Sunday, November 17, 2019

Superman Revealing His Identity Again Seems Like Such Lazy Writing

I am a fan of the comic writer known as Brian Michael Bendis. I am realistic tho, loving some of his work and admittedly thinking parts of it are not as good (his team-books oftentimes were lackluster compared to titles focused on a singular hero). Some time ago he went to work for DC Comics after years at Marvel and his big thing right now is having Superman reveal his identity as Clark Kent...which yes, happened like a couple years ago when Lois Lane spilled the beans.

This seems so lazy because as I said, it happened some years ago and nobody really cared, so why are we treading the same/really similar ground? I would argue the fact Clark Kent and Superman are the same person is the least interesting thing about both identities, the whole point is that Superman represents goodness and doing the best you can while Clark Kent is a way for Superman to live a normal and human by revealing they are the one person that erases the point of Clark Kent, arguably. Heck, having Clark Kent as an identity helps humanize Superman as well, keeping him grounded despite being so almighty--there is a big monologue in, "Kill Bill: Volume 2," about this actually:

Bendis does not seem to care about any of the reasons I and the late David Carradine list as the upcoming, "Superman," #18 will apparently have the big reveal (unless this is all some clever trick to hide a more wild twist, in which case that would be pretty impressive). I have not seen any excitement about this, just people shrugging and thinking this is a redundant idea from Bendis at best or, "Chasing headlines," at worst, as my friend Agent Poyo at Comics Heating Up describes it. Perhaps this will be a great story somehow, for now I'm not that enthusiastic.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

The Cortaca Jug Was Today and at MetLife Stadium!

The 61st annual Cortaca Jug occurred today. It is where the Division 3 Football teams of Cortland and Ithaca play against each other. It is a healthy little rivalry and each college takes turns hosting every year. One neat thing was Ithaca was the host but was able to get the game at the huge MetLife stadium where actual NFL games happen. The stadium was flooded with Red for Cortland and Blue for Ithaca as the teams played today. The college I attended (Cortland) lost, sadly, but it was still cool to have the whole thing occur where it did!

Friday, November 15, 2019

"Universilent" #1 and #2 Review

In a previous post where I discussed my time at the most recent Toyman show I mentioned having met and purchased comics from Kevin Kessler of Kazolf Comics. Titled, "Universilent," the series takes place in the far-future where sound has been erased from Earth and a number of the main characters are deaf. Mr. Kessler is himself deaf and came-up with this idea for his series of a World with no sound, "Just as Kevin's World is," as his comic's biographical-section discusses. I bought the first and second issue of, 'Universilent," and greatly enjoyed reading them.

The two issues focus on a squad from the future-version of Earth (now called Eyeth) as they inspect a possible danger on another planet. The second issue reveals this threat in full after hinting about its powers. Kessler illustrates the dialogue in the creative way of drawing the character's hand-gestures as they communicate via sign language which we then read as traditional comic speech bubbles. Kessler also creates a wide-range of cool-looking futuristic robots and aliens that are delightfully strange and imposing. Were I to have any criticism it is that there is a lot of text in the first issue as a bit of an, "Info-dump," to fill readers in on this future-Universe, but by the second issue with the background established the comic is able to focus on what it excels at--neat robots, strange aliens, and wild space-battling action.
"Universilent" is only two issues in so where exactly the plot may be heading is unclear, but I'm excited to see what happens next. I encourage you to visit the website for, 'Universilent," where you can buy the first two issues for yourself and check the series out--I know I'm eager for issue #3!
4.5 out of 5 stars (for both issues).

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Goodbye, Tom Spurgeon

For years I have loved reading Tom Spurgeon's website, The Comics Reporter. The man was a huge name in comic-related journalism, having been the editor of The Comics Journal for five years in the 1990's and doing The Comics Reporter for over 15 years. He had been health problems these past years and I just recently learned he has passed. Sometimes with the comic-books coming out that week he would put-up a post of the stuff that looked interesting...and now we won't have him to tell us about any future weeks or share his thoughts on comic conventions, note the birthdays of comic creators, or the like.

