Freak Out & Watch Doom Patrol!

After last week’s foray into Marvel’s merry mutant cult, I’m finally getting around to reviewing the TV adaptation of their DC equivalent: Doom Patrol! (It also inspired The Umbrella Academy, whose TV series debuted at the same time.) If I had DC Universe I would’ve reviewed it sooner. Luckily my local library got it on DVD without me even requesting it! The main titles alone are superb! This cold take is made of SPOILERS! At the end, I’ll once again try to induct you into the campaign to save Lodge 49! I’m thankful for both of these series, making this blog Thanksgiving topical.

The first season is fifteen episodes, which seems long in the age of streaming. It works though! Each episode clocks in at around an hour. Unlike the Netflix Marvel Shows, every minute is well spent. Doom Patrol is a dense show but in a complimentary way. It feels like the shamebaby of Legends of Tomorrow Legion, & it may be even better than both.

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OK Doomer

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Eventually This Will Have A Title

Rachel Skarsten responded to me nominating her for Stephfi the Marauderatrix in a The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose adaptation!

Tamsin the Valkyrie didn’t say she wouldn’t buff up to be in an adaptation of my obscure novel that hasn’t be greenlit yet, so this is going in the win column. Annet Mahendru liked my tweet about her playing Fairuza as well! Strike now while the iron is hot, TV & film producers!

You have a week to pay what thou will for twenty-four books with Booktrope Sci-fi & Thriller Humble Bundle!  You’ll be supporting charities (Freedom of the Press Foundation & Prevent Cancer Foundation) & getting $120 worth of wonderful indie eBooks at a great bargain of your choosing!

I still haven’t seen Jessica Jones or Daredevil season 2 yet, but I am caught up on Agents of SHIELD. Yay? So Simmons will make a Terrigensis-vaccine from Absorbing Man’s (actor Brian Patrick Wade’s real life wife, bodybuilder Jill Wade, should guest star as Titania to blur the divide with fiction) blood just to shut up people like me asking why Bucky is more important than an Inhuman population boom in Iron Man v. Captain America: Dawn of Vengeance Comics Alliance has already done the work for me of explaining why Coulson isn’t a good spy & Lincoln is possibly worse than Ward. (The Inhuman wearing Ward’s face moved up in the ranks slightly since getting a goop sacrifice scene.)

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Book Trailers Are Dumb. So I Made Two!

I don’t get book trailers. Movie trailers make sense because they’re already an audiovisual medium whereas books aren’t. If one’s work were to be slavishly adapted into a movie or TV show with Dyna-mation monsters (HINT HINT), then its trailer could also serve as a book trailer but that’s not helpful for pre-publishing marketing. You could film selected pages in a book, but I don’t know if that’s engaging. Why do you never need a book trailer when blurbs & excerpts already serve that function without tackily crossing media? So I think book trailers are dumb, which is why I made two of them.

I must thank Sir Andrew of Birchenough for doing the voice over and Jack “The Gat” Gattanella for editing the sound afore they recorded their latest installment of The Wages of Cinema. (“One’s a knight. The other’s a mobster. Hijinks ensue!”)They also found a hilarious typo in the script. The image editing was all my fault.

“You said you made two trailers, so where’s the other one?” Curse your comprehension of basic mathematics! Yes, I have another trailer ready but I’m saving that so I have something to talk about in the future. The next trailer for The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose is even better (especially if you didn’t care for this one), so keep your eyes & ears peeled for it. So why didn’t I lead with the better trailer then? Because SHOWMANSHIP!

Oh, I had to make a YouTube channel in order to upload these. (That press-ganged me into getting a Google+ account, which was extra annoying.) So I also put all of FILLER! onto YouTube in case you don’t want to watch it on Vimeo for some strange reason. There’s also a playlist of my friends’ projects I helped out on. My hand has been cut from the trailer to Evilution: Unnatural Selection, but I assure you it made it into the final product. Now I just need to figure out how to upload my high school Napoleon project, Instant Potato!, & The Intergalactic Necktie Strangler…  Continue reading

Fetch Me More Sharks That I Might Jump Them!

“Fetch me more sharks that I might jump them!” I’ve retroactively decided that was my motto whilst writing The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose. In other words, I embraced absurdity like I was the novelty vacation magnet to its refrigerator. (Yes, there’s still a plot & emotional throughlines but we’ll get to them in another blog with less focus on wackiness.)

So I was a bit nervous when I received the edits back on the book. I didn’t personally know my editor, Majanka Verstraete, so she was under no social obligation to humor me about its quality. I was also concerned that there might be a language barrier between her & the jokes. Would ninety percent of the text be struck through in crimson with foreign expletives in the comment balloons?

