Monday, January 17, 2022

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!


MLK's dream of equality isn't dead, but it has been through a lot these past years, especially. Our nation is horrifically divided, a bigot former President continues to be awful, the GOP acts like trying to pass voting rights bills is a terrible idea (which it is for them as if more people can legally vote then they'll lose). America is struggling a lot, and things can look quite awful at times, but there are those who continue to work to improve things against all the obstacles faced. We only can strive to make the World a better place and work our hardest to fight injustice.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Happy 74th Birthday, John Carpenter!

When you're making a list of the best directors of films one name that should always be on that list is John Carpenter. "Halloween," "The Thing," "Escape From New York," "They Live," and I'm even a fan of his, "Vampires," too. He has so many great movies he has made and he's skilled at producing music too. John Carpenter turns 74 years old today and I wanted to wish him a happy birthday! He's somewhat retired from making movies but has been playing video-games since the 1990s and still enjoys them--so that and still releasing music has been a focus of his lately it seems. Happy birthday, John!

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Oh Bleeding Cool, Bless Your Heart

Bleeding Cool is a comic news site that has at times broken major stories and some articles there are quite good, I will admit that. That said, the site has some of the most annoying ads you'll ever see on the internet and they at times go with the most insanely clickbait articles that you can only just sigh. Hence, I am proud to announce Bleeding Cool just made the hard-hitting expose of a piece titled "Did Harley Quinn #4 Feature First Appearance Of Poison Ivy's… Bush?" I've linked to the article if you really want to know, but the answer is obviously, "No." Also, they forget a, "The," in the headline. 

Clearly, there is some shading in the comic, it's not anything related to pubic hair (it is a shadow or some underwear). I enjoy cheesecake or erotic comics, I also enjoy comics that want to be taken seriously as deep and introspective works of art. However, when a comic has some innocent shading, it is just dumb to assume it is anything else. I'd tell Bleeding Cool, "Come on, you're better than this," but they actually aren't. They're little scamps for better or worse.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Kendrick Lamar's Next Project is a Comedy Movie

Kendrick Lamar is an amazing rapper with verses that offer political, social, and personal insights that astound while also being infinitely listenable. Matt Stone and Trey Parker are the duo behind, "South Park," and can be quite funny if often lacking in much subtly. They are all going to be working together with writer Vernon Chatman to craft a comedic movie. It sounds random, but why not? I'm not sure of the title this movie will have but the plot is summarized as such, "Past and present come to a head when a young Black man who is interning as a slave re-enactor at a living history museum discovers that his white girlfriend’s ancestors once owned his."

Okay, so that sounds incredibly weird and will probably be extremely over-the-top. I could see Lamar's razor wit mixed with the, "Give no F's," attitude of Stone and Parker possibly resulting in something solid. As they all work with the skilled Chatman to craft this flick it hopefully won't just be offensive for the sake of offense but make us think too. I could see this being a hot mess if Stone and Parker don't check their privilege, but the involvement of Lamar gives me a healthy dose of optimism this could work out into something thoughtful as well as funny.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Juni Ba's New Comic, "Monkey Meat," is a Surreal Trip

Creator Juni Ba gives us something very weird with, "Monkey Meat." A new comic being published by Image about an island owned by a company up to all kinds of nefarious activities, it is a bit of a satire of heartless corporations, a smidgen of an adventure comic, full of wild artwork, and a good time. The mysterious Monkey Meat Company with its redacted owner does more than sell cans of monkey meat, it seems interested in destroying anything that stands in its way of making a buck on anything from the aforementioned meats to human souls. 

Ba's artwork is amazing, with his loose and cartoony style giving a bit of pep to the admittedly depressing story of a big business doing what they do best--being evil. Apparently, every issue will be standalone to a degree, as this is a bit of a one-person anthology where every tale focuses on a different aspect of this Monkey Meat Company. The whole thing is bizarre. I quite liked it.

