PCR past banners Now in our fourth calendar year
PCR #193  (Vol. 4, No. 49)  This edition is for the week of December 1--7, 2003.

The History of Aviation in Florida, Part Three: World War Two and the Nifty Fifties
 by Will Moriaty
"The Last Samurai"  by Mike Smith
TV commercial Hall of Shame....Matrix Reloaded Again....Big Country Ultimate Collection
 by Vinnie Blesi
Superman: The Kansas Sighting....Permanent Job
 by John Lewis
The Passion of Christ....Things I Didn't Know, But Maybe I Should Have....Slush Pile/Tampa ComicCon
 by Brandon Jones
Post-Thanksgiving message....Famous Monsters Trademark News....Happy Birthday, Forry
 by Matt Drinnenberg
Jesus And Other Jews....OK, But How Do You Explain Madonna?....Congrats....Passing On....And The Winner Is....Nice Try, Jack....NEW MOVIES
 by Mike Smith
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“The Passion of Christ” is already fueling rage and debate.

The New York Post obtained a copy of Mel Gibson’s upcoming biblical epic (I mentioned that the actor playing Jesus has been struck by lightening, not once, but twice.) The Post showed the film to a small group that included a critic, a reader, a Rabbi, a Priest and a Professor.

Yes, I know it sounds like the intro to a bad joke.

Anyway, to everyone’s shock and surprise is how much the viewers hated the film, blasted Mel and have begun their crusade to boycott the film.

A few notes/comments:

-   Does anyone think that a crucifixion is not a gory scene? I know that the populous cannot handle such gruesome imagery of their deity, but what did they expect?

-   Mel Gibson is a devout ultraconservative Catholic. Are you really surprised that the Jews are not portrayed in a positive light? Have you been to mass lately?

-   The film will surely flop and drift into obscurity like Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ”, but credit Gibson for using Aramaic/Hebrew dialogue with English subtitles. Expect critics to make countless comparisons to “The Book of John.”

-   They viewing panel attack the violence and gore in the picture and the portrayal of Jewish leadership. The story shows us death and not why he died.

I have to stop now, my head hurts. It’s worse than the criticism of “The Matrix” films, but more on that another time.


Don’t let your babies grow up to be President! A survey from Parenting magazine: Would you want your child to grow up to be president – 64% percent said NO. Let me cast five more votes as “Hell NO!!!”

Congressman Gopher

The best restaurant in Fresno is at the Teriyaki Don. The Houston Texan quarterback David Carr, a Fresno State alum, stated in a recent interview that this is the place to go in Fresno. Love or hate Japanese food, I’ve always had a soft spot for the odd, unknown greasy spoon restaurant. Thanks Dave!!!

Holy Special Effects Batman! Burt Ward is credited in “Bulletproof Monk” as the visual effects producer: Boy Wonder VFX. Uh, okay. I guess it’s a step up from the rubber, exploding shark – maybe not.

Bruce Campbell is back. Calm down, Lalino. No, in Spider-Man 2 -- Campbell will be the Snooty Usher at Mary Jane’s play. Remember, he was the Wrestling Announcer in the first Spidey flick.

Lego heaven, if there is one. Are you a fan of Edward Scissorhands, Planet of the Apes, Reservoir Dogs or The Matrix? Check out the Kubrick playsets that are a variation of LEGOs: http://www.medicomtoy.co.jp/kubrick/index.html



Comics, toys, free stuff, cool creators, frenzied fans – this convention had it all.

My short visit to the convention, held at the Doubletree, was full of fun and the antics expected as this type of exhibition. Tim Gordon coordinated the events after failed efforts by others and a pool full of enthusiasm from fans and vendors alike.

My best friend, Craig Minich, joined me on this adventure (it was his first convention) and we were quickly engulfed into the excitement – a few quick photos of the fans dressed a soldier, Trinity from “The Matrix” series and a man dressed in a full Thing costume.