So when I finally psyched myself up to read through the edits, I was pleasantly surprised to find her notes clear & helpful. There were no calls to massively overhaul the story. The most common revisions she suggested were to cut down on the adverbs & exclamation marks. I personally don’t understand the modern dislike for adverbs as the succinctly describe how actions are performed, but I’m not going to argue with someone who’s had more books published than me. Many of the gratuitous exclamation marks survived, however, as I come from a nation that undervalues subtlety! I also made a few superfluous adjustments like changing the occupations of background characters that nobody will care about besides me.

So it’s probably for the best that the major publishing houses didn’t return my calls. I would’ve most likely been assigned to an editor whose professional advice would be to gut the idiosyncrasy out of it, incinerate it, & scatter the remnants across the globe so it’d be even harder for them to reconstitute. I think there was a vampire metaphor at the end, but the hypothetical result would be to turn it into the book equivalent of a zombie, which has an even larger cultural cache than vampires so long as they’re completely removed from the original Haitian concept of zombies. Luckily Booktrope allowed me to pick an editor who let me me keep it kooky! Ms. Verstraete is my new favorite editor!

So you’re still getting a weird book! Hooray for you! Now let’s see if it survives proofreading…

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Killer Robots Made Me Late For A Very Important Date

Headlines be damned! It looks like plenty of people are interested in Jemmacide! Last week’s post cleared 100 views in under two days! That’s more than any other post on my humble blog so far. Then it kept getting more views. In less than a week, it’s cracked 300 views, making it over quadruple times more popular than the previous leading post. It’s even surpassed my home page in viewership. If the rest of my articles don’t pull in similar numbers I’m going to be so mad at them! Total viewership of the blog is now north of 1,000. The amount of unique international viewers who’ve visited my blog has just hit 700. So thank you very much to everyone who Shared, Favorited, Retweeted, Liked, or simply clicked on the link for breaking all of my meager records. A very special thanks to the mystery person who searched for “jemmacide marvel comics,” without whose curiosity that rant would’ve never been written.

After all that, I want to see Elizabeth Henstridge become Jemmacide on season three of Agents of SHIELD more than ever. Even if it does happen in some form, it’ll still probably be much less cool than I imagined. After all, I was so pumped when Raina underwent Terragenesis only to be so disappointed when she became even more sidelined than usual. Ruth Negga nabbing a lead in Preacher had better be worth Raina getting fridged. I demand a Marvel Legends Raina action figure with swappable heads in reparation! While I’m making outrageous demands I might as well also request Melinda May, Mockingbird, Sif (armored not incognito), Mr. Hyde, Jiaying, and Jemmacide to go with the Phil Coulson I already have. They’ve got better odds of being made now that Marvel is being so petty about not having the X-Men movie rights.

I’ve already alerted most of the pertinent Agents of SHIELD people about the essay on the Twitter, the preferred social platform for irritating celebrities. It was met with a deafening silence. So it’s either completely right but they can’t confirm it this early, so completely off base they won’t dignify it with a response, or not what they had in mind originally but now they’re scrapping the previous plans to make Jemmacide a reality & ninjas are en route to my home. Occam’s Razor says they just hate me & want to be left alone. It’s up to you to contact your Member of Parliament and demand Jemmacide. Just be absolutely certain you spell her name right. No autocorrect!

Oh, here’s what I was planning to write before I was completely sidetracked by Jemmacide:

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I Want You To Want To Read Me!

Hola, faithful readers from a variety of nations! I realize that there are scads of blogs competing for your attention, but you’ve chosen (for the moment) to read mine. I’m honored!* It feels like I’m writing in an echo chamber, however, because I haven’t received many comments from people like you. I’d chalk up the silence to “you’re doing everything right; no need for us to interrupt,” but I’m not sure I’m that egotistical. So I’m looking for your feedback on how I can ensure Matt The Catania: Almost Clever! is a blog you’d like to continue reading.

I’ve come across plenty of blogs where the author has a very focused mission statement:

“I love writing/photography/cooking/acting/gardening/fencing/taxidermy/etc.! I think about it 24/7! Whenever I’m unable to do this specific activity, life  loses all its value!”

I feel somewhat aberrant in comparison because I don’t have one overwhelming passion. Instead I possess a diversified array of obssessions because I want to be a dilettante when I grow up. Do you, however, have a preference for me to focus on specific topics rather than others?

As you may have already noticed, I sometimes write things. I’ve even been paid to do this. making me a professional writer. While I’m not going to post a full length novel here, I think I could manage the occasional short story. I do poetry for glory. Are you interested in more behind the scenes peeks at articles I’ve written for Topless Robot, io9, & Legal As She Is Spoke? Is there a particular format or topic you’d like me to cover? Are my musings too verbose or too succinct?