5 out of 5 stars. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Check Out the Classic Comic Collector on YouTube!

I've written about awesome YouTubers before such as my friend Alex the Comic Hoarder, and now I have another cool person to discuss. Scott AKA The Classic Comic Collector. He does all kinds of neat comic videos and I have been especially interested in his quest to go from a bunch of dollar bin books to an, "All-Star Comics," #8 via solely doing trades. He recently posted a video about his 4th/5th rounds of trading-up to hopefully eventually get his grail. It's neat to think he'll go from some dollar bins titles to something so big, and he's been doing pretty well so far. I actually just did a trade with him that he'll talk about in a future video when he discusses later rounds! I'd recommend giving Scott's videos a view and subscribing!

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Television Tuesday: The New, "Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer," is a Hot Mess and I'm Here for It

Ya'll remember, "Joe Millionaire," back in 2003 (if you were born then)? It had all these ladies vying for the love of a millionaire but the twist was that he lacked anywhere near that many digits in his bank account? It had a sequel season nobody cared about and then was put in the franchise graveyard. Well, you can't keep a (good?) idea dead, so now we have, "Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer." This time things are different, however. There are two men and the ladies competing for their love are informed one is worth more than 10 million while the other is not. We viewers know the guy with the cattle ranch is rich and the other guy who has a construction company just is financially stable (so it's not like one is flat-broke), but the ladies have to keep guessing and determine if they're after love, money, or maybe a bit of both. It's disgusting. I love it.

Let's start with the biggest flaw this season, the actual contestants. When you watch, "The Bachelor," or other shows there was always standout personalities who grab your attention from the beginning. The women on, "Joe Millionaire," are basically not young enough for, "Love Island," or interesting enough for, "The Bachelor." Some hint they might just be after money in a sly way, others seem genuinely sweet, but we lack any big, "Oh, I love her/oh she's a villain," participants. Frankly, the two guys are actually more interesting, and just watching them interact and be friendly bros is a highlight. Steven (the rich rancher) and Kurt (the less wealthy construction guy) are both quite funny, laid-back, pleasant, and handsome (Kurt may not be rich but I am comfortable enough with my sexuality to admit he is fine). The lack of much of a pulse from the females at first was concerning and I didn't know if I'd be into this show. Then the dates happened.

Kurt and Steven.

Oh man, the dates in the final third of the 2-hour premiere are what sealed the deal for me with liking this show. I wasn't sure if this version of, "Joe Millionaire," was trying to be a serious meditation on love versus money or a hilarious mess. It was failing at being the former but then it did a lovely job being the latter when the ladies were split into two groups--one that went hokny-tonk dancing at a bar and another assortment who attended a cotillion of sorts. Steven did the honky-tonk date and everyone had a fantastic time dancing, drinking, and then swimming in the pool back at the mansion. Meanwhile, Kurt headed the cotillion which dissolved into crying, screaming, and name-calling as the ladies seemed to be seeing who could get more sloppy drunk than the other. 

I realized what, "Joe Millionaire: For Richer or Poorer," wanted to be when it did a split-screen between one date being full of laughter and fun and the other having tears and screaming--it wants to be a hot mess, and God bless it for that. The basically-simultaneous exclamations of, "Best date ever!" and, "I hate it here!" were just a hoot and the melodramatic televised junk food my brain needs after a long day. It's on Thursdays on Fox. I'd recommend it based on how delightfully trashy it was when the first episode finally got into gear.

4 out of 5 stars for the first episode.

