Monday, June 17, 2019

The Saint Louis Comic-Con is this Saturday!

I'm excited that in less than a week the Saint Louis Comic-Con will be happening. Held at 1 Convention Center Plaza in Saint Charles, it is always a fun event. With free parking and a reasonable cost to attend, you don't break the bank just to enter the show and can instead spend your money on all the spectacular guests, artists, and vendors! I personally always like how the Saint Louis Comic-Con (which is done by parent company Mighty Con) has a strong focus on comic-books and plenty of vendors selling them. I don't mind when shows are just pop-culture focused, but I always treasure being able to go to a show and enjoy browsing a bunch of comics in-between talking with awesome guests known for their work in the field of comic-books (that isn't to say this show lacks a wide range of interests, I just especially love the comic-content).

The con starts at 10AM Saturday morning and I can't wait! You can buy tickets there (with kids 12 and under free), but I always recommend purchasing them in advance just to make things easier. I look forward to the show and know it'll be great time just as it is every year. I'll be sure to make a post discussing the fun I had afterwards, but if you can go I'd encourage you to do so as opposed to just reading about how much I consistently enjoy myself! See you there!

Sunday, June 16, 2019

(100% Not Serious) Father's Day Advice

Happy Father's Day!
Today is Father's Day. I have loved writing about my son, Clarkson, and have made serious posts discussing being a Dad as well as just generally enjoying talking about my awesome baby boy (although now he's officially toddler-age). That said, to commemorate this Father's Day I thought I would share some tips that actually are terrible and you should not under any circumstances follow or take seriously. With that said...

Awful Advice For Dads
Make sure to give your baby at least 1 cigar a day to smoke, but no more than 3.

By age 2 it is reasonable to expect your child is capable of operating heavy machinery without supervision. Don't hesitate to let them use a forklift, welding equipment, etc.

If your baby poops in their diaper while in public, help them feel less self-conscious about it by letting-loose into your bitches as well.

Don't let your child play really violent video-games alone. Play with them so you can beat the hard challenges with less trouble.

To help foster responsibility in your child, get them a pet. Don't make it a boring pet like a cat or dog though. Get something interesting like a Komodo Dragon or Polar Bear. They'll not only learn the importance of keeping their pet fed, they'll be skilled at avoiding being bitten/mauled.

If your child starts throwing a fit in the store over a toy don't let them get away with making a scene. Show them you're the professional fit-thrower and proceed to kick and scream on the ground even louder than them.

Only let your baby drink clear liquor until age 5, stuff like whiskey will keep them up at night. Red wine is okay though.

Never hesitate to bring your baby to a movie--no matter the rating or how often they fuss. Everyone around you will 100% completely understand if they start screaming for snacks in the middle of a dramatic moment.

Teach your child proper manners. For example, if they're at a restaurant and the food is taking awhile it is always good form to begin banging your utensils on the table while loudly exclaiming, "I want num-nums!"

Let your child know you will always love them, no matter what--this one is actually a piece of good advice to end an otherwise silly post. Happy Father's Day, everyone!

Saturday, June 15, 2019

E3 Happened A Bit Ago

That big Electronic Entertainment Expo or, E3, as it is also known, happened a bit ago. It used to be a huge deal, with video-game companies making big announcements and such. Now it gets some press but is a lot less of a, "Thing." There were some interesting tidbits, such as the fact Microsoft plans to launch a new console during the holiday 2020 season, and how that long-in-development, "Cyberpunk 2077," has a definite release date (April 16th, 2020) as well as a digital Keanu Reeves, which is exciting but also as more is seen of the game some social-elements are a bit...problematic. Also, "Dying Light 2," looks kind of cool with is multi-layered cities, plus that, "Final Fantasy VII," remake keeps chugging along, but there wasn't anything super-wild and crazy announced that hadn't already leaked to some degree before the show (sup, "Watch Dogs: Legion,") or is specifically of interest to me even if other folk are pumped (a new game with George R.R. Martin involved).

E3 happened and some cool stuff was there, but it wasn't as wild as back in the day; that sums things up pretty well. Oh, and also that, "Avengers," game from Square Enix looks kind of off-putting and its annoying it'll be one of those, "Service games," you get sporadic little updates to. That does not inspire much excitement within me.

