About Me

Rob Pincombe is a prolific television writer, recovering comedian and sometime comic artist/storyboard artist who just wasn't satisfied with a single blog. He writes about sci-fi and fandom at rebelalert.com, Canadian comics at comicanuck.com, and shares thoughts and insights on writing at starkravingadventure.com

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What's In Our Holiday Holo Stocking?

Welcome to the rebellion.

As the Empire negotiates a controversial bailout of the Commerce Guild and the very shady Intergalactic Banking clan, we all tighten our belts and settle in for a sombre holiday season.

I say, let go of that negativity, you gloomy Gus, and do what we’re all meant to do on the holidays; blindly cling to the hope that the better nature of all sentient beings will lead us into a new hope for the coming year. And what better way to do than to overload our sweet tooth with sweet as candy cane, holiday classics?

This week the universe celebrates Life Day and the sub-space Holo Channels have a raft of holiday treats to give us all warm fuzzies while our once peaceful galaxy falls to the unrelenting, dark might of the Imperial Alliance.

HOME BOX HOLO kicks it all off with a Life Day marathon of classics, starting with Dome Alone and Dome Alone II: Lost on Coruscant. I know, their definition of classic doesn’t seem to jibe with the rest of the universe’s idea of the term does it? Add Rebel Life Day Vacation and A Muppet Life Day Special to the list of wrongly labeled classics lined up for our amusement.

Actually, I’m all for the Muppets doing anything. I've spent hours at my favourite Muppet Fan Site, Muppetcentral.com, Heck, our beloved Jedi Master Yoda used to be a real muppet, back when he had a personality and an ability to make audiences care about him. He lost all that when he went under the digital knife for a CGI chin augmentation, tummy tuck, pixelsuction and spinal repair on his scoliosis hunchback. Sigh... I always loved the hunch. Or maybe it's the holidays making me wistful.

For those of you with little clones running around blasting up the dome, SITHOLODEON has a full day s of family-friendly fare including Frosty the Snow Wampa, Red-Five The Red-Nosed X-Wing and Santa Claus is Coming to Space. It’s all capped off by everybody’s favourite animated ode to the holidays, A Jedi Brown Christmas (Whatever Christmas is… Nudge nudge. Wink wink.).

On Life Day Eve, VADER CLASSICS runs the really good stuff. Miracle In Star Quadrant 34 has an early, seven o’clock start so the little wookiees can catch the whole movie and still be in bed in time for Santa Paws. At nine, it’s the universal favourite, It's A Wonderful Force. Then my personal fave, Darth Scrooge (Or A Life Day Carol, as we purists prefer to call it.) takes us through midnight.

So celebrate, kick back, crack open some of this Princess Leia approved blue nog and enjoy the holidays!


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Serial Disappointment

Welcome to the rebellion.

Geek Quote of the Week!

From The Big Bang Theory, Season Two, Episode 25. Sheldon isn't pleased to find Leonard watching the animated Clone Wars TV series.

" I want to watch the Clone Wars movie before I see the Clone Wars series. I prefer to be disappointed in the order George Lucas intended."

Booyah! In one, pithy line a generation of discontent is encapsulated!

Okay. End of rant.

Now it's time we all admit it.

It's all worth it.

All the lame acting, dull direction, wooden characters being moved like checkers across a board instead of growing and interacting is worth it for the magic those first movies have filled ourt lives with. And even his disappointing follow-up films have things for us to take away and cherish (and they're more precious for all the near misses those films contain.)

We have been able to play in his world for a generation. And today the next generation is even more excited about George's world than we may have been!

Sure, we whine and complain but we keep coming back. Why would we do that unless it's all worth it? I'd hate to live in a world where I didn't have star Wars growing up.

George must be doing something right.

Now if only he'd let me in on the script meetings. God, I know I could save him so many problems.

Oops, I'm back to ranting.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Geminis vs the Emmys

Welcome to the rebellion.

I think it’s safe to say from my first experience with the Canadian Gemini Awards, (our equivalent of the Emmy Awards) that the true north strong and free has it all over our southern neighbours and their Emmys. I can say that with some confidence because my wife was nominated for a News and Documentary Craft Emmy this year and I was nominated for a writing Gemini. This dual award experience provided us with a unique perspective on both events.

How did the Canucks manage to out-celebrate the big, bad Americans? Why, with a touch of class, a little forethought and lot of thinking ahead.

First of all, the Geminis held a little reception shindig weeks before the event. That allowed everyone in attendance to relax and truly mingle as they drank and downed their gourmet champagne. No one was nervous yet and so there was precious little of that whole "people looking over your shoulder hoping for someone better to talk to” thing you run into at major functions. Everyone nominated was invited, not just the big names in the big categories. So there was no separation of artists and artisans based supposed importance.

At this year’s untelevised Emmy Awards my significant other had to stand through a very formal and tense reception right before her awards, forbidden even from sitting at a table as she ate for fear of appearing too aloof. Few were drinking and those that did sipped, wary of overimbibing.. They were all worried about what they might have to say if they won. Would they remember everyone’s name? How much time do they have again? Or, they were trying to make those important contacts with people they wouldn't otherwise never have a chance to connect with.

