Thursday, February 2, 2023

"Tim Seeley's Lucky," is a Fun Combination of Horror and Heroics

"Tim Seeley's Lucky," features the writing of Tim Seeley and art by Troy Dongarra & Billy Parker. As I am a fan of much of what Tim Seeley has crafted I was curious about his superhero, "Lucky." Having read this one-shot that leads into a series this Summer, I found myself quite entertained! "Lucky," is the superhero moniker of a  young woman who was a part of the Superbeasts before they disbanded. They all lived in a World full of horror-styled creatures and were themselves monsters mixed with heroes (like a Shazam-styled Dracula). 

There actually is a free link/QR code in the back of the issue to a, "Superbeasts," comic that appeared in another collection but now can be read on the web to get some further background on this series if readers desire. I followed this issue of, "Tim Seeley's Lucky" before I ever read the prequel and understood everything fine, however. Dongarra and Parker give everything a cartoony and fun look full of pep, creating a zany contrast to the more monstrous designs. It works really well. Seeley's writing of Lucky, a now-retired hero reduced to food delivery, balances humor and humanity with ease. Seeley's a fantastic writer and his horror-inspired hero is good fun as she finds herself drawn back into crime-fighting over this issue.

I really enjoyed, "Tim Seeley's Lucky," and would encourage anyone who likes off-kilter tales of superheroes as opposed to more mainstream yarns to check this issue out. I look forward to the upcoming mini-series this Summer!

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

James Gunn and Peter Safran Announced Their Plans for DC's Film and Television/Streaming

James Gunn and Peter Safran were hired to basically scrap the majority of what the DC film and television division was doing and rebuild it from scratch. They are doing so, with only a few, "Elseworlds,"-style projects happening still and everything else to be a part of a new continuity that mostly ignores all the previous films and the ones still coming out soon and wrapping up what DC has done so far. A big announcement yesterday occurred laying it all out. Let's discuss it.  

Tentatively titled as, "Chapter One: Gods and Monsters," the upcoming slate of movies and shows will include a Superman flick, a horror-styled Swamp Thing, the Authority, a streaming show with Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, Booster Gold show, Batman with his son Damian, Supergirl, Creature Commandos (an animated project) a Green Lantern series, and I think I'm named everything. A lot was announced. Oh, I forgot a Wonder Woman show about her home, Themyscira, because it was said to be like, "Game of Thrones." I've always had zero interest in GoT or stuff inspired by it--this could very well be good though, my eyes just glaze over when someone says anything is like GoT.

Gunn and Safran will keep some previous actors and their characters, but a ton of stuff is getting tossed aside, and some fans think it is for the best and others are screaming on Twitter about their precious, "Snyderverse," being decimated. I honestly was indifferent to much of what DC was putting out (besides Gunn's take on the, "Suicide Squad,"), finding all that stuff fine but not amazing. With this new material I am intrigued in a Swamp Thing flick that is scary and The Authority could be cool--plus Viola Davis is awesome so more Amanda Waller is snazzy. Otherwise, I'm not exactly pumped about what's coming, but do enjoy much of Gunn's work so I'd imagine the more he is involved in a project the more I'll want to check it out. A lot of this stuff is a ways off so as these projects actually come to fruition it'll be a lot more apparent if we're in a new golden age of great DC films and shows, or if Gunn's new start turns out to be a false start. I'm thinking/hoping it will all be cool tho. At least, as long as WB's management isn't going to meddle too much, lest something else get the, "Batgirl," treatment.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Television Tuesday: All These Reboots/Retools and My Favorite Cancelled Show Remains Ignored. Bring Back, "The Mick," You Cowards!

We are in an era where shows are getting rebooted/restarted at a dizzying pace. Some of these shows are great and some are getting really bad reviews. We've got older shows in the form of, "Night Court," somewhat recent programs like, "That 90's Show," retooling of the 70's iteration, and there is, "Velma," which is a really different take on, "Scooby-Doo," without Scooby-Doo (reception to it has been mixed). All of those just came out in January with plenty of rebooted/retooled shows happening in 2022 and even more on the way for 2023. "Frasier," is coming back, there is going to be a, "Zoey 102," and I just sit here enraged one show that ended up canceled is sitting ignored. Bring back, "The Mick," you cowards!

