Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

No Heroics Happy Hour

March 21, 2009

noheroicscastukWell, it was bound to happen, the British comedy series No Heroics is flying over the Atlantic to the U.S. — capes and all — to be adapted for a comedy pilot for ABC. The initial announcement was back in February when The Hollywood Reporter announced that ABC picks up comedy pilot ‘No Heroics’. The show is to be co-written by Jeff Greenstein (Will & Grace, Desperate Housewives, Friends) and the British series creator Drew Pierce. The two are also executive producers, along with Andrew Zein. ABC Studios is producing the show.

But, this last week the news was heard a little louder when it was announced that Freddie Prinze Jr. was cast to star in the U.S. adaptation.

“Sigh.” Those of you that are familiar with me and my work know where I’m going to go with this…

As far back as 2002, shortly after the second issue of (Super) Hero Happy Hour — the self-published comic book co-created by myself and Chris Fason — was released I found myself with “Hollywood” representation and I was meeting with various producers and production companies about turning our little comic book about super heroes hanging out in a bar into a TV show about super heroes hanging out in a bar. This was really the first foray into comic book creating and publishing that either Chris and I had ever made. (Super) Hero Happy Hour (Huh? I just found out that Hero Happy Hour has a Wikipedia page. Neat!) It was exciting times. I found myself making the forty minute to an hour drive up to L.A./Hollywood for meetings that I felt completely out of my league with. Back then, the plan was to do Hero Happy Hour as an animated series with big-name talent providing the voices. I was amazed at some of the names that would be thrown about — Bruce Willis, Pierce Bronson — it was crazy. It was almost dreamlike. I thought I had it the jackpot right off the bat with my very first comic book.

But, it was about that time that I received an overnight letter from both Marvel and DC, and I thought, “Hell, yes! I’ve been noticed.” Well, I was noticed alright. I was noticed for trademark infringement. Marvel and DC co-own the trademarked term “super hero” and they weren’t to thrilled with me using it in the title of my self-published comic book that was starting to get a little Hollywood attention. I was served with a cease and desist letter. That is when we changed the title from Super Hero Happy Hour to Hero Happy Hour. Whether there was a connection or not (I doubt it), after a couple of years the Hollywood talks began to slow down to a crawl and eventually dried up altogether.

Then about a year ago or so, I heard about the new British comedy No Heroics — about super heroes hanging out in a bar. Now, I’m the last person who’s going to argue that it’s the most original idea in the world. But, the similarities between Hero Happy Hour and No Heroics caught me a little off guard. And, it was a little show over in Britain — some 5,448 miles away. Now No Heroics is coming over here to my neighborhood, and I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed. It’s an opportunity lost. An opportunity that had it happened could’ve changed my entire life.

But, there’s no point in crying over spilled beer at a bar where super her– Oops. My bad. Sorry Marvel and DC. There’s no point in crying over spilled beer at a bar where heroes hang out at. I still do hope to publish more Hero Happy Hour comic books. I have scripts in the can, and notes and ideas for numerous more issues. Unfortunately, my partner in crime, Chris Fason is unable to belly up to the bar and tackle the artist duties due to being a good father, husband, and providing for his family with a paying solid job. (You go, Chris!) If I’m able to find the right artist to help out there will be more Hero Happy Hour comic books.

In the meantime, until No Heroics makes its U.S. premiere feel free to check out these issues and collections of Hero Happy Hour that you can find and/or order online…

gpnk-00001_sHero Happy Hour #1 — Written by Dan Taylor. Art by Chris Fason. Cover by Scott Morse. Imagine pulling up a stool to the bar and sipping a frosty pint of your favorite beverage as you listen in on the conversations of the “regulars” that frequent the neighborhood tavern. But, this establishment is unlike any other bar. The Hideout Bar & Grill caters to the super heroes of First City, and provides more than just a place to wash away the troubles of serving and protecting society as crime-fighting crusaders. For these regular heroes it is “a place where everyone knows your name” — secret identity or not. Available for free at wowio.com.

gpnk-00002_sHero Happy Hour #2 — Written by Dan Taylor. Art by Chris Fason. Cover by Jim Mahfood. It’s Tuesday night, and it’s Ladies’ Night at the Hideout Bar & Grill, the local watering-hole for the super heroes of First City. Join a quartet of super heroines as they let down their hair, deconstruct the “boys club” of being a super hero, and unwind after a hectic day of saving the world from madmen, maniacs, and monsters. Available for free at wowio.com.

