Sunday, November 25, 2012

I Trust Everyone Had A Good Thanksgiving Holiday?

Whether you celebrated Thanksgiving with family and food, or marked it as a national day of mourning, I hope your Thanksgiving weekend was successful. When I say, "successful," I mean in the sense that you had lots of good food, relaxed, and possibly bought a ton of stuff for cheap on Black Friday. I did all of that, with the comics I got inexpensively along with movies and games surely being great enough in number to keep me busy until the next Black Friday (theoretically).

Between being sick or busy it has been a bit harder to keep up with the blog. I know you still see my regular contributions at Nine Panel, however, so as to not go through withdrawal (from my lack of ramblings). As winter approaches I hope to have more free time and just gorge myself on comics whilst writing a bunch of reviews of them and whatever other media I consume. So yeah, you have that to possibly look forward to if nothing else.

Friday, November 16, 2012

What's Up With The Hating on "Female Geeks"?

If you spend any amount of time on the internet you probably by now have seen a lot of talk about geek girls and how they somehow are faking being geeks or something. Things came to a head when Tony Harris decided to, "speak out," against these evil women. Predictably, the internet utterly blew up.

Because I want to save you going to hundreds of news stories, I shall present one that I think sums everything up quite well, the always-hilarious Comics of the Weak by Tucker Stone and friends on TCJ's website (scroll down for the bit on Tony Harris and geek-girls).

Sooooo, I don't know. Why are so many males threatened by the idea of a woman who is attractive and might also like geeky things too? I myself would love to have geeks of all races, colors, genders, and sexual orientations feel like they are welcomed under the "geek" umbrella. I just really find it odd people who talk about being hated-on for being different or weird get upset at someone else coming along and expressing an interest in their hobbies. Is it a thing of wanting to be different and weird, and with mainstream society accepting your hobby that isn't possible anymore? You want to be able to play a victim with other folk talking about how society doesn't understand your love of Spider-Man comics? Well guess what, it isn't embarrassing to read comics in public anymore so get over yourself and celebrate that super-heroes are cool now.

What I wish is that Tony Harris hadn't said such stupid stuff. I also want people to not think of geek-ery as an exclusive club but something all can join, and we need to not be jackasses.

It's not like people are actually going to act like human beings toward each other though, this is a community that sends threatening messages to reviewers when they don't like the new Avenger's movie, after-all. We need to be better.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Why The Presidential Election Turned Out The Way It Did (According To Me, A Random Person On The Internet)

The Election In Retrospect
I've got an addiction. With the usual contents of this blog you may think that addiction is comic-books but it isn't (okay, maybe that is one of my addictions). No, I have an addiction to politics and policy. I love me some news, analysts guessing at what will happen in an election, and otherwise "gaming" it out how I think things will proceed.

From the start of the Republican Primaries I said it would have to be Romney who was the nominee. Everyone besides Romney was basically wrong for the GOP. They were too libertarian (Ron Paul), insane (Michelle Bachman), centrist and dull (Jon Huntsman), seemingly-drugged (Rick Perry), religion-obsessed (Rick Santorum), black (Herman Cain, because you really think Republicans would nominate a black man?), boring (Tim Pawlenty), or just plain unlike-able (Newt Gingrich). Did I forget anyone else notable? Do know that by notable I mean, "For a brief time was getting a lot of buzz in the Republican Party and among the press," so we're just going to ignore Buddy Roemer, Fred Karger, and the rest because everyone else did.
Seemingly so many choices, but really just one.
Yes, clearly the Republicans had to go with Romney, because otherwise defeat was all-but-assured with Moderate voters. In these earlier months I said that if it came to an Obama-Romney race you could flip a coin and that would be as accurate as trying to predict a winner. However, then things became more apparent and a pretty clear picture began being painted of a Romney loss and Obama win, hence my prediction on election day before a single vote had been counted that yeah, this was gonna be an Obama re-election. Let's discuss what made me arrive at this correct assumption.