I just don't get it. We've got ,"Bel-Air," "Fraggle Rock," Karate Kid movies became a beloved series with, "Cobra Kai," not to mention, "Sex and City," which returned with new seasons after some flicks. "Quantum Leap," got a reboot, "Proud Family," came back, and "The Mick" just gathers dust. I loved it from the start and throughout its two amazingly dark and hilarious seasons. Kaitlin Olson's take on the titular character was a hoot and the supporting cast cracked me up as well. Mick was a sleazy troublemaker put in charge of raising some rich relatives after her sister fled a Federal indictment, but things just got stranger and weirder throughout the show. I miss it hope with basically all the shows these days coming back it will eventually get its time in the sun again.

Monday, January 30, 2023

I'm Outright Worried About IDW

Back in 2019, I was, "A tad concerned," for IDW. Then I was, "Quite concerned," in 2020. They've had issues since then and with the financial data about their 2022 now coming to light in early 2023, I'm just outright worried. IDW posted big losses with its publishing department struggling and having a bigger loss in 2022 than 2021, it is troubling. The entertainment division was a saving grace, posting revenues, but not enough to offset a general loss for the entire company..albeit less of a loss than 2021, so yah? 

The quote that sticks with in the article about their losses is, "While the company had around $10 million in cash at the end of the period, in its annual report the company said it may need to raise another $7-$10 million to fund losses over the next couple of years." I mean, what happens if they don't raise the money to fund losses? It is disquieting. Between AfterShock and their bankruptcy as well as Heavy Metal (we have no clue still what's going on there) there is a lot going on in comics. I'm sure there will be more as all this develops.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

The First ToyMan of 2023 Was a Load of Fun!

Readers of my blog may recall I missed the last ToyMan Show due to being sick for more than half of December with various ailments (I dealt at various points with flu-type stuff, food poisoning, sinus stuff, and otherwise being miserable). Well, thankfully I am currently in good health and could attend the ToyMan show today. It was a great time and I'm so happy I went there!

This Toyman kicked off with me talking to my good friend Spike of Lost in Space Toys and Collectibles. He had his usual assortment of awesome toys for sale. I also saw Jack Thomas of Fortress Comics at this show, he said how he was excited to be at ToyMan! Jack had a ton of awesome stuff and I picked up a number of things from him as a bundle deal, including a, "Shanna the She-Devil," #1--a funny one to pick up as I have a friend with a similar name who loves the character too so they'll get a kick out of seeing I got a copy. Here's a picture:

I chatted with my chum Tim Metzger and enjoyed seeing John Chaffee of Bigfoot Comics and Collectibles too! Next, I admired some very cool comics that Tom of Alliance Comics, Toys, and Games had brought. Toys of our Youth was at the show and had tons of great items for sale. I also had a chance to chat with Larry of Bug's Comics and Games. He had the usual assortment of incredible vintage comics and more modern stuff available too (I always gasp at some of the Silver Age keys he has for sale).

Next, I saw my good friend Brian Lan who always is kind enough to, "Like" my Facebook posts sharing my blog articles. I then had a chance to chat with Vince from VK Toys. He had a bunch of stellar comics and I was able to acquire an issue of, "Avengers," featuring the first appearance of Count Nefaria. Here is a picture of that:

The upstairs area was where headed after catching up with everyone in the downstairs region. I saw my friend, author Jessica Mathews. She has a new book coming out soon featuring a Lepruchan that I can't wait to get for Clarkson! She also had her friend Jocelyn sitting by her at the neighboring table, who had written a book of poetry! Titled, "This is a Closed Book," it is about mental health and personal growth from trauma. 

