Thursday, March 22, 2018

They Don't Ever Call White Men Thugs or Terrorists, Do They?

They don't ever call white men, "Thugs," or, "Terrorists," do they? The, "They," in this case being the media, politicians, law-enforcement, etc. A white man can create bombs and kills a bunch of people but he isn't a terrorist, he's someone who is, "Challenged." I would say someone who creates bombs and puts them in random places to inspire fear is a terrorist. A 17 year-old boy who shoots a 16 year-old girl who doesn't want to date him anymore apparently is just a, "Lovesick teen." She was rendered brain-dead and is being taken off life support, by the way. I don't know about you, but a man who kills a woman because she didn't want to be romantically involved with him sounds a lot like a, "Thug," to me. I guess I'm wrong though, because these men were white, so they get the benefit of the doubt.

A black man is killed by the police or frankly any white man and he's judged somehow deserving of the fate. He obviously should've listened to the officer's orders, he was, "No angel," he was clearly a thug, or some other variation of, "He was black, he must have been guilty of something." Meanwhile, a white man shoots-up a school and it is fault of the students there for not choosing to #walkup and reassure the psychopath--good ol' victim-blaming. If a white man kills people it is society's fault, if a man of any other color or ethnicity gets killed it is his fault (and if its a woman, she should've been nicer to the white guy who killed her, but if the man was black he's terrible and she needs sympathy). The white man who murdered innocents was, "Mentally disturbed, picked-on, lovesick, didn't know what he was doing," but the black man who got murdered was, "Clearly in the wrong, should have listened, shouldn't have been where he was."
To say America doesn't have a racial double-standard is to tell a big fat lie. Because I'm a white man I could do something heinous and it would be reported in the news like...

David Bitterbaum, a loving husband and father was understandably upset that McDonald's told him there would be a wait for french-fries as they needed to cook more. He responded to this news by becoming blinded with grief to the degree he stole a hot-air balloon and experimental magnet, using them to temporarily borrow (or as some would say, "Steal,") the Saint Louis Arch, lifting it up and relocating it some counties over in the State Capitol, Jefferson City. Mr. Bitterbaum expressed regret about doing what he did and when reached for a comment, Governor Eric Greitens responded, "I don't approve of this young man's actions, but it helped distract the news-cycle from my sex scandal so I'm actually cool with this happening." Mr. Bitterbaum was released from police custody without any bail required and the District Attorney announced there will be an offer of a plea deal of community service that Mr. Bitterbaum can fulfill by teaching a free class about the history of comic-book character Moon Knight at the community center. "We feel he knows what he did was naughty and putting him in prison away from his son and wife just felt mean," was the reasoning given. "Like, McDonald's could have at least offered him a free soda while he waited, you know?"

Meanwhile, if a man of any other skin color did this it would either be reported he was a, "Dangerous criminal," or, "Deranged terrorist," that people want locked-up for stealing the Arch. My example seems silly and over-the-top, but is it really in a world where a white man commits mass-murder in Las Vegas with a bunch of assault rifles and he's described as appearing, "Polite, unhurried, unmemorable," but 12 year-old Tamir Rice is murdered and despite being an innocent child is somehow blamed for his own death? They don't ever call white men terrorists or thugs, but they really should when it clearly applies.

The Latest, "Deadpool 2," Trailer Looks Like More of the Same--In a Good Way

Because I am addicted to the internet I saw that the trailer for, "Deadpool 2," was posted and watched it a couple times already today. It's right above this text and good fun. It basically looks like more of the same from the first movie, and I mean that in a good way. It appears like it will be fun, silly, full of violence, and have a bunch of swearing.

I was amused how the preview name-drops, "X-Force," and even outright says it is basically a way to launch that franchise in one of the trailer's meta-moments. Ryan Reynolds was basically born to play Deadpool and Josh Brolin makes a suitably imposing Cable. It comes out in May with enough distance between it and the release of , "Avengers: Infinity War," that they shouldn't step on each other's toes. Fun fact: Brolin is also the voice of Thanos so he should theoretically get some hefty checks for royalties if he/his lawyers negotiated his deals well.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

March-Mania Links for the First Day of Spring

Not Quite Madness
I don't watch basketball so I can't say I have acquired the, "March Madness," everyone talks about. I do think I've got some quality links that could inspire a bit of excitement/Mania. It also is the first day of Spring today, although based on much of the weather across the United States you wouldn't believe it. There is still some killer stuff I've found and wanted to share, so let's begin!