The List in no particular order:

1. It doesn't help when your own party spends months--no, years--ripping you apart and then suddenly has to support you.
Yes, Mitt Romney had such harsh critics who called him the worst names, and the thing that must have stung the most was that the meanest folk were often within his own party. They said he was a member of a strange cult because he was a Mormon (more on this shortly), they said he was a flip-flopper on issues such as abortion, they said he was an elitist no better than Obama--whom used Romney's state healthcare plan for the basis of the evil health care reform.  There is no doubting they pretty much said whatever they could. Then it became clear he was their only option and they had to hide their lukewarm feelings and act like they loved Mitt all along.
"Ignore that headline, I supported Romney from the start!"
2. Trying to kill immigration proposals does not make you attractive to Latino voters.
Basically, if you say those evil Mexicans or other Latinos are trying to steal all our jobs and government-money, people with Latino heritage may not appreciate all of their race being painted as bad-guys, even if you just mean the illegal immigrants and not US-born citizens or legally immigrated folk. That's pretty obvious.

3. Honestly, you expect to get more than a handful of black voters?
Black individuals mostly voted for Obama. It was not necessarily just because he was black. Black voters have historically voted for Democrats for years, and expecting that to somehow change overnight is silly. Even black individuals who were more conservative and didn't like Obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage generally seemed unable to vote for Romney, either just not voting, or ignoring that issue and supporting Obama. It also probably doesn't help that the Republican party seems to have a made a habit out of the occasional racist comment about our President, or a Tea Party whose shouts of support for the rights of states sound suspiciously like those claims of, "State's Rights," segregationists were so fond of back in the 1950s and 1960s.
I'd imagine 0% of black voters are sad segregation ended.
4. The Mormon issue.
A lot of people don't trust or care for Mormons. Whether they are annoyed at someone knocking at their door in the middle of the day while they are trying to watch their DVR'ed episode of Homeland, or just find the whole, "Jesus came to America," thing a bit strange, Mormon's seem to be regarded as suspicious seeming lot. They banned having multiple-wives long ago but people still think they do that even though just some offshoots of Mormonism engage in bigamy. Plus, they don't drink, gamble, or smoke. It appears people think that's just kind of weird because drinking, gambling, and smoking are many American's favorite pastimes (sometimes all done at once!) and people who don't share our usual "American lifestyle," are often thought of as weird. 
This is the first image you see on Google if you type "Mormon." They look more adorable than scary.
It doesn't help Mormons often are regarded by ultra-conservatives as being better than Jews because they at least believe in Jesus, but worse than Catholics because of their weird traditions. Yeah, folk just don't always trust Mormons (NOTE: The thing about disliking Jews does not apply to Evangelicals. They have a weird affection for us thinking that as long as us Jews control Israel or something it will allow Jesus to come back and we'll all suddenly worship Christ when it happens. Yeah, I think it sounds kind of odd too). Those who didn't like Romney being Mormon didn't necessarily vote for Obama. They could have gone with a third-party candidate (remember those? They do exist!) or done what it is thought some of the aforementioned conservative black folk did and just not have voted.

As much as our country likes to think it is beyond race, religion, and all that other stuff, it isn't. We have people who hold racist thoughts, hate certain religions, and if confronted with two people they don't like either skip voting or vote in a sort-of protest for another person who has zero chance of winning but is better in their mind than Romney and Obama. 

5. People are getting more liberal
It may sound shocking, but more people are okay with homosexual individuals getting married, or having a healthcare system that isn't utterly broken in its functioning because it makes them feel like they have more liberty to have a way of healthcare that every other Western country thinks is utterly barbaric. Yes, people are getting more liberal, and if the majority of Republicans they see are going off about the evils of being gay or how Obama is a socialist-tyrant....well, these folk will think Republicans looks kind of outdated.
Your text says he's bad, but your picture makes him look far too attractive to be evil.
There are moderate Republicans who are doing okay in general elections (Primaries can be a nightmare as that shrinking party base is still super-conservative), but the more extreme ones seem to be failing. Grover Norquist and his, "No Tax," pledge used to be a big deal, now he's on the midnight train to Georgia insignificance. People are okay with the idea of taxing rich folk a bit more, or a mosque being built in their town. Yes, the, "Old America," some people seem to be crying about the ending of is indeed happening. There probably were people bemoaning the end of their great, "Old America," when slavery ended, or woman got the vote. Things change, and for the better.

