“That’s a real gasser, right Mr. J?” 

“Can’t be too careful with all those weirdos around.”

“Makes you want to laugh, doesn’t it, Artie? “

“Why so serious?”

“Let’s put a smile on that face!”

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The Clown Prince of Crime.

Harley’s Puddin’.

Batman’s perfect nemesis.

The Joker.

But not just any Jokers. We are talking about my two fav Jokers, Heath Ledger’s from The Dark Knight and, the ultimate for me, Mark Hamill’s in various animated shows and video games.

Heath defied expectations and just plain blew people’s minds with his Joker.  The funny, romantic leading man we were used to was gone.

In front of us was someone who would kill ya soon as look at ya. One with his own twisted logic and a cold view of the world. A true agent of chaos.

Mark’s Joker is ever so full of glee as he goes about his crimes with unmistakable panache and whimsy. And a code of honor. Of a sort. Regarding his buddy, Bats, at least. Unless he can get a laugh.

While I did so enjoy Heath’s Joker, such a lovely laugh, Mark will always be my Joker. But that perhaps should not be a surprise. It seems to be predestined.

mARK HAMill

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“I have Issues.”

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But not as many as I’d like. They’re a bit scattered so can’t give you a number, but have like two of those boxes and one or two half that size, in addition to the scattered ones. And bunch on my Nook.

Mostly from early to mid 90s

Marvel and DC of course.

There’s also a good number from a house that used to be here in town, Chaos Comics.

Loads of Sandman. And even got one signed by Stan Lee, which can’t find so can’t prove but trust me.

I went away from for a bit. Then a buddy where I used to work sparked my interest in them again. Him and the comic book movies that have been coming out.

They’re a simple media that can convey complex ideas. As well as exciting storylines.

And there are more than just superhero comics out there. Much more.

Take a look and see if your library has some. And don’t be afraid to go to the teen section to look. It’ll be worth the gander.

“For Gondor!”

Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?”

You have nice manners for a thief and a liar,” said the dragon.

“A day may come when the courage of men fails… but it is not THIS day.”

“Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”

Hobbits are short, unassuming creatures. Homebodies, concerned more with a warm fire, a full pipe, and mealtimes than with the world outside their door.

But when they are moved to adventure, oh, the differences they can make.

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Once, a long slumbering dragon awoke, as did the greed in the heart of a dwarf.

Once, dark forces threatened Middle Earth, forcing alliances between enemies.

And each time, at the center, stood a Hobbit.

Personal note:

What can I say that has not been already better said?

I admit, it was not til last year that I read The Lord of the Rings. I had read The Hobbit years ago, so it was an overdue reread last year.

And the movies. I will be missing out on my friends’ marathon watching of them this year, but may plan a personal one.

The gold standard for High Fantasy. Do yourself a favor. Go to Middle Earth. See what not onlu could have been, but should have been.

“You know, the Family business.”

“Bitch.”
“Jerk.”

“I’m the one who gripped you tight and raised you from Perdition.”

“Hello, boys.”

“Lucifer, you’re my brother and I love you. But you are a great, big bag of dicks.”

On November 2, 1983, Mary Winchester was murdered in the nursery of her younger son. Her husband’s grief drove him to raise their two sons on the run as he searched for her killer, taking odd jobs or stealing to survive. In the process, he turned them into what she had once been and had wanted to avoid for her children.

Hunters of the things that  go bump in the night.

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Dean Winchester – the older brother. His life is mandated by one order from his father on the night of his mother’s death. “Look after your brother.”sam

Sam Winchester – the younger brother. He left to lead the life his mother always wanted for him. Only to get drug back into the one his father left him.

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Castiel – an angel of the Lord who existence has become bound to that of the Winchesters. To the point where he rebelled against Heaven and briefly took over God’s job.

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Crowley – former crossroads demon, now King of Hell. Begrudging respect for the Winchesters, but he rather that he’s the one to finally kill them.

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Baby – Dean’s pride and joy. Can take as much of a beating as her owner and comes back for more.