Link Mania!
Let's lead-off with some exciting news, namely how the entire original creative team behind Kool Keith's Doctor Octagon persona are reuniting for a brand-new album. There was a 2006 LP without Keith's original collaborators of Dan the Automator and Kid Koala that was decent but lacked the same spark, so getting the initial gang back together has me pumped. This will either be very awesome or absolutely terrible, I'm thinking. 

I was intrigued by this article from Kotaku which talks about how, "Calvin and Hobbes," showed the issues that can arise with youth in organized sports

This article discusses how OJ may be a monster, but why does he get demonized and other famous killers like George Zimmerman get a pass? 

I don't have an Xbox One and my computer lacks the power to play it, but if I could, I'd be all-in on, "Sea of Thieves," which was officially released today. Full of sailing, swashbuckling, and other alliterative pirate-activities, it looks fun.

"The Matrix," couldn't have predicted the kind of messed-up internet we'd have in 2018, as well as how alt-right assholes would try to co-opt some of its symbolism and wording. It's still a great movie, though.

White Evangelicals abandoned a lot of their principles to support Donald Trump, a repugnant human being. This piece tries to make a little sense of how that happened.

I see so many people dismiss, "The Game," as a shoddy movie for an assortment of reasons, but I love the film and think the oft-derided ending is superb. I'm glad there are some other writers out there who love the flick as much as me!

The new DC, "Age of Heroes,"-themed comics tend to be fun, but apparently have had a bit of a mess getting who is doing what art straightened-out.

It isn't just DC with some problems however, as Marvel is shifting editors around for their upcoming, "Fresh Start," of comics in a manner a rudely sarcastic person might call akin to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. I'm not that snarky though so I shan't actually say that.

Enjoy Spring...When it Actually Starts
I hope everyone has a great Spring when the actual Spring-weather kicks-in. Till then we shall huddle by our heaters.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

I Bought and Read Indie Comics from Etsy for Fun

Independent Reads From Etsy
Back in the day if you wanted to buy little handmade mini-comics or self-published books you needed to go to a comic shop that was cool sharing some shelf-space with local creators or be plugged-in to the various self-publishing and underground comix communities. Then the internet came along and people were able to put their stories online, which has resulted in a number of smash-hit web-comics. The thing is, I really like to be able to physically hold my comics and I like supporting independent creators, publishers too small to be in, "Previews," and people who just like to make comics sometimes as a hobby. This resulted in my realizing some time ago that Etsy is a stellar resource for finding indie comics.

Michel Fiffe is possibly the best-known person who sells their comics on Etsy, with his massively popular and awesome, "COPRA," still being sold on the platform. There are countless other people who produce and sell comics too on the website. In my desire to find some I spent a chunk of time searching-around Etsy for comics and mini-comics that looked neat and ordered a variety to read and share my thoughts about. I didn't tell any of these people I was going to spotlight their works on my blog but will of course notify them I shared my thoughts once this post is up. I was very pleased with what I received from creators, with many clearly putting their passion into these titles. Should you want to read their works too you can always follow links I'll provide as well at the end of each comic I discuss. Shall we?

The Comics
How to Make Everything Out of Cardboard by Kaila of Nun Comix
This is a very brief mini-comic that only cost me a single dollar and for sure provides more than enough entertainment to make me feel I got my money's worth. Drawn in a cute and scratchy style, the author, Kaila, shares about her love of hoarding cardboard and making random stuff out of it. I am someone who also likes to hoard random things such as packaging supplies (paper, bubblewrap, etc.) as I always feel I can reuse it whenever I mail stuff and hate the idea of wasting stuff like those air-pocket plastic things. I greatly enjoyed this mini-comic, and as I said, it is only a dollar! Follow this link to buy your own copy!

Ghoul Time by Serenity Sersecion
The full title is, "Ghoul Time: First Crush Comic Book," and this fun romance-themed mini-comic follows two undead creatures as they explore the graveyard for another person that one of them has a crush on. Sersecion's art-style is energetic and peppy, with a dash of a manga-influence in the way the characters appear too. It also is really sweet and makes me hope there will be a follow-up where we witness a date between the characters who state they feel an, "Affection," towards one another. You can learn more about, "Ghoul Time," and purchase your own copy here.

