"CAPTAIN MALCOLM REYNOLDS" IS SLIGHTLY BOTHERED... SERENITY NOW!
Here's a story from Fandom Wank that might interest Firefly fans
, star of the short-lived but cult sci-fi series from Joss Whedon, Firefly
, where he played Captain Malcolm Reynolds, is angry at a Edmonton comic book store. Fillion went to Warp One Comics
to purchase a copy of the first issue of Serenity
, a three-issue limited series that bridges the gap between the Firefly
TV series and the upcoming Serenity
movie, to give to his mother. Warp One had a copy in stock, but they were selling it for $20 Canadian, which, even taking into account the exchange rate, is a wee bit more than the $2.99 American cover price.
From Fillion's blog entry
(which you can't seem to read unless you sign up for the official "Browncoats" Serenity movie community
, but Fandom Wank has the full text up):
""That's what they're worth." he sneered at me. I asked him to show me a listing of some sort to back it up. "Well, I just know what I paid Dark Horse for it." He wouldn't show me that, either. I am aware that Dark Horse wasn't expecting these books to sell as well as they are, and that they are going into a second printing, but I just picked up three of them two days ago at cover price at another store. My brother piped up with a, "What an interesting attitude you have." Let me tell you folks, this fella had an attitude, and a smirk that you wanted to knock off his face with a baseball bat dipped in dog poop. Of course, my brother couldn't help letting this guy know who he was trying to hose by holding the issue next to my face. "This guy look familliar? This isn't some JoJo off the street! He knows what he's talking about!" Check this out- the reply of this crap-catcher, who shall remain nameless (Darryl) was, (and imagine a dullards voice- how we make people we don't like sound in a story) "Well, then you can call Joss Whedon and ask him." I had to tell this purplebelly that I was being sarcastic when I thanked him for his excellent service, and I don't think he knew what sanctimonious meant!
Wouldn't a smart business man ask me to sign an issue and sell me one at a fair price? Wouldn't that fetch a prettier penny than ripping me off for one issue? Congratulations, dude! You are now on the Browncoat $hitlist."
An employee at Warp One, Ivica F., tries to explain the price discrepancy
, saying that Diamond Distribution was out and they had to get it off the secondary market.
An employee from Happy Harbour Comics, a competing comic book store, tries to debunk some of the things the Warp One guy wrote
, saying that margins are a bit better than what the Warp One guy was implying, and also that, if you read between the lines, he seems to be saying that, while it's okay to charge a bit of a premium for a comic in high demand, $20 Canadian is still a very steep mark up.
I don't know whose side I'm on here. I understand that comic book stores are not charities and there is no reason that a comic book store owner should treat Mr. Fillion any different than a normal customer and, if a comic book store owner has to find an in-demand item from outside normal distribution channels, then the price will end up a bit higher than just the exchange rate, but, on the other hand, as an anime fan in Canada myself, I know from first hand experience that some Canadian comic book stores sell some things at prices that reek of price gouging, well beyond the exchange rate, so I can definitely sympathize with Mr. Fillion. The question is, who to blame? Is it the comic book store, or is it the distributors, because distribution of fandom-related goods of all sorts in Canada is often very inefficient, and I've seen various Diamond catalogues over the years, and they simply won't distribute a good percentage of what they sell because they're simply too niche for the Canadian market to be worth shipping up in bulk. (I'm talking about non-pornographic items that aren't featured on the notorious "Prohibited Importations Unit" lists
This should all be taken as a cautionary tale about the state of domestic distribution of some comic books and comic book-related accessories: something's a bit "rotten in the state of Denmark" when Mr. Fillion is paying graphic novel prices for a single issue of a comic book in the normal 32-page magazine format, and I mean a current issue still in print, not a back issue of a classic comic book.
By the way, I am looking forward to seeing the Serenity
movie when it hits theatres on my birthday weekend. I watched some of Firefly
when it was originally being aired on Fox. I can't honestly say I'm a fan, but probably only because it wasn't on the air long enough for me to get used to the feel of the show so it could really "click" with me. It seems like the sort of show I would have liked had it been on longer.