Vampires, werewolves, urban legends, and ghosts are like a vacation for Dean and Sam. Especially when you’re on the hit list for any number of demons, angels, and gods.

They’ve been to both Heaven and Hell. Back and forth in time. Died and come back to life. More than once in most cases.

And because they’re brothers, their worse battles have sometimes been with each other. But in the end, they got each other’s back against everything else.

 

Personal note:

Supernatural is not for those adverse to ‘the feels’. It will rip your heart out many times if you let it.

It also is a riot at times, with whole episodes that make you wonder what exactly the writers were thinking (or smoking).

Any situation or picture you can find, there will be a Supernatural gif for it.

It is one of the leading fandoms on Tumblr, both by itself and as part of SuperWhoLock (the superfandom with Doctor Who and Sherlock).

It’s not every fandom whose members discuss which death of the main characters hurt the most, or who bemoan the death of Lucifer. And of Death.

Supernatural is quite it’s own creature and has to be experienced to be believed.

“Adjust the equalizer.”

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Yes.

My near constant companion. If you see me, my headphones will be in and music playing.

The sound of the notes. Of the words themselves.

The emotion. The imagery.

The sharing of experiences and ideas.

The saving of sanities.

The oneness at a concert, or the aloness of headphones.

Finding that one song to hold to your heart.

The songs that speak what you can’t find words for.

The songs that need no words.

Fits all moods. All occasions.

The universal language.

“Doctor!”

“Time And Relative Dimension In Space.”

“You know what they call me in the ancient legends of the Dalek homeworld? The Oncoming Storm.”

“I am definitely a madman with a box!”

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The Doctor – from the planet Gallifrey in the Constellation Kasterborous.

The Doctor has been exploring the whole wide universe and time itself for some centuries. Helping people, making friends, and changing lives. Albeit, not always for the better.

But he has an excitement and exuberance that can be infectious.

And he makes mistakes, but do not take him for a fool.

Never, ever, take him for a fool.

He’s worn different clothes, and bodies, and faces, over the years. And how he expresses himself can be different.

But he is the same man, always.

Personal note:

My first Doctor was the Fifth. I saw his first story on PBS during a school vacation. And didn’t really see him again til he was MY Doctor. The Ninth.

They’re in order up there, just count over if you’d like.

If you think the description is a little vague, it is. The Doctor is hard to pin down. And there’s a great tendency to get rambly, cause you think of the time he did this. Or when this happened. And then there’s when this wasn’t actually connected to that, but it seems like it was just because it’s The Doctor.

He has to be experienced. Just jump in. You’ll find your Doctor soon enough. Just be ready for when things go wibbly wobbly timey wimey.

“Connect. Respect. Protect.”

“I have the solution.”
“Scorpio.”

This is the motto of the Toronto Police’s SRU (Strategic Response Unit).

Think S.W.A.T. with a special emphasis on negotiating.

They can take the shot. But they would rather talk the situation down.

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Constable Edward ‘Ed’ Lane – Team Leader. Takes a lot on his shoulders for his team, sometimes too much. Usually the one who has to take the shot.

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Constable Julianna ‘Jules’ Callaghan – The team’s other sniper. And a good negotiator in her own right.

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Constable Michaelangelo ‘Spike’ Scarlatti – Tech and bomb guy. One of the hearts of the team.

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Constable Samuel ‘Sam’ Braddock– The new guy. Fresh out of the military, doesn’t know as much as he thinks.

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Sergeant Gregory ‘Greg’. Parker – The Boss. He wrote the book. Literally.

They win most, and lose some. And have more than one dark night of the soul. Would’ve, could’ve, should’ve. Days they wish they take back, do over. Innocent lives are in their hands. And the lives of their teammates on any given day.

But through it all, they always have their hands on each others’ backs.  A family in a way most people don’t need to be one. In a way most people couldn’t be.

Personal note:

Once again, a shout out to ION television. Two, three episodes of Flashpoint is shown every night. And thanks to my habit of not making it to bed early, I caught an ep and was hooked.