6. The wildcard of abortion
I just said people are getting more liberal, and that's why abortion is a wildcard. Even though folk are becoming more accepting of higher taxes and gay marriage, one social issue that it seems many are actually moving more to the right on is abortion. More people think it is wrong and shouldn't be allowed except in the case of incest, rape, or the mother's health being threatened. I've been outspoken on this blog about being pro-choice, but it seems there are less and less of us who feel a woman should be the one who decides what happens with her reproductive organs. That makes me sad as an individual but excited as policy-wonk to see what happens in elections.
I think we can all at least agree the blue and red colors compliment each other.
But wait, if people are getting more conservative on this issue how did it help Obama then? Simple, most people may be getting more conservative, but the conservatives are getting utterly insane.

The official platform of the Republican party is that abortion should never be allowed, period. It's been pointed out how even though that is the party's official platform Romney is okay with abortion in the case of those earlier-mentioned big three cases. That allows Republicans to kind of have their policy-cake and eat it too. However, it looks bad when other people in your party go around saying how women don't get pregnant from, "Legitimate rape," or that any baby is a gift from God, so too bad you were raped, you've got to have that baby. Yep, when you are that far to the right, you lose people even if they are getting more conservative. Hence, this issue still helping Obama.

7.Gun-control really was a non-issue
The NRA and certain websites may try to make claims along the lines of, "Obama wants to take all your guns away!" but in actuality that hasn't happened at all. Attempts were made to create an issue out of this, but Obama basically has just let the courts handle this issue and stayed silent. The tragedy in Aurora could have been a moment of serious self-reflection for the nation on its gun-laws, but it wasn't, because Obama just didn't touch the issue. Maybe he knows it could hurt him politically more than help, maybe he honestly doesn't care. Whatever the case, neither candidate were planning to do anything about guns. I'm reminded of a funny scene in an SNL skit spoofing one of the debates where a person in a townhall meeting asks what either would do to prevent AK-47s from ending up on the street (or something like that) and both candidates basically say, "We'd do nothing." Yeah, gun-control didn't matter this election.

8.Romney is just so, so, soooooooooooooo dull.
Look, a lot of people didn't like George W. Bush during his eight years in office. I have many issues with the man and the policies he put in place, myself. However, he is a person you just want to like. He gives people fun nicknames, he seems like someone you could, "sit down and have a beer with (even though he quit drinking when he became Evangelical)," and his ability to speak Spanish gave him some help with Latino voters. People joking that he is dumb helps him--because he actually is pretty smart but by seeming less-than-gifted he is easier to relate to by those who don't like it when it feels like a politician is talking down to them (which basically is 100% of the time, with either party).

 Mitt Romney is the opposite of George Bush. He seems robotic, awkward, and unable to relate to people. Obama is funny, warm, and amazing at speeches. You put Romney next to Obama and it becomes even more apparent that Mitt Romney is just bland. I have relatives who identify as more Republican than Democrat and they didn't hesitate to agree with me, the guy is just boring. 
"Must. Attempt. To. Feel. Something."

Of course, all of these guys pale in comparison to the charisma of the man that is Bill Clinton. I've been told he just lights up a room, is possibly the best public-speaker ever, and otherwise is the kind of person who once you meet you can understand how he got in all that adultery-trouble what with his wit and otherwise being awesome. Still, while the Democratic party can't really have Clinton in office again, they've got someone pretty affable in the form of Obama. Honestly though, a stiff wooden board could have given more emotion on the campaign trail than Romney did.

In Closing
Put all of these factors together and you start to get a pretty clear picture of Obama winning. I didn't think he would trounce Romney quite as thoroughly as he did, but the results speak for themselves.

What will the Republicans do? I honestly don't know. Perhaps they will look to their more moderate members and we will see a shift towards the center-right instead of the far-right. That, or they will go so insanely conservative the party will seem completely bonkers to most voters and get even weaker. We could see a combination of these two possibilities, where the the party actually has a schism and you see the super-conservatives and moderates break apart. A sort of Republican Party versus an actual political option in the form of the Tea Party, or a huge emigration of Republicans to the Libertarian party.
Who knows what the future holds for either party?
What will the Democrats do? Probably what they always seem to do, screw up their wins and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Even if Republicans fall into in-fighting, the Democrats just seem to find a way to lose. The ACA should be okay though. Why? Well, Obama is in power for another 4 years so when the ACA's biggest things come into affect in 2014 that should make it all but safe. The smaller-scale fights of state's not wanting to create insurance exchanges will probably be messy battles, however.

