Friday, February 27, 2009


I don't know their real names yet, but I'm guessing: The Guido, Insectuman, Hot Pale Dude, Bag Face and Thighs McGee.

Yeah, I could be wrong about the character names for Watchmen, so check back next Friday after I've read the comic and seen the movie. I'm sure I'll have oodles of thoughtful comments to impart. But, here's what I've gathered so far...

My sources (and Wikipedia) tell me that Watchman changed the face of comics as it was the first costumed superhero story aimed at adults. Every great comic that has come after has been compared to Watchmen. The superhero icon was deconstructed by it's author, Alan Moore, and although many of the characters share some attributes of other well known superheros, Watchmen's cast is dark and troubled, like way more messed up than Batman. The story takes place right here on Earth, but it's the 1980's, Nixon is still president and the cold war is raging. Superheros have been outlawed, though a few vigilantes remain and some are employed by the government (a major tactical advantage in the cold war). Watchmen, made up of only 12 issues, has been called the "holy grail" of comics, putting all the pressure on Zack Snyder to stay faithful enough to the source material but still make a good movie. We all know how well that usually goes.

But, here's a clip from YouTube and I have to say - it looks pretty damn interesting.

Many thanks to Jason McRaven and Vernon Cameron for the scoop on Watchmen the comic and letting me basically plagiarize from our last Facebook messaging stream.

Me, Myself and I

Bag 'em and tag 'em, boys.

Most of you may have notice my profile pic. It's me in Muppet-like form (A Whatnot from FAO Schwarz) and for some reason I got it into my head that I had to have her, not just in the swiped jpeg from the Interweb form, but in glorious orange Muppet foam and synthetic hair form. And thanks to Adam, I got her. But that was not until after I proved to FAO Schwarz and everyone around me, that I am a total freak. I demanded perfection out of this glorified toy. I was hard on her, examining her construction, inner workings, glasses placement, how well that stick jammed up her hand - all the normal things you look for when acquiring a Muppet. But, what I discovered is that Muppet Megan is about as perfect at Actual Megan, but it took 3 tries for me to get it.

Look, I really don't know what I'm going to do with her now that she exists. And I'm sort of weirded out that I called 3 custom-made Muppets into existence and turned 2 of them away. What will happen to them? I've been assuring those posing this question to me that the rejects will be sold to other less discerning patrons, like people with bad eyesight, those who didn't go to art school or stupid children. The thing is, we're used to crap, so used to it that poorly made toys, electronics, furniture, steel girders or car seats are just considered to be all part of the global economy that gives us everything we can possibly want. Thank goodness that's not in danger of changing.

A superior passed my office door moments before this was taken. Very professional.

When you grow up watching these characters, understanding their subtleties, their movements, their googly eyes, what else can you do but demand that same craftsmanship? This is as close to the real Muppet Workshop as I'm ever going to get, I thought as I placed my initial order. That's a whole lot of pressure on one piece of foam. I asked the FAO Schwarz customer service gal if they had many return issues like mine and she politely said, "Actually, no, we haven't. We did have one gentleman who insisted on putting his own together, so we just mailed him all the parts. That was the only special request. Everyone else seems OK with theirs." (Oh, FYI I spoke with 4 people at the actual FAO Shwarz store in NYC and 2 of them added the "t" on the end. Shocking.) But, I will grow to love her, despite her imperfect felt pupils, her off center hairline and dab of hot melt glue on the left side of her nose. I'll deal with these issues and maybe, just maybe I'll be able to deal with the imperfections of actual Megan in a more profound way. Because in the end, the quest to regain a little piece of our childhood is a journey to find a happier version of one's self, when we didn't see the imperfections around us but instead the joy of being alive and the endless possibilities of our future.*

When will FAO come out with the animatronic Whatnots?

*Just kidding about this last part, I would have thrown a fucking fit if I got this seemingly imperfect Muppet when I was like 8. But to reiterate from pasts posts, I was a huge jerk back then.