Sometimes Tom would have a fun theme for the weekend where he would ask people to contribute their thoughts about comics (like, "Name your five favorite close copies of Batman."), and I would sometimes email my thoughts for a segment if I had an opinion. He also would at times request people send him links to retrospectives written about shows or famous comic-creators who had passed and I'd do that too. Now I'm writing an obituary for Tom himself, and it feels so strange and just wrong to be doing so. There is a big hole left in the comic industry and journalism by Tom's passing, and although I did not know him super-closely I enjoyed our occasional email correspondence and checked his site daily. Goodbye, Tom, you will be missed.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Thoughts on Disney+ AKA the, "Puppy Dog Pals," Streaming-Service

There is a new streaming service called, "Disney+," which allows you to stream both seasons of my son's favorite show, "Puppy Dog Pals," for just $6.99 a month, commercial free. Considering how much space old episodes we recorded are taking-up on our DVR and that the DisneyNOW app has tons of ads, this is a great deal with the launch of Disney+ this week we eagerly subscribed. Apparently, this streaming-service includes other features beyond, "Puppy Dog Pals," as a nice bonus too, as I posted on Facebook to my friends/Tweeted to my countless (okay, 100-ish) followers.

I'm being silly, but one of the main reasons our house thought Disney+ sounded good was it included a lot of Disney Junior shows Clarkson loves, in addition to a number of classic-to-newer Disney films he will watch (Clarkson always is down to view, "Moana," for example). Plus, there is, "Star Wars," content and a chunk of Marvel movies that are not currently tied-up with other services for a bit longer. Also, it is just $6.99 which is a Hell of a deal considering how expensive all the other streaming services are becoming. Speaking of, "Other streaming services," it is not secret I am getting sick and tired of so many streaming platforms emerging, but yeah, Disney+ is pretty snazzy so far.
Clarkson's favorite show besides, "Wheel of Fortune," or, "The Price is Right."
Yep, cartoons and game shows are his jam.
We've watched some of Clarkson's shows plus, there is, "The Simpsons," which is fun to check-out old episodes of, and the original content like, "The Mandalorian," which is based in the Star Wars-Universe is apparently off to a good start as a weekly-updated show (I have not watched it yet). Plus, in the future Disney+ will have my, "Moon Knight," show, so I was going to have to get it at some point no matter what for that. There is by no means as much content as some other streaming services, but what is there is mostly killer with no filler. Even the, "Filler," is stuff I like, such as those old hokey Disney Channel movies I watched as a kid--"Mom's Dating a Vampire," and, "Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century,"--or the direct-to-VHS sequels Disney did for some years (anybody up for, "Aladdin and the King of Thieves," to kill an hour?), so it is all pretty snazzy stuff.

With everyone using Disney+ it has had some technical hiccups, and we've seen those too having tried it out. Shows and movies suddenly having the screen freeze while audio continues, the whole program slowing to a near-freeze and then speeding-up really fast. It is a little annoying but not system-breaking glitches. The program itself is easy to navigate and will feel familiar to anyone who has used Netflix/Hulu/whatever. Disney+ is still clearly really, really new and will need some time to add more content, but as it stands now it is pretty snazzy. Plus again, that is a great price (there is a combo version that has Hulu and ESPN stuff as well, should want to explore that). Disney+ is not perfect, but it is pretty cool and it has, "Puppy Dog Pals," which is basically worth the price alone.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Two Rumors I've Heard Enough to Maybe Believe about the Marvel Cinematic Universe

In February of 2018 I shared three rumors relating to Marvel/Disney. The one about plans to make a, "Blade," movie turned out to be extremely true, as I was proud to brag about when his flick was announced as in-the-works during July of 2019. Well, of those three rumors I also mentioned there was some possible planning to utilize Ghost Rider in a big way, but it was unclear if it would be the Robbie Reyes version that drove a car or a more old-school iteration like Johnny Blaze or Danny Ketch. Then a planned Hulu show with a Robbie Reyes-styled Ghost Rider was canceled and it is all seeming to fall into place. You see, I've been hearing some chatter from people (who won't be named) that tend to steer me in the right direction about stuff so there is a rumor I'm starting to believe and another rumor that grows out of it.

The first rumor is to possibly expect to see Ghost Rider in the, "Blade," movie in some way, shape, or form. I don't know if we are talking just Johnny Blaze (maybe Ketch) before he become the Ghost Rider, a brief appearance of the well-known flaming skull in the after-the-credits stinger, or what, but Marvel/Disney has plans for Ghost Rider in the MCU and he'll be popping-up in a Blade-related film, supposedly.

This leads to the next rumor I've heard that makes some sense but seems a bit more shaky. Basically, you may recall people were mumbling about a, "Dark Avengers," team, but thought it would be something like the comics with Norman Osborn. What if I told you this, "Dark Avengers," is actually just a more commercial-name for the Midnight Sons AKA Marvel's team of supernatural heroes? The thing is some of the better-known Midnight Sons have complex copyright concerns (Morbius has his film rights over at Sony), so if a supernatural team were being built why not just call it the Dark Avengers?

