Wednesday, March 3, 2021

A Smattering of March 2021 Links and Goodness

 Spring Nears

We've made it to March. It's been a year since COVID-19 really started shutting things down and a surprisingly nasty Winter is hopefully wrapping-up. How about some news and links to read?

News and Interesting Stuff

People rarely remember Olympic mascots as often they are dull. The 1996 Olympics had Izzy, however, who was so terrible he kind of sticks out in your mind. The man who kinda-sorta created it shared how everything went wrong in a neat article.

I don't really follow heavy metal music at all, but apparently, sometimes bands can have questionable links to Nazi-ideology. This article breaks down how to avoid those kinds of bands.

Joe Jurado has been looking at, "The Rise of the Black Superhero," in a great series over at The Root.

In news that we all saw coming, Comic-Con International/San Diego Comic-Con is not going to happen as an in-person event. This is the responsible choice. There will be virtual events, so that's cool.

Transwomen are women, transmen are men. Trying to act like you're just dedicated to, "Fairness," when you try to ban them from sports is just a cover for being transphobic. This article by Esther Wang at Jezebel delves into that.

Lastly, the fact a big expensive omnibus collecting the Superman work of Grant Morrison couldn't even consistently spell their name right and has pages missing text is just embarrassing.

Enjoy the Warming Weather

It should keep getting warmer--barring any sudden snowstorms--so I hope you can relax on the nice Spring days that should be coming1

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Consider Backing Birdcage Bottom Book's 2021 Kickstarter

I am a fan of the publications that come out from indie publisher Birdcage Bottom Books. They consistently release great titles and deserve many accolades. They are currently running a Kickstarter to help fund their releases for 2021. The books set for this year look stellar, from a punk-themed anthology to a variety of neat mini-comics. Consider backing Birdcage Bottom Books at any level you can, they are really awesome. Here's that Kickstarter link again for ya.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Going (Band)Camping: Ninth Edition

Anyone in the mood for more music? Well, I hope you are, because this latest post has what I've been giving a listen on the snazzy website, Bandcamp. All of the artists I'm going to discuss can be found there so if something I discuss sounds appealing, don't hesitate to give it a listen at the links!

roelroel--I"ll Be Fine

This LP from roeroel is quite lovely. It has a chill alternative indie rock sound with smooth instrumentation and great singing. Many of the songs have a quiet melancholy simmering underneath the upbeat vibe. As for my favorite tune, I really dug, "Feelings." With its dreampop-style synth and nice little drum-kick I found myself coming back to that song a lot. The whole album is fantastic, however! Find it here.

4.5 out of 5 stars

Mr. Pope & The People's Love Cult--Century Girl & Other Reoccurring Themes

Anything from Mr. Pope I listen to I like, it is as simple as that. He performs his music with a stellar blend of laid-back chill and hopeful enthusiasm that makes every track on his latest LP a treat. If you like indie rock that evokes a bygone era of peace, love, and jamming out then Mr. Pope provides just what you're looking for. We follow each other on Twitter and he told me how he feels this is possibly the best work he's ever made. I wholeheartedly agree because I love it. Every single track. See why it's so great here.

5 out of 5 stars.

Sad Eyed Beatniks--Places of Interest

A bit more indie rock! This album by the Sad Eyed Beatniks sounds a little like opening a portal to an alternative universe where Punk grew into something a little softer but still with some edge. The tunes have a really lo-fi sound, which makes sense as this album was created on some old-school tech like 4-track cassette recorders. Everything flows pretty well, but there wasn't a specific track that stood out to me so much as the whole album is pretty solid. Give it a listen.

4 out of 5 stars.

Rawls Royce--Llarold

Now for some punk rock. Rawls Royce delivers a solid EP with some great tunes here--the second one, "Elon (Take Me Home)," is fantastic with its discussion and criticism of technology and its impact on our lives from everything such as romance or travel. The 3rd track, "You Can't Play Chel to Chelsea Wolfe," borders almost on a heavy metal/screamo level at some points, and I'm not as into those genres, but generally, this EP is just punky goodness. Try it out here.

4 out of 5 stars.

Katy Kirby--Cool Dry Place

I love some good folky-styled acoustic rock as has been apparent from it being the majority of what I reviewed today, and Katy Kirby firts that bill perfectly. Her thoughtful vocals about friendship, life, and getting through struggles float over stellar drumming and great guitar melodies. The at-first sneakily quiet, "Tap Twice," is a favorite track of mine as it builds to an exhilarating climax of sound, but I enjoyed the whole album. You should definitely check it out at this link.
5 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Happy 4th Birthday to my Son, Clarkson!