I saw the always-awesome Lindsay Hornsby of Mega Giganto selling her superb prints, comics, stickers, and more. Author Debbie Manbe Kupfer was at ToyMan too and I had the pleasure of meeting her for the first time. She had a great assortment of books and I purchased, "Adana the Earth Dragon," for Clarkson to enjoy reading with us. Check out this picture of the book:

The first ToyMan show of 2023 was so much fun. I got some really cool stuff and enjoyed seeing all the awesome people who frequent the event! I would encourage you to attend the next show on March 12th, which you can find details about on the ToyMan website. If you love comics, toys, Funko, diecast cards, Legos, vintage video games, or basically anything folks like to collect, you'll probably find it at ToyMan!

Saturday, January 28, 2023

I Tried that New Starry Soda--A Review

Pepsico announced it was getting rid of Sierra Mist and in its place, we'd be getting something called, "Starry." Reactions to this news were mixed. Some folks really like Sierra Mist and others were totally indifferent to the drink that Pepsi basically created in an attempt to compete with Sprite. Starry has been hitting store shelves and I've tried it. It's fine.

Starry tastes more like Sprite than Sierra Mist did, so if that was the Pepsi Corporation's whole point of doing this, then congrats to them. It has that crisp almost, "Spicy," kick that Sprite has, but otherwise is not special in any way. It just tastes a lot like Sprite. Now, I wasn't overly connected to Sierra Mist as I've always preferred Sprite, but settled for Sierra Mist when necessary. Now, I'll basically prefer Sprite and settle for Starry when the situation calls for it. I'm apparently an old Millenial, however, and this drink is targeted squarely at those Gen-Z kids who refuse to get off my lawn. Perhaps they'll dig it, but I'm indifferent.

3 out of 5 stars.

Friday, January 27, 2023

Flashback Friday: "Simcity 4," Was the Best City-Building Game Ever

I had a post up earlier this month remarking with surprise how Trogdor turned 20 this year. Well, color me even more shocked that one of the best city-building games ever, "Simcity 4," is also two decades old this month. The, "Rush Hour," expansion is what truly made the game a masterpiece (which admittedly didn't come out until September of 2003) and I poured hours upon hours into crafting the, "Perfect," city.

I'd zone sprawling metropolises with all kinds of busy city centers and quieter suburbs along with intricate public transit designs, plenty of safety services, good schools, and quality healthcare buildings. Then I'd be over budget and have to go back to the drawing board so I didn't go bankrupt trying to keep my citizens happy whilst also maybe adding a tollbooth on a busy highway in the hopes that'd give me a boost to my finances (and not throw off the flow of traffic too dramatically). "Simcity 4," is one of my favorite games ever and still going strong thanks to a dedicated fanbase and modding community. If I can locate my old CD-ROM of it sometime perhaps I should install it, boot the game up, and see if I can manage to have a public library and fire station without going into the red.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

We All Should've Hoarded our DVDs and Blu-Ray Discs

Torie Bosch put up an article on Slate about how when she purged a bunch of stuff back in 2021 her husband, Chris, insisted on keeping all DVDs and Blu-Ray Discs. Chris talked about what people would do if streaming went away or something disappeared from a streaming service. The idea perhaps once seemed silly, but these days with HBO MAX cutting a ton of content, shows jumping from one streamer to another, and so forth...well, maybe we should've kept all those discs.

I'll admit to having eyeballed all my DVDs and Blu-Rays in the past and unloading a chunk for a little cash or store credit at shops that bought movie and television discs. Those stores then laughed all the way to the bank as folks ran back to re-purchase those discs when their favorite show disappeared from the internet. Now, some DVD and Blu-Ray sets go for insane amounts on sites like eBay because you simply can't (legally) stream something online you used to be able to easily click on and watch. It just goes to show, always keep a saved file of something on your computer or a physical disc you own/burned. We obviously can't trust Netflix/Hulu/Disney/etc. to keep our beloved programs safe.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

M&M's Announces They're Putting the Candy on an, "Indefinite," Hiatus in an Obvious Marketing Stunt

M&M's put out a social media announcing how they never expected the little tweaks they kept making to their candies would cause controversy (wink), and therefore will be discontinuing using candy mascots and have Maya Rudolph represent the brand instead. First off, I like Maya Rudolph so I have zero beef with her over this. To Mars Wrigley, the owner of the M&M's brand, I simply say, "Really? We're going to be this silly?"