gpnk-00003_sHero Happy Hour #3 — Written by Dan Taylor. Art and cover by Chris Fason. It’s time for “Another Round” at the Hideout Bar & Grill, the local watering hole for the super heroes of First City. The evening starts out quietly enough with the crime-fighting duo of Night Ranger and Scout joining Guardian and new-super-hero-in-town, Randal. But, that’s all about to change when a less than desirable clientèle shows up to ruin the heroes’ happy hour. Available for free at wowio.com.

gpnk-00004_sHero Happy Hour #4 — Written by Dan Taylor. Art by Chris Fason. Cover by Ragnar. Could it possibly be last call at the Hideout Bar & Grill? Phantom Dread and a band of super villains show up to crash the Hero Happy Hour. Add six parts super villains, five parts super heroes, one part nervous bartender, shake well, and you’ve got… the ultimate barroom brawl. Available for free at wowio.com.

gpnk-00005_sHero Happy Hour #5 — Written by Dan Taylor. Art by Chris Fason. Cover by Dave Crosland. Worlds collide when reality television invades the Hideout Bar & Grill in “Reality Shots.” The loyalties of the “dysfunctional duo” of Night Ranger and Scout are put to the test when they’re personal agendas, as well as their own unique (if not skewed) perceptions of reality clash with one another. Available for free at wowio.com.

gpnk-ssf01_sHero Happy Hour: Super Special Flashback — A bunch of comic book creators walk into a bar… The Hideout Bar & Grill. Join Tom Beland (True Story, Swear To God), Dave Crosland (Everybody’s Dead), Scott Morse (Soulwind, Southpaw), Todd Nauck (Wildguard, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man), Steve Niles (30 Days of Night, Batman: Gotham County Line), Gail Simone (Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman), Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night, Wormwood Gentleman Corpse), Dan Wickline (1001 Arabian Nights: The Adventures of Sinbad), and many other comic book writers and artists as they belly up to the bar to offer their take on patrons of every super hero’s favorite hangout. This collection contains all of the original stories from the Hero Happy Hour Super Special 2004, as well as an additional healthy pour of bonus material. Available for free at wowio.com.

idw-00006_sSuper Deluxe Hero Happy Hour: The Lost Episode — Available at last–the long-lost episode, “The Fall and Rise of Kingfish,” with bonus material and special features! Return to every hero’s favorite watering hole, The Hideout Bar & Grill, and join Guardian, Night Ranger, Scout, Rusty the Bartender and the rest of the regulars as they defend First City from the marauding Shadow-Soldiers from Dimension Z. Happy hour turns sour as one of their own loses their life in the line of duty and the group has to come to terms with the loss of a colleague. This re-mastered “lost episode” includes never-before-seen specially enhanced scenes, interviews with the cast, outtake and blooper scenes, and additional bonus material. Available for purchase at IDW Publishing.

ind0omni_sHero Happy Hour: Omnibus 01 — Did you miss any (or, dare we say, all) of the first five issues of Hero Happy Hour? Well, unlike missing out at “last call,” you’ve got the chance to partake in all five of the original rounds with the super hero gang from the Hideout Bar & Grill. This special digest-sized collection contains the “super” feature stories from the first five fan-favorite issues. “I actually wish I would have thought of it.” – Brian Michael Bendis. “With a concept that’s as ingenious as a two-for-one happy hour and laughs that hit faster than a shot of Wild Turkey to your dome, HHH won’t leave you skunky.” – Wizard Magazine. Available for purchase at Indy Planet.

Oh, and to Jeff Greenstein and Drew Pierce… Feel free to pick up a couple of issues for yourselves. Let me know if there’s anything in there that you like. I’ve got more, plenty more. And, to be honest with you, I would might writing for a television show with a subject matter that I’ve already done years (not to mention pints) of research on as well as being very dear to my heart.

Cheers!

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Writing/Blogging From Bed

March 11, 2009

Weird… As I crawled into bed to write the Seinfeld rerun “The Cheever Letters” begins on television where Jerry and George sit down to finally write the pilot script for the show they’ve sold to NBC. Of course, through the entire episode they get very little writing done. Much like I’m doing know. Sure, I’m kind of writing — I’m at least blogging — but, I’m not working on the comic book script I should be dedicating my time to, or the screenplay idea I’ve been tossing around for awhile, or any of the other gazillion idas and projects I’ve got bouncing around in my head.