During the show her company was seated in the mezzanine overlooking the main hall, prompting the assumption that no one from their group could possibly have won. Why else would they seat them so far away from the stage?

To their shock, two of their number did win and then the show really began. Victors carefully inched their way down the lengthy aisle. “Excuse me.” “Pardon me, please.” “One side, winner coming through.” Once at the aisle, the flush of victory still on their face and only the slightest flagging of applause to be heard, recipients then walked up to the upstairs lobby where they waited for an elevator to take them down to the main lobby so they could walk into the the auditorium and make their way to the stage!

Naturally, the hosts had been given no warning as to how long it might take a winner to reach them. And the videos of each winner’s piece lasted only twenty seconds or so each. Even playing it three times would leave the hosts with five or more minutes to fill. And sadly, vamping is not generally in the skill set of most journalists.

In this year’s case, the delays resulted in ad libs like the hilarious bon mot, “so… how about that economy?” Comedy gold. What a lovely way to make an extremely long show extremely longer.

I have several potential solutions for this situation to offer the Emmys, free of charge!

1 – Have hidden cameras in the elevators so the audience can watch winners check their teeth, practice their speeches and curse out whoever seated them. That would add to the drama and give the hosts something to riff on.

2 – Hire the local SWAT to repel winners seated in the balcony down to floor level in seconds. Live action stunts are always riveting.

3 – A terrific cross-promotion with American Airlines could result in inflatable airplane slides at either side of the balcony. Just remember to ask winners to kindly remove their shoes before sliding. And hang on to your skirts ladies!

So how did our untelevised Canadian nights compare? Pretty ding dang good, I must say!

Though tickets were expensive we did see out money at work. The three ceremonies were held at the Liberty Grand in Toronto. So it was that on the second night we arrived for the Lifestyle, Children’s & Youth gala. It was a most glamorous evening, with the obligatory cocktails before dinner. A walk through the courtyard to the main event in extremely cold temperatures did not dampen our spirits even if it did chill our toes.

The room was sleek and everyone sat close enough to the stage to get therewith expedience. Dinner was delicious, though many pondered being served a large helping of guacamole in a martini glass with only three chips. Three chips and a 1/2 lb of guac? Such a delicious waste. Sigh.

As to the show, it was surprisingly brisk, though I have heard other nights with more awards to give out did drag. The bits were all short and tailored quite well to the surprising guest presenters like the Cashman himself, local jeweller and supporter of the arts Russell Oliver and Mike Holmes paying to tribute to the fine craftsmanship of his rival Bob the Builder.

One interesting thing about the presentations is that many of the awards were announced two at a time. Not only did this speed things up considerably but it also gave us all something to watch as people made their way to the stage to take their turn at the acceptance speech. But how Canadian is it to wait in line for your turn to accept an award? I can picture our American cousins wrestling each other to be first at the hardware.

In short, it was a fine, spirited night. And truthfully, just being nominated for the show and episode that introduced me to my wife so near to our anniversary would have made for a spectacular evening.

Then I won.

Er, then I, and the two writers who shared my award won.

I mean, OUR award of course.

As my writing partner quipped later, “We’ve done it both ways and truly, winning is better.”

As for me, it just puts a lovely cap on a show that gave me a woman to spend the rest of my days with. I contributed only one sentence to our acceptance speech, but it still rings true.

This award is the icing on my wedding cake.

Emmys zero. Canada ten. The winner... Canada.

Game over.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

NaNoMo - Deadlines, More Powerful than Hyperdrive

Welcome to the rebellion.

The clock is ticking quickly down to the start of another NaNoMo and for once I've remembered it before it began. NaNoMo isn't baby talk for no more milk, it's National Novel Writing Month. Though truly, it has grown into an international event. You can learn more about the event at its website here.

The gist of it is this... Thousands of people across the globe gather any spare scraps of time they can from their daily to power through a novel of 50, 000 words. Quality is not the point. Quantity is. The idea is to avoid editing or agonizing over plot points. That slows you down and all but guarantees your novel will languish in a an unfinished state for months and possibly years.

Going for word count only as the days rush by helps you avoid the inner editor and let the story itself take hold. Hopefully, you will end up with a first draft. And truthfully, all first drafts are crap. But once they're done, you can really see what you have and fix it. It's in the later editing stage that your gem will truly begin to shine, or not.

So NoNoMo is here every year to take away all our precious excuses and force people to just get tha dang down on paper, or on the screen. The rules are pretty straightforward:

1. Do not start your novel before Nov. 1. You may have an outline and background material but not a word of prose can be typed before the month begins. If you started early, you will always be aware that you cheated and when the going gets tough your likelihood of giving up increases. "Hell, I cheated anyway so what's the point?"

2. Do not bring in an already started novel to complete. It will be too precious to you and make the whole month painful and likely fruitless, as well.

3. You cannot collaborate on the 50, 000 words. This is a personal challenge. But you are encouraged to get your friends and family to go for their own novel so they can share the ups and downs with you. That community spirit helps you feel less alone in your battle of the words. That's why the site has community boards in all the main areas and writing events throughout the month.