That is what I, someone whose only political credentials are a Political Science Minor, think. You may agree with me, think I'm terribly wrong, or be Mitt Romney and attempting to express the emotion known as anger at my saying you come off as robotic. No matter who you are and what you think just keep in mind that before long we'll be having more elections, so none of this is permanent. In other words, don't get too cocky or depressed, because before long everything will be a-changing yet again.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

I Have Been Really Sick

I realize I haven't posted about why I called the Presidential Election the way I did (and got it right, it was Obama who won). I apologize for that and the only excuse I can offer is that I've been sick for going on a week with some kind of cold/sinus issue that maybe, just maybe, is finally getting better.

That is why there have been no posts other than my Tuesday one. You can still find me on Nine Panel however. Despite being ill I was able to get a review of Deadpool #1 in to them, and record my segment for the podcast even though I sound like death-warmed-over.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My Presidental Election Prediction

Even though its clear from voter-polls this is a hard election to call, based on all the policy studies I've done, T.V. I've watched, books I've read, and gaming this out theoretically...I think Obama will squeak out a win.

Later, when I am proven right or horribly wrong I will break down my reasoning and what caused me to be correct/way-off.

Election Day!

It is election day. Go out and vote if you're eligible and registered! Even if your vote for President isn't important in your state because it's a given which candidate it will go to, your vote still is important in local and state elections! Have a great day at the polls!

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Letdown of Deadpool #63

This Wednesday a new Deadpool series starts. It looks promising, which is good as the last Deadpool series--which just wrapped up--ended pretty poorly. Daniel Way has written the series the entire time, and some of the tales that he told were great. That's why it is depressing this issues ends the series so poorly.

The series itself had some ups and downs, with certain issues being marvelously good such as #26 that looked deep into the character, and then less-good parts such as the whole sub-par, "Evil Deadpool" business. What is annoying is how this issue feels extremely rushed in its conclusion of, "Oh wait, that serum that made Deadpool human actually wears off and he's going to be the same," with the aforementioned Evil Deadpool showing up at the last minute to announce this. Before that we get the meh story of a former federal agent working her darnedest to take Deadpool down. It's nothing to write home about story-wise, but the biggest insult is the terrible art by Felipe Andrade and Sean Parsons.

It seriously looks like Marvel took rough thumb-nail sketches, blew them up in size, and colored them in the hopes of getting this comic out quickly enough that this Deadpool series could wrap up before the new one started.

Seriously, the art is just ugly, perspective makes no sense, sizes are out of's just one of the ugliest books I've ever seen put out. Do note that I don't just mean ugly in terms of big-players such as Marvel and DC, I mean even compared to some of those independent comics with a great story but horrible art, this is even worse in quality (and there isn't even a very good story to support things).
It's sad because this series had some truly great moments, and to go out with a whimper as this does is just anticlimactic  Then again, we are talking about comic books, where characters in ongoing-story Universes can't really have their stories end, they just keep going on so as to sell more books.

This Deadpool series has been good at times, and I will remember those good issues fondly. I'll just pretend this weak ending didn't occur.
1.5 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Go Read My Guest Post On Caffeineforge About Kickstarter!

Just as how today on this website we have a guest-post by Mr. David Winchester, I can be found on the website much of his work is at with my own guest-post. It's called, "What Turns Me Off A Kickstarter, Or Kickstarter Pet Peeves," and in the post I do just what the title indicates--tell readers what makes me not want to fund an otherwise promising-looking Kickstarter. Why not check out that post here, and then look around the rest of Caffeineforge's website? They've got stuff about comics too and know a lot about Kickstarter.

