About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Happy Gorilla Suit Day!

The author enjoying a National Gorilla Suit Day dinner at Cantor's Deli in Los Angeles, January 31, 2014.

As longtime readers of GeekDad are aware, National Gorilla Suit Day is one of the many annual events we celebrate here. Okay, the truth is, I celebrate it and GeekDad indulges me. So here we go…. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

8 Things Parents Should Know About ‘The Finest Hours’

TheFinestHours_featured

‘The Finest Hours’ is another entry in both the “based on a true story” and “disaster at sea” genres, and does pretty well at both. It’s inaccurate to compare the film to ‘The Perfect Storm,’ ‘In the Heart of the Sea,’ or even ‘Titanic’; its nearest relative, in terms of intensity and pacing, is the classic ‘Das Boot.’ Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Meet the Cast of ‘The Finest Hours’

Based on the extraordinary true story of the most daring rescue in the history of the Coast Guard, Disney's THE FINEST HOURS storms into theaters in Digital 3D (TM) and IMAX (c) 3D on January 29, 2016.
Photo © Disney.

Disney’s ‘The Finest Hours’ tells the true story of the most daring sea rescue in Coast Guard history. I had the opportunity to take part in a roundtable conversation with the cast and director of the film in which they answered questions and shared behind-the scenes stories. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Word Nerd: A Tint of Rogue

inigo-rogue

Today we have another one of those word pairs that gets mixed up more often than one might expect, and the mix-up seems to only go one way. “Vogue” rhymes with “rogue” and both are spelled with the same ending, but nobody ever spells it “vouge.” I suspect people see “rouge” and read it as “rogue.” Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Lori Henriques: One Year Later

HowGreat

A little over a year ago, I told you about the jazz-based children’s album from Portland singer-songwriter-pianist Lori Henriques, ‘How Great Can This Day Be’; it was recently announced that the album has been nominated for a Grammy award for Best Children’s Album of the year. I gave her a call to see what else has happened in the past year. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

‘Bridge of Spies’ Coming to Blu-Ray

BridgeOfSpiesBlurayCombo

Steven Spielberg’s Cold War drama, ‘Bridge of Spies,’ comes to Blu-Ray and Digital HD download on February 2. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Where’s Rey? Ask the Marketing People

One of the toy sets that sparked the #WheresRey campaign

There has been a lot of talk online about the conspicuous absence of major female characters in toys and licensed merchandise. What’s going on here? The obvious answer is sexism and misogyny, but the fact is, that’s more an effect than cause. It’s about spreadsheets and demographics and market segments. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Meet the Cast of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

Gwendoline Christie reacts to a question, while Oscar Isaac and John Boyega look on.

A little film called Star Wars: The Force Awakens is coming out this week; you may not have heard of it. As part of the publicity campaign to get the word out, Disney and Lucasfilm held a press conference last weekend featuring the cast, director, producer and screenwriter of the film. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Let’s Celebrate Harry Chapin Day

harry chapin

Some may remember Harry Chapin as the folksy singer-songwriter of “Cat’s in the Cradle”; how did this musician from the ’70s impact the world in any lasting or meaningful way? Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

10 Things Parents Should Know About ‘The Good Dinosaur’

An example of Sharon Callahan's masterful cinematography in 'The Good Dinosaur'.
© 2015 Disney-Pixar

Pixar’s long-delayed sixteenth film, ‘The Good Dinosaur,’ opens today. It’s a story you’ve seen many times in a variety of forms, but some stories are worth retelling and reimagining, and this is one of them. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Meet the Director of ‘The Good Dinosaur’

An Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend in Disney•Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur.”  ©2015 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Pixar’s latest film is the “coming of age story,” ‘The Good Dinosaur’. On a recent Sunday afternoon, I had the opportunity to take part in some group discussions with some of the people involved with the film. First up, Director Peter Sohn and Producer Denise Ream. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Word Nerd: Thereby Hangs a Tail

inigo-tale

Come and listen and we’ll tell a tale of tails. Today’s Word Nerd is yet another of those sets of words that autocorrect and spellcheck will completely ignore. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

10 Things Parents Should Know About ‘Bridge of Spies’

Insurance attorney James Donovan is sent to East Berlin to negotiate a prisoner exchange for downed U2 pilot Francis Gary Powers in Bride of Spies.

Steven Spielberg returns to his continuing series of history-based films (including Schindler’s List, Amistad, Munich and Lincoln), turning his attention this time to the Cold War, and the result is a mature and intelligent film about a good man trying to act according to his conscience in a world where that’s unappreciated. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Why Halloween Is Good for Your Kids

Yes, we're taking candy from strangers!
Photo by Steven Depolo, used under Creative Commons license.

Let’s talk about Halloween. It’s creeping up on us again, as it should, and sadly, while its popularity among adults continues to grow, trick-or-treating continues to decline. For many parents, the notion of letting their children participate in this tradition is practically unthinkable. If you know some of these people, I encourage you to share this post with them. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Gamora and Drax Get Animated

GAMORA, DRAX THE DESTROYER, ROCKET RACCOON, GROOT

Following up on the success of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Disney XD has added the animated spin-off series to their schedule. A few months ago, I got the opportunity to meet the cast. I sat down with Vanessa Marshall and David Sobolov, the voice actors who portray Gamora and Drax on the series. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Will Friedle: The Other Star-Lord

Friedle-gotg

A few months ago, I sat down with the cast and producers of Marvel’s new Guardians of the Galaxy animated series to talk about the show. Here’s the first of those interviews, talking with Will Friedle, the voice of Star-Lord. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Word Nerd: Opening Gamut

inigo-gambit

Today’s Word Nerd topic is one that’s become so ubiquitous that it even turns up among political pundits. Last month, Chuck Todd of Meet the Press suggested to Senator Bernie Sanders that they should do an interview in which they could “do the gambit of issues,” and the nation’s English teachers wept. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Gets Animated on XD

The Guardians are off again to do a little good a little bad, a bit of both, in the animated Guardians of the Galaxy on Disney XD.

