December Grab Bag!

Well, I guess winter is here, with actual weather in LA and everything. I have been fighting of a persistent cough since last weekend — I’m that annoying guy that you find yourself sitting next to in the airplane, with that cough that’s not really hacking, but incessant, and always happening at random intervals. I want to punch myself in the face when I am not looking. Everyone seems to have some kind of cold — ’tis the season — but at least we have power. Weird — we always seem to hear about people’s power going out every winter… it’s not like winter takes us by surprise, right? Regardless, folks are cold right now… bundle up, warm up some cider and read that trade you’ve been putting off…

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Speaking of putting things off, I have been really enjoying the whole Netflix on Xbox 360 thing. You know when you remember a movie that your cooler-than-you-friends keep talking about? The one you never remember to actually watch? Diner was that movie for me, I always wanted to see it, but it just never happened. So, last night, I started watching it on the ol’ Xbox and I gotta say, it was pretty great. Only a few things that I didn’t like:

1) I couldn’t search for the film, I had to go and add it to my queue via the website. Not a huge deal, but it seems kinda silly. I added it via my laptop, and, within seconds, it just appeared in my queue, right before my eyes, which was kind of magical (reminded me of that scene in Broadcast News, “I say it here, it comes out there!”).

2) It totally freaks out if someone else starts using the Internet connection. My wife Whitney had to do check some work email and it just broke everything. Not Netflix’s fault, it’s my lame DSL, but it did kind of disrupt things.

There are a few kinks (I kept getting disconnected from XBox Live) but overall, I think it’s a really awesome feature. Very close to that “on-demand” world we used to hear so much about back in the 90s. (“Back in the 90’s?!”)

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Fables #33

Continuing with news that concerns the ongoing relationship between your butt and your sofa, this news of a possible Fables TV series piqued my interest. (I haven’t mentioned this to Josh yet, I wonder what he thinks? Josh? Josh?) ABC’s ordered a pilot and, given their success with Lost, Pushing Daisies (sadly canceled) and other shows (I am a sucker for Life on Mars for some reason), this could be a really good more. Or Bad. But mostly good, I think. Let’s do it. (Casting suggestions anyone?) Regardless, neat… (By the way, how awesome is that crop, from the cover of Fables #33? Gorgeous.)

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Did anyone else recoil, just slightly, when they realized that had to go to MySpace to watch the Wolverine trailer? It just rubbed me the wrong way. But man, I don’t want to go to Myspace! (I know, it’s in other places, but initially it just seemed to be there.)

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Last news in movies — we have news of casting in Tron 2.0 (I guess it’s no longer going to be called Tr2n, which I kinda liked). I have it on very reliable sources, too, that the music will be done by a very appropriate dance music duo… Not sure about you, but I am looking forward to this movie. Will that Tron guy make a cameo?


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Let me know — am I expecting too much from my comic book events? I was under the impression that a big event comic was supposed to be a big, epic story, one that, when done well, brought together the best talents in the biz to tell a story that could be collected and enjoyed for years to come. Maybe I am wrong, but it seemed to me that all Secret Invasion did was serve up yet another new world paradigm. Dark Reign? Really? That’s what we get? I remain… unimpressed. Unsold. Not convinced. Skeptical. Double nonplussed, if I may be so frank.

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No matter what you think of the new paradigm to come, by the way, it’s gotta be a good sign that President-Elect Obama reads comics. He apparently reads (and collects? really?) Conan: The Cimmeron and The Amazing Spider-Man. Read into that what you will, but maybe we’ll see a stimulus plan to keep comics at $3.99? Maybe we can get a Talksplode interview with him?

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Oh wait more movie stuff — You may have heard that Joe Johnston, who directed The Rocketeer and Jurassic Park III, is directing Captain America? I loved The Rocketeer… and Kenneth Branagh is directing Thor? Well, he’s gonna have the Thor-speak thing down…

Anyone else just a little worried about all these comic book movies on the horizon?


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Farewell old friends…

The holidays are here and if you are anything like me, you’re having a hard time actually getting into that warm and fuzzy holiday spirit that everyone seems to insist that they are feeling. I had a brush with holiday goodness the other day when I donated a couple of long boxes of comics (and some trades) to my local Boys and Girls Club in downtown Los Angeles. I felt a bit like Santa — I had to drop the books off when no one was around, but I kinda enjoyed thinking about a bunch of kids showing up to go through the box later that day. I ended up giving away a ton of Amazing and Ultimate Spider-Man issues, all of my Ultimate Fantastic Four books and other titles. I still have several long boxes that I can’t bear to part with, but at least it was a beginning. So, if you are looking for a way to share some books that you are ready to part with, you might wanna give your local office a call.


