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-by Erich Schoeneweiss


Been a busy month or so, between personal adventures (went skiing for the first time, still sporting bruises from that one), work, socializing, writing for GHM, and defending the honor of GHM staffers.  So, with all this time passed between updates you’re probably figuring I‘ve got something utterly original for you to read here…thing is, I really don’t.  Hell, you could link away to something else right now and probably not miss much, but for those of you who are going to stick this out with me here we go…

If you are not reading Black Panther you’re missing one of the most unique books the House of Ideas is publishing.  I jumped on board with issue #26 (the first of the 4 part Sturm und Drang story line) and was pleasantly surprised.  The book had been shoved in my face with a “You should read this” and I took it but paid no heed.  I was looking for ANYTHING to read on the can one day and grabbed it, I was hooked after that.  Priest is writing a witty, suspenseful, social, and political super hero comic.  I never thought much of  T’Challa other than he was some sort of token African American hero Marvel could use to be PC.  Under Priest’s great storytelling he’s a very complex character.  I loved the interaction and use of Namor, Doctor Doom, and Magneto in the story line and Klaw made for a great villain.  The addition of the Tom Clancyesque political and military angle made the story that much more exciting.  Give the book a shot; it’s certainly different from the usual super hero fare.

I praise Marvel, now I must throw darts at them for the weak hell death of Colossus in The Uncanny X-Men #390.  Basically, he injects himself with the cure for the Legacy Virus than activates his mutant powers, killing himself and releasing the cure thus saving the world.  Fine, it was a noble death; HOWEVER, considering it was Stryfe who initially released the virus with his death it should have been Cable who released the cure with his death.  Marvel didn’t have the balls to kill off such a weak ass character they still don’t know what to do with.  It was so much easier to kill off one of the most noble and beloved X-Men.  Sure he doesn’t have his own book or a hoard of T-shirts, but the great Colossus stories told over the years have filled many more pages than anything with Cable in it. Marvel’s position is if fans want to read Colossus stories they can still pick up Ultimate X-Men…that’s a crock of shit and we all know it.  I can think of so many other X-Men more worthy of death (HOW IS GAMBIT SO POPULAR?!  HE THROWS PLAYING CARDS FOR GOD’S SAKE!!).

OK, off of comics and on to film for a minute.  Read an interesting article in Premiere Magazine last week about the use of digital effects to enhance actors’ performances and clean up scenes.  While we’re all aware of the traditional use of effects, the digital age is allowing artists to do such things as:

-Add enough hair to a female stripper to cover what was an exposed nipple, thus giving a film a PG or PG-13 rating instead of an R.

-Removing an actor from a scene they should not have been in.

-Adding a tear to an actress who couldn’t conjure them up on her own.

The prospect of some of this I find scary.  Sure covering a breast here or there is one thing, but manipulating an actor or actresses performance digitally is wrong.  If an actor is expected to cry in a scene, I expect them to be talented enough to do just that.  That is why there are awards for acting after all.  I’m just going to be watching movies (which are $10 in NYC now) with a whole new perspective now.

Finally, I became an uncle for the first time this weekend.  After 7 months of basically willing the child to be a boy I received just that.  My nephew is incredible. His first night home I sat and watched the Simpsons with him and read him an issue of JLA (his dad threw a Spidey comic at me and told me to read the good stuff to him).  I look forward to the many adventures Gizmo (he makes cooing sounds like a Mogwai) and I will have over the years.  If you have the means, I highly recommend you get one.

So that’s it…back to work.

Copyright©2001 Erich Schoeneweiss