Tetraspace #2 by Foxy AKA EatMoreCat
While this is a second issue, each one is advertised as being a stand-alone tale that is, "Twilight Zone-esque," in nature. I adore a good twisty sci-fi yarn so I was eager to purchase this book illustrated by the Esty user selling it! Set in the early 1980's and following a young couple in love but stuck living far apart, I found it a good read with quite a clever surprise twist--I don't want to spoil the supernatural-element that makes things cleverly weird, but it surprised me when it occurred and the story took a very dark turn. This smaller-sized comic was fantastic and I'd recommend you acquire yourself a copy via this link.

Rising Sun #1 by Kensai Productions
"Rising Sun," is the latest release from Kensai Productions which is a small indie-publisher headed-up by Edward Sims, who also wrote this issue. It was only $4.50 with free shipping for a full-sized and quite thick comic loaded with a variety of stories. The book reminds me a bit of G.I. Joe (in a good way) with assorted military-styled characters coming together or fighting. The art by Brian Balondo is quite solid and wouldn't be out-of-place in a mainstream release. The whole comic is very professionally done and highly enjoyable with its action-packed vignettes. Also, Kensai Productions was kind enough to throw-in a free copy of one of their older titles, "Black Arrow #1," which was much appreciated and features the character of, "Black Arrow," who also plays a role in this first issue of, "Rising Sun." Should you want to buy your own copy just follow this link!

Globule by Spidersaurus
This mini-comic was dark and disgusting--in a good way! Focusing on a young dinosaur-woman and her friend discussing various life-troubles before towards the end things take a supernatural and body-horror styled turn with a monstrous dead animal. It's a weird and esoteric read that kind of reminded me of Michael DeForge's style of otherworldly story-telling and hyper-detailed gross bits. It's a disorienting comic but one I greatly enjoyed being made uneasy by. You can buy a copy here!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Avengers: Infinity War Trailer and Some Scattered Thoughts

The last, "Big," trailer before, "Avengers: Infinity War," hits theaters this April 27th arrived upon the internet yesterday. It was a pleasant way to start the weekend and you can watch it right up above this post. I just wanted to share some thoughts about it, helpfully collected in various talking-points...

Infinity stones explained!
I was happy to see the trailer have the characters just straight-up discussing how Thanos wants the Infinity Stones and that's why he is coming to Earth. I was kind of worried almost the entire movie would be, "Who is this guy, what does he want from us?" and would end with that finally revealed for a sequel where the, "Real fight," then happens. Thank God that isn't the case and everyone earlier on will know what the deal is.

The Guardians of the Galaxy meet the Avengers
We all were waiting for that magic moment Chris Pratt's smart-ass Star-Lord would exchange a quip with Robert Downey Junior's smart-ass Iron Man. We got to see that and I loved it.

No love for Hawkeye
This trailer lacked certain Marvel characters, with Ant-Man being MIA. One really notable absence considering he's been there from the start however would be Clint Barton AKA Hawkeye. The dude ain't even on posters for the movie. He kind of got some of the spotlight in, "Avengers: Age of Ultron," but has basically been everyone's least-favorite Avenger since then in terms of the movies. Poor guy.

Spider-Man is always a delight
Tom Holland continues to make a great Peter Parker/Spider-Man with his quip at the end about Doctor Strange and how they must be using their, "Made-up names," is absolutely hilarious.

We got to see more of Wakanda and it is clear that Thanos and his forces will be attacking there. It should be a good time watching what appears to be Steve Rogers, Bucky, Black Widow, Black Panther along with the army of Wakanda fighting Thanos' evil forces.

Chris Evans looks good with a beard
Chris Evans makes a good Captain America, and he also looks quite snappy with a beard. I hope he doesn't have to shave it during the movie as its a good look.

The Vision's gonna die, right?
My last thought is one that isn't in the trailer, but we all know that The Vision is in some serious trouble right? If the whole point of the Infinity Gauntlet is for Thanos to get all the stones, he will need to rip it right out of The Vision's forehead in what will most likely be a violent and climatic movie-moment. I mean, it could possibly not happen, but I'm pretty sure it will.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Explaining Saint Louis-Style Pizza to Everyone Else, An Article in Three Parts

Part One: What is Saint Louis-Style Pizza?

When talking about pizza and the styles of it people often like to talk about, "Chicago-style Deep Dish," versus grabbing a nice slice of New York za' and all the other regional pizza-styles you can enjoy. One thing you can't find outside of where it actually originated however is Saint Louis-style pizza due to a variety of factors--with one being you can't find the cheese it uses anywhere else. Yes, seriously.