Today Clarkson turns 4 years old! It is crazy to think back to when I wrote about him first being born, discussed when he came home from the NICU, shared things not to say to me as a stay-at-home Dad, and talked about the challenges and successes he's achieved as he's grown. He is truly an amazing little guy. Samii and I are thankful for having him in our lives every day. Clarkson has been doing wonderfully in preschool, continues to be a big fan of anything musical, and has been loving having books read to him lately. Some mornings he will wake-up, grab a book in his room, and then come pop open our door and climb up in our bed, hitting me in the head with a book until I start reading it to him. It's both cute and a little annoying if I'm still groggy!

Happy birthday, Clarkson! You are an astounding person and Samii and I are honored to be your parents.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Visit my Friend Mark's Website to See Cool Artwork

I've met some cool folk in-person and online in my over 10 years of blogging and even more years of buying, selling, and trading comics. One person I've enjoyed chatting with about comics lately is named Mark Boyd. He doesn't just love comics, he actually is a very skilled artist himself, as can be seen on his website. The man excels at various kinds of illustration and creation. I'd recommend checking his stuff out.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Are, "Super Follows," a Dumb Idea or Secretly Genius Because of What They'll Most Likely be Used For?

Twitter is a place where I honestly don't want to see half the bile spewed out by people for free. With this in mind, Twitter is now going to make it where you can have, "Super follows," so you charge people to see select tweets. This...this is dumb, right? In an example twitter gave, someone could charge $4.99 so people can see all their tweets as some kind of perk. Again, this is stupid. Who is this for? Why would I pay to see anyone's tweets? Oh, wait. Oh, okay.

This is some weird effort to compete with OnlyFans but Twitter doesn't want to say that, isn't it? I mean, the only thing I could imagine people paying to see on Twitter is nudie pics and other pornographic content. That could be secretly genius where someone has a Twitter account full of sexy but, "Safe for work," content and then if you pay that extra monthly fee all the dirty tweets unlock--with Twitter getting its cut. As absurd as Super Follows sounds at first blush, that is the one way I could see it working-out for Twitter. Otherwise, few people are going to pay extra to see some celebrity behind-the-scenes tweets or get exclusive cooking recipes from a professional chef or however Twitter is trying to spin this as not being used in a pornographic way.

Super Follows sound incredibly dumb at first, then you realize how the fact people are always super-horny online could make them actually quite profitable. Twitter hasn't admitted Super Follows could be used for this, but come on, we know they considered this and probably won't care what is getting posted as long as everyone is a consenting adult and they get their cut. There are lots of thirsty people online and Twitter might just have thought up a way to quench some of them. Clever.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

We Are At a Point Where People Don't Believe Snow is Real

The World--and it seems America in particular--has gotten to a point where now people don't even believe snow is real and must be a government conspiracy. I'm not joking. The idea that maybe a bunch of snow could come down in a region that doesn't usually get snow for some reason upsets people. It must somehow be the fault of President Biden, or Bill Gates, or some kind of conspiracy to rain, "Chemical snow," down. Why do people believe this stupidity? Because it's 2021 and now even the fact that it snows sometimes is something conspiracy theorists have to question. I really think Deltron 3030 said it best when he rapped years ago--and I paraphrase--"Aliens came and said we weren't even worth invading," because we were too stupid to be of use if conquered.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

I've Been Really Digging Two Songs Lately

Not my radio, but it looks cool.

I listen to the radio when driving a decent amount as well as looking for what's popular online so I can keep up on trends (I also love me some of the more obscure and weird stuff, which is why I adore Bandcamp). Two songs that have been really getting attention have been on my mind though as they are pretty darn catchy.

Giveon, "Like I Want You."

The song starts out okay with a solid weird little trippy melody and this Giveon fellow I didn't know of yet singing a bit in an impressive low voice that someone online remarked, "His voice already sounds slow and reverbed!" Then he starts the actual crooning about how he can't act like he wants someone even if he really does miss the relationship he had with them and DAMN. Giveon's voice sounds like smooth butter over the track as he gives off the impression he is just pouring his vocalized soul out for us all to witness. That chorus is straight fire and why I keep listening to this track.

Earthgang (with Wale), "Options."