The change in squad make-up and procedures are half the fun. The little differences due to it being a Canadian outfit adds to it. Always interesting to hear ‘kilometers’ as opposed to ‘miles’.

It’s a great cast and a new perspective on police procedurals for me. Give it a try if you can find it.

221B Baker St.

“Possible suicides. Four of them. There’s no point sitting at home when there’s finally something fun going on.”

“Look at you, all happy. It’s not decent.”

“Who cares about decent? The game, Mrs. Hudson, is on.”

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Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson. Darting about London solving crimes. But there’ll be no thick fog and hansom cabs in this telling.

This is London of the modern day. A world of cell phones and the Internet. But don’t think Mr. Holmes puts techonology over the power of his mind.

They’re all here, just not exactly as you remember them.

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Detective Inspector Greg Lestrade. Knows how to deal with Sherlock, even when he’s being a git.

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Mrs. Hudson. The landlady, not the housekeeper. With a bit of a past.

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Mycroft Holmes. Trimmer. Still superior, holding a minor position in the British Government.

Sherlock uses his extensive (and selective) knowledge to solve the cases beyound the abilities of Scotland Yard. Which in his opinion is every case.

John helps him with his medical training, but also with just his knowledge of how ‘ordinary’ people go about their lives. And is also his chronicler  with his online blog.

Sherlock and John show that they truly are timeless and smart enough for any age.

Personal time.

The Sherlock fandom is truly the fandom that waited. With only three seasons (of three ninety minutes episodes each) and one special to our name since the show’s first season in 2010, we have to make much from less than other fandoms.

But we do so delight in it. And we are patient(ish). And yes, a little mad. But it is an earned madness, passed down. Never forget that public outcry cause Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to resurrect Sherlock after his untimely death.

Many of the episodes are updated versions of orginial stories (A Study in Pink is the name of the pilot). But within each case are nods to details from other stories (the five pips are no longer from an orange, but a sound cue used by the BBC).

London is ever Sherlock and John’s city, no matter the century.

And smart will always be the new sexy.

“Age of the geek, baby.”

The rich and powerful take what they want. We steal it back for you.”

“Sometimes, the bad guys make the best good guys.”

“We provide…Leverage.”

Meet the crew of Leverage, Inc.

They help the little guy get back at the corrupt using the tricks of their trades. You could say they’re modern day Robin Hoods, if Robin had started out as a con man.

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Eliot Spencer – Hitter. Expert in retrievals, both items and people. Guardian of the team with a personal code of honor.

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Alec Hardison – Hacker. Genius with tech. Only thing faster than his fingers is his mouth.

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Sophie Deveroux – Grifter. Lover of the finer things in life. A thousand looks and accents (and the perfect dress) get her what she wants.

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Parker – Thief. Connoisseur of safes, air ducts, and security systems. Her outlook on life is a bit…askewed.

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Nathan Ford – Mastermind. Former insurance investigator. White Knight turned Black King.

The best in their chosen fields, they were first brought together through deception, and then for revenge. It was supposed to be a one time thing. But the experience, and a huge payoff, showed these loners the benefits of working together. And in time, made them a family.

Leverage used real world scams and scandals as a jumping off point. Along with an expert in cons and thievery as a consultant.

An added delight are the DVD commentaries for every episode, usually featuring the writer(s), producer, and director for that ep.

If you love smart writing, great dialogue, fun stunts, and just damned greatness, check out Leverage and become a Grifter.

So that’s the extended elevator pitch. Now the personal touch. I love this show. ION television does marathons of it on Sundays and I catch it when I can. Despite owning the DVDs.

The actors are great and mad in all the best ways. There’s smart writing, cool premises, great guest stars  and supporting actors.

There’s little geek mentions, especially in the aliases they use (Mary Jane and Tom Baker for one. Or my fav, Ellery Queen.)

If you like a good time with writing that doesn’t dumb down for you, join the con..