These on-line and public hook-ups for people allow us to combat the sheer loneliness of writing, which is at once a wonderful escape to utilize and expand your mind, heart and soul, yet also a debilitating experience when the writing gets tough or a problem seems insurmountable. Sharing the burden can transform that agony into a wonderful experience.

Also, let your non-writing friends and loved ones be cheerleaders (and gentle needlers when your spirit is flagging). Then they too can share in your sweet, sweet victory at month's end.

4. The official site is the home of the official word count calculator. You can submit your novel privately and it will tell you how many words so far and then delete it from their server. No one reads it until you're ready for them to.

5. You can use pen and paper but you won't be able to calculate word count as easily. The site uses the honour system for that. They also give some extra time for a novel to be typed up.

That's about it. Again, no mention of quality here. They just want us to pump it out and prove to the world and ourselves that we can do it.

I know at least one friend who has done it and is likely doing it again this year. And yesterday, another friend declared her intentions to me. That's one of the great tricks of writing a novel in a single, caffeine-fueled month; the more public your declaration of intent, the more embarrassment you suffer if you give up.

The NaNoMo has discovered a fuel more powerful than the Enterprise's dilithium crystals and a Star Wars gravity well projector combined; a deadline.

I never accomplished anything without an outside deadline burning at my ass. As I've grown older , I have realized most people are like me in that regard. That's why I took a writing partner in the first place (along with the fact that we collaborated well, or course)... I knew I'd be too afraid of letting her down to ever not finish my share of the work.

I suspect deadline's are the key to many of mankind's greatest achievements. But I work on deadlines every day. Yet I know I don't organize my time to it's fullest potential.

Dare I try to do my work, share quality time with my wife and write the novel I never knew I had lurking within me?

Heat up the warp drive and use the sun's gravity to slingshot you forward in time and you'll know before I do! Otherwise, keep checking in and all will be revealed.


A mirror of this post and other thoughts on the business of writing and ideas are at a my new blog: Stark Raving Adventureblog.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Star Wars Sunday Comic 008 - Leia

Welcome to the rebellion. Here is the latest Sunday Comic from the Imperial News: Leia.

With thanks and apologies to Cathy creator, Cathy Guisewite. She put her finger on that Sex And The City pulse (minus the sex) long before Candace Bushnell's original book came out.

It's funny to think of such a powerful woman as Leia concerned with the minutia of Cathy's day to day travails. The mix really works although I have found that I can't seem to do one without making the final gag as sick as possible. I suspect that says more about me than it does about Guisewite's strip.

Most daily comic strips strive to hit a certain mark in terms of humour. It's what makes them recognizable and comfortable enough for repeated viewing at breakfast tables across the continent. They're easy to take for granted as they take aim for the same comedic bullseye every day. And few do it better than the Comics Curmudgeon. But they still can surprise. Remember the surprise and furor when Guisewite followed the logical next step and decided her comic foil should get married?

Much like Mary Tyler Moore blazed a trail by featuring a single, independent, career woman making her way in the world, Cathy was one of the first mainstream strips to follow a single, independent, career woman and be drawn by a woman. And she's more than happy to throw in a message here and there.

For more Imperial News comics click here. For more on Cathy click here. For an in-depth analysis of Cathy, click here.


Sunday, August 31, 2008

Star Wars Sunday Comic 007 - Chewie And Han

Welcome to the rebellion. Here is the latest Sunday Comic from the Imperial News: Chewie and Han.

With thanks and apologies to Calvin And Hobbes creator, Bill Watterson, who is a complete comic God. So far I have only come up with one or two potential gags that seem to fit his precise comedic style. The first three Calvin and Hobbes pastiches I have done are his gags.

This star Wars comic thing came about as a favour to a friend but it is amazing to learn how these varied artist's work toward solving the process of creating humouir out of four, tiny daily panels and Sunday pages. All have much to teach me but I am noticing there are some I can whip off once I "get" the approach (adding my own twisted point of view) but there are some that are so subtle and sophisticated I can only copy and use what is already there.

Bill Watterson is one of those. He's just impossible to top and so creative about his approach to those boxes. He fills every frame and his entire comic with life. His figures seem to be in constant motion and brimming with confidence.

For more Imperial News comics click here. For some of Bill's rarer material, click here.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Star Wars Sunday Comic 006 - Dengar The Horrible

Welcome to the rebellion. As the countdown ticks down to moving out of my apartment and then shuttling my fantastic wife up from Coruscant System to join me for actual in-person, cohabitational, long overdue, matrimonial bliss at last, I find myself failing to transmit at regular intervals a second consecutive week.

Take heart, though postings over the next few weeks will be more sporadic, I am still a rebel at heart. So just imagine I am completing my Jedi training with that freaky, little green fellow on the swamp planet, Degobah. I shall return in time join the Rebellion for their climactic battle armed with my trusty lightsaber, keyboard and Jedi wit.

In the meantime, here is the latest Sunday Comic from the Imperial News: Dengar the Horrible.

With thanks and apologies to Hagar The Horrible creators, Dik and Chris Browne. For more Imperial News comics click here. For Chris Browne's Blog, click here.