There is a pizza-chain known in the Saint Louis region as, "Imo's," which prides itself on being, "The Square Beyond Compare," and serving Saint Louis-style pizza. This entails the pizza being on a very thin crust, with a light tomato sauce, and provel cheese. Provel cheese a mixture of cheddar, swiss, and provolone that is known for its gooey and buttery texture. People who like this kind of pizza say it is a nice thin-crust with a, "Clean bite," and people who hate Saint Louis-style pizza declare they feel like they're biting into a cracker with a bit of tomato paste and a chemical hellbeast of mutated cheese on top.

Part Two: Why Didn't it Spread?
While other kinds of pizza migrated outside of their region of origin to some degree, Saint Louis-style pizza continues to really only be accessible within Saint Louis and areas not too far from it. As for why this may be...frankly, most people who try this kind of pizza hate it. Seriously, they despise it to the level where you only see it discussed outside of the region if people are dumping on it or posting pieces, "In defense of," it. The idea that nobody has ever felt a need to make an article, "In defense of deep dish," tells you a lot about the perception of pizza from STL.

The first time I tried Saint Louis-style pizza I was thrown by the unique flavor of Provel cheese and how crunchy the crust was. I didn't like it much. Then I tried it again and liked it a bit more. Also, for some reason getting it topped with bacon made it really good. I now can eat it even without bacon and enjoy it. It's a different kind of flavor texture, but it is an acquired taste that many hate. When I have friends or family visit and give them some Saint Louis-style pizza to try they almost always respond to it with a mixture of shock and revulsion. I'm not saying this to be mean, I'm just trying to explain to everyone that Saint Louis-style pizza is unique in a way that sometimes only people native to the region can appreciate, along with folk open to giving it a chance like myself--hence, it didn't spread. Honestly though, to whatever degree some people dislike Saint Louis-style pizza, residents here love it that much more.

Part Three: Why Do Residents of Saint Louis Love it?
Within the city of Saint Louis right in the dairy aisle people can actually buy Provel cheese to put upon their own pizza, sandwiches, or whatever they like. As Provel cheese can't be bought outside of this area it is something super-common here but rare everywhere else. I was talking with a cheese-monger at Schnucks (a local grocery chain) once and he told me that they would sometimes have people buy a massive amount of provel cheese and pay the cost of shipping it overnight on dry ice to some far-away state due to how they were former STL-residents who couldn't kick their hankering for the stuff. As I said, as much as some people hate Saint Louis-style pizza, other's adore it tenfold more.

I am not exactly sure why residents of Saint Louis love this unique style of pizza so much. It has grown on me during my extensive time living in the region but I still don't have as much affection as some people who swear up-and-down they won't eat any kind of pizza but the kind made at Imo's. It might be that people just really love the cheese's taste, the unique super-thin crust texture, or it could all come down to pride, with the rage felt by those who live Saint Louis at their pizza being made fun of overpowering any logic pointing out that it is honestly a delicacy with a unique flavor profile that not everyone will like. Whatever the reason people in this region love Saint Louis-style pizza, it is without a doubt something interesting which I would encourage anyone who comes to this area to try, or if you have a ton of money you could always call-up a local grocery story and get some blocks of Provel cheese mailed-over.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Coke's New Georgia Peach and California Raspberry Flavors Are Disgusting Abominations

I am a big fan of Coca-Cola. When it comes to ranking colas I go: Coke > RC Cola > Store-Brand Cola > Motor Oil >Pepsi, in the order I'd be willing to drink those. I'm not super-picky or weird about Coke having flavors either. I have a great fondness for Cherry Coke, enjoy a Vanilla Coke now-and-then, don't really like Diet Coke but can drink it, and quite miss the old coffee-flavored Coke known as, "Blak," that existed once upon a time.

Clearly I'm not a purist when it comes to Coke flavors, but Lord help me these new, "Georgia Peach," and, "California Raspberry," flavors are grotesque excuses for soft drinks. They taste more artificial than you could imagine, with the overpowering punch-in-the face of peach being just as miserable as the cloying pseudo cough-syrup zing of Raspberry that sticks in your mouth like an unwelcome visitor. They are both nasty, but I think peach is just a little bit worse as it is so overpowering in its nastiness, while raspberry sneaks-up on you more with the grossness.
Not pictured: how they all retched after drinking these.
I'm not sure if it's just me as I've seen some pretty positive reviews for these new flavors. I think these are absolutely wretched however and will stick with the flavors I know I love as opposed to these poor excuses for refreshments. I just hope someday we get a Coca-Cola mixed with orange juice as I already love manually making that and how good it tastes--it even has an official drink-name, going by the moniker of"Muddy Water." Eventually we'll get that, I hope.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Reminder: I Have a Patreon!

