Second Anniversary On Skull Island!

 Apparently Matt The Catania recently had another birthday. So I did what anybody who forgets an important milestone does & fled to Skull Island with The Wages of Cinema! Andrew was back this week so my presence was superfluous! Listen to us geek out over kaiju films after the halfway mark!

This is a movie that really surprised me. Since the dolorous adventure of King Kong has been told by Hollywood thrice (& once in a book illustrated by Anthony Browne), there’s no reason for another remake. Even if WB made this movie just to segue into King Kong v. Godzilla: Dawn of Destroy All Monsters, Kong doesn’t have that much context that he needs a whole introductory movie. Despite my initial thoughts, I left Kong: Skull Island hungry for more ape awesomeness! This should appease anyone upset by the budgetary restrictions of the CW’s jaunt to Gorilla City. I skipped their attempt at Gojira, but now sign me for the Legendary Monsterverse! I guess we should call it the Kaijuverse or MONARCHverse to distinguish this from the resurrection of the Universal Monsterverse.

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Grodd Bless The Flash!

The Flash’s “Attack on Gorilla/Central City” two-parter was the antidote to the Mr. Mxyzptlk episode of Supergirl! This is what I’ve been waiting for ever since Grodd’s cage was glimpsed in the pilot! You can retire now, television! The delayed The Flash movie now has an even higher bar to clear too! This is the first time we’ve really seen Gorilla Grodd come into his own as a legitimutant supervillain. Reverse-Flash’s furry son is all grown up! If only he had better taste in armor.

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Collector’s Edition Blog #100!

This is my hundredth blog! I don’t believe it either! Arithmomaniac readers may notice that there’s actually 101 entries on this blog, but I don’t count my reblog of Cain S. Latrani’s review of The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose.  Contrariwise this one is full of my own substantive content! I made it to 100 installments of Matt The Catania in under two years by sometimes posting twice a week. See, I can be productive when there’s no immediate monetary gain! To celebrate this milestone, I’m writing about whatever I damn well please (as opposed to those previous ninety-nine posts)!

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is Marvel’s most delightful comic book. In other news, you can describe water in three states. This is a comic book that’s unashamed of making you learn stuff like how to count to thirty-one on each hand. Eventually it will teach me an entire college education’s worth of computer programming at a fraction of the cost! Where else can you get a Choose Your Own Adventure comic about defeating Swarm, the breakout villain of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark? (Note to self: publish your review of S-M: TOTD while it’s still timely!) Marvel really should’ve put the romance cover to the second #8 (now do you see the folly of constantly cancelling & restarting series?) as the cover for the fourth volume to better match its title, “I Kissed A Squirrel & I Liked It.” (Sadly it lacks Squirrel Girl’s story from Secret Wars: Secret Love.) It, along with Mark Waid’s Daredevil, are the only things that have ever made me care about the Mole Man. Who knew Tricephalous was such a romantic? HawkGuy is the worst, bro!

Squirrel Girl Beats Up The Marvel Universe! thankfully skews closer to Fred Hembeck Destroys the Marvel Universe than Punisher Kills The Marvel Universe. Did you know I was the first customer to get it signed by Erica Henderson & Ryan North the World’s Tallest Torontonian at NYCC? I read it months ago but didn’t review it until now because I don’t being on top of things.

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I asked for the personalization to prevent me from selling it … unless I find someone else named Matt.

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I just wanted proof of the custom inscription, by my cat just had to make herself the center of photographic attention.

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Ghost Rider & Gotham Get TV Revved Up

As threatened last installment, let’s kick off the 2016 Fall TV season with spoilery reviews of Agents of SHIELD & Gotham nobody demanded!

Agents of SHIELD’s fourth season opened much stronger than the last, in no small part due to the absence of Ward & Lincoln. Nothing in its content so far indicates that it was necessary to move an hour later, as parts of last season were grislier & more risque. Not that it needs to be edgier, so long as it doesn’t backslide into season one’s syndicated 90’s vibe.

As it turns out, ABC was right that Ghost Rider was the only selling point this season needed. The Ghost Rider transformation effect was amazing! Where have they been hiding this CGI? It was The F-Lash worthy! SHIELD’s effects generally look embarrassing in comparison to its cinematic siblings’, so this was a very welcome surprise. Featuring Marvel characters that don’t have movies lined up is exactly what this show needs to do more often! He’s already a better vigilante than the Punisher as he has a nifty jacket & his menacing key-spinning is on point. He doesn’t preclude Danny “best Ghost Rider” Ketch from being in the MCU either!

Will Ghost Driver Rider drag race Lola? I’m guessing not, as flying cars have been seriously underused in the MCU despite being a prominent part of SHIELD lore. They only gave us  three very brief & cheesey scenes of Lola being flown in season one. I’m still mad that Nick Fury didn’t get to fly his unchic SUV in The Winter Soldier. If you won’t do anything cool with flying cars, maybe you shouldn’t have entrenched them in movie canon, Marvel?

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I’m overdue on saying Chloe Bennet as Quake is the most improved cast member. She’s come a long way from being the insufferably perfect hacker snowflake a whole spy squad instantly accepted back in season one. She & the writers make it seem like her going rogue is genuine character development instead of an obvious delaying tactic for getting the band back together. I dig Quake’s raccoon eyes, but her hair is still too long.

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Amazon’s The Tick, Where Is Thy “SPOON?”

This installment is a tad late because I spent the week writing two brand new chapters of my difficult second novel. That brings the tally all the way up to a whopping four! Let me know if you’re interested in learning more about my process in future entries. Now let’s proceed to my SPOILER review of Amazon’s The Tick pilot & updates on the best kitty this side of Behemoth!