Marvel’s mega-hit ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ returns in an animated version on Disney XD. The action-packed epic space adventure debuted with a one-hour special featuring back-to-back episodes on Saturday evening. In addition, Disney has posted a series of 2-part short films giving the back-story of each of the main characters on the Disney XD website. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Retro Review: ‘Hackers’ 20th Anniversary Edition

hackers-group

In 1995, the internet was still exotic, Jonny Lee Miller still had hair, and movies about computer hackers were starting to become a thing. Twenty years later, when our phones have more processing power than any computer from that era, once-serious films about technology can become unintentionally hilarious. And so it is with Hackers, now enjoying its first Blu-Ray release to commemorate its 20th anniversary. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

So, About That Wonder Woman Lunchbox…

yBKn1kg

A couple of days ago, a user on Reddit posted photos of a Wonder Woman lunchbox with a letter allegedly sent from a school to the parents of the child who brought said lunchbox to school. The story was immediately picked up and recirculated across the internet. Every site that posted it simply pointed back to the same story on another site, all of which come back down to a single post on Reddit that links to images on Imgur, posted by the same person. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

When Did That Disney Movie Happen? (Updated)

Second star to the right, and straight on till morning!"

GeekDad recently took a look at the fan theory that Tarzan is the little brother of Frozen’s Elsa and Anna, showing pretty convincingly why the notion, while fun, is not at all supported by the facts of the stories. The behind-the-scenes conversation around this topic raised the question of what Disney movies take place when, and a few hours down the Google rabbit-hole later, we have some conclusive answers for you. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Bad Dad: Knife Fight!

baddad

The kids were on my last nerve. Well, the older two were; the baby was fine, but the nine-year-old boy and the twelve-year-old girl were impossible. They’d been fighting for hours, nonstop, arguing over everything. Screaming, hitting, the works. Separating them didn’t do it. Sending them to their rooms only brought a brief cease-fire. They were clearly never going to let up. Finally, I’d had enough. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Word Nerd: Riding a Segue

inigo-segue

For today’s Word Nerd, we have an odd one: a case of a made-up word taking the place of the word it’s meant to imitate. I can’t think of another example of a trademark taking the place of its homophone in popular usage. We’ll look at Segue and Segway. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

10 Things Parents Should Know About ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’

mi5-wingwalk

Following directly out of the events of ‘Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,’ the fifth installment of the franchise is a fast-moving popcorn-muncher of a film, full of incredible stunts and elaborate double- and triple-crosses from agents whose allegiances are always in question. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Meet the Cast of ‘Ant-Man’

"Let's get small." (Obligatory Steve Martin reference.)
Photo © Disney-Marvel

Marvel’s twelfth feature film, ‘Ant-Man,’ opened Friday; the studio held a press conference on Saturday, June 27, at which the cast discussed the film and answered questions from the audience. Paul Rudd also answered somebody’s phone. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

10 Things Parents Should Know About ‘Ant-Man’

Ant-Man-featured

Marvel’s twelfth film ‘Ant-Man’ stars Paul Rudd as Scott Lang, an ex-con recruited to carry out an act of industrial espionage in a super-hero variation on ‘Ocean’s 11.’ Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Sharing Classic Films With Your Kids

'Frankenstein': Traumatizing children for 84 years.

A lot of geeky media includes references to older, less-geeky media. It’s not enough to just show our kids the geek standards; they need to see the films that the geek standards are referencing. So I started compiling a list of classic films that I think kids ought to see. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

9 Things Parents Should Know About ‘Inside Out’

InsideOut-featured

Pixar’s newest film is getting rave reviews. Find out what you should know before taking your kids to see it! Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Filmmakers Discuss the Making of ‘Inside Out’

INSIDE OUT Press Conference  with director Pete Docter and producer Jonas Rivera.

Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera, the Director and Producer of Pixar’s ‘Inside Out,’ met with members of the press at the Beverly Hilton on Sunday, June 7 to talk about the making of the film. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Meet the Cast of ‘Inside Out’

INSIDE OUT Press Conference  with Mindy Kaling, Lewis Black, Amy Poehler, Bill Hader and Phyllis Smith moderated by Scott Mantz.

The actors who brought the characters in Pixar’s Inside Out to life assembled for a press conference on Sunday, June 7 and had a funny and freewheeling discussion about the film which opens Friday. Amy Poehler (Joy), Bill Hader (Fear), Mindy Kaling (Disgust), Lewis Black (Anger) and Phyllis Smith (Sadness) answered questions, talked over each other, engaged in comedic banter and even sang at one point. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Word Nerd: Playing Base

inigo-bass

Today’s Word Nerd topic is a pair of words with several definitions and too many pronunciations. We’ll look at all the permutations of base and bass. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.

Same Geek Channel: the ‘Supergirl’ Pilot

Supergirl being heroic and awesome. More of this, please.

Does the ‘Supergirl’ pilot live up to the promise of its excellent trailer? Our opinions are mixed. Continue reading

About Jim MacQuarrie

Jim MacQuarrie is a comics and animation geek, a professional cartoonist and graphic designer, professional balloon animal twister, a certified archery instructor (and yes, his arrows are green), former homeless person and occasional gadfly. He has three children who are all grown up, and an incredibly patient wife who is waiting for him to do likewise. Together they co-write the lifestyle blog Blue Collar, Black Tie.