Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Of Batmobiles and Bitching

 
This is less an actual post and more an excuse for me to share a bunch of rad pictures of the Batmobile, which we saw in person this past Saturday.
THE BATMOBILE.
WHICH WE SAW IN PERSON.
Wait, is “in person” correct? I think I’ve always assumed that in person meant that I was physically there to witness whatever it is I’m talking about. But is it actually referring to whatever it is you’re seeing? And if it is an “it” and not a “who” do you say “in person”? Now I’m confused.
Whatever.

            We saw the fucking Batmobile and the Batpod (stupid name) up close and personal (thingal?). No, we didn’t get to sit in them or even get within less than a couple of feet of them, but it was still pretty awe-inspiring.
I was sitting at work trying not to think about all the great things I was missing out on because I had to be there all weekend.
The first big thing was Heroes Con. We have only in the past couple of years become fans of the North Carolina-based convention, but it is second only to Dragon*Con to me. I love going and being in the atmosphere of a con that is actually devoted to comic books and the love of that art form. The creativity and friendliness of Heroes Con is unparalleled. It is more relaxed than Dragon*Con because it isn’t really a party con, but at the same time it’s more exciting because everybody who is there is there because they love that con. Plus, it’s the only full-on con that we can really attend a s a family.
The last two times we went it was in conjunction with trips to see my parents. We had made the same plan for this year and I even had the weekend off, but then they went and changed the weekend. I was crushed. We were so excited about going and there was no way it could happen. When I work a weekend I work Friday through Sunday and have to use 36 hours of vacation to get it off. I had already used most of mine for Dragon*Con, Days of the Dead, and Lil’ Troublemaker’s birthday/Halloween.
So that was already a bummer. Then I found out that Iron Maiden and Alice Cooper were playing Saturday night.
I’m not gonna lie – I am not the biggest fan of either. I mean, I love Iron Maiden, but I don’t own every album. I think I’ve got three or four plus Rock In Rio which, by the way, is the best live album I’ve ever heard. As for Alice Cooper – I have a lot of respect for what he is to the music business and his skills as a performer. But aside from a couple of his more gimmicky songs I’m not really a fan of the music. More of his persona. He was the original horror rock guy putting on ridiculous stage shows.
But holy shit did I want to see those two legends perform together live and in person (people?). Yeah, I was working days, but I get up at 3:30 AM and get home around 6:30 PM. I can’t ever risk being tired with the kind of work I do. Well, I can’t risk being more tired.
I also missed out on the last Monster Bash at the Starlite Drive-In and I learned something truly horrible about social media: it sucks fucking ass seeing all of the people you know posting pictures and status updates about how rad everything is when you are either stuck at work or have to be in bed by 9 PM. So I sat through that, Heroes Con, and the Maiden show with everybody posting all of these awesome pictures. Bummer.
I also missed out on an Alice Cooper/Iron Maiden tribute show at the Star Bar. The Casket Creatures were opening as well. I’d really like to see those guys again, as I’ve been working or had other stuff going on every time they’ve played recently.
Finally, we could have gone to see Brave with the Monkey Family. That would have been fun.
So wah, wah. My life is hard. I know I shouldn’t complain about actually having a job in this shitty economy, but it doesn’t stop it from being a shitty job that dominates more of my life than I’d like.
But you’re not here to hear about any of that griping. You want to see some Batmobile pictures, right?
Well, hang on. Because I need about 250 more words, here.
So I was sitting at work, sneaking peeks at Facebook or Twitter or Instagram on my phone any time I ducked out of the room. One of Rock Shop’s posts popped up in my feed with a flyer for an event at Mall of Georgia:
The first thing I saw on that was the Batmobile. Batman (and Robin) is Lil’ Troublemaker’s favorite thing on the planet. He has about fifty times as many Batman toys as I do, Batman pajamas, Batman shirts, Batman hats. He’s seen every Batman-oriented movie or cartoon that is appropriate for a four-year-old. He has finished the original LEGO Batman games on DS and PS3. He has seen every episode of Batman ’66 at least once.
So I saw that Batmobile and knew that whether I could go or not we had to get him out there to see it. Whenever it was going to be. At least we’d have time to plan for it.
Then I saw the date and realized it was that day. Shit. But maybe not shit. Because the event was scheduled from 3 PM to 8 PM. I would be out of work by 5:15, could make it to the house by 6:15 if I hurried, and we could be at the Mall of Georgia by 7:00. Driving all over town after working twelve hours and having to be back for twelve more the next day is not my normal mode of operation, but I was determined that he was going to see that Batmobile. I texted Mrs. Troublemaker about it and they just so happened to be going to a birthday party out near Mall of Georgia so she just said she’d meet me there. Perfect.