Friday, June 14, 2019

A Quick Observation About an Ariana Grande Song

Ariana Grande is a bit of divisive personality currently, with there being lots of debate about if she's appropriating Black culture for monetary gain (opinions range from, "Yes," to, "It's Complicated," basically). That said, there is something weirdly admirable about some of the lyrics in, "Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored." Within the song she tells a man that she would like him to leave his girlfriend and then have sex with her for no reason other than she bored. She is sure to point-out in the song she is aware this is wrong, mean, and unfair, but she's basically really horny, and yes, bored. Also, to Grande's credit she is not willing to cheat with this man. She will only, "Let you hit it in the morning...like it's yours," once he is officially single. This essentially means she respects a relationship enough to never have someone cheat, but is still sleazy enough to encourage someone to end a relationship so she can get a good boinking--which she fully realizes, "Ain't right," but she doesn't care.

I suppose the song is in a way weirdly thoughtful, because if a man is willing to leave his girlfriend simply if Ariana Grande is bored and willing to have sex with him (if he's single), the woman he's leaving doesn't deserve such a flaky and crass boyfriend. Yes, everyone, Ariana Grande is doing the woman dating the man she wants to bang a favor. Again, it is all weirdly admirable.

This Latest Marvel Storyline Suddenly Sounds Interesting...

When it comes to naming a villain who at times struggles to be interesting, one I can easily think of is Ultron. Created by Hank Pym (in the comics, in the movies Tony Stark is his, "Father," of course), Ultron has his whole deal being wanting to wipe out humanity...and that's about it. We do have a rare occasion or two where Ultron has had something more interesting going on (that time he considered conquering the galaxy, the weird day when he tried to seduce Hank Pym as a robotic version of his ex-wife), but it is telling my favorite story involving the character was one that imagined a world where he hadn't been created. I know somewhat recently Ultron and Hank Pym merged into one person or something ("Rage of Ultron," was weird), but that seemed to do little of note for the character being at all intriguing. Hence, when I saw the press for a new story-line in the, "Tony Stark: Iron Man," comic titled, "The Ultron Agenda," I assumed it would sound very dull. Then I saw Machine Man was the villain. Wait, that's interesting.

Aaron Stack AKA the Machine Man was created by Jack Kirby to tie-in with the classic film, "2001: A Space Odyssey," of all things. Over time other writers tackled the character as well as varying interpretations of him (Stack was very important in the out-of-continuity, "Earth X," to name one example). Stack arguably gained a whole new group of fans when Warren Ellis used him in the cult-classic, "Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E.," series that painted Stack in a light that was both hilarious and a tiny bit sympathetic. He then popped-up in other series and is one of those cult-characters that has a small and dedicated fan-based but otherwise gets ignored a lot (kind of like my personal favorite character, Moon Knight). To see that Aaron Stack AKA Machine Man is going to be leading a robot uprising dedicated to making sure A.I. takes over the planet suddenly sounds pretty attention-grabbing as opposed to if it was simply Ultron trying to just wipe-out humans for the 50th time for little reason other than a slew of daddy-issues about his creator.
Reading that the, "Ultron Agenda," story-arc will explore concepts of just how, "Alive," the artificial life in the Marvel Universe is sounds pretty snazzy. It was a concept touched-upon to a good degree in the stellar, "The Vision," mini-series (fun fact, Vision is technically the son of Ultron, making Hank Pym Vision's Grandpa) and one worth exploring. Plus, with a character as interesting as Aaron Stack AKA Machine Man I already expect a lot more interesting stuff to occur than if it had been Ultron himself again.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Alright, the Blues Might Win TODAY, Then?

Update at 11:14 PM--The Blues won, hooray!

On Sunday I made a post discussing my hopes for the Saint Louis Blues to win the Stanley Cup in Game 6. The game did not go especially well, with the final score being 5-1...in Boston's favor. This brings us to Game 7, the final game, today. It is taking place in Boston, but the Blues won Game 5 despite it being on the Bruin's turf, so here's hoping that today the Blues will win and achieve their first-ever victory in successfully completing the road to the Stanley Cup.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Chelsea Cain Really Messed-Up

Chelsea Cain
Chelsea Cain is a writer who has done some stuff I really liked. Her cancelled-too-soon run on, "Mockingbird," was spectacular, with Kate Niemczyk doing a stellar job as well illustrating it. They reunited to do, "Man-Eaters," which takes place in a world where menstruating women can turn into violent panthers and kill people, resulting in all kinds of legislation and efforts to control their bodies. I was super-impressed with the artwork, but the story was just kind of..there. Cain seemed to have a clever idea but was engaging in some strange metaphor mixing, doing the White-Feminism thing of incorporating racial imagery and such while having all the characters in the story be White (e.g. a women-only fountain calling-up ideas of racial inequality...but all the women are Caucasian).