I like making movies, but unfortunately there won’t be many of my own here. This is simply because I don’t personally own filmographic equipment & it takes lots of people working together to make something worth watching. I can show you various videos I’ve cameoed in for friends. I may even make a guest appearance in one of your films if you ask! Otherwise I have plenty of anecdotes about FILLER! That’s what everybody needs, right?

Consuming culture is another thing that I do. Afterwards I analyze it. So I could critique novels, comic books, TV shows, & movies for you. The problem is that there are already so many outlets that already do that. I’d have to think of a unique way to make my rambling reviews radically relevant from the rest. Do you have any suggestions.

I’m an avid action figure aficionado. I’m even customized some. I’ve also built model kits. Would you be interested in me posting digital photographs of those here? I also  provide many cat & vacation snaps as alternatives.

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Nightcrawler has ported in to break up all the text. (Why can’t he just wear his classic costume in the movies since they’ve established he has the same circus background as the comics? Or have velvety blue fur instead of weirdly elaborate scars?) Do you like these sorts of things? Have you ever been compelled to share these “memes” about on The Interwuzzle? Also, do you prefer having to click on really long posts to see the entirety or would you rather they take up as much of the front page as needed?

Most of my art is done with pencil or paint. Do you like to see planning sketches or just finished pieces? Next week I’d like to discuss another painting for The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose. I have three paintings in various stages of completion & three that are ready for viewing. Based on these extremely vague titles, which would you prefer me blog about next?
1. theft
2. pursuit
3. pounce

So tell me in the comments section below (or on my Fan Page or The Twitter) how I can provide content that’s more relevant to your interests. Even one reader’s comment can shape the course of this blog! Will it be yours?

*”HONOR!” is a registered trademarked of Prince Zuko

Now See The Movie That Has A Cameo By The Book You Can’t Read Yet!

Back in 2011, I entered The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose into Amazon’s CreateSpace Breakthrough Novel Contest. It proceeded to not win. As a consolation prize, Amazon gave me physical copy of my book for free. I got to design my own cover for it too, although it’s not as grand as one I would like for the mass market version.  I really want the book to be bound in leather with gold lettering for that Folio Society effect. If I’m going to be delusional, I might as well have delusions of grandeur. But the important thing was that I now have a limited edition of the book I wrote!

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As fate would have it, Jack Gattanella (with whom I had previously worked with on FILLER!) was putting together his first feature film, Green Eyes, around the same time. I kept pestering him that he should include my spiffy new book in the movie, especially as he & his wife, Korey Hughes, had already been forced to read it. After much cajoling, he finally consented. He invited me to play a guest for the party scene. For the most part, I can be seen passed out on the couch clutching The Dolorous Adventure of Banenose, because who goes to parties to socialize anyway? I am further notable for my bootleg Multiple Man (sometime mistaken for Irish Thor) shirt.

For one sequence, Jack had me sit up on the couch next to star Audrey Lorea whilst she has a conversation with someone else & then departs. I improved slumping across the newly vacant sofa space & asking the other actress “Did I ever tell you about THE TIME?” Jack laughed, so I continued to do this for the rest of the takes.

Jack needed extras for a club scene, so I volunteered for a second day of filming. This time I was wearing the Canadian sweatshirt I’d recently acquired  in Winnipeg but without my book. I did, however, write “THE DOLOROUS ADVENTURE OF BROTHER BANENOSE” on the bar’s whiteboard as if it’s also the name of a band that has a gig there. I’m not sure if it’s visible in the final cut, but the implication is that Green Eyes is set in an alternate reality where The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose is already A Thing.

I didn’t see Green Eyes until Jack held a premiere party for it in NYC in 2013. Unfortunately, “Did I ever tell you about THE TIME?” was nowhere to be heard in the final cut. There is also a scene where the leads discuss an unjacketed book & remark “Yeah, that wizard was pretty crap.” I was gobsmacked because this would’ve been the ideal scene to showcase The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose. I would’ve lent him the book for that day of filming had I known this was going to happen in the movie (I wasn’t privy to the screenplay).

Although perhaps it’s for the best that The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose didn’t have its closeup in that scene. The wizard in my book is an Anubis baboon & is therefore incapable of being crap. It also has a witch as its stealth protagonist (or antagonist, depending on your perspective) who is responsible for much of the story’s propulsive action. I wouldn’t want prospective readers in the audience to be turned off by an inaccurate remark about it.