As we create more Star Wars Sunday Comics, I'll blog a little bit about what I'm learning from these hilarious cartoonists. It's amazing how much there is to discover within even the toons I didn't normally read before.

May the Force be with you.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Fan Expo Toronto - Top 10

Welcome to the rebellion. The Toronto Fan Expo Sci-Fi /Horror/Anime/Gaming and Comicon started yesterday. Here are few things that stood out to me:

10. The 501st Canadian Legion.

The Canadian garrison of the
self-proclaimed "world's premier Imperial Star Wars costuming fan club", made their presence felt with a table right outside the entrance to the hall. You may or may not know that the 501st Legion is comprised of people who make and ear their own stormtrooper and related Star Wars costumes and uniforms. They do appearances, help raise money for charity and share their passion for cos-play with each other.

For those who aren't sure what cosplay is, good old Winkepedia defines it as follows: "Cosplay... short for "costume play", is a type of performance art whose participants outfit themselves, with often elaborate costumes and accessories, as a specific character."

Members of the 501st roamed the convention posing for pictures and spreading the Star Wars love but I do wish the people at the table were more enthusiastic. When I checked them out they seemed tired already and it was only a couple of hours into the day. It's possible they're just shy. It's much easier to interact with strangers from behind a helmet.

Rather than chat me up while he had me in person, the out of uniform "Commanding Officer" handed me his card and suggested I check out the website. And this is right after I told him I had seen the website and was curious about them. If this ass-backwards approach is a common denominator in all stormtrooper business, then it goes pretty far in helping me realize why stormtroopers are such bad blaster shots.

9. Hardcore Nerdity.com.

A new social networking site for science fiction and fantasy geeks with one of the best names ever. It looks like Jonathan Lire, formerly of Space: The Imagination Station in Canada, is one of the people behind the idea. They were just inside the main entrance offering a chance to win a Smart Car for joining... IF they happen to get 10, 000 new members to sign over the course of the Fan Expo weekend.

Sure the odds of that car coming into play aren't good, but rather than declare the promotion a bait and switch, they prefer to think of it as optimistic. It';s good encouragement for people to join and to invite others to give it a try. Why not try out a site where you know in advance people won't thumb their noses at your geek credentials?

I took the invite from my friend Casey, who was proudly earing her home-made Battlestar Galactica jacket. Casey is an actress as well as a stunt fight performer. I started to calculate the odds of the car contest getting activated, but then realized you simply don't quote the numbers to a woman who can kick your ass! :)

I wish www.hardcorenerdity.com all the best for it's beta launch.

8. Rue Morgue's dead body.

Rue Morgue the awesome Canadian horror magazine, placed a realistic murder victim on the floor outside their booth and many a passerby were laying down next it to pose for those hard to get "suicide pact" shots that really make your vacation slide shows sing.

7. Rob Walton's gorgeous prints aping Marvel Comic's Secret Invasion Skrull covers.

Cartoonist Walton whipped up a Betty and Veronica cover featuring them as Skrull teens discussing subjugating the boys and a terrific Skrullified version of Mary Jane Watson's first appearance as drawn by John Romita. "Face it tiger, you've hit the jackpot!" Check out more of this brilliant under-used talent at his blog.

Do yourself a favour and check out Rob's collected Ragmop trade paperback. You can find details here.

6. Henry Winkler is super-friendly, focused guy.

With a hilarious run in Arrested Development,very down to earth advice given to Scott Baio over the phone in Scott Baio is Thirty-Nine and Single, and all the excitement over the Bronze Fonz unveiled in Milwaukie, where not a single frame of Happy Days was shot to my recollection). Henry Winkler's popularity has been on a much-deserved upswing.

Rather than stand behind his table, The former Fonz greeted people with a warm, two-handed handshake and walked them to his table. He's big on eye contact and often kept holding their hand or put a hand on their arm as people shared how welcome he was in their home over the years. But his line moved extremely fast. Winkler had given each person some one-on-one time without wasting a minute down to a science. Everyone walked away with a special moment... except me of course.

I was next to shake his hand but then realized two things; I didn't have money for a copy of one of his kid's books or a picture and signature, and I was late for the Hoverboy panel! So I smiled at him, pretending I was with the Father and Son he 'd just greeted and slinked away!

In retrospect, the only thing that would have made his table complete would have been a shark for people to jump over as they approached.

Check out Mr. Winkler's series of Hank Zipper books, about the world's greatest, dyslexic underachiever.

5. Artists' Alley.

I got a bunch of great sketches from this year's bad ass crop of comic scribblers and I hate to say it but the young bucks kicked the older artist's asses this time around. They really went all out and once you get one really hot sketch in your sketchbook, the next guy's got to top it!

The secret? Try to group your sketches each year around artists who know each other. They'll instantly get competitive. At another recent convention, I got a super sketch from Kalman Andrasofszky because he got to draw a tuxedo! It was a character Kalman had never done before and it turns he just plain digs drawing tuxedos!