This could all turn out to be smoke being blown up my tuckus or it could end-up I'm right on the money. As it is, I am pretty ready to believe the first rumor I've heard and kinda see the logic behind the second, but think that is less credible and more a case of the people I've talked to stretching the limits of what they actually know versus giving me solid scuttlebutt.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Happy Veterans' Day!

Veterans' Day is every year on November 11th. With that in mind I just wanted to thank all the Veteran's who helped keep our country safe and those currently serving as well! I have a number of friends and relatives who have served (or are serving) in the armed forces and they all deserve to be honored and thanked. While there is a lot to unwrap politically in regards to the those in power who control the military and sometimes misuse it horribly (a number of Presidents have gotten us embroiled in pointless conflicts), we always honor and support the troops who serve our country.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

I Feel a Mixture of Joy (For the Show) and Dread (Due to Some of the Fanbase) as, "Rick and Morty," Returns for Season 4

It has been a good year-and-a-half since there has been a new episode of the television show, "Rick and Morty." Tonight it returns to Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming block at 11:30 PM Eastern, 10:30 PM Central. This new season will be 10 episodes and it is going to start-off with five straight weeks (I think) of the show and then there will be a break before the season finishes-out its second half in early 2020 or so, I imagine, with the show returning after the winter holidays. I am both excited and honestly dreading this a bit because while I personally love the show, it has a fan-base that can be pretty toxic.

Don't get me wrong, I have met some wonderful men and women via my love of, "Rick and Morty," who have as big a fondness for the show as me while also not totally misinterpreting the show as if Rick is someone to look up to as opposed to pity. I know lots of folk who love this show and don't threaten to throw a riot if a loosely-tied-in-to-the-show dipping sauce happens to run-out at McDonald's restaurants. Sadly, however, the internet and everyday life is full of people who are unpleasant and either act like they are the only people who, "Get it," in regards to the show or who otherwise are just big jerks towards everyone else because some fandoms just can sadly develop a nasty-but-loud contingent who try their hardest to poison the entire fandom with their venom (look at the newer, "Star Wars," movies for a good example of this).

I really do love, "Rick and Morty," and am eager to watch it. I just am not that pumped to witness some people insult and otherwise be mean towards others because they think they get to be gatekeepers of the fandom for, "Rick and Morty." The show's creators have outright disowned the haters, so hopefully they'll just shut-up and let the 99% of people who are kind and pleasant enjoy our time sitting down and going on some weird and often-dangerous adventures with Rick, Morty, and the rest of the family. Yes, even the eternal loser, Jerry.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

It is 2019 and Chicken Sandwiches Are Political

It is the year 2019, and chicken sandwiches are political. People who enjoy Popeye's chicken sandwich find it loaded with complex socio-political discussions about how some are engaging in Black shaming with it, saying racist things about Black people liking the sandwich and that they, "Should line-up to vote," which is hurtful and stupid because nobody said all the white folk lining-up for Pumpkin Spice Lattes needed to do the same thing--so yeah, some racism in there. Plus, liking fried chicken has never been a race thing.

White people love fried chicken, Black people love fried chicken, Asians love fried chicken, vegetarians love fried chicken so much there are vegetarians who make exceptions for eating chicken because it tastes so great. So yes, all races and demographics love fried chicken, making it a weird race thing is stupid when we should all join greasy-hands across the World regardless of race, belief-system, gender, etc. and sing the praises of fried chicken. Oh, but wait, belief systems are important for fried chicken too? Yep.
Back with a whole lot of debate...
That's right, apparently now if you're more liberal and progressive you should eat at Popeye's if you desire a chicken sandwich because Chick-Fil-A and their chicken sandwiches have a political and religious history that is...troublesome at best. There has always been a social, religious, and political element to food (from stereotypes of certain cultures eating certain things to religious objections to some kinds of foods), but in 2019 subtlety is dead and we're just now outright screaming at each other about chicken sandwiches being racist, being homophobic, and thinking the act of driving-through a particular establishment is making a huge statement...which it kind of is, I guess? It seems the only thing everyone can agree on is that the Spicy BBQ Chicken Sandwich from McDonald's is utterly forgettable, so I guess we've got some unity on one thing.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Happy Birthday to My Wonderful Wife!