As a bonus item, here's a "classic" Anime News Network forum thread dealing with the bogus claims that Firefly ripped off the anime series Outlaw Star
. (Short answer: No, western-themed "space opera" was around long before Outlaw Star
, and the similarities are mainly due to Joss Whedon and Takehiko Ito were just both inspired by "pulp" sci-fi from writers like E.E. "Doc" Smith
. As usual, the anime fanboys screaming "rip-off" confused merely noting similarites with proving "cause and effect".)
MIXED JOB NEWS...
Eh, my job interview at the South Keys Chapters was fairly routine and mundane, which I consider a good thing. Unlike certain other recent job interviews I had at certain world famous retailers, ones I will not go into much detail about since I'm still intending to finish that bloody article I have half-written, they were not turning on the pressure on me during the interview to make me too anxious of their management style before I'm even hired and to make me feel like admitting that I would still want to have a modicum of a social life outside of my job responsibilities would make me not be a team player. Being a bookstore, it was relaxed and subdued, and I even got to banter a little bit about anime, since I noticed they have a superior (English-language) manga selection compared to any other Chapters store I've ever been to and I mentioned that I would still like to go to the anime club on Saturdays sometimes, since I'm new to the city and don't naturally socialize too well. Another advantage is that they did not ask me anything that made me feel that they suspect I'm a pot smoker. I don't touch and have never touched the stuff myself, but I kind of resent being asked about it, especially when the questions are all indirect and not just a straightforward "Do you smoke pot?".
Anyway, after the interview, we went to several other stores just for some errands, and, at the Loblaw's on Merivale and Baseline, my mother called my father and he told me that I already had a phone call from the woman responsible for hiring, so, as soon as I got back home, I had a lemonade to moisten my throat a bit and then I called her back. She told me that I wasn't going to be hired for the job they were immediately hiring for, since they needed someone for the cash right away and they had several other people with experience on the cash registers that they wouldn't need to train on the technical aspects of using them, but they would be hiring a lot more people for the fall in about a month and they would give me serious consideration for then.
I hope I do get a job there because, about the only place I'd rather work a "joe job" at than at a bookstore would be a cinema. I'll still apply at other places this month. The HMV not too far from my house is hiring. Now that's a job that Ran Kotobuki
would approve of me doing.
TORONTO PLANE CRASH
An Air France Airbus A340 has overshot the runway and crashed into a ravine in Toronto.
From the CBC:
"An Air France jet with as many as 200 people aboard has skidded off a runway while landing at Toronto's Pearson International Airport, bursting into flames and sending thick black smoke pouring into the air.
There is no word on the condition of the passengers and crew members on board the A340, with the plane still burning an hour after the 3:50 p.m. crash.
The jet has a capacity of about 200 people.
The airplane was trying to land in bad weather when it skidded off the runway just metres from one of Toronto's busiest roads, Highway 401.
"There was quite a downpour. The visibility was really bad, with lots of lightning," said John Finday, a CBC News journalist who was at the airport at the time of the accident.
The jet crashed through barriers and ended up in a small ravine at the far west end of the airport, the fuselage tipped down and the aircraft's tail in the air."
From Google Maps, I got this satellite shot of the area of the crash
, at the 06L end of the 24R runway. You can quite clearly see the ravine.
THE GENESIS OF A DRAWING...
I'm just about finished my Trafalgar Square and National Gallery drawing, and I'll scan it at Mailboxes Etc. at some point this coming week, but, since I reached the fatigue point that comes after working on a drawing for four weeks (the exact same thing happened with the Piccadilly Circus drawing
), on Thursday, I started work on my next drawing, and, this time, for a change, I'll show you how I do it at the very beginning, before I add any colours.
First, I pick the photo, which, in this case, is this photo of Covent Garden Market in London
, which, like the photos I used as the basis of my previous two drawings, I took in July 2000 with an Advantix disposable camera. Covent Garden Market
is one of those places (like Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco or Navy Pier in Chicago) that used to serve the function suggested by its name but its now more of a tourist attraction with a collection of fashionable eateries. This picture is taken in front of the main entrance, and you can see Southampton Street in the background, heading southwards towards the Strand, while Bedford Court extends from the right of the photo. (Thank you, Google Maps
. The tall brown building behind the market was, at the time, the flagship London store of the Doc Martens boot company, though I believe Doc Martens sold it and it's now a general souvenir shop for tourists.
