Sunday, December 23, 2007

Here 'n There

Apparently the late night talk show guys will be back at work in the new year and back on TV - without their writers. That includes Leno, Conan, John Stewart and Stephen Colbert. This is going to be downright interesting to watch as we see if these guys are actually funny on their own or it's all the writers in the background. Letterman on the other hand may be negotiating a private deal with the writers union as his Worldwide Pants company owns the Ferguson Late Late Show and not CBS. Can't wait to see what the ratings are for these shows - if the ratings are good as these guys improv on their own, the union will lose leverage. Picking as side to cheer for on this one is a little tricky too - normally I'm all for sticking it to corporations, but this strike by the writers has wound up costing people their jobs who aren't even in the union (other people who work on the shutdown shows), and that's not right either. Either way, I'll tune in just to see if these guys can come up with half decent material on their own.

Via Newsarama, we get an interview with Garth Ennis' Punisher MAX editor Alex Alonso on Garth's final story arc coming in March. I've gone on about it before, but his Punisher Max run has been some of the best storytelling I've read. It's like a clinic on how to do character development and plot points. (The Slavers story was amazing and I just about dropped the book I was reading when in one line he referenced the Tyger story and I new what was coming next.) Now we get more details on the final arc - after about 5 years on the Punisher Max title, Ennis will be leaving after issue #60. That'll be a sad day indeed, but it sounds like he's going out with a bang and a storyline that loops right back to "Born" and the Punisher's beginnings. Part of me can't wait to read it, while the other part of me is quite reluctant to as that'll mean no more new Ennis' Punisher stories. At least he's still hanging around the MAX imprint with a next story called War is Hell: The First Flight of the Phantom Eagle. I'll be picking that up for sure. I guess I'll have to get my Ennis fix with The Boys and Dan Dare, but I'll reread my hardcover trades as his Punisher was one of the best.

Word is Hugh Jackman is pumping iron as he readies to start shooting the Wolverine movie at the start of the new year. Man, I hope they get this movie right, and don't repeat the let down that was X-Men 3. It's interesting that they're shooting the movie now and it's not coming out until May 2009.

Go Transit workers in Toronto have set a strike deadline in the new year as well. That'll be fun for all you Toronto commuters. Word is wages, pension benefits, and a new job evaluation process are the bones of contention at the moment. What's interesting is that there was a tentative deal struck on Dec 6 but rejected by the union. So, they've set a tentative strike deadline as Jan 7 - the good news for commuters is that the drivers will finish their shifts before walking so as not to strand passengers. Isn't that nice of them.

And apparently it's just two sleeps away from Christmas. Got here quick this year, I'll say. The good news is that the local Teamsters Of Yuletide (TOY) has come back with a tentative agreement between the Elves and Santa Inc. that will be ratified tonight so that the big show will go off as planned. Candi Kane, spokeswoman for TOY, has stated that the Elves will be at the workbenches steady over the next 48 hours to make sure Christmas goes off without a hitch. Their demands for higher wages and more sweet tooth benefits were reasonably met, although they had to give up company paid rubber soled elf shoes in the bargain. According to Kane, that may still be raised with Health and Safety. As it is though, Santa will be busy delivering presents made by the local TOY union and all should be happy once again this year. Next year could be a different story though, as the contract for the local Flying Aerial Reindeer Teamsters (FART) is set to expire. High fuel prices are said to be a major sticking point, along with higher quality battery and bulb replacements for Rudolph's nose. But that's next year. Until then, Merry Christmas...

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