March 11, 2012: Dog Matter!  Watching, Reading, Doing!

March 11, 2012: Dog Matter!  Watching, Reading, Doing!
Felix says: "Stop reading over my shoulder."

Hey!  Check out how much mom’s dog, Felix, is enjoying my comic book series Dark Matter.  He can’t take his eyes off it!  After receiving the above pic, I’m now seriously considering casting all-dog talent for the prospective Dark Matter television series/mini-series.  What do you think?  Felix as hot-headed rough and tumble THREE?

Of course, my pug Bubba may have something to say about that. After all, if you’re looking for a dog to play crazed and on edgy, look no further…

That’s just him impatiently awaiting his walk.  Imagine him being chased by carnivorous alien beasts?

Speaking of carnivorous beasts…

March 11, 2012: Dog Matter!  Watching, Reading, Doing!

I’m an impulse shopper – but only when I’m perusing bookstores and pet shops.  After setting my eyes on the above t-bone, I couldn’t resist. Peanut butter dog treats are also a must-buy.  As are duck toys (specifically ducks) that play a tune (especially if the lyrics are comprised of incessant quacks).

Watched two surprisingly enjoyable movies over the past two days.  I say “surprisingly enjoyable” because I had all but given up on features, preferring instead select TV on DVD (and, lately, iTune downloads). Attack the Block was great fun, a scifi movie about a group of inner city kids who band together to fend off an alien invasion in London. Terrific performances by the young cast.  I had a minor quibble with the late revelation of why the furry invaders are targeting our crew (they jump on the theory as fact and proceed to act on it a little too quickly) but, overall, I thought it was a refreshing entry in the genre. Check out the trailer:

Thumbs up for Bridesmaids as well, the flipside to The Hangover.  It came highly recommended by Carl Binder so I was understandably leery going in, but I wound up liking it a lot.  Check out the trailer (which, strangely, includes some scenes I didn’t see in the version I watched):

Finally, while I can’t say I enjoyed it, I will say it creeped me out (which, I suppose, was the point) – Calvaire is a movie that walks a fine line between disquietingly comical and terrifying.  It’s a Belgian horror film about a guy whose van breaks down in the middle of nowhere, forcing him to rely on the kindness of stranger.  Crazy backwoods strangers.  Check out the trailer (if you dare):

Kind of reminds me of our old Stargate Friday afternoon writers room spin sessions.

On the anime front, I’m 65 episodes into Gintama and about three episodes into two other so-far-so-good shows:

Another, a horror series about a new boy in town who tries to unravel the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of a student 26 years earlier –

and House of Five Leaves (with its wonderful opening theme), a period anime about a swordsman who is hired to bodyguard an unusual group –

Just finished up three books – Clive Barker’s Hellbound Heart (a hair-raising read – actually a re-read but it’s been some 25 years!), Julian Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending (which, ironically enough, I liked up until the ending which didn’t fully make sense to me), and the third book of David Eddings’ The Belgriad, Magician’s Gambit (which, like the previous books in the series, offers a nice balance of action, humor, and engaging characters).  Next up is Machine of Death, an anthology of stories based on the same premise: a machine that can predict the circumstances of any individual’s death.  It seems like a fairly constrictive premise but, two stories in, it’s pretty entertaining.  We’ll see how I feel when I hit the thirtieth tale.

Tomorrow, I begin work on the rewrite of my horror script.  On Tuesday, I’ll be having that Dark Matter-related conference call that was rescheduled from two weeks ago (which was rescheduled from the week before that).  Well, that’s the plan anyway.

What are you all watching?  Reading?  Planning for the week ahead?

38 thoughts on “March 11, 2012: Dog Matter! Watching, reading, doing!

  1. Not really watching anything right now as all tv’s in our house are tuned to spring training games. Yes, I have baseball fans in my house. 🙂 I am reading two things right now though – The Hunger Games and Star Trek Destiny: Book 1. Pretty good. I was supposed to go to the bookstore this weekend to get the sequels, but it didn’t work out. Let’s see, for the week ahead, I’ve got one more week of homeschool before we take our spring break. I can’t wait. And, something special for next Sunday. My older son’s baseball game will be in historic Rickwood Stadium in downtown B’ham—where Willie Mays and Ty Cobb played among others. Hubby and boys are all looking forward to it.

    Have a great night!!!

  2. Watching Grimm.
    Reading Stargate fanfic (yeah, I know).
    This week: major gardening and hopefully pick out tile for the living room..
    Yes, my life is boring. But it’s mine. 🙂

  3. A real scary thing is that even I can dance better than the people in Calvaire, and I don’t dance, LoL. 🙂

  4. “What are you all watching? Reading? Planning for the week ahead?”