Mars Wrigley knows what it is doing. They gave the green M&M sneakers and certain people freaked out over a piece of candy looking less sexy. It was absurd. Then they did a bag with only the, "Girl," M&M's represented (green, brown, and now there's a yellow candy too). A bunch of people protested it as being some kind of political move to appear, "Woke," while M&M's laughed all the way to the bank about the free controversy. Suddenly, M&M's is super worried about looking controversial so they will stop using spokes candy and have Maya Rudolph represent the brand, like in a big Super Bowl commercial. Surely that commercial won't reveal this was all a marketing stunt (like the death and rebirth of Mr. Peanut if folks recall that fiasco).

A bunch of news websites seem to be reporting this as if it's an actual straight-faced story. Thankfully, some folks see this as the trickery it most likely is. Perhaps I'm cynical and M&M's really doesn't want to cause controversy anymore, but I'm thinking this is all a crafty ploy to get more press for the brand and do a zany Super Bowl ad. Should I be wrong, I'll gladly admit it...but I'm probably right. As James Dator observes, "This is so transparently laying the groundwork for their Super Bowl commercial it defies belief." Well said, and yet folks believe it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Television Tuesday: "Paul T. Goldman," is the Weirdest Show Ever, and Extremely Entertaining

Is Paul T. Goldman a regular guy who found himself wrapped up in crazy events that forced him to adapt and go from a, "Wimp to a warrior?" Is Paul T. Goldman a genius villain capable of twisting reality to suit his version of a story? Could Paul T. Goldman be the victim who is doing his best against all odds or is he the mastermind playing chess while we think it's a game of checkers? My answer to all of these questions is simply: "Yes." Having completed all six episodes of "Paul T. Goldman," on Peacock, I can only say this is the most bizarre piece of television I have ever seen and was captivating.

What starts out as a bit of a true-crime documentary directed by Jason Woliner over nearly 10 years morphs into a bizarre and attention-grabbing masterpiece with all the thanks/blame falling squarely on our protagonist/unreliable narrator and star of the show, Paul. To explain everything about this program would ruin much of the enjoyment viewers will get as the puzzle unties and unveils itself, so I'll stick to the basic overview. A number of years ago, Paul divorced his second wife when it became apparent she was cheating on him--and possibly also a sex worker with a whole enterprise of employees. Paul actually appeared on the news discussing this and wrote a book about everything that happened which he self-published on Amazon to decent reviews. It sounds cut-and-dry, but things get weirder as the six episodes unfold.

The show features interviews with Paul and others plus includes many dramatic recreations of scenes from Paul's book. Everyone in these scenes is an actor, except Paul. Paul plays himself even while some actually notable thespians appear alongside him. You've got talented folks playing all this perfectly straight and serious while Paul is an amateur thespian at best struggling not to grin during dramatic moments or otherwise, "Break." With every episode, it becomes more and more apparent that Paul's, "99% true, well 97% true," story has a lot of holes in it and we're just along for the ride with Jason Woliner as attempts are made to figure out what's a fact, what's actually fiction, and just how deep this rabbit-hole of madness goes.

Paul T. Goldman himself seems like someone's fever dream of a sketch-comedy character come to life. He has a bug-eyed energy that seems both exhausting and endearing. Every sentence is yelled with enthusiasm and often punctuated with an odd laugh or giggle--even when it ruins the moment. Paul clearly can't act and is sincere to a level that's alarmingly naive--unless he's the best actor ever and playing all of us for fools, either scenario is quite possible. After you sit through the entirety of, "Paul T. Goldman," you'll have a clearer picture of what happened in Paul's life, but whether we're supposed to loudly cheer for his success or boo and hiss at the mere mention of his name is up for debate. 

I still don't know exactly who Paul T. Goldman is, but I know what this show about him is--extremely engaging and entertaining. I rarely tell people to subscribe to a streaming service for a single show, but you've got to at least try and get a trial subscription or do the ad-supported version of Peacock if for no other reason than to watch, "Paul T. Goldman." It is that astonishing and bewildering, kind of like Paul.

5 out of 5 stars.