We met up around six and after I changed clothes we made our way to the central part of the Village. There’s a sort of courtyard surrounded by shops and restaurants where they have events. There’s a stage at the front with a grassy area and then cobblestones extending back to the entrance to the mall. It’s a pretty neat setup with plenty of room for people and attractions. On Saturday they had a couple of bounce houses and various vendors set up. But the main attractions were definitely the Bat-vehicles. They were set back in the middle and roped off, with a big security dude in a navy blazer making sure people didn’t act up or get too close.
The Batmobile is rad. I mean really rad. It’s not as big as you think. Not much larger than a regular car. But it looks so fucking cool and real. I can’t quite put it into words, but there’s this quality to that vehicle that you just don’t get from seeing it on a screen. You really don’t comprehend just how complex, sturdy, and badass it is until you see it sitting in front of you. There’s so much to it, and it’s so damn substantial. It really looks like a vehicle created to make war. It is extremely Frank Miller, if you know what I mean. I caught myself salivating as I took pictures.
I wasn’t as excited about seeing the Batpod, and to be honest it has nothing to do with the vehicle itself. I really, really don’t like that name. It sounds so docile and non-threatening. Like it’s a fucking Apple product. I don’t know why they couldn’t just call it the Batcycle. It is very much like a motorcycle and almost nothing at all like a pod.
But in person the Batpod is almost as rad as the Batmobile. Knowing the supposed functionality of the two vehicles and how they interact, it is really impressive seeing them sitting together and being able to compare them dimensionally and know that the Batpod could conceivably be the front end of the Batmobile. Matching up the tires and the intended articulation of the Batpod to the Batmobile is really breathtaking. And the Batpod itself is kickass. From the forward controls with the guarded armrests to the seat portion where the pilot’s abdomen rests (and if you are controlling this thing you are a pilot, not a driver) to the knee rests and foot pedals. It looks so functional. Because it is functional. You can see the keys right there in the ignition. It’s crazy.
So I took a shitload of pictures with my Droid X2 and Mrs. Troublemaker was in charge of photographing me and Lil’ Troublemaker with the vehicles.
Just so you know, if you want to come under intense scrutiny in almost any public situation, particularly one with security personnel, just put on a luchador mask. As soon as I donned the Troublemaker the guy in the navy blazer started giving me the ol’ hairy eyeball. As obviously he should. I totally understand and I’d do the same thing. But once he saw I was a harmless idiot just there to get some pictures he smiled and relaxed. A tiny bit.
Once we got our fill we decided we might as well eat somewhere since we were out there. Right before we headed off to the restaurant, a soldier in attendance told me my mask was awesome. He asked if he could please get a picture with me. Of course. I’m some idiot in a mask. This guy committed himself to protect our freedom. Done. Just as we were about to get some pictures, the security guy told the soldier he could go behind the ropes to get pictures with his family. I suppose I could have horned in on that, but I didn’t want to take advantage. While they were doing that I got the family into the restaurant we picked – Fuega – and then went back out. I told the soldier to go ahead and put me in a headlock or whatever and he got a few pictures. I should’ve told him to put me in a Cobra Clutch.
The meal at Fuega was great. The chips and salsa and queso were very good and my tacos were awesome. After I finished my tacos I mentioned that I’d love to see the Bat-vehicles leave. I really wanted to see those things in action. But they were scheduled to be there until 8 and I was tired and it was hot and I really needed to get home. Not five minutes after I said that we heard this booming, revving noise. I looked up at the window beside us. It faced out on a sort of cobbled drive. The Batmobile was driving away. I grabbed Lil’ Troublemaker and held him up so he could see it. We watched as it drove the length of the street towards a semi. It was awesome. I just hope nobody showed up after that to see it. It was only 6:45 when they packed the two vehicles up and left. I gotta say; if I went somewhere to see the Batmobile and the Batpod, a couple of bounce houses and a shitty cover band would not make up for their absence.
Here’s the schedule for the remainder of the Batmobile Tour Dates, in case they’re coming to your town:
  • Wednesday, June 27
    san antonio, tx
    10 am - 3 pm
    walmart
    1603 vance jackson rd.
    san antonio, tx 78213
  • Wednesday, June 27
    san antonio, tx
    6 pm - 9 pm
    santikos palladium imax
    17703 w ih-10
    san antonio, tx 78257
  • Friday, June 29
    el paso, tx
    8 am - 1 pm
    walmart
    7101 gateway blvd. w
    el paso, tx 79925
  • Friday, June 29
    el paso, tx
    6 pm - 1 am
    el paso st fest
    1 civic center plz
    el paso, tx
  • JULY
  • Sunday, July 1
    albuquerque, nm
    10 am - 3 pm
    Kirtland AFB
    2000 wyoming blvd se
    albuquerque, nm
  • Monday, July 2
    phoenix, az
    10 am - 3 pm
    walmart
    1607 bethany home rd.
    phoenix, az 85015
  • Monday, July 2
    phoenix, az
    6 pm - 9 pm
    desert west park
    6602 2 encanto blvd
    phoenix, az
  • Tuesday, July 3
    phoenix, az
    6 pm - 9:30 pm
    maryvale baseball park
    3600 n 51st st
    phoenix, az
  • Wednesday, july 4
    phoenix, az
    Harkins Tempe
    Marketplace
    2000 E Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, AZ 85281
  • Saturday, July 7
    santa clarita, ca
    10 am - 3 pm
    walmart
    26471 carl boyer dr.
    santa clarita, ca 91350
  • Wednesday, July 18
    los angeles, ca
    IMAX TBD