The first attempt at a live action The Tick was underwhelming because it skewed more towards sitcom for lack of  a budget for superhero hijinks.  Amazon’s The Tick is disappointing in the opposite direction. This show takes itself way too seriously. It feels like yet another standard superhero show (Can you believe we’re now at a point where we’ve got so many to choose from?) that just happens to have the Tick in it. So far this show is just playing superhero tropes straight rather than comically sending them up. (The Ninja Hedge would be topical again thanks to Netflix’s Daredevil.) Where has its absurdist satire gone?

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Who You Gonna Call About Ecto-Cooler?

After years of separation, I finally got my paws on Hi-C Ecto-Cooler again! Sadly, I was not among the bloggers that received a promo for it with bonus slime. The store only had juice boxes instead of the large aluminum cans I prefer. (I did see Ghostbusters-branded Twinkies as well, but I didn’t get them because they were the kind that lacked green filing. Speaking of which, Key Lime TastyKakes don’t have enough.) I miss having Slimer on the label. Since he’s been in the ads for the Ghostbusters reboot that seem to spoil a huge plot development for the secretary, I don’t see why Slimer wouldn’t be back here too for nostalgic corporate synergy. Supposedly he’s absent because Coca-Cola isn’t allowed to use him as a celebrity endorsement anymore?

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The juice boxes are genuinely smaller than they were when I was a youngling. After one hearty sip, they’re practically drained. This is a fiendish ploy to make me drink all the cartons in a single sitting then buy more. The included straws are too opaque, so you can’t tell you’re drinking something green through them. As someone who wants to consume all the green things, this is half the fun of Ecto-Cooler. I did confirm that it is still green by pouring it into a glass, but that felt like too much effort on my part when Hi-C could’ve just issued clear straws with it.

The Ecto-Cooler itself tasted … fine? I recall it tasting the same albeit more addictive. I guess from  drinking Juicy Juice’s & Langers’ orange-cocktail juices in the intervening years my palate is no longer wowed by Ecto-Cooler. You brought my ambivalence upon yourself by holding out, Coca-Cola! If I can find it in a format that’s not tiny juice boxes, I may give it another go. Hopefully Coca-Cola will keep Ecto-Cooler on shelves for years to come regardless of how the latest reboot performs at the box office. (I now realize that naming the classic cartoon The Real Ghostbusters is as misleading as HBO billing that made-up show as True Detective.) I am interested to see if a new generation that never tasted Ecto-Cooler before embraces it.

Now let’s see if just mentioning the newest Ghostbusters turns my comments section in a dumpster fire!

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Buy Brother Banenose Now Because Booktrope Is Bust!

It seems like whenever I plan to take a short holiday from this blog, I end up having perfect weekly attendance anyway. I actually had travel plans, so I felt confident in my latest responsibility shirking announcement this time. Then on Friday night, I received a notification from Booktrope that it’s shutting down at the end of May. So Mercury Retrograde can take a flying leap onto a barbwire dildo!

What this means is that May 31, 2016, will be your final opportunity acquire THE DOLOROUS ADVENTURE OF BROTHER BANENOSE! Without a publisher, the eBooks & paperbacks will go out of production. So if you’ve been procrastinating on trading in a tiny fraction of your income for a copy, now’s the time. If you’ve already got one, please post some reviews online so others find out that it’s a quality book that exists (especially if they’re in the entertainment business). With only a month to go, I’m really counting on all of you out there to spread the news for one last hurrah. Thank you all very much for your continued support of my creative endeavors.

When you buy The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose (in bulk to give away away or stockpile for the forthcoming mutant Apocalypse) you’re not just supporting one starving artist. Royalties also go to my talented team-members: Majanka Verstraete, Martin Jones, & Ashley Ruggirello. This book would’ve have happened without them. My proceeds will also support this furry widdle monstress:

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It took four treats just to bribe her for one endorsement photo!

It’s a huge bummer that Booktrope is shutting down. It feels like a repeat of what befell Topless Robot.  (I’m still looking for replacement writing opportunities, in case you have any leads on professional gigs.) I was very fortunate that Booktrope published my book before going belly-up. There were many other books in the works that weren’t so lucky. My paranoia about that chronicled in my novel’s Appendix may have jinxed things for them. OOPS. The shutdown is affecting all the other Booktrope authors too, so take a look at their wares as well before it’s too late. I apologize for not making the blockbuster bestseller that would’ve saved the entire company.

So as not to completely depress us, here’s some things that may result from this calamity. I was trying to arrange some live readings, but it’s going to be awkward promoting an out of print book. Booktrope is going to release the book’s rights back to me in June. This means I can search for a new publisher for my book. This may take quite a long time to sort out, so don’t get your hopes up yet. Even if I do get a new edition of The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose released, it’ll be different from the one which is now a limited time offer. At the very least, it won’t bear the Booktrope logo. So the first editions will definitely become collector’s items! Get aboard this rare folio train before it leaves the station of affordability! I’ll also try to make that audiobook edition happen for your awaiting ears.

I want to thank Booktrope very much for making my long festering dreams of becoming a professionally published author & illustrator come true. I’m just sad our relationship ended so abruptly. After figuring out the learning curve, I was looking forward to producing more books with their hybrid platform. I hope everybody involved is able to bounce back from this tragedy.

As for me, I still intend to keep this blog running. I will keep you posted on the quest for a new publisher, so make sure you’re following me on all the platforms linked to the heart icon. Updates on my second novel will also trickle in. Come back next week for me to answer what Captain America: Civil War is good for. If this May really is The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose’s final month,  however, I hope you can help make it one for the record books.