But, here’s the deal… I’m just thrilled to be writing/blogging while I’m in bed. You see, my laptop crashed on me the other night. While not completely giving up the ghost, it did fall into a deep coma. I thought I was going to have to give my laptop its last rights. But, I pulled off some sort of miracle and managed to resesitate it back to life. Of course, when it regained conciousness it had complete amnesia and I had lost everything. But, I got my laptop back, and here I am typing in bed. Not exactly writing, but at least blogging — avoiding writing.

Alright, enough with the blogging and time to get some serious writing done. Or… maybe surf the internet for awhile — I can do that from bed now, too.

Go Animate. Alright I Did…

February 11, 2009

oneredshirttogoSo, I was checking out my “Nerd News” last night and my usual routine of course took me by TrekMovie.com. While there I gravitated toward the article Make Your Own Star Trek Animations At GoAnimate.com – Trek Movie Takes A First Look.  This in turn lead me to GoAnimate.com. I was instantly hooked and spent about an hour and a half playing with this new animation creator featuring nifty looking Star Trek characters.

I jumped right in — not bothering with any tutorials or reading any how-tos. I beamed right into the mix of things and started to create my first Star Trek cartoon. I had no plan on what I was going to produce, but what I did come up with (while rather simple) I feel is worthy enough to share. Please check out One Red Shirt, To Go and let me know what you think.

Now I’ve already got other animated short ideas bouncing around in my head. Hopefully, with any luck and a bit of motivation, I’ll produce a few more.

22 Minute TV Danatic

February 5, 2009

dangrytv450I’m thinking about doing regular posts about my guilty pleasure of watching various sitcoms of various of various degrees of quality from syndicated reruns to first run programming. I’m not necessarily proud of my television viewing habits, but over the years I’ve developed some interesting theories about the programs that I watch and I watch them — sometimes over and over…

Maybe I’ll post my sitcom rants, raves, reviews, and rebuttals here — or on a dedicated blog of its own. I’ll have to kick the idea around. If I were to do such a blog, the image here would be quite fitting I believe. I’m guessing I’m upset about the fact that Peter might not be allowed to go on a camping trip after breaking a vase because he disobeyed the commandment of “don’t play ball in the house.”

Wrong Turn On The Way To The Land Of The Lost

February 4, 2009

landofthelost200x200Alright, let’s get this out of the way… I’ve seen the Land of the Lost Super Bowl XLII TV spot. Though, I’m glad that I didn’t actually see it that day. It could’ve — No, it would’ve ruined what was generally a pretty good day spent with friends.

Anybody that knows me knows that I’ve been a fan of the original Land of the Lost since I was the age of six. Way back in the day, when Saturday morning children’s programming really meant something. They’d preview the upcoming Saturday kid fair with a prime time special. And, it was during the the NBC preview that I got my first glimpse of Grumpy — the terrifying tyrannosaurus rex that would relentlessly torment the Marshall family for three seasons. It scared the crap out of me — but I was hooked nonetheless. During my early days of elementary school I’d struggle through the grind of learning my three Rs — reading, writing, and arithmetic — just to get to Saturday and another episode of Land of the Lost. I also dug Sigmund and the Sea Monsters (not so much when Rip Taylor showed up), Super Friends, and Star Trek: The Animated Series.

I’ve kept it no secret that over the last number of years I’ve wanted to adapt (and even update) Land of the Lost as a comic book. When I heard there was going to be a big-budget motion picture based on the Land of the Lost I had high hopes for something glorious. Then I heard it would be starring Will Ferrell — and a piece of my childhood died. Then I heard it would be a “comedy-adventure” and another piece of my childhood chipped off and fluttered away in the wind. Then online I saw the commercial that aired during the Super Bowl. My heart “plunged a thousand feet below…”

If you haven’t seen it yet… Well, here it is…

Sigh. It looks like the only thing they did get right was the raft plunging down a thousand feet below. The original material was so ripe with possibilities and all kinds of probabilities. Instead, we’re apparently getting a hundred thousand dollar budgeted spoof of a true Saturday morning television classic. Sid and Marty Kroft… I hate you.

Do You Know The Way To Monkey City?

January 15, 2009

My new favorite television show starts in less than a month on Animal Planet… Dark Days In Monkey City.

According to a blurb from a press release over at Monsters & Critics:

Using dynamic graphic novel-style animation elements to accentuate the dramatic and violent reality of the stories presented, the 13-part series is an epic tale based on the Smithsonian Primate Project, the longest-running study of primates in the world conducted by Wolfgang Dittus, Ph.D.