When I pitched another bizarre character, Kalman laughed and basically dared me to get Butternut Squash, Kukuburi and DC artist Ramon Pérez to draw it. "He loves that crazy stuff!" How could Ramon say no to that? And his sketch kicked so much ass that everyone after him had to bring their "A" game! Seriously, it dripped so much manly machismo I had to shake the sketchbook before letting anyone draw in it again. And damned if Deadend 56 artist Andy Belanger didn't top it! (Don't worry, I'll post sketches online sometime in the next few months)

The one drag? Some of the artists I had hoped to get sketches from weren't drawing this time out. Adam Hughes injured his hand, Stuart Immonen stopped drawing at conventions a while ago and even published a book collecting his webcomic about it,
50 Reasons to Stop Sketching at Conventions. But Stuart and Kathryn were terrific to talk to and had lots of stuff for sale. And I got to pass on a hello a mutual friend asked me to send about four years ago!

Check out their weekly webcomic, Moving Pictures.

It was also great to run into talented artists like Agnes Garbowska and the way cool Laurie Breitkreuz, who bring girl power and serious magic with their flashing pens. They also bring the entertaining bonus of watching fanboys develop little crushes on them as they chatted.

So for now the number one thing at Fan Expo?

4. Super Moms.

I ran into a few uber-cool Moms taking their kids to the convention. They also actually speak to people as they wait in line.

I wish I remembered the name of the delightful mother in line with me to meet Brent Spiner (Yeah, I said it... in line to meet Commander Data. Wanna make something of it?). She has embraced her teenage interests and believe me, that family take that convention with a carefully orchestrated and timed plan of attack!

She gave me the straight goods on Jeremy Bulloch (charming, full of stories and appeared in no less than three Bond films), Henry Winkler (she's the one who convinced me to line up for him) and Kate Mulgrew (Too many restrictions and not very available).

Her sons recoiled when she threatened to wear a costume if she could decide who to be next year. I suggested Wilma Dearing as portrayed by Erin Grey in the Buck Rogers TV series. After several people in line around us agreed that Erin Gray was the reason spandex was invented, I think she's delighted enough with the idea to do it!

3. Sushi. Seriously.

The food court lines for the pizza kiosk and hot dog vendor were endless. Not so for the sushi. People were wary of trusting it I guess. I stuck to the vegetarian wraps and sandwiches they offered and was fed and out of there before people who arrived at the same time even got to the pizza counter.

2. Carpeting.

After walking on concrete for several hours I found myself at a game demo I was uninterested in simply so I could stand on their cushy swatch of carpeting. i Is it too much to ask for carpeted aisles? Yes, I suppose it is.

1. Drumroll please. Our number one thing about Fan Expo this year is...


Yup, Hoverboy is number one with a bucket!

Not only is Hoverboy the greatest comic super-hero of all time (who didn't grow up wanting to wear a bucket on their head and float several inches off the kitchen floor to get to that hard to reach cookie cupboard?), he's also the worst super-hero of all time, all rolled into one! Marcus Moore's obsession has never failed to inspire others to jump on his bucket bandwagon. The premiere, one-shot issue of Mr. Comic's Hoverboy is garnering terrific fan reaction.

I got into Hoverboy through my sister, Stephanie, who starred in the Hoverboy musical for kids, "I Will Not Pail" at her school. She would play that album over and over as she danced in her Hoverboy flammable jammies and made hovershawls on her Hoverboy Loom set.

The day she got her hair caught in the loom may have been a dark one for her follicles but not for her little brub brub. After losing all her hair she gave me her entire Hoverboy collection and punked out. Score!

Anyhow, creator Marcus Moore, along with Ty Templeton and Rick Green (Of Prisoners of Gravity fame) are having a blast rebuilding the franchise. You can spend an afternoon looking through the extensive Hoverboy site here. (It's almost as good as my own Imperial News! (Okay, okay. It's better. The bastards.)

Do yourself a favour and check out the Hoverboy cartoons that started this madness. They truly rock.

It's the greatest in-joke comic of all because it's not an in-joke at all. Check out their wonderful site and buy a copy of the comic. You'll be glad you joined the bucket brigade.

"It's time for fists!"


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Star Wars Sunday Comic 005 - Dennis The Phantom Menace

Welcome to the rebellion. I tend to do the Imperial News' Star Wars Sunday Comics in batches. That way I can immerse myself in a specific creator's approach and get a few comics written and drawn while I'm in the right head space. So for the next few Sundays we'll be seeing some familiar faces. Enjoy.

With thanks and apologies to Dennis The Menace creator, Hank Ketcham. For more Imperial News comics
click here.


Friday, August 15, 2008

That's No Moon!

Welcome to the rebellion. Darryl Gold, the peerless creator of Death Star Repairmen, the film and website that inspired all this Imperial News and Rebel Alert madness, is working on yet another edition of Darryl's Hard Liquor and Porn Film Festival.

While that horrified-yet-slightly-intrigued look crosses your face, I should tell you it's a comedy film festival with a theme of sex and porn. You won't find a lot of real porn there.. mainly because the real stuff is boring (Which is why I can only watch about 17 hours of real porn in one sitting).

So, in addition to working on a couple of shorts for his festival and consolidating the two-country lives of my wife and myself down to one country at last, I will am expecting some interruptions in your regular Rebel Alert feed for the next month.