Today was the birthday of my amazing wife, Samii. She is the love of my life and just plain awesome. She is loving, caring, and puts up with my never-ending jokes full of terrible puns. She is a fantastic Mother and all-around stupendous human being. I was honored to spend another of her birthdays with her. She's the best!

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

"Letters from Midia," is a Stellar Read!

I was on Reddit looking at the comic-related posts as I enjoy doing and indie comic-creator Boluwatife Oriowo was discussing a new comic he'd published, "Letters from Midia." Available on Amazon as a paperback or for reading on a Kindle, it follows the story of a mysterious knight trying to track-down his love, a young princess named Midia who has been kidnapped by some cruel folk who plan to use a mysterious black ichor on her to create a weapon (they want to take over the Kingdom, as villains tend to desire). A theme emerges as the knight keeps fighting new challenges in the hopes of getting closer, only to find yet another letter...and another letter...just letter after letter. There is a really cool part in the book that helps illustrate just how many letters there are and has us wondering if Midia will ever possibly be rescued. I won't spoil the ending, but I found it very satisfying and bittersweet.

Oriowo's artwork is fantastic, with it masterfully illustrating the range of fights the knight faces. Whether he's combating ogres, dueling mid-air with half-human half-bird alchemists, or jumping-around a stone giant in the hopes of finding a weak-spot, it all is kinetic and gorgeous. Between the great story and how wonderful the books looks I really enjoyed, "Letters from Midia," and appreciate that Oriowo was willing to send me a free digital copy for the purposes of review when I messaged him about my interest in the book. I rate it a stellar 5 out of 5 stars. You can buy a copy of, "Letters from Midia," for yourself on Amazon, and you can also see more of Oriowo's stuff by visiting his Tumblr page or dropping-by his Twitter.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Television Tuesday: Stop Torturing Your Kids With Cruel Halloween Candy, "Pranks," In the Hope You Get on T.V.

Normally the idea of a parent doing a cruel prank on their own children that results in the kids screaming and crying sounds like borderline child-abuse to anyone with common sense. However, when the host of a late-night comedy show asks people to lie to their kids about eating all of their Halloween candy--and then send-in a video of the kids having a meltdown so he can air it at the start of November--that's just apparently peachy-keen. People must be cool with its because this is the ninth year of this dumb shit being all the craze.

Doing this, "Prank," is cruel to kids who worked hard to get that candy so some grown adults who should know better can laugh at a child's expense. Don't purposely make your children cry or throw a fit for an idiotic, "Prank," in the hopes you'll be able to further embarrass your kids on television should their rage/tears make it on Kimmel's show. It is an awful way to kick-off November, a month with a holiday about treasuring family/friends and treating them well. This is just mean, pure and simple.

Monday, November 4, 2019

I Had A Stellar Time at the November 2019 Toyman Show

By this point if you've been reading my blog much you'll know I am a huge fan of the Toyman Shows that happen multiple times a year (sometimes they fall monthly, sometimes every two months). Anytime I go to a show I bring stuff to trade or sell to my favorite vendors and I end-up with some awesome items of my own to take-home and treasure. This show was no different than any other in that it was jam-packed with amazing vendors, stellar creative guests, and was otherwise a splendid show. As I enjoy talking about all the people I saw and stuff I got I shall now discuss how much of a ball I had...