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Finally, I was getting food with some friends, and one of them, Christine, was talking with me about being sick (everyone I know has a cold, I really have to stop kissing people on the lips) and she told me how she just likes to stay in bed and start reading her Archie comics (check out the site here, kinda cool, in  a way, that you can read so many issues online) that she keeps in her nightstand. I was obviously really interested to talk to her about it — I had just been thinking about Archie because I saw that they have started updating the art a few years ago (check out the hot mess here) and it kinda freaked me out. She said she had always been reading them, she started reading comics because of her older brother –and she realized that they were silly, but she just liked the stories, it made her feel good, just reading about the gang going to the beach and play volleyball, etc, it was almost like a bowl of chicken soup. It was really touching, I think, that she had this warm and fuzzy relationship with comics. We tend to take them so seriously, it was refreshing who just viewed comics as something just fun, something that made her feel good when she was feeling down.

See ya next week!


Mike Romo is an actor in LA who, like the classic Jughead of yore loves cheeseburgers, but he’s never been able to find that crownhatcap thing. He can be reached at, followed on Twitter and exists as zensen on XBox Live. And, let’s be clear, this is all in homage to the late, great Herb Caen



  1. Mike, we gotta bring back the crownhatcap style in ’09.  You and me, man.  Rolling like Jughead and Encyclopedia Brown!  

  2. Encyclopedia Brown! I haven’t thought of those books in a long, long, long time. Bugs Meany.

  3. So TRON’s music going to be done by Daft Punk? or Justice, maybe? both i think would fit the rather well.

  4. Oh, Kenneth Branagh.  His "Henry V" is unadulterated genius.  "Dead Again" is a great psycho-noir pastiche.

    His recent movies tend to lean toward random ninjas, or random bursting into song.  I love/hate Kenneth Branagh.  That’s about perfect for a Thor movie.

  5. I gotta get double digest #151 right f’n now! No I need two copies. TO THE SAFEWAY!

  6. Great article, Mike.  Glad there’s another fan of Life on Mars.  I fear for its future.

  7. There is a Captain America movie in the making? I didn’t even know that! I’m not a Captain fan but that still sounds like it would be a cool flick

  8. Yes Mike, I also felt dirty going to Myspace to watch the trailer.

  9. I was too stunned to feel dirty. "What the…? MySpace??" Didn’t that go away two webs ago? If I’d clicked the button and Debbie Gibson had come into the room wearing day-glo legwarmers and pulled the trailer out of a Trapper Keeper, I would not have been more surprised.

    Maybe a little more surprised.

    I don’t know how that Kenneth Branagh thing got by me. I’m flummoxed by that too. My thought process at the moment is, "Wow! He’s great. He makes great movies. Why– why is he making Thor?"

  10. I used to dig archie too.

  11. One dream casting call – Anna Friel as Snow White

  12. I don’t have and X-box, but I have been streaming my Netflix through my Tivo and it’s fantabulous. Yay fer modern technology!

  13. I thought Facebook killed MySpace and took it’s pants, but, maybe not. 

  14. @Jimski   If it helps you be less flummoxed, remember that Kenneth Branagh was also in "Wild Wild West."

  15. Oh! And "Swing heil!" or whatever that movie was called.

    All the pieces are coming together now.

  16. I believe you mean Swing Kids, only the greatest film involving nazis and swing dancing ever.  I was so touched by the ending whne the kept yelling swing heil over and over again.

  17. You also get to see young Bruce Wayne undercover (we can only assume) in the HJ, as well as that doctor dude from House, you get to see him dance, too.

    Swing Kids was fantastic. Great, great movie.

  18. The gift of giving and the urge of getting rid of are hard to seperate.

  19. It makes sense that Obama would like Spiderman.  He is built just like him.  I can relate to Diner.  It took me forever to finally get around to seeing that movie but was glad when I finally did.

     As long as Kenneth Branaugh doesn’t try to play Thor I will give him the benefit of the doubt directing it.

  20. Every few months I buy a Veronica or Betty or Sabrina comic to read to my 3 year-old. He loves Loves LOVES them!