Sitting Out This Round

So this is the first year since it’s inception that I haven’t attended the Stumptown Comic Con.

It’s always a struggle to talk myself into going. This year I lost.

One one hand, it’s simply the place to be. There are very few places that creative types can interact directly with their audience. There is potential. The right executive from the right animation house might stop by. You might sell a ton of books. You might make a fan’s day. One of your heroes might stop by and know your work. All of these have happened to me, and more.

On the other hand…

People don’t buy physical items anymore. It’s simply sad that a creator can’t even make the pathetic amount to cover their table fee. The underground scene has homogenized, leaving me feel even more alone and like a freak. Creators cluster together, sharing their experiences in beige, twee packages. I don’t do comics anymore, now that my brother burned out. I don’t know if I have the wherewithal to put out the book of short stories that I wrote. Or the novel. The deafening sound of silence and indifference that accompanies publication might be too much for this old writer to put up with anymore.

To temper my bitterness, please understand the context. I mean, I went to SDCC for 20 years in a row.

What does it all mean? I won’t’ be at Stumptown Comic Con this year. Maybe next year. But please support the many creators who do exhibit such as grizzled veteran David Walker, or Michael Russell. Help them earn table money. And if it’s not too much to ask, maybe even enough that they can spring for lunch.

Lock Down This Rock!! S4, E6

An irregular review series of choice Hawaii 5-0 episodes

Season 4, Episode 6: …And I Want Some Candy, and a Gun that Shoots
Essential-meter: 6/10 *REVISED!! 8/10

Cop killer.

The mere thought of the act should make McGarrett grind his teeth like a grist mill turning wheat to powder. But he’s surprisingly calm in this rote Watchtower Shooting scenario. The plot is bare, bare bones… crazy white guy buys a gun, holes up in an WWII pillbox, and starts shooting cops. Which attracts more cops. For shooting. Mom is no help… she laughs in McGarrett’s dumb face when he implores her to talk him down. That couldn’t be HER son, after all.

This is another essential entry where the ending makes the boring show worth it. Most of the episode is burned up in hyperbole, and Dano flying around in a helicopter. The Cowboy episode had too much Helicopter Dano as well. But the ending, oh the ending…

Spoiler!: When Dano finally takes out Lee Harvey Oswald, McGarrett rushes into the bunker only to find the killer has spelled “MOM” inside a heart with his spent casings. In case you’re too dumb to figure out who’s to blame for this mess, the show literally spells it out for you.

Awesome Moments:

  • The primitive “Body Armor” the force dons… it looks like something a crazy guy would invent to protect from bears.
  • Very Important Speech – McGarrett lays into a psychologist, and the state of the mental health industry as a whole for letting this guy go nuts. The professor only has lame excuses like budgetary limitations to defend himself.
  • “Mom” is a grade A bitch.
  • Pretty sure the reason McGarrett doesn’t go completely apeshit bananas is that the villain is mentally ill and thus weak in the eyes of justice. McGarrett is a champion of the weak, and only has the psychologist to yell at.

NOTE: Revisited Score!  In the months after viewing this episode, I’ve explained it to so many people, that I now realized that I was harsh in my original grading. This is a vital entry into the authoritarian fantasy that is Hawaii 5-0.

Lock Down This Rock!! S4, E4

An irregular review series of choice Hawaii 5-0 episodes

Season 4, Episode 4: 3000 Crooked Miles to Honolulu
Essential-meter:  6/10

Ever since Master Blaster exploded onto the Thunderdome scene, people have suspected that Brains and Brawn always work the best together. That’s the plan The Syndicate cooks up to pass off stolen traveler’s checks in Honolulu. They tie a college professor (Uncle Jeb) and a goon (Tiny Eyes, Giant Jaw) together for the perfect traveler’s check themed heist. The plan works too well. Actually, it doesn’t. The goon kills lots of innocent bystanders, leaving a convenient trail of crime M&Ms to follow.

I spent the whole episode trying to understand what the big, brain genius plan was. Boiled down to intercepting the mail. Perhaps the simplicity was the genius part?

Awesome Moment:
*This is the pilot speaking… no it’s not, it’s McGarrett, and I’ve just arrested an entire plane filled with felons!

Lock Down This Rock! – S4, E3

An Irregular review series of choice Hawaii 5-0 episodes

Season 4, Episode 3: Wednesday, Ladies Free
Essential-meter: 4/10

Very ho hum serial killer episode that I only mention to make this point:

Steve McGarrett is Jack Lord’s idea of a crime fighting superhero. Every aspect of the show is designed to make him look better. Much like Perry Mason, he always wins, even when he loses.

This episode has a twist ending. So how does Steve really shine? He figures out that the Private Eye helping him killed his wife and used a serial killer’s MO to cover his tracks.

What’s interesting about this? McGarrett uses information THAT HE DOESN’T SHARE WITH THE AUDIENCE to figure this out. So he tries to make himself look like a genius for figuring out something the audience wasn’t given enough facts to figure out themselves. Which makes it kind of a lame “twist”.

But also what makes Hawaii 5-0 kinda genius.