Routine Check – Valentine’s Day 2013


– Geez, 2013 is getting away from me. Here’s some appealing news highlights backing up in my bookmarks, as quickly as I can burn through them. Also, I started a Tumblr spin-off of this site that I initially intended to use to pick up some of the slack and do some more timely link-blogging, but immediately started using to post stupid Photoshops I made instead.

– A few bits on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim and slightly-less-adult original programming — Netflix has signed a deal to stream a bunch of their extremely stream-friendly programs including Adventure Time, Regular Show, Childrens Hospital, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Boondocks, and Johnny Bravo, which should begin March 30 according to IGN. That includes a lot of shows I struggle to keep current with using traditional TV-watching methods, so that’s great news. Also, following the success of the kaBOOM! Adventure Time comic, webcomic maestro K.C. Green and artist Allison Strejlav will be following suit with Regular Show this April. Here’s an interview with Green discussing his plans, and here’s some very attractive cover variants for the first and second issues. In the classic department, the urban-legendary “lost Dexter’s Laboratory” episode has surfaced online some 15 years after it was produced; it’s a gimmicky, bleep-filled crowd-pleaser that’s not nearly as offensive as rumor had it. Last but certainly not least, the fifth season of The Venture Bros. will finally premiere on May 19.

– A few crowd-funding projects that jumped out at me: Ninja Turtle vet Jim Lawson Kickstarting a neat-looking dinosaur OGN. Jon Schnepp of Metalocalypse is funding a documentary on Tim Burton’s infamous failed Superman movie. Ralph Bakshi is working on a new animated short called Last Days of Coney Island, said to be a ’60s-set “mafia/cop/horror” mash-up with “political overtones both realistic and outrageous.” He’s looking to raise $165,000 for it, which is 220% of what Bill Plympton was asking to do a whole feature, but still, new Bakshi is worth throwing some change at for sure. Coatwolf, the car-and-gun-nerd collective who made one of my favorite movies of 2011, Bellflower, are using Indie Go Go to try their hand at another DIY feature, and it looks great.

– That new Coachella lineup is mighty impressive, even if the obligatory long-shot band reunions have become almost comical at this point.

mindmgmt– Matt Kindt, one of the most interesting writer-artists in comics right now, is having a really good year so far, with his excellent Dark Horse serial Mind MGMT getting picked up for a potential Ridley Scott film adaptation, and coming on board the new-52 Justice League comic with a back-up feature starring Martian Manhunter, which can only make that incredibly boring comic better.

– In other comic-to-film news, Guy Delisle’s semi-autobiographical graphic novel Pyongyang!, about his experience supervising an animated children’s show in North Korea, is being developed as a feature by screenwriter Steven Conrad and director Gore Verbinski. That’s interesting on several levels — Delisle is a revered and prolific creator I’ve been meaning to check out, and that sounds like a fascinating diversion from your average comic book movie deal, plus Steven Conrad is one of the greatest and funniest writers working. Verbinski may seem like an odd choice, but before he worked full-time for Johnny Depp he was an extremely eclectic filmmaker, jumping from the live-action Looney Tune MouseHunt to the noirish caper comedy The Mexican to his previous collaboration with Conrad, the deeply underrated The Weather Man.

– In one last bit of comics, the popular/excellent/super-nice Don Rosa of The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck fame has posted an “epilogue” that Disney barred him from including in the last volume of his collected library through publisher Egmont. It’s a fascinating and surprisingly emotional read that goes into some pretty serious reasons why Rosa decided to retire, including a harrowing near-miss with permanent blindness and a constant struggle with Disney’s creator relations, the latter of which kept it from being published. Rosa himself notes the irony of the fact that the text would likely have been sort of an obscure “fans-only” essay if it had been in the back of a book, instead of being online where anybody could skim through it; indeed, it’s gotten a lot of link traction across the Internet the past couple of days.

– If you, like me, have been wondering what Matthew “Garth Marenghi” Holness has been working on, Bleeding Cool has a sort-of-update on a feature-length 70s pastiche he’s been working on, namely a freshly posted short film that may be a couple years old now. It’s pretty great.

– Hey, John Mulaney picked up a deal for a Lorne Michaels-produced sitcom. That is good news.

– I didn’t realize the Alan Patridge movie was even a done deal, much less already filming. With a script by Steve Coogan, Armando Iannucci, and various other comedy gods involved with the original series, it is a lock for hilarity.

– I believe I’ve plugged Searching for Sugar Man, last year’s excellent documentary exploring various mysteries surrounding the obscure but cultishly admired musician Rodriguez, several times here but it just recently landed on DVD  so here I am doing it again. More importantly, the newly high-profile singer is considering another record, which he may record with producer David Holmes, who introduced me and a lot of people to the man by putting “Sugar Man” on his Come Get It, I Got It mix in 2002.

– Speaking of elusive, mysterious rock stars, they don’t come any more elusive or mysterious than The Residents, who are currently on a 40th anniversary tour that sees them reimagining some of their “hits,” following up an amusing media push for their new limited-edition refrigerator box set I posted earlier. I got to see it in Atlanta a few days back, and would highly recommend it. I’d also recommend this illuminating article about Atlanta resident Molly Harvey’s relationship with the band. It pulls the curtain back on them a little more than usual, and it’s just kind of a sweet story overall.

– Somehow I missed that Dan O’Bannon had a posthumous screenwriting book released at the top of the year. Dan O’Bannon rules.

Fridays, the infamously hard-to-find live sketch show best known for being the early stomping ground of Larry David and Michael Richards and for a legendary Andy Kaufman incident, is finally headed to DVD via Shout! Factory this year.

– Finally, R.I.P. Alan Sharp, one of the most interesting screenwriters there ever was and I can only assume a great novelist as well. The Hired Hand and Night Moves, both self-adapted from his novels, have become two defining examples of ’70s hidden treasures recently, and they are indeed two of the finest and most unique films you’ll see. There’s some interesting background on his life and career here.

Today in streams and freebies: The indie comics maverick Kyle Baker has unexpectedly and graciously dumped all of his creator-owned work online, which means you can read classics like The Cowboy Wally Show and Why I Hate Saturn for free, right now. NPR is streaming Unknown Mortal Orchestra‘s sophomore album, which is a pleasant little psych jammer I’ve been enjoying over the last couple weeks. Rolling Stone is hosting the new Tegan and Sara, which I haven’t heard yet but it seems to be giving them their biggest spotlight since that stretch where “Walking With a Ghost” was in everyone’s head all the time. The Guardian the new Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds album, which I’m very excited about, as well as Frightened Rabbit’s fourth album of melancholy Scottish folk-pop, which is currently making my wife very happy. For many, the only album news that matters all year will be the new My Bloody Valentine, which can be played track-by-track through YouTube, probably best accessed via Pitchfork.


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