  • Thursday, July 19
    Universal City, CA
    ALL DAY
    AMC Citywalk
    100 Universal City plz
    universal city, ca
  • Friday, July 20
    Universal City, CA
    ALL DAY
    AMC Citywalk
    100 Universal City plz
    universal city, ca

It’s worth a trip.
-Phantom

4 comments:

  1. I wish these were coming around my area, but I don't see any northeast dates. Still pretty cool to see up close pictures.

    And you do realize that in the first picture, there's a clear shot of you without your trademark mask, right?

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    1. I think they already hit the Northeast. And thanks - I posted this when I was totally exhausted. Didn't catch that. Fixed.

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  2. You really got to see the batmobile in object? That's pretty cool.
    I remember the summer of 1989, during the height of batmania, my mom took my brother, sister and me to a mall in Fort Worth so we could see the batmobile from Tim Burton's film. Then after we got to look at the car and listen to a girl spew cool facts about it, my mom bought each of us a batman t-shirt (I picked one with the Joker pointing a revolver at the viewer, I loved it).
    It was so cool and impactful that I still remember it and share the story on blogs when appropriate!

    I'm on a Dark Knight Rises media blackout, doing my best to stay away from all trailers, tv spots, and stories online. I'm trying to walk into that movie knowing as little as possible. It's getting pretty tough now that it's only a few weeks away. Just last night a commercial popped up on TV and the first few words before I could hit the mute button was something I wish I had not heard.

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    Replies
    1. Man, I was the same way with Prometheus. Pulled it off, mostly. I've seen bits and pieces of DKR stuff, but nothint too crazy. I think Nolan is tightly controlling what gets seen before the actual release, just like he did with the first two. But I am trying to avoid things if I can.

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