One thing that didn't occur to me was how the story seemed to be ignoring the idea of the manner in which Trans individuals might be affected in such a world. This was pointed out by some people who felt the story could benefit from the inclusion of Transmen and Transwomen simply to expand the plot and provide more of a view than how the story seemed really focused on CisWomen who were white. Cain saw some tweets written about this and responded in a somewhat overly-defensive manner about how she appreciated Trans readers even if they, "Hate," her book (no one Trans said they hated it, just that it could incorporate Trans people into the story). She said she would work to be better, so no harm, no foul, right? I mean, sometimes Cis-folk don't think about how Trans characters could be affected by a plot in a story but by working to be more inclusive we can correct that. Cain apologized so all was good...and then she did something really stupid.
In issue #9 of, "Man-Eaters," Chelsea Cain has a bunch of her white female characters in a concentration camp for women (more uncomfortable metaphor-mixing) and there are billboards in the background that copy text verbatim from Twitter with tweets critical of, "Man-Eaters." This includes Trans readers who tweeted about the comic. Cain basically is passive-aggressively responding to critics by making them look like dumb haters. She didn't include user-names, but it is easy to find Tweets with the text and it maybe was actually illegal to take other's tweets and print them in her comic without any permission. The internet exploded in response to this. It has been pointed out that at this point Cain has a lot of things we can question in regards to if she is in fact trying to do better or is moreso engaging in classic White-Feminism that exclusively focuses on White, CisWomen to the hindrance of anyone else (people of color, Trans individuals, and so forth).

 I'm not saying Chelsea Cain is a TERF, but she's making some dumb moves. Before she deleted her Twitter in response to all this hubbub she asked if someone Trans would work for her for free to ensure the book was, "Sensitive," enough to Trans concerns, and then just outright stated, "'Man-Eaters,' has meant a lot to a small group of people, and we will finish the last three issues for them. I'm sorry I'm not who you want me to be, and I'm sorry that ME can't be inclusive of every experience." Much controversy could have been avoided if Cain has simply apologized and continued her story how she wanted or tweaked it to be more inclusive, if she had done either without printing tweets in her comic without permission. She messed-up when she did that, and she continued to really mess-up afterwards tweeting some ignorant B.S.
Cain's last tweet before she deleted her account.
The whole thing is a mess, and the icing on the cake is some Conservative idiots are now on some of the sites I frequent laughing about how this is an example of Liberals turning on Liberals and how left-wing people are the really hateful individuals, etc. These morons of course miss the point, but its just annoying to see right-wing dummies yukking it up about all this. At this point I don't know what Cain is going to do, but it seems the comic will conclude and maybe future printings of the series will excise those unfairly-printed tweets. What a fiasco.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Could the Blues Take Home the Stanley Cup Today? I Hope!

I live in Saint Louis and the one sport I remotely follow at all is Hockey. Therefore, I am pretty pumped for the Saint Louis Blues to play this sixth game of the Stanley Cup today, and possibly even win it for the first time ever! It has been a wild season, with the Blues ranked dead-last among all the teams in January and now a single game away from being champs. Much of the credit for this goes to the incredible goalie, Jordan Binnington, a relative rookie who is possibly already one of the top goalies in the league. No matter how great a goalie is at blocking shots however you need the team to score too, and the Blues have had some solid play-lines, with each one contributing greatly to their success from the big-name players such as Tarasenko, Schwartz, and O'Reilly to less-discussed but still key guy such as Sundqvist, Dunn, and Thomas (who has been injured and unable to play in the Cup, tragically).

Could the Blues take home the Stanley Cup today? I sure hope so, as it has been nearly 50 years since the last time they even had the chance to do so and this is the first time ever they might just make good and take the series in six games--on home ice, no less. Should they fail to win, we will get a Game 7, but it will be in Boston on the Bruin's home turf and that just sounds like trouble. Here's hoping the game tonight goes well and the Stanley Cup stays in Saint Louis, where it belongs after this crazy season!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

I Loved Visiting Frosted in Cortland!

