Has it really been almost a month since I posted? How lame!

BUT… here are all the posts I would’ve written had I not been spending all my time on, y’know, Serenity pages, freelance character designs, Comic-Con preparations (July 23-27 at the SLG booth, but I’m sure I’ll post more on that later) and, of course, important LOST DVDs from Netflix:

1. GRUNION UN-RUN. Two weeks ago I made a point of trekking down to San Pedro’s Cabrillo Beach in the middle of the night to join well over a thousand of my fellow humans in watching tiny, sardine-like fish called “grunions” squiggle out of the tide, half-bury themselves in the sand (if female), squirt big, steaming gobs of “milt” all over half-buried females (if male), then high-tail it back out to sea like dirty, dirty sailors, leaving nothing behind but great hordes of newly-fertilized orphan eggs. That’s right, I went out to see a fish orgy. And I didn’t even get to see the fish orgy, thanks to my darling, precious countrymen’s inability to follow simple directions. Put it this way: If thousands of babbling primates went charging into your home brandishing flashlights, buckets, and pure stupidity, you probably wouldn’t be able to stuff your loved one in a hole and dump semen on her, either.

The Cabrillo Beach Aquarium was way cool, though. Before our ill-fated grunion-love excursion, they prepped with a short film about grunions presented in glorious, 60’s-era, “teacher needs a smoke break” Technicolor. It was sort of the highlight of the evening. Well, that and the awesome octopus, moon jellies, shark eggs and monstrous demon lobsters.

2. THE INCREDIBLE HULK. The new Hulk movie was pretty good. Edward Norton, the vast shantytown chase, Tim Roth kicked into a tree and the notion of one day seeing Tim Blake Nelson don the big, green, hydroencephalytic head of The Leader… Good stuff. And it really felt like part of the same universe as Iron Man, tone-wise. The whole “house style” approach Marvel is taking with these new movies is kind of fun at the moment, but you can see how it might backfire down the line. I mean, one of the things I really loved about Ang Lee’s version (which, I have to admit, I still prefer) was how odd the thing was. It seemed very Ang Lee, however compromised it might’ve been. But maybe that movie’s fate is exactly why Marvel’s decided to stay out of the “personal vision” business. Which is fair, but you have to wonder… would a guy like Christopher Nolan want to work in a “house style?” Would Sam Raimi? GDT?

(By the way, why are internet people always hatin’ on the Hulk dogs so much? What’s not cool about The Hulk having to fight giant monster canines? I LOVED the Hulk dogs! All the hate kind of freaks me out a little, too… I mean, forcing my characters to fight a massive, irradiated hell-poodle is EXACTLY the kind of thing I’d put in my comics… God, should I be worried?)

3. THE ANIMATION SHOW 4. Going to Mike Judge’s (and until recently, funniest man alive Don Hertzfeldt’s) animation festival always reminds me of going to the old TournĂ©e of Animation with my Dad every year. Man, I was too young for a lot of those shorts… This year’s batch is solid as always, although it’s kind of weird how much animation is coming out of France these days. Sort of a cartoon renaissance going on over there, I guess. But anyway, if the show comes to your neck of the country this time around, you should definitely take a look. My favorites this time around were Key Lime Pie, Paintballing, John and Karen, and, of course, Usavich:

ON THE BIG SCREEN, FOLKS. The schedule is right HERE.

4. WALL-E. Wow, another absolute masterpiece from Pixar. The first, nearly wordless, essentially all-character half of Wall-E is right up there with the very best films I’ve ever seen. The rest of the movie is great, but maybe not quite great enough to knock Ratatouille off the top of my list. Wall-E is actually a pretty fantastic bit of science fiction, too… It reminded me of all those old “EVERYTHING’S SCREWED!” sci-fi movies from the 70’s more than anything (Silent Running, Logan’s Run, Zardoz… DEFINITELY Zardoz….). Amazing, beautiful stuff. And the people who animated Wall-E himself should get a Best Actor nomination, as far as I’m concerned.

(SPOILER MAYBE! What was with all the live action bits, though? If we were never supposed to see humans later in the movie, the live actionny parts would’ve been neat, but as it is… What, do centuries of physical neglect turn people into pudgy Incredibles or something? It’s a very, very minor complaint, but still. WHA’ HAPPEN, Fred Willard??)

5. GRIM DEATH. June was not a good time to be a famous person I love, as both Stan Winston and George Carlin died all sudden-like last month. As the co-creator of the Predator, Alien Queen, and T-800 (the holy three!), Stan Winston was probably the first behind-the-scenes movie hero I ever had. And George Carlin… well, George Carlin is the greatest stand-up there ever was.

The world is worse without them, but better for having had them in it. Strange that it works that way.

Talk to you again in (hopefully) less than a month!