I just wanted to remind everyone I have a Patreon and should you love my blog so much you want to give me even a dollar a month that'd be awesome. I would use this money to help pay for hosting expenses for the blog, buying more stuff to review, and probably honestly blow some of it on snacks. I got a button working on my blog so that people can easily visit my Patreon and of course you can also just click this link if you want to learn more. There is no pressure to support my Patreon, of course, as I'll keep on doing this whether it makes me money or costs me money.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Today's ToyMan Show was Fantastic Yet Again!

I have now often written about the Toyman shows put on Chris, "Toyman," McQuillen. They continue to be amazing fun and always have awesome stuff to purchase. I was sure to come by again today bright and early (although Daylight Savings slowed me down). First I said hello to my chums at The Comic Grind bus outside the show before I headed in to do some buying! It may have been cold and the dreaded morning after we, "Spring Forward," and lose an hour of sleep, but the show was still packed with folk worth chatting with about toys and comics as well as awesome vendors such as the good folk at STL ComicsWayne Kent Comics, and Toys of Our Youth--all vendors I highly recommend buying from.

 I realized something today as well. While the Toyman shows often have guests, I don't usually discuss them--which is unfair to the ToyMan shows as they get some cool folk! For example at this show there were special guests such as artist and actor Tim Proctor as well as actor and former WCW Wrestler Bishop Stevens.
Tim Proctor and Bishop Stevens.
Both have been on shows such as, "The Walking Dead," and they were very friendly and eager to speak with attendees. They also were kind enough to pose for a photo together for the blog. In addition, I ran into a member of the professional cosplay group, Curvy Kitty Cosplay, who was super nice and excited to discuss cosplay! Toyman shows often get actors, comic-creators, cosplayers, and more, so I should really make sure I mention the guests too as I don't want to short-change all the awesome stuff at Toyman and just talk about the vendors--although as always there were plenty of superb vendors!

For my pick-ups at the show, I was able to acquire some assorted newer Ashcans for a variety of comics series at a good price as well as an old first-printing of, "Zap Comix #0," which is a fascinating piece of history for anyone interested in R. Crumb and underground comic-books. I also got some random dollar comics that caught my eye and I was going to buy a Funko Pop of Bullseye, the Target mascot, but I decided to browse a bit more first and by the time I walked back to the vendor it had been sold--yet more proof that the old saying is right how the time to buy something is when you see it!
Some ashcans and Zap Comix #0
Today at the Toyman Show I had a delightful time meeting guests, shopping, and just enjoying looking at all the assorted wares from comics, to Funko Pops, die-cast cars, dolls, and much, much more. The Toyman show is always a good time and I encourage everyone to come to one sometime! The next Toyman event will be on May 6th and you can visit the website here to learn more.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Gideon Falls #1 is Bewildering, Ominous, and Gorgeous

I read the new horror-themed Image title, "Gideon Falls," and found myself quite enjoying it. That shouldn't be a surprise as it is written by the talented Jeff Lemire and illustrated by the amazing Andrea Sorrentino. This creative team has of course worked together before, be it during a run on, "Green Arrow," for DC or the, "Old Man Logan," comic at Marvel. Sorrentino's art style is just abstract and stylish enough to really grab the reader's eye while not being overly garish or difficult to decipher. Meanwhile Lemire's writing always seems to be its best when he's allowed to tell a yarn at whatever pace he likes, with some (but not all) of his Marvel and DC work feeling rushed or incomplete but his pieces done for other publishers usually giving the sensation of being allowed to, "Breathe," a good deal. They make a good team, in other words.

In its first issue, "Gideon Falls," introduces us to two characters who don't yet know each other but their paths will surely cross sooner than later. Plenty of mysteries are introduced (what is this black barn?) and we get a nice sinister vibe throughout the whole issue. We have an old priest who has been called to town due to a death of the town's previous holy man, and things clearly aren't quite right. Also witnessed is a young man obsessed with gathering random garbage for an unclear reason when not reassuring his therapist he's perfectly fine. A few other characters pop-in but as a sudden and gruesome death at the end of the first issue makes clear, things are going to get bloody fast.
"Gideon Falls," has atmosphere to spare and sets a lot of groundwork for an intriguing story. It also is outright gorgeous. My only issue is that so many questions are raised I worry how long it will take to begin getting any answers. I'm excited to keep reading however and see where things go.
4.5 out of 5 stars.