But Darryl has come through again with a solution; several great Star Wars links. That means I'm going to let other people do my work for me while I double-back in my X-wing for a run at the Death Star's exhaust port trench... and deal with movers.

Today, we have a brilliant video from Mike Horn at Current.com, "Death Star Over San Francisco".

The real key to all this is the regular sound Mike kept with the footage. People talking about their mundane stuff or demonstrating heatedly over China's human rights records really completes the subtle "sell". It also confirms my long-held suspicion that China has indeed become a puppet nation under Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious.

A meeting was held aboard the lead Star Destroyer between Admiral Piett, Lord Darth Vader and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in which Mr. Schwarzenegger ripped off his shirt, drew his ancient sword and assured the invaders that "By Crom," he would "crush his enemies, see them driven before him and hear the lamentations of their women."

A sweep of Vader's lightsaber solved the "riddle" of the governor's steel. The Sith Lord then held out his fist as the governor wondered "what the hell he was". Upon his release from Vader's Force-powered grip, California's fearless leader, rubbed his swollen neck, assuring everyone it was "not a tumour".

The Imperial commanders dictated their terms for California's surrender but it ended in a stalemate. After beating up and stealing the clothes from an Imperial lackey, the governor donned sunglasses and countered Vader's Jedi Mind Tricks by analyzing, synthesizing and duplicating Piett's voice. As Schwarzenegger was escorted out, his computer eyes sized up the defenses of the Piett's Star Destroyer and he defiantly vowed over his shoulder that he would "be back."

Moments later the governor drove a Ford Bronco through the wall of Piett's office. Unfortunately, the spectacular stunt also damaged the Bronco's brakes, causing the bodybuilder turned action hero turned governor turned action hero to drive through the port window and plummet into the San Francisco Bay.

Reportedly, the Admiral's only response was, "Hasta la vista, bantha."

Eyewitnesses later spotted the governor walking calmly out of the water at nearby Baker Beach, a single eye glowing with a menacing red light red.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Star Wars Sunday Comic 004 - Dengar The Horrible

Welcome to the rebellion.

Word has reached our deep-space listening posts that Lord Darth Vader has summoned mercenaries from across the galaxy to help him capture Han Solo, thereby luring Luke Skywalker into a deadly confrontation. Six of the fiercest bounty hunters were assembled:
Dengar, 4-LOM, Zuckass, Bossk, IG-88, and the legendary Boba Fett.

But before the stalking and corralling of rebel scum begins. Here is the latest Sunday Comic from the Imperial News: Dengar the Horrible.

Oh, that Dengar.

With thanks and apologies to Hagar The Horrible creators, Dik and Chris Browne. For more Imperial News comics click here. For Chris Browne's Blog, click here.


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Intercept: Death Star TV Listings - Red Channel

Welcome to the rebellion. For your weekend viewing pleasure we have hacked into Imperial databases and retrieved this weekend's Pay-Per-Holo movie schedule. Enjoy.

RED CHANNEL: Home Box Holo


Wag The Dianoga

Pretty Wookie

8:30pm Team Empire: Space Police

Divine Secrets Of The Ya-Ya Sithhood


The Neverending Sequels

1:30am Rancor Dundee II

Pee Wee’s Big Empire

That Darn Sarlacc

Womprats In Paris

101 Dianogas

My Cousin Dengar

Droid Story

Imperial Pie III

Peggy Sue Got Vaporized

It’s A Wonderful Force

Memoirs Of A Jedi

Dennis The Phantom Menace

Finding Wattoo

Nightmare On Coruscant: Jek Porkin’s Revenge


Dial “M” For Mynock

Bend It Like Boba

Lando And Hardy: Silent Holo Classics

4:45am Anakin Scorsese’s Age Of Imperialism

Fat Akbar

A Hard Day’s Flight

Meet The Sperm Donors

Howard The Duck

Spacey Movie III

1:30pm Good Wattoo Hunting

Miracle In 34th Quadrant

Imperial Psycho

Naboo Hill

The Incredible Hutt

Star Trek: Try, Try Again


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Today's Star Wars Lotto Number

Welcome to the rebellion. We've officially reached Hothgust, our second month of transmitting this rebel signal. There is little evidence our voice is being heard but we trust in the Force to get the word out.

Since we struggle to finance the resistance any way we can, we've pooled our resources to buy up Imperial Lottery tickets.

Today's Imperial Lotto Number is: 01011001001100111000111011001001010010101010100010101000101010100101001110100

Drok! So close.


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Star Wars Sunday Comic 003 - Dennis The Phantom Menace

Welcome to the rebellion. The slave boy from the dome next door was in my Funnel Flower bushes again. I laid in wait with our hose to give him a good dunking but he squeezed the hose to keep it from splashing him until I foolishly looked in the end to see if something was blocking it. Then he let go and splash! I was one soaked Moisture Farmer.

Sigh. How does that brat keep getting away with his mischief?

Here's his latest misadventure from this week's
Imperial News Sunday Comic: Dennis the Phantom Menace. Enjoy.

With thanks and apologies to Dennis The Menace creator, Hank Ketcham. For more Imperial News comics click here.


Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Real Boba Fete...

Welcome to the rebellion. Caught an article in last weekend's National Post on a Star Wars,
Mandalorian-themed wedding ceremony held outside the this year's San Diego Comic Con.

So often people view fan-themed events with this image of overgrown children with no social skills refusing to be responsible adults and dressing up in crazy costumes. People like to dismiss the fannish enthusiasm as worthless or misguided. But there's a lot happening under all that colourful gear.

The truth is there are few more social events than a cosplay (costume play) or a costume club event . They're the ultimate mixer. It's easy to identify who digs what you dig and you have automatic conversation starters like, "How'd you get the metallic fins to curve at the right angles to really sell the rocket pack?", "Do you believe in adapting an actual assault rifle model, carving it from a single piece of wood, or detailing over a resin cast?", and even "What the heck are you?"

We all love to talk about our favourite shows or books but sci-fi fans take it further, forming friendships around these things that can last a lifetime. And they are engaged in the world in a unique way. Sci-Fi fans love to talk about the transformative power of ideas and are probably the most positive, can-do people you'll ever meet.

Heck, Cosplayers and Costume Club spent months, weeks and hours hand-weaving the fur into their Chewbacca outfit. You think starting a recycling depot in their neighbourhood is beyond them? They're self-starters and always look on the bright side, eager to change the world into the futuristic utopia they see played out in the shows and novels they love.

I admit, I almost dismissed Tenille and Thomas Kuhlman's Mandalorian (Boba Fett's people) wedding myself. But as I read through the article, and later looked at footage and pictures here, I realized this matrimonial union had much in common with my own wedding last November.

My new bride and I have had quite a roller-coaster year. After much patience on her part and many stalling excuses on my part, I asked my bride to marry me in a convulsion of nervous stuttering. Why was I nervous when I already knew her answer (which she helpfully provided me with years before)? Perhaps it's all about Tom Hanks and Ron Howard Apollo 13 rule; just because you know how it ends doesn't mean it isn't a wild ride.

My bride-to-be lived across the Rim, 500 miles and a country away as the shuttle flies. Due to health concerns we were suddenly forced to deal with, I became our de facto wedding planner. As she kept working and dealt with the medical droids (and some of them may as well have been droids considering their inhuman bedside manner), I flew back and forth to help her, worked and made wedding arrangements.

Our wedding was extremely small and we avoided any company or service that was part of the wedding industry. We booked a beautiful restaurant/pool hall/corporate event place that could do the wedding and the dinner, made our own music files and hooked up our computer to the sound system. We also conscripted friends and family to help decorate and found an old friend who used to own a flower store to help out with the floral arrangements and the bouquet.

The rings were antique found on-line, thereby avoiding blood diamonds and questions regarding the ethics of the Canadian diamond industry. Even the dress was found on-line and fit my love perfectly. And Jill (my new wife) even wrote a song about planning the wedding while going through Chemo. It's called Chemo Bride (below). So the entertainment was unparalleled. And the cake? A huge ice cream cake from Baskin-Robbins. and we defy to find a tastier wedding cake anywhere!

Become a guest at my wedding and enjoy my wife's brilliant song, "Chemo Bride"!

I remember how proud we felt after it was all over. We had created a perfect, intimate wedding on a reasonable budget that was full of personality, beauty and joy. Since we paid as we went we also wouldn't be paying off debt on it for years to come! That DIY (Do It Yourself) spirit is exactly the kind of joyful. "let's get it done and celebrate life" kind of feeling I saw at this Star Wars wedding.

Tenille and Thomas were actually married months before but for both of them , this was the true celebration they wanted. It was something unique to them. Something that included their guests in the spirit of creation and experiencing something unique.

And that is what you're really seeing when you see pictures of fans in their costumes at events like these. People who are celebrating possibility. People who are getting that rare opportunity to let that optimistic spirit inside them out. They're letting the world see that we don't have to settle for the mundane every day. We can believe in the power of imagination inspire us to greater heights.

Isn't that worth looking a little goofy for?


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dex's Diner: A New Hope... For Brunch

Welcome to the rebellion.


of culinary
inertia. Rebel
cooking at
a Coco Town
have won their
first victory
over oppressive
Imperial food critics.

During an
Empire dinner
rush in which the
full hunger of Imperial
Forces was unleashed
on the
brave rebels, Jedi souse chefs smuggled
in banned
spices and use the Force (and wicked-sharp
lightsaber, ginsu knives) to create sumptuous recipes zesty
enough to
satisfy an entire restaurant of hungry patrons bred with
identically voracious, appetities. Pursued by
rival restaurants, Dex’s
Diner expands its menu and
restore savory deliciousness and freedom
to desperate alien and human taste buds ACROSS THE GALAXY...


Come on down to Dexter Jettster’s gourment grill in downtown Coco Town, Coruscant.
No one serves you faster than a four-armed grill master!

On weekends we have Fresh Seafood from Naboo and Kamino:

Colo Claw Fish Chowder
Oopee Sea Killer and Chips
Sando Aqua Monster Calamari

Daily Blue Plate Blue Milk Specials:

Krayt Dragon Ribs, Tauntaun Burgers
Pan-Fried Mynock with Ardee and Space Slug Pudding.

