Monday, May 31, 2010

As You Will Recall, I Am A Dude Who Enjoys Superhero Comics (Non-Baby-Related Content Comin' Atcha)

I still haven't finished those posts that I've been meaning to do, but I did feel compelled to dash off a short (for me, anyway) comparison between the Joker as seen in Batman: The Animated Series and the Joker as portrayed in contemporary comics and other media.

To keep this from being a totally uncritical love-in about a fan-favorite show: One of my favorite portrayals of the Joker, the Riddler and a bunch of other characters, but Two-Face-as-multiple-personality is not my cup of tea, even though the episodes were really good.

Friday, May 21, 2010


NAME: Liam Lesniak Zyduck. ("Lesniak" (LESH-knock) is my wife's last name, but it's used here as a middle name, as was a custom in days of yore, rather than a hyphenated last name; "Lesniak-Zyduck" is just too Polish for one baby, and actually I think he works out to be a quarter Russian anyway. Also, you must agree that "Liam Lesniak" would be a good name for a late 19th century/early 20th century Irish bareknuckle boxer.)

BORN: Wednesday, May 19, 12:27 p.m.

WEIGHT AT BIRTH: 5 pounds, 4 ounces. He is, in fact, a tiny little man.

HEIGHT/LENGTH: 19 inches.

DAD WAS READING IN THE HOSPITAL: Nine Stories and Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger when I needed something chewy and engrossing to get wrapped up in so as not to freak myself out worrying, and Essential Fantastic Four vol. 3 when I needed comfort food.

MOM WAS READING IN THE HOSPITAL: Ivanhoe. The resident who assisted in the delivery seemed to think this was funny.

DAD'S FIRST WORDS UPON SEEING CHILD: "Holy crap, it's a baby." (Shameful, perhaps, but true.)

MOST FRIGHTENING QUESTION ASKED BY NURSES: "Is there anyone who is stalking you or who would want to do harm to you or your baby?" (Standard security question we answered "no" to, but still...)

VISUAL AID: At birth he looked kind of like actor Wallace Shawn, but the pointiness of his head has gone down. Josh's speculative illustration is fairly accurate, although he was born with a porkpie hat and not a bowler.

Got back from the hospital today; at one point I was foolishly expecting, "Oh sure, we'll be out of there Thursday afternoon, no problem" (FALSE). Baby's mom is healthy after the high blood pressure concerns that resulted in the induced labor. Blogging will resume at some point, and I do not intend to gas on about ah, the dizzying highs and terrifying lows of parenthood to no end, but I am just having my moment right now.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Iron Man 2, plus What Has Been Going On With Me

Hey dudes. How have you been?

I saw Iron Man 2 opening day, and of course I will tell you what I think, and I will be brief, and I will not divulge any spoilers, because I do not want to mess about with inviso-text.

The movie is a very good time. Not, perhaps, as good as the first movie, in part because instead of a left-field success this is now a planned summer tentpole superhero blockbuster, and so more time is spent on superhero movie business (more villains, evil plot, etc.). The filmmakers, like in the first movie, are still more interested in the Tony Stark side of things than the Iron Man side of things. This is good, because for the purposes of this movie I am also more interested in Tony Stark and the implications of the Iron Man technology than actual superhero stuff, but the demands of an action movie require action sequences, and while there's not too many of them, they can feel a bit perfunctory (like the last movie, the big climactic battle is the least interesting part of the whole thing, as though every one involved would have rather been doing something else with the end of the movie).

What else...Robert Downey Jr. is winning as always. Sam Rockwell is awesome as an ambitious-but-hapless businessman who doesn't just want to usurp Stark's technology, but also his flair and public persona. Mickey Rourke is sufficiently menacing. Samuel L. Jackson has obliged to not chew as much scenery as he is capable of doing.

A disappointment: The movie brings up a potentially interesting moral/ethical dilemma - you are inclined to side with Stark that the military can't be trusted with his designs, and yet a guy who's cool with using his deadly repulsor ray technology whilst drunk to entertain party guests in not really the guy you want with that kind of firepower either. But the movie doesn't really engage with it beyond "Yep, our hero was right all along." I know not every superhero movie's built to be as ambiguous as The Dark Knight, but this one kind of set me up for something it didn't deliver.

Also: I do not for one second believe that this Avengers movie is ever going to actually happen. NOT IN ONE MILLION YEARS.

Anyway. Very very good show. Better than X-Men 2, not as good as Iron Man.

I went to see it with my brother, and not my wife (who really enjoyed the first one) because she's on bed rest until she has the baby. The due date was supposed to be May 30 or so, but now they're hoping she'll make it another week or two. No cause for immediate alarm - her blood pressure's just a bit high, and it goes down when she's laying down on her side. So she's stuck home from work reading (All-Star Superman got the thumbs up) and watching TV, which is, of course, my personal idea of heaven, but it is not a belief in the afterlife she shares.

And, as a result of getting the apartment all set up for the baby (and we are, now) and Alison basically out of commission, I have been quite busy, and not posting as much as I would like.

And I would like! I've got an ode to Bronze Age Spider-Man I'm tinkering with (I think I can say there's more than nostalgia at work here, because I was not alive for much of the Bronze Age) for here, and a piece about "following" superhero comics - in the same way one can "follow" Major League Baseball or whatever by reading the paper and watching SportsCenter without ever having to actually watch a single game - for MGK's. This is going to be dependent on when my status flips from "I do not have a baby in my home" to "My home contains one (1) baby," and it's hard to say exactly when that will be. So: Not now, but ... soon?

I will keep you informed.

EDIT/UPDATE: Baby ETA - Wednesday, May 19. Plans are in the works to induce labor that Tuesday. So you have until then to buy cigars. Get on it.