IndianaSPEED has created this tribute to the comments posted to this blog post.

What do these 6 actors have in common?

aside from the fact that they’re all male…

The 25 Most Influential People in Comic Book Movies: #3 Kevin Feige

Kevin Feige is Marvel’s 21st century boy. He began his comic book movie career as associate producer of X-Men in 2000, and moved on to become co-producer of X2 in 2003 and executive producer of X-Men: The Last Stand in 2006, working with the likes of #19 Ralph Winter, #16 Lauren Shuler Donner, and #9 Bryan Singer. By this time, Feige had also worked in some sort of production capacity on eight other Marvel films, including Daredevil, Elektra, Hulk, Spider-Man 2, The Punisher, Blade: Trinity, Man-Thing, and Fantastic Four. In 2007, Feige was named President of Production at Marvel Studios. He continued to serve as executive producer of more Marvel properties that year, including Spider-Man 3 (made with #11 Sam Raimi at the helm) and 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer (working again with Ralph Winter). In 2008, he produced the enormously successful Iron Man and the also popular The Incredible Hulk (with the contributions of star writer #12 Zak Penn and famed producer #21 Gale Anne Hurd.) With the success of these two films, things look good for the future of Feige and Marvel Studios. Marvel’s relatively new comic book movie production studio has several ambitious new projects in the works, as does Feige himself. He is serving as executive producer of the soon to be released Punisher: War Zone, and will be an executive producer, with #22 Micahel De Luca, of a planned 2009 release of The Hands of Shang-Chi, based on the Marvel character of the same name. Feige will return to the X-Men franchise, accompanied by Lauren Shuler Donner and Ralph Winter, with their production of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, scheduled for release on May 1, 2009.

Influence Meter: ++++++++++

Post-Storm Big Tree Update: The Big Catalpa

Well, I went to see the big catalpa tree in Omaha for myself today. I was sad to see that at least one of its major limbs had been removed.

I don’t know yet whether or not this is a result of storm damage. Either way, I’m happy to see that this great tree is still standing, and that it’s bearing new growth in places it didn’t seem to be showing greenery before. That’s a reassuring affirmation of life.

For the time being, then, this Tree of Heaven is the tree of largest circumference in Omaha.

Scientific Name: Ailanthus altissima
Circumference: 16.25 ft
Height: 55 ft
Spread: 54.5 ft
Points: 267
Date Measured : 1/1/2005
Date Nominated : 1/1/2004
Location: Henry Doorly Zoo, NW of the Pachyderm Exhibit, Omaha

Post-Storm Thoughts: Big Nebraska Trees

On Friday, June 27, 2008, at about 5:00 pm, a big, nasty scary storm blew through Omaha, complete with 90 mph winds and big ass hail. It was scary, to say the least, but the scariest part has been the sight of large felled branches, trunks, and entire trees lying cracked, prone and uprooted all over town. It took about ten minutes for this storm to blow through and take out trees that had stood collectively for thousands of years. It’s been just over 2 weeks and I’m still amazed at the size of the logs and broken trunks I keep finding as I drive to different parts of the city.

So that got me to thinking. I’ve seen some of the biggest trees in the United States, but what about the biggest trees right here where I live in Omaha? And in the State of Nebraska for that matter? How did they fare during the storm? And how does one go about measuring the girth or height or overall largeness of a tree anyway? Here’s what I found out:

As part of the University of Nebraska, the Nebraska Forest Service keeps track of big trees throughout the state on its Nebraska Champion Tree Register. Big trees are categorized by four different criteria; circumference, height, spread and overall “points.” The Champion Tree Program’s Nomination Guidelines define these critera and include instructions for measuring trees on one’s own.

The biggest tree in Nebraska in terms of circumference and overall points was, until the summer of 2007, this National Champion eastern cottonwood near Seward, NE.

Native Nebraska Tree
National Champion Tree
Scientific Name: Populus deltoides
Circumference: 36.75 ft
Height: 85 ft
Spread: 107 ft
Points: 553
Date Measured : 1/1/2001
Date Nominated : 1/1/2001
Location: 2 mi S and 2.75 mi E of Seward on Fletcher Rd.

This tree was struck by lightning and felled in two. The tree could not be saved.

Currently, the biggest tree in Nebraska by circumference, spread, and overall points is this silver maple located in Beatrice, Nebraska.

Native Nebraska Tree
Scientific Name
: Acer saccharinum
Circumference: 22.50 ft
Height: 100 ft
Spread: 118 ft
Points: 400
Date Measured : 1/1/2002
Date Nominated : 1/1/2002
Location: Chautauqua Park (North of Grable), Beatrice

The tallest tree in Nebraska is this white poplar in Fremont, Nebraska.

Scientific Name: Populus alba
Circumference: 16.42 ft
Height: 115 ft
Spread: 89 ft
Points: 334
Date Measured : 1/1/2002
Date Nominated : 1/1/1981
Location: 423 West 11th St, Fremont

In Omaha, the largest tree in terms of circumference and overall points was this huge northern catalpa.