Funnily enough, another song about relationships, but with a completely different theme. It's basically about a relationship that is a huge mess and Earthgang is pointing out he has options to date other people. Wale then offers a bit of a counter about still, "Needing you," in reference to the lady. It's quite short at just over 2-and-a-half minutes, but that just means it doesn't wear out its welcome. The weird little peppy beat and melody are what make this song addictive for me. The music video with Barbie doll-style figurines is hilarious too.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

"The Wrong Earth: Night and Day," #2 Was a Blast to Read

I've been a huge fan of any mini-series involving, "The Wrong Earth," and the latest mini-series, "The Wrong Earth: Night and Day," has been awesome. The series basically imagined if a grim and gritty hero traded place with a very campy one and went from there. They are Dragonfly and Dragonflyman and now they've finally met-up in yet another weird Universe. A Universe where their arch-villain is actually thought of as some kind of hero due to how he's cleaned-up that Universe's sending it to the other realities. Tom Peyer has been writing the series and I continue to love it, with Jamal Igle and Juan Castro's artwork perfectly fitting the mixture of tones too. The publisher Ahoy comics really has been putting out some stellar stuff, with this comic being a prime example.

5 out of 5 stars.

The Beans Have Finally Been Spilled About When Zack Snyder Tried to Make, "Justice League," the First Time

We are nearing the release date of on HBO MAX of the Zack Snyder version of, "Justice League." This may sound odd at first blush, as the initial time, "Justice League," was released it was allegedly by Zack Snyder. However, the official line was that due to the death of his daughter due to suicide, Snyder stepped away from the film and Joss Whedon came in and finished it up, making some light edits and doing a handful of reshoots. However, as time has gone on the rumors were Snyder was basically forced off the film and Whedon redid 3/4 or so of it. Vanity Fair has a big article that basically spills all the beans and turns rumors into facts. It is, "The True Story," of all everything from how Snyder got kicked-off his movie to the rise of a demand for a, "Snyder cut."

I, of course, have expressed mixed feelings of Snyder's work. I sometimes find moments of pure genius in it mixed with edgy-to-be-edgy bullshit. I truly extend my heart to him for losing his daughter as that obviously had a major impact on Snyder and the way it could be used as a throwaway excuse by the studio to toss him off his movie was sickening. I can hear it now, "He needs to step away and mourn, we swear he didn't get fed-up and quit because we're worried about the movie and will ironically end-up with something possibly even worse than we were worried about once Whedon is done!" Yeah, I'm glad Snyder got to make the movie the way he wanted, whether it turns out good or bad. 

Anyway, definitely give that article a read, it is quite interesting. Once Snyder's true vision of, "Justice League," drops at least there will be some closure for everyone, for better or worse.

Monday, February 22, 2021

"King in Black," Has Been a Pretty Dull Event

Alright, time for some brutal honesty. I admitted before I found how, "All-in," Marvel had gone on the character of Knull to be a bit perplexing. He was an evil God of symbiotes who wanted to destroy everything for no specific reason beyond hating the existence of life. Kind of a bland villain with some cool design elements but little interesting motivation. Still, I thought I would give the, "King in Black," event where Knull comes to Earth a chance. I've been reading it and some tie-ins that relate to it closely or slightly. Some of the tie-ins are fun, but the actual event comic itself has just been dull. Knull is covering Earth in symbiote goo, taking-over heroes, all seems lost, but of course, the heroes will fight back, and...yeah, that's about it. A big space villain has come to Earth, is wreaking havoc, but he'll eventually be defeated and the long-lasting ramifications will be minor. 

You could replace Knull with any other space threat and the event would be mostly the same besides how symbiotes such as Venom are kinda cool to look at when drawn well. I don't hate, "King in Black," so far, I just find it uninspiring with the most interesting story elements actually happening in the tie-in comics that are using, "King in Black," to further their own storylines in clever ways--although some tie-ins are suffering from being bogged down by it too, so it is kind of a wash. Perhaps as we near the finale of, "King in Black," it will do something to really wow me. Right now though, it's just been kind of blah.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

The, "Invincible," Cartoon Looks Promising, Full of Animated Blood

If Robert Kirkman weren't famous for, "The Walking Dead," he'd probably be best known for his comic, "Invincible." It was a solid read about a family with a young man who's Dad is a superhero and teaches him the ropes when his powers form. That's just the start of things, however, because as the series went on there were twists upon twists. It was also pretty bloody at times when the fighting got heated. The cartoon adaptation of, "Invincible," seems like it will be quite entertaining, tonally similar, and yeah, it's bloody--as seen in a trailer that just dropped. The show will debut on Amazon Prime Video this March and will most likely be worth a watch, based on what I've seen of it.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

"Wandavision," Has Been Firing on all Cylinders

I've been loving, "Wandavision." It is weird, smart, funny, and unique. I've been outspoken in finding some of the Marvel movies to be competently made, but kind of a slog to get through. "Endgame," just seemed so self-important and drug-on even if it had some great moments. All the Marvel flicks I've dug lately were focused on individual characters and had more odd or experimental aspects I liked. "Doctor Strange," is a recent favorite. Well, "Wandavision," has been a pure treat, and the closing song from episode 7 that revealed how--spoiler alert--it was, "Agatha all along," was just perfect. It was clever, hilarious, and a little horrifying. You know, everything, "Wandavision," has been. I am incredibly curious about what the last two episodes will bring us and quite excited. I haven't been this pumped for a Marvel production since, "Captain America: Civil War," so clearly this show is doing something right!

Friday, February 19, 2021

The, "Metal Gear Solid," Board Game Isn't Happening Anymore


I wrote in August about how a board game themed for, "Metal Gear Solid," was in development. I also discussed how it had been delayed many times. Well, it seems after all these delays and expenses, the board game is--as of now--dead. It could possibly get picked up by another company, but licensing would still be a complex bit of a mess. We'll see what the future holds.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

This Doodle on a Comic Package Was Cute

I will order comics from various online locations sometimes if I can't find them locally. I've found and heard of various stores with an online presence and will try various ones out. A friend mentioned that Anyone Comics sells stuff online and will sometimes doodle on the package they send the comic in with an image that is themed for the comic. I ordered from Anyone Comics and sure enough, they did a fun doodle for me as you can see above! The comic I ordered was a 1:10 ratio variant of the Western book, "Chained to the Grave," #1 and the doodle is indeed western-themed! The man is saying to, "Draw," but not a gun, comics! The ratio variant can be seen below:

I appreciated the fun doodle by Anyone comics and would encourage you to check them out at this link if your local stores ever lack something/you don't have a local store.

In Good News, "Stubbs the Zombie," is Coming to Modern Consoles!

It was just September of 2020 when I looked-back at a classic game and wrote about how I wish it were on modern consoles in some form, any form. That game was, "Stubbs the Zombie." It was unique at the time in being a zombie game where you actually played the zombie. It also was hilarious, had a stellar soundtrack, and simply was a delight to play. Well, in news that made me smile, Stubbs is back! The 2005 game is going to be released with modern controls and achievements, but nothing else. No new graphics or features, just the classic game. 

I don't mind this as you don't always have to mess with a good thing. We don't need a remaster of Stubbs, we just need some Stubbs in our life! The game will be on basically every console from the current Xboxes, to Playstations, the Switch, and also PC. I'm pleased and can't wait to replay it as it's been quite a while since I got to spend some time with Stubbs! It'll be out on March 16th, so mark your calendars.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Milestone Returns as a Digital-First Imprint

It kept seeming like the announcement was coming any day, then during DC's Fandome it was finally revealed that the Milestone line of comics would be returning! Created in the 1990s as its own publishing company with a focus on cool and diverse characters, DC acquired the rights later on and it kinda floundered after that besides some attempts to use characters like Static Shock in the regular DC Universe. After a number of years in a legal negotiation limbo, however, Milestone is coming back with some cool digital-first series that will have physical comics following-up starting in May. I'm pleased to see Milestone returning, although it is a little saddening that one of the original founders, Michael Davis, is basically being excluded. I look forward to seeing the new Milestone comics for sure, though!

That, "Cruella," Trailer is...Something

I watched the trailer for Disney's live-action prequel about Cruella de Vil and have questions. Who is this movie for? It looks like a weird, "Joker," style retelling of Cruella where she is kind of the good guy? It also gives off some weird Harley Quinn-shenanigans type energy? Why does this have the vibe of a superhero/supervillain movie considering this is a prequel to a children's cartoon? A cartoon, no less, about a woman who wants to skin dogs and wear them for a coat? Oh, and again, who is this for? It doesn't really seem that kid-friendly, so are we talking a hard PG? Is this for adults who love anything Disney-related and have serious nostalgia for, "101 Damaltians? 

This doesn't look, "Bad," in the sense it seems competently made and Emma Stone is a great actress, I'm just befuddled by the whole thing. Plus, Cruella is pure villain, she has no redeeming factors, unlike some Disney bad-guys. Why are you making a movie where we seem like we are supposed to root for the lady who grows up to want to--and I can't emphasize this enough--skin dogs and wear them for a coat? This whole endeavor seems weird, but I'll probably watch it once it's streamable as Emma Stone is pretty great in anything. I ain't gonna buy a ticket to watch this weird mish-mash of concepts and ideas, however.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

When You Say Your War Game, "Isn't Political," You Sound Stupid

War is political. Wars are fought over land, power, religion, etc. and they are started by those in some kind of political power. When you go to war you are engaging in a political act. Trying to pretend all the lives lost on either side or amongst civilians in war wasn't at its root political is dumb. Even if your reasons for fighting in a war are good, they are political. The 2nd Iraq war was predicated on countless lies and that is a fact. Whether you choose to ignore that or acknowledge it, you are committing a political act. Focusing on one of the most bloody battles that took place with a game titled, "Six Days in Fallujah," is political. 

It's political when you try to present your story as a, "Go America, we did our best!" story and refuse to talk about the potential war crimes that were committed--white phosphorous, anyone? It is political if you were to make it a story that portrays the United States as a barbarous invader. Whether America is the hero, villain, or neither, talking about a battle that took many American lives and civilian lives is political! Acting like it isn't goes and disrespects the dead; it makes you sound stupid. The game's head is named Peter Tamte and he has said that, "Six Days in Fallujah," isn't political. He sounds dumb.

"Six Days in Fallujah," was in development and canceled years ago because of controversy. Now it's back and seems to be desiring to avoid controversy by any means it can against all logic. Lean-in to the controversy! Give us another game like, "Spec Ops: The Line," which looked closely at the horrors of war and its political impact. Don't give us another bland game about war that is trying to, "Not be political," where that basically just means having a tone along the lines of, "Rah rah America! Let's kill the foreigner bad guys!" Either leave this game canceled or actually acknowledge the political ramifications of war when you release it. You don't go sounding stupid about how your war game, "Isn't political."

Monday, February 15, 2021

Chris Harrison Made Some Hefty Mistakes

Chris Harrison made some mistakes. He attempted to say one contestant on the show having a slavery plantation-themed party would be wrong in 2021 but okay in 2018. He tried to basically write-off people upset about, "The Bachelor," and its long legacy of discounting people of color with some platitudes. He didn't say anything terrible, but he sure said a lot of tone-deaf nonsense. In the season where we got the first black Bachelor (it only took about two decades), it was actually the host who did the biggest faux-pas of all. To paraphrase a horror movie, "The controversy is coming from inside the house!" Upon recognizing he came across as pretty ignorant, Harrison apologized and said he would step aside from the franchise for a bit to educate himself, do some soul-searching, and otherwise wait for the ire he's garnered to die-down before he comes back to the show. 

Harrison will be back, he came across as a bit of an ignorant ass but didn't say anything absolutely abominable. He just came across as pretty dense. Plus, the viewership of, "The Bachelor," is a lot of white and/or conservative folk who've already forgiven him or think people are overreacting (seriously, check Twitter, or better yet, don't). There are us liberals who watch the show as a guilty pleasure, but it still is often a very white, very heteronormative program. Assuming that Harrison is sincere in his apology and wants to educate himself, I wish him the best. We all have ignorances that we should work to tackle. As it is, this season of, "The Bachelor," has been okay with Matt James not being fantastic or terrible and the women having some really mean contestants but some great ones too in-between real and manufactured drama. It's been, "The Bachelor," in other words.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Time for the Best Song About Valentine's Day Ever!

It is now Valentine's day. I used to hate the holiday while I was single. I now have a wife so it is a nice day to celebrate for us. That said, I have the perfect Valentine's day song for those who like the holiday and anyone who hates it. Yes, it is that time of year again where I dust-off my records and give, "Happy Valentine's Day," by Andre 3000 of OutKast a spin. Let's all enjoy:

Happy Valentine's day, everyone!

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Donald Glover and Phoebe Waller-Bridges as, "Mr & Mrs. Smith," Works For Me

I will basically watch anything with Donald Glover. That said, I am behind in watching some of the things with Donald Glover. I still need to view, "Atlanta," and that Han Solo movie, for example. Still, Mr. Glover is welcome to star in more great projects that I'll try and watch as soon as possible. With that established, it seems he will be in an upcoming reboot of, "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," that stars him and the talented Phoebe Waller-Bridges. Yeah, that sounds pretty cool. The original, "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," was the movie that introduced Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to one another and led to their eventual marriage (followed by a divorce some years later). Behind-the-scenes drama of the movie aside, it was a solid flick. 

This new version will not be a movie, but an Amazon Prime television series. That's perfectly okay because just dedicating an hour or so a week (I don't binge stuff usually) to watch a show is easier than sitting for a 2-and-a-half-or-so-hour movie. Even if it were a long movie, however, I'd still most likely check it out, because--as I said--I'll generally watch anything with Donald Glover. It's bound to be as good as or better than, "Mystery Team," after all.

Trump Acquitted Despite Being Guilty at Hell

Donald Trump was the only President in history to be impeached twice. Thanks to a spineless Republican Party, he also got acquitted twice. Even though he started a riot that led to deaths and put the lives of the people who let him off in danger, only 7 Republicans had any courage and thought, "Yeah, he caused an insurrection." 43 Republican Senators valued the madness their party has descended into (due to Trump and those like him) more than the values of our Nation. It is truly disgusting.

Friday, February 12, 2021

"Snow Angels," Sounds Like a Cool Collaboration Between Jeff Lemire and Jock

I often love Jeff Lemire's writing. I always adore Jock's artwork. Hence, the first issue of their digital comic, "Snow Angels," has my attention. It will be on Amazon's Comixology and released in 10 parts. It follows people living in a mysterious trench surrounded by ice who follow the rules of never leaving it for their entire lives. Then a mysterious defender of the trench is awoken--The Snowman--and all Hell apparently breaks loose. 

The plot sounds interestingly sci-fi (it is actually based on a short prose story by Lemire) and with Jock doing the art it is doubtlessly going to be gorgeous. The first issue drops February 16th for $2.99 or free if you have that special Kindle Unlimited subscription or ComiXology Unlimited subscription. Looks worth a read!

Thursday, February 11, 2021

My First VNYL Package Arrived

During the holidays, my friends Tyler and Hope gifted me a three-month subscription to the record subscription service known as VNYL. You tell VNYL what you like and then someone selects some records it is thought you'll find cool. As someone who loves vinyl, cassettes, and the like, I was excited to try VNYL out. I filled everything out in January and then it told me my first package would ship in February. Well, my package arrived yesterday and I eagerly tore it open. Inside was a nice note and a cute music-themed crossword puzzle as well as three records. Observe:

The first record is apparently some chill pop, then a bit of punk, followed by some west-coast flavored rap. I am eager to get them spinning in the record player as soon as possible and I look forward to what the next month of VNYL may bring!

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Oh Cool, They're Making, "Redwall," Movies and Shows

When I was a bit younger I read some of the, "Redwall," novels. They followed anthropomorphic woodland creatures that lived in an old abandoned abbey called Redwall. The books followed their lives and battles against other critters. Brian Jacques wrote the series and the 22nd and final one was published in 2011 shorter after his passing. A deal has been reached with his estate and publisher that will adapt, "Redwall," into animated flicks and shows that focus on specific characters. The programs will be on Netflix. As someone who really dug the, "Redwall," books I read, I look forward to seeing them made!

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

So...I'm on TikTok

TikTok is an app that astounded and confused me. It was like Vine and Twitter had a baby, and it was really loud and prone to obnoxious memes. I have a social media presence on Twitter and Facebook as well as a minimal Instagram presence, but a friend recommended I do TikTok to possibly expand my reader/viewerbase. It struck me as a decent idea as, "The young folk," seem to really like TikTok. I, therefore, made an account and have been doing some videos, many comic-related. My TikTok handle is @thenewestrant and you can find me at this link. I encourage you to check my TikTok out if you happen to have one and enjoy my hopefully-not-too-cringey videos.

The, "Floppy Cop Volume 2," Kickstarter Has Launched


I was a big fan of the comic, "Floppy Cop," by writer Dan Dougherty and artist SethDamoose. It focused on a police department made-up of zany characters, including the titular floppy cop who lacks certain bones and...flops around. It was absolutely hilarious and now there is a Kickstarter going for the 2nd volume to be released as one book that people can purchase and read. Considering how great the first mini-series was I imagine the second will be awesome too. I recall in Dan's newsletter he actually said how volume 2 had been delayed to adjust certain elements in the story in respect to recent events in America with policing, so it's good they are being culturally sensitive while being funny too. I'm actually quoted on the Kickstarter page, which is a nice compliment that they enjoyed my previous review so much they wanted to blurb me. I without a doubt would recommend backing, "Floppy Cop Volume 2," if you like zany humor! Check out the Kickstarter here.

Monday, February 8, 2021

The More, "Heroes Reborn," