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Under the weather. Deadlines. New responsibilities at work. House of Cards. If you’re looking for reasons why I’m not writing more today, take your pick.

Under the weather how? I think I have a pinched sciatic nerve. Hurts like I don’t know what. What deadlines? None of your business, nosy. What new responsibilities? We’re starting an “Employee Council,” I guess, and I’m in charge of getting it up and running. House of Cards? DAMN.

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I really enjoy the dichotomy of what we’ve got here, visually speaking. Black magic, but white walls. Also, Will packs a lot of tension into that last panel. It’s subtle, but I don’t think that I’ve ever seen that expression on Hunter’s face before. Maybe I’m wrong. Also, my next death metal album will be titled, “Braziers of Skulls Burning Black”.

Sigh. I spent all of last week crowing about my new streaming video set up…and it seems a whole lot like my internet is not up to the challenge of providing it to me. Lots of stoppages, lots of loading and “buffering,” lots of frustration. The wife and I thoroughly hooked on House of Cards but we can’t watch the next episode!

Well, it’s early to bed for me tonight…and early to rise tomorrow. Did anyone besides me watch that archery video? #HolyMoses

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Hunter Black’s Guarantee — Just The Tip of the Iceberg

You might have seen this video already; it’s trending on Facebook right now. But given Hunter’s old profession, it’s nice to know that, if anything, we’ve been understating how bad-ass an archer can really be.

I was going to save this for the next page update, but that’s two days from now…and this is too cool to wait.

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In all likelihood, by the time you’re reading this, the page is a wee bit late. Not to fear, it’s just our incompatible schedules misfiring again. I’ll take the heat for it; I was poised to make sure that all of the pieces fell together on this page…but I fell asleep. Knocked right out. I’ve spent the last three days trying to catch up on my sleep and it just doesn’t seem to be happening. It was a good nap, though. Mercifully, there’s nothing much to say about this page, so I can blather on about entirely different stuff…

…(yes, I know that 432 might not be up yet as you read this, but I PROMISE, it’s coming)…

…so can we talk about The Flash? Can we talk about Arrow??? The bar for these shows was pretty damn high, I have to tell you, before they came back from hiatus. Both shows cleared that bar with room to spare.

The Flash is giving us ROGUES, honest to God supervillains. The stunt casting ¬†of Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell, as Captain Cold and Heat Wave respectively, could not have worked better. Miller’s Cold persona is icy, dare I say, sociopathic. (Will refers to him as a sociopath every time we discuss the show.) Purcell’s Heat Wave is almost over-the-top in his psychosis, but it comes of as intimidating rather than as clownish; the physicality that he brings to the role is the cherry on the sundae, I think. The Rogues are a big part of Flash lore, and it’s good to think that such important roles have been placed in such capable hands.

They’re not afraid to GO THERE when it comes to using superpowers, either. There’s a scene where the Flash is full-on running up the side of a building as rays of fire and frost whiz past him. It’s the sort of thing that 10-year old me could only have dreamt of.

As far as Arrow goes, SPOILERS ON, they managed to treat the audience like adults. No one REALLY thinks that Ollie is permanently dead, and we’re aren’t expected to, because we deal with that throughout the episode…and because of that, we get to experience the emotions of the characters who DO think Ollie is dead in a very real way. We were freed to experience those feelings and see them as genuine rather than suspect that “something else is going on.” It was a brilliant choice and it made for a very meaningful episode.

Also, it’s hard not to think that Diggle’s refusal to adopt a masked guise is going to bite him in the ass, especially with him being the only field operative on the team that has a child (that he knows of, since a little white version of Connor Hawke is alive and living in Central City).

Anyway, like I said, I just joined Netflix. Daredevil is going to have to be pretty damned good to keep up with these two shows.

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Zezem’s major-domo is inspired in part by Tolkien’s Mouth of Sauron character from The Lord of the Rings. I doubt very much that Will utilized any sense of the film’s design for that character in this one, although I seem to recall him LOVING that character. I didn’t make any mention of the Mouth of Sauron in my script. Jacob gave us THREE versions of this page to choose from, trying to find just the right font for the major-domo. I know that in the age of “Select All” and one-click font changes, that’s not the biggest of deals…but it still took time. Different fonts means different balloons…and I generally trust Jacob enough to go with what he selects. Giving this choice is part of the reason why. (Jacob works with me on every project that I can get him on.)

Finally, FINALLY, the wife and I have joined Netflix. There are many things to watch; we started as I have always promised that we would: House of Cards. It’s important to point out here that The West Wing is my favorite show of all time…and this ain’t no West Wing. That is not to be taken in a pejorative sense; I’m loving what I’m seeing thus far. The West Wing was a look at government and politics at its best. Jed Bartlett was an idealist. House of Cards is the underbelly of politics, the part that is dragged along the ground as the beast that is the United States government crawls forward. Frank Underwood is a man who knows how to manipulate Washington and does so ruthlessly.

The West Wing‘s premiere takes its time revealing to you the nature of the main character, in part because the show wasn’t originally planned to be about the President as much as about his staff, and that really works well, for me at least. In House of Cards, you know who the main character is in the first 60 seconds, with a piece of disturbing and whip-smart writing.

I imagine that, by the end of March, we’ll be done with Season Three of House of Cards…and I’ll be looking for recommendations on what to watch next. Breaking Bad and Mad Men are high on my personal list, since I’ve seen neither. I’ll be watching Black Mirror too. And of course, the whole reason I got Netflix was to watch April’s Daredevil. But I’ll be hoping to hear about some other interesting stuff too!

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