    Nothing. Your blog. A couple days off this week.

    Love Felix’s reading jacket! He is so handsome in it.

  5. I loved House of Five Leaves (and it’s wonderful OP theme)! But only 12 episodes, so :(, now I’m looking for another anime to fill the void.

    I’m working my way through the possible Hugo nominees for novels and movies. I’m glad you enjoyed Attack the Block! What a cool movie. Believe. For me, the fact that they acted so quickly on the theory worked fine – no quibbles here.

    Hey, Joe – Did you notice the names of the streets around the block? (Douglas) Adams Street – (Aldous) Huxley Court – (Alan) Moore Court. And the name of the building? Wyndham Tower 😉

    Recent reads include: Agent to the Stars – John Scalzi. (Loved it)
    Fuzzy Nation – John Scalzi (loved it! You may be noticing a trend here)
    Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor (good, but the first in a series so it leaves you hanging a bit).
    Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti – Genevieve Valentine (only 50 pages into it, but enjoying it immensely)
    God’s War – Kameron Hurley (only 40 pages in; big eeewwww factors in this one. I may set it aside for a bit)

    Attack the Block (Excellent and very original)
    Source Code (Liked this one)
    Midnight in Paris (

    House of Five Leaves (see above)
    Baccano (gotta watch this one again from the beginning 0.o)

    Doing: putting together furniture for my new sunroom – two chairs, an ottoman and a small table. Next week: the loveseat.

  6. Yay! For the doggies!! Love both the pics and the vid!

    Speaking of your mom, btw, how’s she doing? And Sis? Hope everyone is well!

    Hmmm…watching? Reading? Planning? Can we add listening to to the list, as well? GOOD! 😀

    Watching: Psych, NCIS, Castle, The Finder, White Collar. I think that’s it for current productions. Both The Finder and White Collar are done for their season/mid-season, so that leaves me with very little. On Friday nights I’ve been watching (on PBS) the Brit mysteries, Rosemary and Thyme and Midsomer Murders. Those two, along with Psych, are my ‘must sees’. OH! And rugby – lots and lots of rugby.

    Movie-wise, as you know, I just saw John Carter, and LOVED it. Best thing to come along in a while (for me), and I really want to see it again.

    Reading: I’m only getting three monthly comics right now – Uncanny X-Force, Wolverine and the X-Men, Dark Matter. Lovin’ all three…especially Fantomex and Two Katana-san. I’ve switched everything else to trade, and I’m still waiting for the trades to catch up to where I left off with monthly issues. It’ll probably take a year, so it’s a long wait.

    Meanwhile, I’m reading some other things. Read two Drizzt omnibuses, now reading some Sherlock Holmes (new stories, not Sir Arthur’s), and Sandman Mystery Theatre. The latter is very good. I have a boatload of other things to read, including the Bible, so – ya know – I’m really bogged down right now. 😛

    Listening to: Eddie Vedder’s Into the Wild soundtrack. It’s excellent. If you like Eddie’s voice and his mellower music, this is a must-have.

    Planning: It’s going to be in the 60s and 70s all this week, so I hope to get in a little metal detecting before or after work. Found some clads [newer coins] today, but many were so eaten up by the salt water and acidic soil you can hardly make them out (mostly the newer pennies). Found a quarter, a nickel, and several dimes – all fairly decent except for their outer clad being worn away.

    Also have work and finishing up the books for last year, and my bestest friend visiting at the end of the week, which I am very excited about. Otherwise, nothing exciting.

    @ Sparrowhawk – Are you still on-board for Ashes? Just wondering. I decided to stick it out and was so happy when Alex was able to find her artists. I’m sure Rupert won’t look the same, but I’ll cope. 😉 In the meantime, just a reminder for ya…



  7. Oh, god! The way I worded that in the beginning it sounds like I just insulted your lovely mum! 😮 So sorry!!! 😛 😛 😛


  8. Watching amazing race and Once, good Wife and CSI: Miami.. watch one, tape the other and watch it later. I recommend In Plain Sight on USA network to you Joe. Everytime I see it I think of you because the dialogue is so smart and full of puns and insults (like between McKay and Daniel Jackson) and it reminds me of your comic writing leanings. The chemistry and timing among the two leads is just fabulous. i have seen them in other shows and while wonderful actors, they really spark off each other. I am sad this 5th season is the last. I am a TV junkie so I watch a lot of shows. and sample a lot that I don’t continue watching. I have found out that any Kardashian show is not anything I am ever interested in seeing, although I have seen a few scenes while flipping channels. which further confirms my opinion that I am not interested in anything they do or say.