Monday, January 10, 2022

Take-Two Has Acquired Mobile Game Developer Zynga and I Have Questions

 

In news that will likely have large ramifications down the road, big ol' game company Take-Two has acquired the mobile game company Zynga. The deal is for 12.7 billion and is the biggest acquisition in video-game history. Take-Two is known for publishing everything from Grand Theft Auto games, to sports titles, "Borderlands," the upcoming, "Marvel's Midnight Suns," and more. Zynga is famous for the once hugely popular, "Farmville," as well as other titles and gambling games that they run outside the United States and which have made them a chunk of money in nations that allow those titles. I have some questions:

  • Does this show Take-Two has plans to expand into mobile gaming having mostly been involved in PC and console titles?
  • Will we see more attempts to sync-up console/PC games with mobile apps as was attempted before and kind of failed but could be worth another shot?
  • Will there be mobile spin-offs of popular games from Take-Two on phones now, like an iPhone/Andriod-exclusive, "Grand Theft Auto," title?

My guess for those three, in order, is: 100% yes, maybe, and who knows? Clearly, big PC and console gaming companies have ideas for mobile gaming, something that seems to wax and wane as a trend (mobile gamers often seem to be their own kind of gamer compared to consoles and PCs, but there is a degree of crossover). Right now money is merely exchanging hands, but before long I'm sure big moves will be made. Down the road, this could be looked at as something major that marked the beginning of a seismic shift in mobile gaming. That, or it could all fall flat on its face and seem like a huge waste of billions. The fun part is waiting and seeing!


Sunday, January 9, 2022

ToyMan's Debut Show of 2022 Was a Delight

I was able to briefly swing by ToyMan early in the show today and enjoyed seeing a lot of great vendors and creators. It was a superb event--as always--and I picked up some snazzy comics. There is a lot more than comics as you all know (toys, Funko, video-games, records, Lego, etc.) so if you come to a show you're bound to find something in your niche. As for what I did, I kicked off the show chatting with Spike of Lost in Space Toys and Collectibles before saying hello to my friend Tim Metzger--he had a bunch of cool comics, DVDs, and more. I chatted with John Chaffe from Bigfoot Comics and Collectibles, as he's always lovely to interact with. I cut a deal with Vince from VK Toys and had the pleasure of acquiring a, "Thunderbolts," comic from a past run I enjoyed, a polybagged, "X-Force," #1 and a sixth issue of, "Captain America," which is the first full appearance of Bucky as the Winter Soldier. Here's a pic:

Upstairs I saw my two friends Jessica Mathews and Jennifer Stolzer selling their awesome books and other snazzy wares. I also chatted with the folks behind Heroes for Kids of Perryville, Missouri about all the great work their nonprofit continues to do. I continued browsing around and also ran into my friend Eric of PJ Comics and Collectibles for whom this was his first ToyMan as a vendor! He had some awesome comics I acquired via some trading that you can see here:

The ToyMan show today was a hoot. I saw so many awesome vendors and friends, enjoyed checking out all the goodies, and got some awesome comics for myself. There is always just so much at ToyMan to see and I'd encourage you to go to the next show on March 13th to observe all the awesome stuff for yourself!

Saturday, January 8, 2022

"The Thing on the Doorstep Part One," Advance Review

I have enjoyed a number of titles from Blue Fox Publishing so when they asked me if I'd be interested in reviewing, "The Thing on the Doorstep Part One," I eagerly accepted the opportunity to post my thoughts. Having now read this first issue, I can say I quite enjoyed it and am intrigued to see what happens next.

The comic opens in the, "Present," as it were of 1933 with Daniel Upton shooting his (clearly former) friend, Edward Derby, who is currently in a mental institution. From there we jump back to the true start of the story as two adolescents become big friends even as one (Derby) seems to become increasingly off and fall in with a crowd interested in seemingly dangerous magical-type arts. A slow sense of horror creeps in throughout the comic with little moments of terrifying imagery keeping us readers on our toes and delightfully ill-at-ease. Simon Briks writes the tale and Willi Roberts does a fantastic job at illustrating it with Rob Jones lettering. They all make a fantastic team.

I found myself enjoying, "The Thing on the Doorstep Part One," very much and was drawn into its eerie World by the superb writing and art. I would recommend checking it out as the Kickstarter for it actually just started a smidgen ago and is already fully funded. You can add your support and get a copy to enjoy by following this link!

5 out of 5 stars.