The reason that I love this photo so much is that some random guy either intentionally or just by chance (though it sort of looks like he's posing for a holiday snap-type photo) happened to walk right into the vanishing poin
t of the photo, and, instead of screwing up the photo, it makes it stronger. All the major lines in the photo seem to be pointing directly at him, making a classic "one point perspective" picture, as explained in this tutorial
, just a little more interesting as it feels like I intentionally arranged for that to happen, but he just happened to fill what would otherwise be a noticeable void.
The next step is to print out a copy of the photo. Using a ruler, I pencil over the most important straight lines. The number of lines I draw varies; for this photo, I did more lines than usual, as the perspective is much more pronounced than it was in the previous two photos I used, so keeping everything in lines is much more important. (In the Trafalgar Square
drawing, for example, the National Gallery acts as a huge wall, obscuring the major vanishing point.) I try to find a balance in the number of lines; too few, and I risk distorting everything, but, if I draw too many, it just gets messy and confusing. I don't want to see too many construction lines under the colours of the finished drawing. Plus, it's actually the most tedious aspect of my drawing process, and I get tired of doing it after a couple of hours.
The third step is that I measure the lines I drew, use a calculator to scale them up, and then plot them on the "canvas" (which is really a piece of white card). Obviously, I draw the border lines of the drawing first, making sure the proportion is identical to the photograph. This time, I was sure to use a right angle measure (the triangle thingy) to make sure the corners of the drawing is precise, precise, precise. One vaguely interesting piece of trivia I can give you about these drawings is that the ruler I use is actually only 38 centimetres (15 inches) long, while the drawings are about 66 centimetres wide. Because the drawings are wider than the ruler I'm using to plot them, I pretty much had to treat the drawings as two smaller drawings, with the left side and the right side edges being the main point of reference I'm measuring from. While I'm generally very satisfied with the job I did with the Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square/National Gallery drawings, one problem I had was that I was a tiny bit careless drawing the edges of the drawings initially, and, as such, when the elements from the different parts of the drawings meet up, they don't quite line up properly and I had to fudge a lot more than is immediately noticable. I was determined not to repeat that mistake this time around, since the one-point perspective demands a lot more "unity" between the elements, and, since I was more careful with the edges, everything does seem to be lining up a lot better.
The way the "skeleton" of the drawing looks without colours reminds me very much of the way buildings were rendered in early 3D simulators like Vette
and Flight Simulator 3
The way I draw these drawings ia almost like a convergence of art and math. Damn, I feel like I'm on Square One Television
, as an object example for scaling.
THIS WAS BOUND TO HAPPEN SOONER OR LATER...
The Anime Nation forums
, where I'm Kiyone
, are one of the three featured "Awful" forums this week at Something Awful's "Weekend Web"
. Though most AN forum members are taking it in stride
That's one down, now I can only hope that Zachary "Spokker Jones" Gutierrez might see fit to include two of the other forums I mainly post at in future "Weekend Web" installments: Rotten Tomatoes
(where I'm also Kiyone
) and Anime News Network
(where I'm Tenchi
Meh... I have several half-written articles that I will try to complete tomorrow, though my brother is here from Toronto for a couple of days. Just summer and I'm feeling lazy.
As a follow-up to something I have half-written, I finally did take advantage of Wal-Mart's incredible $8.66 Canadian deal on selected anime DVDs and got volume 4 of Haibane Renmei
, which is a series I got one volume of as a gift but couldn't really continue getting as the DVDs were $45 Canadian a volume due to Geneon's crappy, at the time, Canadian distribution, over $15 Canadian more than I could buy a volume of Super Gals
Oh, and remember when I dropped off all those CVs the other week
? I have a job interview at Chapters South Keys, the Chapters bookstore that obviously has a manga fan working there already as the manga was separated into shounen
Please wish me luck!