  9. Hi Joe:

    I didn’t watch anything on TV tonight. Instead, I had the great opportunity and pleasure to interview Stargate Alum, Mr. Dan Shea, on Blog Talk Radio for our newest project, You Decide.
    Dan spoke about how he got cast as Sgt. Siler. Were you involved in that?

    I have a question for you. What is the difference, if any, between a Producer and a Show Runner?


  10. Wow, sometimes trailers don’t do as much as they should, I guess. I wanted to watch Attack the Block when I heard it was an Edgar Wright movie, but watched the trailer and was not impressed at all. After all the praise from those here and Joe himself, I’m going to watch it for sure! I mean, it makes sense. I absolutely loved Shaun of the Dead, adored Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and went back and watched, and really enjoyed, Spaced, where he and Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and some of those others got their start. It was a delightful series and was full of typical British quirky characters. Scott Pilgrim blew my mind. It was everything I expected and more. It was the perfect blending of movie, comic book, and video game all into a fantastically acted and well written movie.

    I can’t wait for Community to start back up, too. I saw a 2 minute preview of their upcoming episodes. Looks pretty insane. Dan Harmon has wayyyy too much fun with this show!

    And that gets back to what you were talking about yesterday, Joe. If the show runner loves his show, has creative control over it, and has the money to do what he needs to to get the shot and HE is truly happy with it, it always produces a fantastic product.

    Funny you should mention Mitchell Hurwitz, too. Because this is what I forsee happening with the Stargate franchise. Granted, it’s years away, but if it can happen for Arrested Development, one of the funniest shows ever made, it will happen for Stargate. But what of the sets? And costuming? I can’t imagine the major undertaking of rebuilding the sets to duplicate what they had before on AD. I hope somebody kept the continuity photos and set diagrams! I truly can’t wait for the new episodes to come out though. I’m so glad the cast is back, too. Shows how much they loved the show, too. A couple weeks ago, on Up All Night, Will Arnett’s new show, he made a “chicken dance” reference when he was carrying out a head from a chicken costume. I just about passed out from laughing and excitement! I love callbacks! Especially when they span years(like Mitchell’s “seaweed” comment from Bad Guys). I’ve always figured that actors would try to avoid callbacks, especially across shows, to avoid typecasting and to avoid pigeonhole-ing themselves. So I completely am fine with them not doing it. But when they do, it’s fantastic and truly enjoyable.

    -Mike A.

  11. Reading Babylon 5: Passing of the Techno-Mages. The back story on how they came about and what they were up to during the series. They have been out for a WHILE but this is the first time I have gotten around to reading them.

  12. Hey Joe,

    Have you seen Kevin Smith’s Comic Book Men series on AMC? Saw his Red State film yesterday. Very very good and very different from his previous films. This week I’ll be reading Cairo GN from Vertigo and Death Note Black Edition vol. 1.

  13. I’m re-watching Babylon 5 at the moment. It was such a trailblazing show. One of the first to have a serialised, multi-year storyline. The first TV show to exclusively use CGI VFX.

    I’m about 3 episodes behind in watching The Walking Dead. I’m just losing interest in it. I don’t know why I should care about what happens to the characters anymore. None of them are very likeable.

    I watched Supergirl last night. Looking forward to Cookie Monster’s review!

    1. Anyone who hasn’t seen Babylon 5 yet is missing out! Characters, drama, seasonal storytelling, yet an appropriate amount of light-heartedness, and interesting aliens.

      Also, as J. Michael Straczynski noted, in writing all of Seasons 3 and 4 of Babylon 5 himself he was doing something that hadn’t been attempted in scifi TV since Terry Nation wrote all of Season A of Blake’s 7.

  14. you definitely put the weekend to good use. Alas, I’m gearing up to teach, so I’ll have to make note of some of your reommendations and get to them later. It’s going to be a crazy week for me, and even though its just starting I;m already feeling guilty about leaving my canine companion alone so much over the next few days. Said guilt has me planning a weekend catering to her pleasure next weekend.
    Speaking of dogs, if you’re casting, I’ll put my pup in for the audition. She’s got presense. And if not cast as one of the main characters, I think she’d make an excellent guest villian. It would be pretty funny to see the results of an all dog casting, come to think of it.
    Thanks for the nice lengthy post, and the pics, and looking forward to hearing of more offers and more successes for you rolling in this week.

  15. I am currently 👀watching Crossing Jordan. I 💚love💚 👀watching a 🎥series🎬 on streaming Netflix. No commercials greatly adds to the 📝story…seems more connected📶.