A delight for all species of taste buds!

Tuesday is Wing Ding Night!
Peko-Peko Wings by the dozen!

Hot Jawa Juice brewed fresh every day.

All specials come with a coupon for free frappé dessert in Mos Espa on
sunny Tatooine. They don’t call it a Dessert Planet for nothing!

Try their deep-fried Wampa Ice Creature Sandwich,
a slice of Ronto Pie or a Cinnamon Sarlacc Stick, seasoned
with only the finest ingredients from the Spice Mines of Kessel.

Then speed over to Mos Eisley Cantina for the soulful stylings of
Wilson Wickett and the Jundland Gap, performing such hits as
Massiff Sally and In The Midnight Parsec.

Dex’s Diner
Coco Town, Lower-Level 60, Coruscant

Your Home Away From Home Cooking!

"Food just like your DNA Resequencing,
Embryo-Monitoring, Mamma Droid used to inject!"

For franchise info please contact:
Chewbacca J. Wookie Enterprises
1381 Treetop Blvd., Kashwyk.



Win a free evening out including dinner at one of Coruscant’s finest restaurants and a shuttle tour of Tatooine night-life. To Enter: Simply answer the following skill-testing question and sub-space it to The Imperial News inside a plucky R2 unit along with your bar code:

“What is the proper temperature for flash-frying barbecued Ewok?” *

*Find the answer in the latest issue of the Imperial News!


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Star Wars Sunday Comic 002 - Fett Trot

Welcome to the rebellion. We have intercepted this week's
Imperial News' Sunday Comic; Fett Trot. Enjoy.

With thanks and apologies to Foxtrot creator, Bill Amend. For more Imperial News comics click here.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Become A Sith Lord

Welcome to the rebellion. And now a word from our rebel sponsor...



Now there is "A New Hope" for all those who thought the Force had passed them by. Experience THE POWER WITHOUT; a powerful, 7-day program, in which best-selling intergalactic author and dictator, Emperor Tony Palpatine provides you with the cutting edge tools for not merely changing, but revolutionizing every area of your life… forever!

This is your exclusive opportunity to master the lives of yourself and those around you by using the same disturbing, underhanded transformational tools used by the Emperor himself. We guarantee the results will strike like bolts of electricity.


The former Darth Sidious has distilled profound knowledge from the finest evil mentors in the universe (by squeezing out their brain juices and studying it with very, um, technical equipment before drinking it down in a revitalizing shake). And now he’s ready to share them with you!

His findings will be presented via live, facilitated holo-video with Imperial facilitators available to compel all in attendance to get the Emperor’s message.

(*For the story accompanying this Chris Jackson/Getty Image
go to www.abc.net )


· Maximize your energy and restore your body to a state of pristine health and vitality by having your wasted flesh hooked into an armour-covered homunculus.

· Develop deep and lasting relationships that provide profound fulfillment, then destroy them without a moment’s hesitation.

· Train your mind and body so your most powerful emotions – anger, rage, certainty, faith and passion - are as automatic as your breathing apparatus.

-Merchandize your image no matter how small a part you play in the Empire's (and the movie's) Plots.

(*Check out www.vintage-star-wars-toys.com
for moreawesome action figure facts and fun)

· Capitalize on opportunities for achieving financial freedom by controlling vast areas of the galaxy with an iron hand in an leather glove.

· Discover a meaningful and inspirational life purpose, like ending the lives of everyone else. Now there’s a goal worthy of a Sith Lord.


Unleashing the POWER WITHOUT is about creating breakthroughs, moving beyond fear into terror and corrupting your beliefs. We offer the power to accomplish goals and realize truly evil desire. By turning dreams and nightmares into reality, and modeling the strategies of peak performers to produce a quantum difference in your life, you too can lay waste to worlds.

THE POWER WITHOUT: PERSONAL, ALL-CONSUMING POWER includes nine 8-track DARK SIDE tapes or 10 holo-vids, a DARK SIDE introductory brochure, a Personal Journal with a glossy photo of the Emperor autographed by one of Palpatine’s personal sycophants, an online profile for Imperial approved dating options and a discount certificate offering 100 credits toward the purchase of any multi-day Emperor Palpatine live indoctrination seminar or any ongoing Personal or Professional Coaching Program.


"Thanks to what I learned at Personal, All-Consuming Power, everything in my life has changed. I now have a girlfriend wonderful enough to hide the very existence of my children from me. My wreck of a body has renewed vitality thanks to the life-giving chemicals and electrical shocks provided by my coffin-like, bio-armor; and I've increased my
personal income by like, 23%!"

-Lord Vader

"At Personal, All-Consuming Power I made a complete turnaround in my goals, my style, and my thinking. I came with the support of my family and after turning them in to the Empire for seditious thoughts, my life will never be the same. . . The Emperor and his Dark Side have been an incredible Force in my life."
- The "Grandest Moff Of All", Governor Tarken, Real Estate broker

Now is the time of your greatest triumph...




*Sponsored by "Pay It Backward With Palpatine Ltd."