The important thing is that I still appear in the film! I’m credited as “Dolorous Adventure Man” even though you wouldn’t notice the book was in the movie if I hadn’t just told you. Not only that, but you now purchase your own copy of Green Eyes for your viewing pleasure! You can make a (drinking?) game of looking for me & other FILLER! cast members. Get clicking on this link with your piggy bank at the ready! Amazon is even offering it at a discount off its already reasonable price. You can’t afford not to add Green Eyes to your DVD collection! It’s like owning a piece of history you didn’t even need to liberate from from a museum.

And that’s the secret origin of how I got The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose a licensing placement in a feature film without having a publishing deal!

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Whose cat has four thumbs & has a special Interwuzzle gig coming up this weekend? This Saturday, March 28, I will be guest blogging at io9! Feel free to stop by & gawp at the potential swath of devastation I leave in my wake.

P. S. Did I ever tell you about THE TIME?

I Don’t Know What I’m Doing, So It Must Be Art!

Welcome to Week Two of Matt The Catania! I hope you survive the experience! Since my last post, the site has gone green: Erin go bragh & eco-friendly!

The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose is a book I’ve been working on for years. It’s a Medieval fantasy comedy in twenty-three chapters & an appendix about the humorous misadventures of a 14th Century Franciscan monk named Brother Banenose. Here, let me paint you a picture:

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Yes, in addition to writing the novel, I’ve also illustrated parts of it. This particular scene comes straight from the first chapter. This is a book that wastes none of your time in getting to to nocturnal cleaver assaults! Isn’t that what you came here for? The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose is all thriller no filler! (Unless you really like FILLER!, in which case I rescind the previous boast.)

I am a staunch proponent of novels having pictures in them. I don’t understand how society decided that pictures are only fit for children’s books. They’re an extra bastion against seas of of anarchic readers mis-imagining the author’s words. How can authors be so arrogant as to assume their words will be sufficient brainwashing? Doesn’t the literary world realize that if readers are encouraged to use their own imaginations to supplement novels they’ll eventually just dream up free entertainment for themselves causing the fall of Capitalism as we know it? That’s how post-apoctalyptic dystopias happen!

So I hope to include some artwork when The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose is published for mass consumption. (It has been known to cause madness in the beta-readers I foisted it upon. For the sake of marketing, let’s call that a feature.) I have four paintings completed with a fifth in progress. (Are you interested in seeing the preliminary sketches or just the final pieces?) Unfortunately the canvases are all larger than my scanner bed. Any suggestions of where I can get high quality scans of them done? If given the choice would you prefer to see the book embellished with only paintings, only drawings, or a combination of both?

That’s all for now. Bring some friends along next time.

Just Some FILLER!

“EH?* Two posts in as many days? But you promised you’d only post once a week! Why would you do this to me?”

Well dear hypothetical reader, it’s like how your doctor tells you to take a double dose of your medicine the first day just to get firmly on the road to recovery. Trying to build a following for a weekly blog is tricksy without enough content to convince visitors to return. So that’s why I’m doubling down on entries. Trust me, I’m a doctor.**

I need to post some substantive content to get you invested in the success of this fledgling blog. I don’t want to lead off with a repost of an article commissioned by another site. The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose is not quite ready for human consumption yet. So my best option is to show you some FILLER!

Feast your eyes upon the award-winning*** short film FILLER! If you already know me then odds are I’ve already forced you to watch it. That’s why you need to forward this blog to people I don’t know so you can all commiserate in regional support groups.

I co-wrote FILLER! with Andrew Birchenough. He, Fred Henry III, Lindsay Tierstein, Kristin Allmer, Tony Lombardo, Mike Dilorenzo, Brenda Belohoubek, Korey Hughes, Jack Gattanella, Casey Walker, Christina Hoffman, Krystle Von Thaden, Matt Rosen, & I graciously agreed to star in for free. (Should I add tags for these fine thespians too?) I ended up directing it despite not being a film student. FILLER! has since gone on to be an incredibly minor Interwuzzle sensation, particularly in The NetherlandsIt even has an IMDb page where you can rate it ten stars.

I am inordinately pleased with how FILLER! turned out & the response it has received. There are many more anecdotes I can share about this project. Give me some feedback about what you’d like to know more about in the comments section below. Keep your eyes figuratively peeled for more on FILLER! whenever there’s a slow week. If you’d rather not see any more FILLER!, keep your eyes peeled literally.

*’Eh?’ is a registered trademark of The Commonwealth of Canada.

**Doctor of Jurisprudence. Matt The Catania & its author are not responsible for anyone foolish enough to use this blog as a medical resource.

*** First Prize in the Alternative Film Category at the 2008 William Paterson University Film Festival