Happy Helaween From The Upside Down!

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I made you a turducken of terror!

Unlike the first season of Stranger Things, I was able to watch 2 Stranger 2 Things without the Interwuzzle spoiling everything for me! (I did so instead of catching up on Inhumans because I was the real monster all along!) So now I’ll spoil it for you! But odds are you also spent the weekend binging it. I guess this will still be around if you’d prefer to finish it & return, too.

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Topless R.I.P.

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Topless Robot, otherwise known as The Robot’s Voice, died suddenly on December 18, 2015, at age eight. Ironically, I got the news while I was writing an article for it on the impending yet planned end of Gravity Falls. WHOSE RESPONSIBLE THIS?

Once I won an original Topless Robot t-shirt in gray by positing that Peter Milligan’s X-Men was the worst comic book run. (If I was entering that contest today, I’d say Brian Bendis’s entire X-Men oeuvre  fails with an intensity & focus normally seen only in success.) I was wearing that shirt when I met the site’s creator & original editor, Rob Bricken, over drinks & inquired how I could become a successful nerd journalist just like him. He said I just had to send him some listicles he liked the gist of. Shortly after I graduated law school, Topless Robot published “The 13 Best Lawyers In Comic Books.” This was my first paid professional writing gig.

I wrote several more articles for Rob until he abruptly left for io9. I applied to become the site’s new editor, but the position was granted to Luke Y. Thompson instead. Similar to the Mike vs. Joel debate among MST3K fans, you can know find bands of warring TR loyalists who swear by Rob or Luke. I was fortunate enough that Luke kept me on as a freelancer following the regime change. While Rob only required me to email in my articles as attachments that he somehow transmogrified into webpages, Luke insisted I upload everything myself via Movable Type. (The site eventually upgraded to WordPress.) I initially balked at this strange new responsibility since it didn’t include a raise for the additional effort, but it did teach me how to compulsively hyperlink.

So losing Topless Robot right before Christmas really cut me to the quick. Not only did I enjoy reading & commenting on its articles, it also laid the foundation of  my career. Learning how to format articles online allowed me to figure out how to do this blog. Without my  Topless Robot portfolio, I wouldn’t have been invited to guest blog for io9. All of that convinced Booktrope that publishing The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose was a worthwhile risk.

I’ll miss Topless Robot economically because it gave me money to rant about stuff I like. I was counting on writing many more articles for it, including the two about movie helmets & Gravity Falls that were not published. It’s extra frustrating because Village Voice Media shut it down before I could convince Luke to run any promotional articles on The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose in the spirit of cronyism. Now I have to compete against Luke & all the other TR freelancers out of jobs for nerdy writing gigs, & I don’t have enough contacts to be good at competition.  So if anyone out there reading this is hiring geeky writers in this over-saturated market, please pick up the receiver so I can make you a believer.

Raise your glass in honor of the labor of Rob, Luke, & all the contributors. Alas & alack! We really shook the pillars of Heaven, didn’t we, Topless Robot?

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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

“You Like Memes, Don’t You?” Episode VI

I had a blast guest blogging at io9 over the weekend! In case you missed it, here are the articles you need to read:

Anybody Remember The Long Lost  Cartoon Super Turbo Atomic Mega Rabbit?

Now Marvel Wants You To Subscribe To Clothing, Too!

Man Plus Has The Kookiest And Therefore Greatest Plan To Colonize Mars

Why Can’t Wonder Woman Toys Get Her Most Important Accessory Right? 

New Favorite Theory: All Of Kyle MacLachlan’s Roles Are The Same Person!

Stories That Lost Their Writers (And Their Plots) Halfway Through

I’ll have some behind the scenes posts on these in the future, but the important thing is that Kyle MacLachlan tangentially acknowledged my existence on The Twitter! (I’m being optimistic since I don’t know if he read beyond the headline.)

So the substantive content for this week will be the first in a series on memes I’ve made. In fact, the very first memes I’ve ever made are below. Last year, Topless Robot ran a meme contest to win a Stormtrooper uniform. I didn’t really want one, but I decided to enter anyway because I have strong opinions on Stormtroopers.

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I used to think the Empire created lots of jobs via Stormtroopers, but then the awful prequels revealed they’re all clones.

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This was made before Tatiana Maslany was rumored to star in Star Wars: Rogue One. Felicity Jones got the lead instead. Why can’t we have a Star Wars movie with two female leads? Do you think I can tweet this to Ms. Maslany & the rest of the Orphan Black team or will it come off as insulting?

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These two received honorable mentions.

Upcoming meme posts will feature DC Comics characters (unfortunately not Killer Moth, though). Of course memes aren’t actually memetic if you don’t use them to pollute strangers’ thoughts. So feel free to pass these around like a social disease. I only request that you attribute them to Matthew Catania or include a pingback to my blog, The Twitter, or Fan Page. Nobody from Africa or Antarctica has visited my blog yet, so we need to work on that as well.

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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?

Introductions Are In Order

Ahoy! You’ve stumbled upon the blog of Matthew Catania. Or maybe someone ordered you here in exchange for the safe return of your loved ones. The important part is that someone besides me is seeing this. So greetings & salutations, dear readers! I’d like to extend an extra special welcome to the archaeologists of the future, some of whom may be extraterrestrial. I would like to confirm for the historical records that my polydactyl pussycat did in fact bestride the narrow world like a Colossus. Ergo I was also a credit to my species via the transitive property.

So this is my first blog. I do, however, have prior experience publishing on The Interwuzzle. (You’re officially surfing The Interwuzzle from here on out, Grodd damn it!) So far I’ve written pieces for Topless Robot, io9, & Legal As She Is Spoke. (I’ll probably be posting links to this back catalog periodically as I figure out what sort of content this blog will focus on.) I also make frequent comments on various nerdy sites & forums under a pseudonym that’s even cooler than my birth-name. I’m on The Twitter now too! (Doesn’t The Twitter sounds like a social disease?)

Currently, I’m working on a novel dubbed The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose! It’s Medieval fantasy comedy. I have made paintings & sketches for some scenes & characters. So you’ll be seeing some of those in due time.

Since Inspiration is a fickle mistress, I don’t know how often this blog will get updated. Let’s aim for once a week. It may not be the same day each week though, so sign up for email notifications so you don’t miss a single thrilling post. The Twitter & Facebook fan page (there should be clickable widgets somewhere on this blog if you look hard enough) will also alert you to updates if you’d rather not clutter your inbox any further. Or you could just compulsively check back here multiple times a day in hopes of lucking into new content. That’s cool too & totally up to your discretion.

That about wraps it up for the inaugural post. If you’ve read this far, you can leave me feedback. What kind of features would you like to see? Should I keep the overall blog title as is or try again? Do you fancy the free layout template I picked? Besides actually posting substantive content, what would entice you & your friends to become frequent visitors? Have I used enough tags? Should I ramble more or less? Do you have any extra money that you don’t want anymore that I could have? If Orville Redenbacher were reanimated & split into two beings, Orville Reden & Orville Bacher, which would win in a fight?

Until next time,

I remain

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this kitty’s Feline Pleasure Maintenance Technician.

Be seeing you.