In addition, comic writers Joe Kelly and Joe Casey from Man of Action Studios ( http://www.manofaction.tv ), who have written for a variety of titles such as Uncanny X-Men, JLA, The Adventures of Superman and Action Comics , have brought their writing expertise to the series along with Emmy Award winner Ian McGee.

Finally, Welsh actor John Rhys-Davies, known best for his role in the Indiana Jones and Lord of the Rings movies, lends his tremendous voice to the series.

I dig monkeys. And, it even gets better when you throw in rival gangs of toque macaques living roaming the streets of a deserted city in Sri Lanka waging war for turf control. How can you go wrong?

Every monkey knows his place… until he’s pushed too far. Dark Days in Monkey City, premiering February 10 on Animal Planet.

Super Spike Happy Hour

January 2, 2009

No, this isn’t a post about a comic book crossover event featuring Joss Whedon’s character Spike interacting with the regulars of the Hideout Bar & Grill from Hero Happy Hour. Though if this was something that IDW Publishing would be interested in pursuing their Editor-In-Chief knows how to contact me.

What I’m referring to is the strange event that occurred over Christmas. Up until then, my blog averaged a humble 120 to 140 views a day. Then, out of the blue, my view count jumped from 130 to 15,596 on December 25th. Then the next day there were 24,191 views.

blogstats

Almost all of the views were in regards to one particular post — Hmmm… Super Heroes Hanging Out In A Bar… — a post about Hero Happy Hour and the new British sitcom No Heroics. With the surge in traffic I was thinking, “Hey, maybe were finally turning the corner in regards to Hero Happy Hour finally hitting the big time.” Wishful thinking. Turns out it was some sort of foreign-message board-spamming-bot deal. Ah, well… Someday.

Majel Barrett Roddenberry 1932 – 2008

December 18, 2008

mbr-chapel-mccoyI got home from work today to find that my recently repaired DSL service working for for the second straight day in a row and was thankful to once again decompress while surfing the web. Unfortunately, my surfing brought me news of the passing of Majel Barret Roddenberry. Known to Star Trek fans like myself as Nurse Christine Chapel from the original series, Mrs. Roddenberry was also featured as Number One in Star Trek Original Series‘ pilot “The Cage,” as well as Deanna Troi’s mother, Lwaxana Troi in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the voice of most of the onboard  computers of the ships of Starfleet — a voice that was often heard on a number of the various computers I’ve owned upon booting up.

Somewhere, someplace, I’ve got a copy of the picture accompanying this post that Majel Barrett Roddenberry autographed for me when I had the pleasure of meeting her at a Star Trek convention years ago. She was always a great ambassador for Star Trek fandom. It was recently announced that she would be  participating in the upcoming J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek movie — once again as the voice of the onboard computer, a steady and reassuring aspect that has remained a constant throughout the various incarnations of Star Trek over the past forty plus years.

Season VIII: Return Of Scrubs

December 16, 2008

Alright, I’ll admit — even as a card-carrying die-hard fan — the seventh season of Scrubs didn’t necessarily end on the highest of notes. There were a few monkey wrenches thrown into the show’s gears last season. There was the writers’ strike, and there was the fact that NBC pretty much treated the program as an ugly red-headed step-child. (No offense to red-headed step-children that are clearly not ugly.)

But, in three weeks — a mere 21 days — Scrubs returns to the airwaves on their new network, ABC. Scrubs is, and has been for the past seven seasons, my favorite television show, and I am eagerly awaiting its return. Sure, I’ve got six of the last seven seasons on DVD (had to leave a gift option open for Christmas), and I know when and where to find syndicated reruns enabling me to watch it up to five times a day on Comedy Central, WGN, and KCAL. But, the anticipation of an all-new eighth season of Scrubs beginning less than a month away is definitely the highlight of my ’08-’09 television schedule.

So, on January 6th at 9:00 PM there’ll be only one place that I’ll be — in front of my television returning to the cast of irregulars at Sacred Heart hospital.

scrubscast400x225

Time Again For “My Charlie Brown Christmas”

December 13, 2008

A Charlie Brown Christmas aired earlier this week, and for the first time in some thirty-eight years or so I missed it. Now, I do own the holiday special on DVD, so I can technically watch it whenever I want — but there’s something just more better about catching the program when it airs.

But, I can always fall back and enjoy My Charlie Brown Christmas — Voiced by the cast of Scrubs.