We are heading out from Cortland, but before we left I was sure to stop by my favorite bakery in town, Frosted. They have a delicious assortment of cookies, cakes, muffins, cupcakes, and do some stellar breakfast bagel sandwiches too. One of my favorite things is how they'll sometimes bake a cookie into a cupcake, which I find simply delicious. Should you ever be in or near Cortland, I'd encourage you to visit there. Feel free to visit their Facebook page to double-check their hours and when you stop by be sure to get some tasty goods and maybe purchase a fun t-shirt (as you can see, I did just that)!

Friday, June 7, 2019

Some, "Almost Officially Summer," Links

Kinda Sorta Summer?
The schools in Saint Louis let out in late May (hence our family's trip to visit my folk in New York) so it is already Summer for us. It isn't officially Summer however until Friday, June 21st. With that in mind I guess these links don't, "Kick-off," the Summer so much as they are here to entertain you while waiting for the actual Summer Solstice.

(Nearly) Summertime Learnin'
I don't know what kind of group Marvel is assembling with its, "Newest, most ruthless team," but apparently they will not compromise or provide mercy. It sounds suitably gritty, but there are some characters I quite like involved, making me hopeful when whatever this group's team-name will be is revealed we'll hear there is a solid creative team involved too.

Sam Rockwell is a tremendous actor and I've been a fan of his since, "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," but even he is willing to admit lately he's played a whole lot of racists in film. Maybe he can host, "Saturday Night Live," again and try not to let any F-bombs slip this time?

On the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6th, 2019, an assortment of World Leaders signed a symbolic proclamation signifying a, "Shared responsibility to ensure that the unimaginable horror of these years is never repeated.” It was solemn event about World War II, and everyone signed at the bottom except our President, Donald Trump, who just had to sign it at the top, separate from everyone, as largely as possible. Goddamn, this is embarrassing. As much as anyone with sense despises this President I imagine the rest of the World hates putting up with him even more.

As someone who played the first, "Metal Gear Solid," game way back in my Junior High years and found it to be a revelation of game-meets-cinema (albeit an admittedly flawed one) I really enjoyed this article that discusses the game in equally fond and critical ways.

I've got two articles that are both from The Takeout. We've got one about collectors who drop hundreds on vintage Kool-Aid flavors and sometimes drink the decades old packets (sounds kinda fun and kinda gross if one drinks them) and another post discussing how a food delivery service in New York City has been pretending actual beef burgers from Burger King are the plant-based Impossible Whopper. As someone allergic to beef that sounds like a recipe to make me very, very ill. It is funny to imagine someone taking a bite out of one of these and saying how it is gross and tastes nothing like a real Whopper, when it is in fact beef-based, that'd be kinda funny.

John Byrne has his own X-Men comic he is releasing as fan-fiction online instead of officially at Marvel, despite rumors they wanted to publish it. John Bryne being a cranky ol' bastard is not news, but he is one admittedly extremely talented cranky ol' bastard so it is cool people will be able to read this work for free on his website.

Remember when a new, "X-Men," movie was big news, then at least notable? Yeah, now we've got this new, "Dark Phoenix," coming out, basically being the last entry in the current canon of, "X-Men," films (as horribly disjointed and broken a continuity as they have) and it's being met with a resounding shrug--as the AV Club put it, "...just another damn, 'X-Men,' movie." It is sad to see the franchise end with such a whimper, and it has had some incredible highs ("Logan," was amazing, and "Deadpool," will be allowed to keep on trucking even with Marvel/Disney getting his rights back from Fox), but sometimes a saga ends in a disappointing manner instead of a crowd-pleasing explosion--just look at how often we are let-down by the finales of big television shows, after all. Oh wait, "New Mutants," is still in development Hell and started as a Fox project. Check back with me in 2020 and just cut-and-paste the titles of the movies as I'm pretty doubtful it will be of much note either.

While we're on the subject of film franchises that have had more misses than hits, my friend Tony over at Comics Heating Up wrote a great article that points out how character of The Flash really suffered when it came to the DC Extended Universe (may it rest in peace). If we ever get that supposed, "Flash," movie due in 2021 that would maybe be nice though, as I am a big fan of Ezra Miller.

Let's close with a helping of further food news. This article about how MSG got a bad rap is insightful in how it digs into the racist roots of the backlash to the chemical that seems to inspire disgust when its in Asian food, yet is a-okay when its a major ingredient of a beloved food such as the nuggets at Chick-Fil-A.

Not Much Longer
I hope everyone is able to get some relaxation in as Summer approaches and of course during the hot vacation months as well (unless you live South the Equator, in which case, enjoy the cold)!