Nim's Island on DVD
I know it looks like a kids' movie, but I found a lot to love about it as an adult too. It's all about love, being brave, and keeping promises. And like I said before, it made me wish there really was a series of Alex Rover books. Plus: Jodie Foster.
Anyway, it's on DVD now and I'm getting it.
I once found myself in the weird position of having to justify my fondness for pirates to someone who really wanted me to understand that piracy is a horrible, modern, real-world problem. Well, of course it is. And I'm sure I wouldn't have enjoyed hanging out with real pirates 300 years ago.
I'm also sure that I wouldn't want to ride a real, live T-Rex, but it doesn't stop me from thinking that dinosaurs are pretty darn cool. There are awesome, fantasy versions and there are horrifying, real-life versions. I prefer the fantasy versions, but this International Maritime Bureau map of 2008 piracy attacks is really interesting and educational.
I can't help but notice though that there's not a whole lot of high seas piracy going on here. Mostly its very close to shore. I also notice that one attack about a month ago occured pretty much in port at Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Knowing what I do about recent events in Haiti, I wonder how much that attack was motivated by greed versus a desperate attempt to get some food.
Not that I'm at all excusing any use of violence to take something that doesn't belong to you; I'm just questioning how many of these acts are actually committed by what we'd think of as traditional, merciless, professional pirates.
Pirate Hotel East
Back to the cool pirates though: if you're looking to stay in a pirate-themed hotel, but aren't headed to California: good news. Walt Disney World is opening their own, pirate-themed rooms at the Caribbean Beach Resort.
Want to know how to convert your kids' wagon into a pirate ship? About.com tells you.
The Pirate Shack has links to a couple of sites focused on Lego pirate sets.
Marquette Pirate Festival
If it weren't seven hours away, I'd head over the the Pirate Festival in Marquette, Michigan this week. It goes until the 18th and includes treasure hunts, a carnival, a play, and a pirate ball. None of the information I found mentions a specific tie between piracy and the town's heritage, but I'm sure there must have been pirates of some kind on Lake Superior at some point. Even if it's completely arbitrary though, it sounds like a lot of fun.
Otis Frampton has been talking about and showing concept art from the pirate/fantasy graphic novel he's working on. It's called Flynn and it's about a young girl in a world inhabited by dragons, steel airships, and cat people.
Mermaid end table
I wouldn't want it in my living room, but the sculpt on this mermaid table is cool enough that it's worth pointing out.
Sub-Mariner: The Depths
I don't know why I haven't been more interested in aquatic superheroes than I have. You'd think I'd be all over Sub-Mariner and Aquaman comics, but I've never cared that much about them.
I think that's mostly because writers have seen them as standard superheroes (or occasionally, in Sub-Mariner's case, a supervillain). They've focused on the water-based powers, but stick the characters in New York or outer space or wherever else you typically find superheroes. No wonder most folks think these guys are lame; Sub-Mariner slightly less so because at least he has an interesting, volatile personality.
Since I've been thinking so much about ocean adventures lately, I'm getting curious about checking out some Sub-Mariner and Aquaman comics. I know there've been some that focus on the undersea lives of these guys, but I've ignored them because of my perception that I just didn't care for the characters. I think it's time to give them another look.
One that looks good is Marvel's upcoming Sub-Mariner mini-series The Depths. It's written by Peter Milligan (Human Target) and will be illustrated by Esad Ribic (The Mighty Thor: Loki). It's about a legendary, Indiana Jones-like explorer who gets it into his head to go find Atlantis, but runs up against the city's lord and protector once he gets there. That sounds like a good story with or without a Marvel superhero in it.