tobacco Knights presents
Well, there it is.
The journey is far from over, but a milestone has certainly been reached, and my endeavor to chronicle the birth and rise of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has come to fruition. It took a bit longer than I wanted it to, but there was a lot to digest, and I didn’t want to rush it. You have to remember my knowledge of the comic book enterprise from which this stems was very limited. The Incredible Hulk was a TV show I watched as a kid, Captain America was some kind of red, white, & blue Batman, Thor was a Norse deity my level 3 cleric worshipped, and Iron Man was cool Sabbath riff the guitarist in my band would crank out while the rest of us were trying to drop-tune down to D…
So as the popularity of the franchise began to infiltrate and take over the movie industry, I found myself wanting to know more. Admittedly, I was several years late to the party. Probably because I never had much interest in comic books, or any films based on them previously, or especially in getting involved in any overly opinionated conversations regarding them. I just wanted an optimistic guided tour of that world from a pretend-I-know-nothing perspective, and come out the other side with a grasp on who everyone is, where they come from, what their motivations are, and a glimpse of what their world is like to exist in. And, oh yeah, hopefully have a good time watching some movies along the way. Because ultimately, that’s the point, right?
Well, sort of. There was also another scheme in play here. Eighteen years ago I graduated film school with the bright-eyed hopes of taking the world of cinema by storm. Then life and laziness happened, today turned into tomorrow then tomorrow then tomorrow (but it’s still today), and hopes of getting it all going again grew slimmer as the years waged on. But that all changed this year, thanks to two things in particular. First, my fiancée started a nerd-culture blog that is very MCU heavy, and had a lot to do with piquing my curiosity in its overwhelming popularity. Second, I coincidentally re-connected with my creative partner from film school, and we immediately began collaborating again on several potential projects. So he knock the rust off, I thought what better way than to delve into a project that involved watching a bunch of movies with a connecting narrative thread and writing about them on a deadline.
Not that the deadlines were always met, but the project overall was a success. I actually got back into writing. It was pretty tough at first, like pulling teeth, but two or three installments in it started to flow a bit easier, and something resembling a style started to emerge. And learning the bare-bones of posting those installments to the blog, and putting them out there on the web for anyone to see was a much-needed leap into today’s technological outlets. Like the MCU, it was a lot to take on, and I knew I was jumping into the deep end of the pool, but it was all for the better, and I think back to where I was creatively eight months ago, and I feel a ton of progress has been made.
So mission accomplished, yay…. But what’s next? Well, as I just mentioned, there’s a lot of irons in fire. My partner and I have several things in the works. The first is a string of short comedic (hopefully) video vignettes that we’ll start shooting in a couple weeks. A YouTube channel is being created to showcase them on, and will hopefully be a launching pad for the other things we’re lining up. I’ll also give a heads-up on this blog space as to what we’re up to. Which brings me to my next endeavor here: I plan to keep writing. UberApe has only begun to speak, and the Tobacco Knights are just getting assembled. Which, by the way, many have asked, “who is UberApe? And what are the Tobacco Knights?”
UberApe is the voice behind this screen, the fingers that type these words, the spark that peels the rust off a forgotten great idea, like the skin off a ripe banana. He is the Wizard behind the curtain, only he wants you to pay him attention. He hibernates from time to time, usually for circumstances beyond his control. But he is always there, always calculating, always contemplating, and eventually emerges when the time is right.
The Tobacco Knights are the stories, and the storytellers. The smoke that hangs over the heads and tables in the backrooms of your favorite neighborhood hangout. It’s a roundtable where tales are told, fortunes are foretold, and histories re-told. It is, for all intents and purposes, to put a fine point on it, to spell it out in layman’s terms, a platform for UberApe to perch upon, and share his bananas with you.
But before I say farewell for now, and retreat into a short but needed hibernation, let’s hold to tradition, if only for tradition’s sake, and talk one last time about….
The One Thing: So which one was my favorite? Twelve movies, all scrutinized for their goods and bads, their ups and downs, their cools and stupids. There’s gotta be one that stands out, and it just wouldn’t be fun at all if I didn’t proclaim a winner. Hmmmm. It’s a tough one. In some regards you could argue the first Avengers, because such a high bar was set with so many characters and variables, and it actually pulled it off. You could also make a strong case for The Winter Soldier, which was a damn good movie. I also really liked Thor and Loki and the whole mythological aspect they brought in both of their installments. But I think the award has to go to Guardians of the Galaxy. That was the one I had the most fun watching, was surprised the most by, would be most likely to stop and watch when stumbled upon channel-surfing, and look forward most to the sequel of. As I mentioned then, it’s probably mostly due to the whole Firefly / Joss Whedon-ish feel it has. How’s that for an overall take-away from a complete rookie outsider who showed up late for the game?
Not Just Blowing Smoke: A wise old Ape once said, it’s not the cigar you smoke, but who you smoke it with that counts. I’ll simply unpeel that banana and offer it wholeheartedly, from me to you. Roar.