I started the show as I generally do, on the first floor where I walk around to all the numerous vendor tables and see what amazing goodies I can find. I saw the cool folk of Bigfoot Comics and Collectibles who were more than happy to cut a deal with me for some of my comics. I also saw Eric of STL Comics who has the Geeky Extravaganza coming up November 9th (which is sure to be awesome fun as well)! I was able to trade him some of my knick-knacks and comics for a cool old Atari cartridge of Pac-Man that I thought would make a good decoration on my bookshelf, perhaps. I also picked-up a cool old comic of, "The Flash," from a random table that just looked like a good issue. Observe:
As I continued exploring all the great wares on the the first floor I saw my friend Spike of Lost in Space Toys and Collectibles who had some impressive items this show. He had some incredible vintage, "Star Wars," stuff I imagine sold pretty quickly. As I looked around on the first floor I also was able to trade some of my older comics for a really cool, "Mickey Mouse Club Scrapbook," which is full of old Disney-related songs and pictures of retro Disney gear and clothing. I am always intrigued by old collectibles and this book is full of images of them! Check it out:
Before I went upstairs to the ,"Artists' Attic," I said hello to my friend, Steven, who sells a lot of toys. Last show when I saw him we talked about postcards and how he had an assortment. He was willing to trade a big collection of movie-themed postcards he had for some of my Funko Pops. I was excited to do this as I like sending my friends and family postcards, so having these cool ones celebrating famous movies is really neat and will allow me to send some snazzy postcards to my loved ones. Anyways, I went upstairs and one of the first folk I ran into was Jessica Mathews who had just released her latest cool children's book, "The Lazy Vampire." I eagerly bought a copy to read to my son! Here is a picture of the copy I bought:
The book's illustrator and talented artist Jennifer Stolzer was there too and always a pleasure to chat with! I next ran into my chum J.E. Nelson whom has her next book soon-to-release for her, "The Power Within," series that follows the story of a young girl with autism in a post-apocalypse. I asked her to keep me informed when the book is out and she said she would! I proceeded to walk around Artists' Attic and saw friend of the blog, Leigh Savage. We talked about the number of shows she had been at selling her erotica novels and spoke about some upcoming releases that collect her, "Quickie," short-stories into a big anthology book once she completes a couple more tales--it sounds like she'll be having a busy November of writing and I look forward to her upcoming books!
Leigh's author logo.
I also saw the always-awesome David Gorden who spoke with me about how his, "Inktober," had been crazy as he made a new drawing (pencils and inks) every day for the 31 in October. We discussed how he planned to release it as a collection sometime soon and I told him that sounded like it would be a fantastic book! In addition, my buddy Lorenzo Lizana was at the show where he was hard at work on a number of gorgeous commissions. One he had done for a client of Wonder Woman was phenomenal. I would've asked to take a picture, but generally it is rude to snap a pic of a commission someone else has paid for, I feel, so I did not request to do so. I ran into my friend Lonnie Johnson who was selling items to raise funds for the non-profit, Heroes for Kids. Heroes for Kids always does great things for the community and I'd encourage everyone to read-up on it!
A great group!
I also had the chance to meet famous sculptor/artist/super-creative guy Randy Bowen, who was a treat to speak with! Before heading downstairs I also met for the first time Kevin Kessler of Kazolf Comics, who had two copies of his comic, "Universilent," of which he is the writer and artist. The comic sounded really cool as it is set in a Sci-Fi Universe where a number of the characters are deaf and sound is nonexistent. Kevin was inspired to create the comic as he is deaf. I bought a copy of each issue and he told me he'd love for me to read them and review them on my website sometime, which I plan to do! Here are the two issues I purchased:
This Toyman show had an incredible array of vendors, a number of fantastic creators, and was just as much fun as I always expect--and I expect a lot of fun! I would encourage anyone who is able to attend the next Toyman Show on December 8th. Parking is free and it only costs $5 to get in, with anybody 16 years-old or younger free (there is early-bird admission at 8AM for $12 as well if you are the type to wake-up early). I just want to thank the man in charge, Chris McQuillen for without fail putting-on such great shows. I was literally just at Toyman yesterday and now I'm already counting-down for December 8th, that is how great a time I always have!

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Daylight Saving Time Ends Tomorrow

Tomorrow at 2AM Daylight Saving Time shall conclude. This means we all get an extra hour of sleep because we, "Fall back." even if its at the expense of throwing everyone within America (in States that do it) way off. Seriously, now it'll be darker a lot earlier and once Spring arrives we lose the hour anyway. Yeah, I'm not a big fan of DST and plenty of studies have proven it is a bad idea, but it seems to be going nowhere anytime soon, so let's just enjoy the bit of extra sleep for now, consequences be damned!

Friday, November 1, 2019

Reviews of, "Death Stranding," Make it Sound Weird and Interesting, Maybe Good

Hey, ya'll know that, "Death Stranding," game that's been getting a chunk of hype? Well, the reviews are starting to be posted and it is apparently really weird and interesting, maybe good. Some reviews are glowing, some are vaguely intrigued, some find the whole thing humdrum even if it looks really good and has some-off-the-wall ideas because at the end of day the game is mainly a bunch of walking around for fetch-quests (with big fancy cut-scenes thrown in too). Hideo Kojima founded his own studio, hired a bunch of people, got some famous friends, and made his game. Whether it becomes a huge hit or ends up falling-flat on its face will be seen when it is released November 8th, 2019.

"Death Stranding," is clearly good-looking, very odd, and has whole lot of ideas. We shall see if it is also fun or a success. I know I at least want to give it a try on my PS4 at some point, if for no other reason than I enjoy zany stuff, generally.