Guest Post: The Mortality of Fiction (Or Vice-Versa)

Hello everyone. My name is David, and when I'm busy running my Kickstarter and Comic book themed blog, Caffeineforge, I spend a lot of time wandering the internet and learning new things. Not too long ago, I came across this fine blog here, and became a regular reader. If you are too, you might even see my name pop up now and then in the comments. Today our host (also) David, has given me the opportunity to chat with his great comic book audience about the comic book related subject of my choice. I was tempted to spend some time telling you how awesome my own comic book, The Wardenclyffe Horror. In that article I probably would have talked at length about the gripping story staring Nikola Tesla and Mark Twain, or the way the Lovecraftian Horror story hits all the right notes of any mythos fan; I might even have told you how it is funding on Kickstarter right now. 

But there is something more important that I think we need to discuss. 

Anyone that reads a loves a good dose of tension in their stories knows that the best way to really make one a page turner is to make the stakes high. In comic books there are several methods of doing this, but the most common one is to put an important character in jeopardy. The fact that a major character might never grace the stage again (except in flashbacks) is serious business. If you are unfamiliar with this concept though--you might be an X-Men reader. the world of Comic Books, only Uncle Ben truly stays dead, but those zany X-Men are a bit more flagrant than most. It's possible that some day they will leave an X-Man (or woman) dead. I admit that. One might just go down for the count and never come back - it could happen. It's possible that might even be a certain high-profile death in a recent highly publicized cross over. But at this point no one is likely to believe it. 

Stories need tension, and stakes, and with the Marvel universe as overcrowded as it is they could let stand to lose a couple of characters, but like any hoarder, they just can't seem to let any of it go. Jean Grey is certainly the most obvious example of characters being brought back to life after they perish at the hands of the plot, but she is not the only X-Men (or villain  to return from the dead, other notables include:
·  Apocalypse
·  Cable
·  Colossus
·  Havok
·  Legion
·  Magik
·  Mystique
·  Psylocke
·  Sabertooth

The list above doesn't include characters who merely lost their powers for a time, or were turned into a drooling vegetables for years like Magneto. It also doesn't include those few characters that end the plot time and time again in a state of 'almost dead' like Mr Sinister, only to re-emerge once more. These are just the ones that actually perished and were returned to life.

Of all of the above the one that bothers me the most is Colossus. He had a great death, saving his sister and the world from the legacy virus. It was noble and driven by story. It would have cemented him as a great character for all time, and left marvel free to develop new heroes. Sadly, this was not to be and they had to bring him back into an already crowded field and start the cycle over again. 

So how about the rest of you? Which resurrection disappointed you the most? Captain America? Super Man? The 14th Phoenix resurrection? 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The, "Before Watchmen," Cash-Grab Has Gotten Even More Sad

Hey, remember the hero, "Dollar Bill," from the Watchmen comic? Neither do I, he was basically mentioned in-passing and served zero purpose within the comic. That hasn't stopped DC from making it even more obvious they are engaging in an utter cash-grab with their, "Before Watchmen," comics by putting out a one-shot entitled, "Before Watchmen: Dollar Bill," which will focus on the titular character as he....does something, I guess?

It seems DC decided to stop yelling, "Fuck You Alan Moore !" choosing instead to just yell, "Fuck You, Comic's Reader Who Keeps Buying Our Terrible Before Watchmen Comics, Buy This Useless Stuff!" Seriously, when I first read about this via the comic "news" website Newsarama I thought it was a sarcastic joke until I remembered Newsrama is too busy kissing the rear-ends of comic-companies to ever dare question them. The way that article ends, asking what could come next in the, "Watchmen," Universe is meant to sound exciting, but just made me groan. It went:

The inclusion of the obscure character in DC's publishing plan for Before Watchmen suggests that virtually any character, big or small, that was mentioned in the original series could potentially be used for their own story. So who might be next? Mothman? Silhouette? Doug Roth in a Marvels style reporter-view tale? Completely original concepts set in the Watchmen-universe?

How about instead of making, "completely original concepts," set in the world of, "Watchmen," DC just make original concepts as Alan Moore did those decades ago when he created, "Watchmen," hmmm?

The thing that makes me the most sad is that the artist is the talented and well-lauded Steve Rude, a legend in the comic's industry. Is he seriously hurting that badly for work he had to take this project? Wait, he has been hurting that badly? Oh, well then I guess I can't hold this against Steve Rude too much. I still find this comic occurring to be a big example of things that are wrong with the comic's industry however, and this can be added to my list of, "Before Watchmen," comics I'm not buying (so, all of them).