Scientific Name: Catalpa speciosa
Circumference: 20.00 ft
Height: 65 ft
Spread: 60 ft
Points: 320
Date Measured : 1/1/2000
Date Nominated : 1/1/1995
Location: 4508 Burdette St, Omaha

Omaha’s tallest tree, the tree with the largest spread and the biggest tree in terms of overall points is this pin oak.

Scientific Name: Quercus palustris
Circumference: 15.17 ft
Height: 80 ft
Spread: 85 ft
Points: 283
Date Measured : 1/1/2002
Date Nominated : 1/1/2002
Location: 5647 Florence Blvd., Omaha

If anyone has any info on these trees, or any other big trees in Omaha or Nebraska, please feel free to comment or drop me a line! Thanks.

My Top 40 Animated Feature Films

In honor of Wall-E, which I saw yesterday and LOVED, here’s my list of 40 favorite animated films:

1.    Alice in Wonderland*                            1951
2.    Bambi*                                          1942
3.    Fantasia*                                       1940
4.    Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs*                1937
5.    Finding Nemo**                                  2003
6.    The Little Mermaid*                             1989
7.    Cinderella*                                     1950
8.    Toy Story**                                     1995
9.    My Neighbor Totoro†                             1988
10.   WALL·E**                                        2008
11.   The Lion King*                                  1994
12.   Cars**                                          2006
13.   Dumbo*                                          1941
14.   The Nightmare Before Christmas*                 1993
15.   Ratatouille**                                   2007
16.   Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind†             1984
17.   Happy Feet◊                                     2006
18.   Princess Mononoke†                              1997
19.   Monsters Inc.**                                 2001
20.   Shrek‡                                          2001
21.   Shrek 2‡                                        2004
22.   Aladdin*                                        1992
23.   The Incredibles**                               2004
24.   Shrek the Third‡                                2007
25.   Beauty and the Beast*                           1991
26.   The Simpsons Movie¨                             2007
27.   The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh*         1977
28.   A Scanner Darkly§                               2006
29.   Sleeping Beauty*                                1959
30.   Over the Hedge‡                                 2006
31.   Robin Hood*                                     1973
32.   A Bug’s Life**                                  1998
33.   Lilo & Stitch*                                  2002
34.   Kung Fu Panda‡                                  2008
35.   Akiraª                                          1998
36.   Ice Age¨                                        2002
37.   Ice Age: The Meltdown¨                          2006
38.   Open Season©                                    2006
39.   Shark Tale‡                                     2004
40.   Antz‡                                           1998
*Disney (including Touchstone Pictures)
** Disney/Pixar
† Studio Ghibli (Miyazaki)
‡ Dreamworks
◊ Village Roadshow/Warner Bros.
¨ Fox (including Blue Sky Studios)
§ Warner Bros.
ª The Akira Committee
© Sony
Last revised and updated July 2, 2008

The 25 Most Influential People in Comic Book Movies: #4 David S. Goyer

     Despite his career ups and downs, David S. Goyer has become the go-to guy for getting screenplays written for Marvel, DC, Dark Horse and other comic book publishers. In 1996, he wrote The Crow: City of Angels, the sequel to #20 Jeff Most’s dark hit The Crow. Alex Proyas, director of The Crow, hired Goyer to write a polish for his next film the sci-fi/fantasy success Dark City. Goyer’s first adaptation of a Marvel Comics character was the 1998 television film Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., starring David Hasselhoff. The same year, the cinematic feature Blade was released, written by Goyer and executive produced by #22 Michael De Luca. Goyer created the original character of Whistler, Blade‘s mentor, for the film. Marvel later added the character into the comic book’s continuity. Goyer would follow Blade as writer and executive producer of Blade II, directed by #10 Guillermo Del Toro in 2002 with designer #13 Mike Mignola on board.  In 2004, New Line released Blade: Trinity, which Goyer wrote, directed and produced himself. Although Trinity received an unfortunately ill reception from critics and fans, Goyer found redemption in 2005’s Batman Begins, for which he shared story and screenplay writing credits with director #18 Christopher Nolan. Goyer also wrote the dialogue and story for the accompanying Batman Begins video game. In 2006, Goyer returned to Blade as writer for the short-lived televisions series “Blade: The Series,” which aired only 12 episodes. His last released works include 2007’s Ghost Rider, for which Goyer served as executive producer. The film’s final script was written by director #14 Mark Steven Johnson. Goyer also wrote the screenplay for the segment “In Darkness Dwells,” part of the animated compilation Batman: Gotham Knight to be released on July 8, 2008.
     David Goyer’s future projects include The Dark Knight, set for release on July 18, 2008, on which he again shares story writing credits with director Christopher Nolan. He is working on a final version of a screenplay for X-Men Origins: Magneto, after the original screenplay by Sheldon Turner.  Goyer is also attached to direct the Marvel film, set for release in 2009. He is credited as a writer of the screenplay for the currently in-production film adaptation of the DC character The Flash, scheduled for release in 2010. reports that he has been announced to produce Super Max, based on the DC character Green Arrow.  He is also announced to produce a film adaptation of Vertigo ComcisY: The Last Man, and to direct an adaptation of Platinum StudiosUnique. Variety reports that Goyer will be directing a film adaptation of the 2007 graphic novel Baltimore, or The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire, co-written by Mike Mignola.

Influence Meter: ++++++++++