Off to meet Alex Saviuk, as we discussed his work on "Amazing Spider-Man" that proceeded the legendary Todd McFarlane run. Alex talked about his work on the Sunday newspaper strip "The Amazing Spider-Man", which is not available in the Tampa area papers. You can check it out at: www.kingfeatures.com. Alex told us that Spidey’s success has cost him some his circulation as the local fish-wrap won’t drop the fees to keep his weekly strip coming. Alex was a pleasure to meet and he posed for a couple of snapshots.

Then came Ethan Van Sciver, who has gained recognition for his work on "New X-Men", but I remember as the creator of Cyberfrog. Ethan admitted that things have moved rather quickly since his Harris Comics days, so I asked about working with Grant Morrison on the X-title. A quiet, reserved Ethan sketched away at a picture of Rogue and admitted to meeting Grant only once, working mostly via e-mail. Morrison lives in Scotland and would send the script providing a lot of creative freedoms with the artwork.

Ethan went on to discuss one story that opened with Wolverine standing atop dead soldiers. Perplexed he questioned Morrison as to what type of soldiers, did Wolverine kill them etc…his reply was simply that it doesn’t matter, they were bastards.

How great is that?

On we moved, Dick Kulpa (Cracked), Mark & Stephanie Heike (AC Comics and a ton of other titles), and the creative team at the locally-based Wet Ink Studios (Ralph Bednarski, Greg Hanna led the motley crew) – all were gracious with their time and our interest in their work. We got a shot of David and Austin Alexander posing with their copy of Action #1.

Not bad for a small show in Tampa huh?

Oh but wait, my moment came when I got to meet and talk to Mart Nodell and his wife Carrie. Marty created the Green Lantern and, oddly enough, the Pillsbury Doughboy. Whether it’s choosing the green lantern over the red lantern or Carrie driving Marty’s work into town, the stories absorb you. The environment didn’t allow for a formal interview, but a fantastic pair.

Lastly, we decided to “geek out” and take one last photo – with the 501st Legion of Stormtroopers. What a great bunch of guys, very accomodating and please note that it was their idea for us to be kneeling as captors. Awesome, thanks. www.501st.com

The next convention is scheduled again at the Doubletree Hotel on Sunday, April 4, 2004 from 10am-4pm. For all of the poop on the latest convention, store signings and links to some of the pros: http://www.comicbookconventions.com

Orlando hosts a monthly show at the Radisson on International Drive which is entirely FREE. Upcoming dates are December 21, January 17 and February 29. www.cccpromotions.com

A huge show, DreamCon, is slated for June 11-13 in Jacksonville and will feature Peter David as their guest. www.DreamCon.net


Disdain for “The Shaw Report” in “Entertainment Weekly” I’m apparently not alone as Jessica Shaw’s small insert in the weekly rag irritates or confuses others. While I plan to keep the day job, look out Jessica:

Overwhelming stress at workOverwhelming unemploymentBlowing off an afternoon to take in a movie
Sofia Coppola’s “Lost in Translation”Coppola’s “The Virgin Suicides” memoriesSofia in “Godfather III” – painful
Key Lime pie (I hear it’s good, but I’ll stick with the parfait)McGriddleMcRibb (And you thought a hot dog was scary!!!)

“Batman: Intimidation”. I’m sure many of you have heard already, but Christopher Nolan has decided on Christian Bale as the next caped crusader and the movie is slated to open on my birthday, July 1st, 2005 – same timeframe as the “Indiana Jones 4” project. Dates and the title are still flexible, but there is a lot of positive feedback. Michael Caine will play Alfred with the rumors of Clint Eastwood playing the Gotham mayor and Katie Holmes playing Bruce Wayne’s love interest.

By the way, why does there always have to be a love interest? Isn’t Bruce sort of a womanizer anyway – sorry, I digress.

"Splash Page" is ©2003 by Brandon Jones.   Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2003 by Nolan B. Canova.