  16. Reading: Kind of in between books right now, but I’m just about to start some non-fiction: “The Quantum World: Quantum Physics for Everyone”. Yeah, I know. A little light reading there, but I’m always trying to expand my horizons. Also, waiting for the next issue of Dark Matter, of course. Wait, isn’t that today?

    Watching: Survivor, The Walking Dead, The Amazing Race (what do you think of Brenchel? They’re just as annoying/insane as they were on BB) and any other odds & ends of shows I happen to catch. I have been on a bit of a Bollywood movie streak for some reason lately. They’re an interesting and different take on movie making/story telling that’s for sure. I really liked “Singham”, which was cheesy but a lot of fun to watch.

    Doing: I was away hiking in NH for the last few days but got back home yesterday and now with a terrible head cold. Actually home today from work, but I’ve got tons to do there so hopefully I’ll be better tomorrow.

    Here’s a pic from my trip this past few days – took the Snow-Coach up Mt. Washington in NH. Great day and some great views!

  17. I’m watching The Walking Dead, Once Upon a Time, and Castle, and just finished season 6 of Doctor Who on Netflix.

    Since I’ve just recently gotten interested in graphic novels, I just finished Gail SImone’s Birds of Prey and Bryan Q. Miller’s Batgirl. Next I’m going to start the Fables series.

  18. I went to the book (fair) sale yesterday, best thing to do on a rainy day. So many books, so little time, got some vhs movies for 34 cents each, Stargate,the movie,yeah, I already have one,, The Burbs,funny,Batman and Robin and other Super Heroes, no really thats the title, some old Johhny Carson, I know,I know, hold down the excitement. Book on gardening secrets, quilting,astrology,The Telephone Book, never know what you will find at those sales. So in my spare time, I can peruse.
    And Bubba has to pee, hurry daddy, hurry!!
    Love Felix’s outfit, he looks so dapper. I have purchased a couple of those quacky duck things for the neighbors dog, he does go thru them sorta quick,and he is a little dog. SOme days he will play with toys and they live thru it and other days,watch out, all hell breaks loose, poor dog toy didn’t have a chance. They are not all well made.
    Oh yes, and finally received my new comic, you might have heard of it a little thing called DARK MATTER.iss 1&2… first impression, interesting,want the book to be longer in each issue, but so far, am loving it!!. I can see this on tv,or a movie. I can see several alums from SG in this. Please sir can I have some more, iss 3&4 preordered, did I do good?

  19. Bridesmaids was a very good movie. It was recommended to me by my husband and it was recommended to him by another dude. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that men are recommending this so often. I think it’s the potty humor.

    I wouldn’t assume that for your circles, though, Joe. The word of mouth recommendations in your circles surely involved erudite critique about out how Bridesmaids hits all the right story beats square between the eyes, then mentioning the potty humor.


    I’m watching episodes of Futurama on Netflix. It’s challenging because my kids keep thinking I’m watching a kid’s show and want to watch, too, so I have to watch in spurts.

  20. Attack the Block is in my netflix queue, glad to see it was a good choice. I’ve been on a french kick lately, I loved Summer Hours, La Buche and liked Queen to Play. A charmning Norweigan comedy snuck it’s way in there too, Happy Happy which is notable for interstitials of Noreweigans singing the blues. In English. I like Daniele Thompson’s comedies.

    My fave Dark Matter character is threatening to be that creepy robot guy with the red eyes. That is one sinister mofo. I’m trying to stay spoiler free before hitting the comic store. Tho the digital copy appeals more, I love how shiny the graphics look on the computer.

  21. PS I totally didn’t notice the kid in the first issue until the end; I was like where the heck did a kid come from, and I had to flip back and realized I’d been so caught up in the action that I didn’t notice the little guy.

  22. Glad you picked up Machine Of Death, my friends David and Ryan put that together. The story of how the book was made and marketed is as interesting as the book itself – it stemmed from a discussion in a webcomic forum five or six years ago, and as just about every publisher turned down the book, they self-published. Relying on their online fanbases and social media, they managed to make the MoD the #1 best-selling book on Amazon the day it was released, even beating out a release that day by Glenn Beck, who them went on to briefly disparage MoD on his talk show later that day.

    More about:

  23. Not much time for watching….doing lots of puppy chasing. Have watched Four Weddings and Four Weddings Canada, talk about scary. When we have time we enjoy the standards: NCIS, Person of Interest, Terra Nova (which got cancelled 🙁 ), The Finder (also on the chopping block–why do all the good shows get axed?), Walking Dead (no idea why we like it, but it’s good), Justified…to name a few.

    Have you tried any of these?
    Maybe something will inspire you for a new weird food purchase segment.

