi on Signal Hill for many years.
As well, I have a habit of overusing the ellipsis when I write ... as frequent readers might notice.