Commencements, Cinema, and Camping

I’m realizing there are a lot of firsts and strange anniversaries this year and in this stretch of time specifically. Next weekend my daughter graduates High School, the mind-blowingness of that only surpassed by the fact that she will be 20 in November, about two months after I turn 40. So very, very strange. I’m travelling back up to Ohio (twice in the same month) this coming Thursday to see her graduation and then watch her dance recital on Saturday. To say that I’m as proud as I am astonished at how lethargically yet quickly time moves would be an understatement.

I had been thinking about staying in Yellow Springs for the weekend but my usual crash-pad will not be available so I’m rethinking things a bit. There’s a part of me that wants to make a long, leisurely drive home from southeastern Ohio through Kentucky & the Smokey Mountains of North Carolina with no real plan and sleeping bag for the back of my car. We shall see. I’m at some kind of weird mid-life crisis stage of my life but we’ll see how weird we’re willing to push it.

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I’m sure it will be no surprise that I saw and really, really enjoyed Shane Black’s “The Nice Guys.” I’m a sucker for oddball crime comedies and this one hits in all the right spots. Smart, funny, kind of touching and brilliantly acted by the entire cast (not just Crowe and Gosling, who are superb).

I’ve been throwing myself at movies a lot lately, which is fun but can be a bit pricey, be it at the theater or to buy stuff to watch at home. I tend to make plans to see stuff in the theater and then miss it anyway, which is strange, but we’re at that strange spot of the summer where there’s something new and interesting out every weekend. This weekend it’s The Nice Guys, next weekend it’s X-Men: Apocalypse which will probably hit a completely different sweet spot. Either fun-popcorn or so-bad-its-good. I finally exposed myself to the newest Fantastic Four movie which was such a crippling disappointment but still better than some of the other entries into the series. Per usual, when I see a bad movie about something I like I find myself spending a lot of mental energy trying to fix it. Sometimes that’s a waste of time, other times it leads me down some interesting trails and a new idea for something.

Like I need more of those, but still.

This summer has been pretty good to me so far, what with Captain America: Civil War and The Nice Guys being phenomenal and Batman v Superman being…a movie that I saw. No, I kid. I did enjoy it, despite its flaws. I wish it had been pitch perfect (maybe a capella mash-ups would have made it great, who knows?) but it still had some great moments and hopefully the franchise will now move in a slightly better direction due to its response. This summer still brings us Independence Day, Conjuring 2, The Purge: Election Year, Ghostbusters, Star Trek Beyond, Lights Out, and Suicide Squad. I’m sure some others will pop up on my radar as well but that’s a pretty interesting summer. I mean new Ghostbusters, new Star Trek and a Harley Quinn movie? Um, yes please. While I was pretty disappointed in Into Darkness this new film, co-written by Simon Pegg looks really great thanks to the second trailer for it.

I was talking to a friend on Facebook today as well about the Purge series, which is strange and kind of disturbing (and also eye-rollingly bad in parts) but has always had an interesting premise. I think a Purge movie set in Vegas as a group of crooks tries to pull off a big heist during Purge night would be really interesting. Or a Purge story set in a small town, where everyone knows everyone and the implications of freely killing your neighbors are a lot more personal. Watching all those small town rivalries and such build to a climax would be interesting.

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New Secret Project is chugging along, albeit a little slower than I’d like. On the cusp of showing off some stuff for an upcoming comic project, so that’s good. I may or may not be going to Indy Pop Con and Derby City Con next month, although the later is more likely than the former. Pretty soon I’m going to be an expert on driving from Nashville to Louisville, which seems to be turning into my gateway to the North.

Okay, so I guess I’ll leave you with a little something

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About The Author

Thacher Cleveland

Thacher E. Cleveland is a contributing writer & columnist for PanelsOnPages.com, co-host of the Super-Fly Comics & Games PodCast, novelist & comic creator. Originally from New Jersey and previously from Yellow Springs, Ohio, he currently lives in Chicago. You can find him on Twitter (@demonweasel), tumblr, his personal website and even on Google+

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05 2016

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