  24. Hey joe, Have you guys ever considered using a site like kickstarter to fund a new stargate movie or pilot.

    alexis cruz for example got the funding for his comic book there and i’m sure many fans here would love to help make something like this possible.

  25. I’ve mostly been watching Fringe (meh) and Gold Rush. I want to commend Trollhunter to you, a Norwegian found footage film about a government employee whose job it is to manage the secret population of trolls in Norway. It’s a pretty fun movie with decent special effects.

  26. Not really reading this past month, but enjoying perusing “I Am Better Than Your Kids”.

    “Bridesmaids” was ok, the bathroom humor was a bit much (come on…who does that?), but it entertained for a bit. Loving “Army Wives”, “Whitney”, or rather, her boyfriend, and can’t wait till March 29th when Leonard Nimoy will be on “The Big Bang Theory”. Watched a fabulous documentary (again, Leonard Nimoy narrating), “A Life Apart: Hasidism in America”.

    Planning for the week ahead? No seizures for Elway and a quiet week! 🙂 And bullshitting Mr. Deni every chance I get. He falls for EVERYTHING. 🙂

  27. Been watching, mainly, Fringe, Grimm and Spartacus. Been playing Ogame, a great online Sci-Fi strategy game. I also have a life away from the PC which includes working in a factory (great fun, I know), and climbing up mountains (well technically, Scrambling up mountains).

    @Kelly Davies
    So you recommend Trollhunter? Was wondering if that was any good. I’ll definitely have to watch it, even though I think I must’ve missed it at the Flicks by now.

  28. Hows your Japanese getting along Joe? There are 2 Code Geass movies out in Japan covering the events of each season, called Black Rebelleon and Zero Requiem. Both lack subtitles, so you might find them hard to follow. Akemi wouldnt however lol.

    Fate/Zero is out soon in the US, costs several hundred dollars on blu ray, but is a good seriea and will be uncut.

  29. Hi Joe

    I’ve been reading Neverwinter by RA Salvatore (yes, das, it’s a Drizzt book)
    Watching, well I’ve been watching the Men’s Brier and the usuals, Fringe, NCIS, Unforgettable and Hawaii 5-0.
    Aside from working that’s about it…


  30. Love Felix’s jacket. Makes him look very debonair! Bubba was obviously saying, “Hurry up, Dad! Let’s go, let’s go!”

    Watching The Voice right now. Yeah, I know. I’d rather watch a scripted show, but I gave up on Smash. Ugh If they put that show out of its misery, could you hire Jack Davenport and give him a decent series worthy of his talent? Waiting for Hawaii Five-O to come on. Reading Fallen by Karin Slaughter. She’s improving as a writer. I’ve read several of her books but this one is good. /backhanded compliment 😉 I mean her novels are usually compelling enough to continue reading, but some of them are train wrecks…

  31. I loved Bridesmaids — one of my fav comedies ever. See, women can be funny too! Melissa McCarthy is my hero for how proudly weird her character was. I had no idea til recently that Melissa is married to the dude who played the air marshall. Damn their scenes were funny.

    Recently finished the Steve Jobs biography — fascinating and mournful. I’m reading Chrisopher Moore’s Bite Me now — hilarious as all his books. He has a new one out — Sacre Bleu, about Vincent Van Gogh! Next up is the 7th book in Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series, just released.

    Just started watching Downton Abbey because I’m sick of hearing about it from my friends. 3 eps in and I’m quite hooked, just like everyone said!

  32. Ooh, “Another”. I like that one. It’s much better than the preview suggests IMO. I’m on episode 10 and I’m on the edge of my seat.

  33. Oh…Felix is so adorable!!!

    Anyway…glad to see your blog is not only around but you are thriving! Good luck with getting Dark Matter ready for TV. There is a serious lack of good shows around at the moment. Just watched the first episode of Alcatraz. It hooked me – always a good sign. And I just love Sam Neill. I only have one small complaint, the lead is female. Now…don’t get me wrong I have nothing against female leads, but there are too many female driven shows at the moment. Why is that? Last time I looked there are a lot of very fine male actors out there.

    Okay…rant over! I’m just happy to have caught up with your blog!

  34. I read David and Leigh Eddings’s books since I was a kid and they were in the public library and I enjoyed all of them (Belgariad, Elenium, The Redemption of Althalus) until The Dreamers, which became too repetitive in a very literal sense. Actually, the first one I read was The Rivan Codex, a Silmarilion/the-making-of type of book, after seeing it in a bookstore, before the actual Belgariad series.

    The Raza crew should have gotten that dog. No, several dogs.

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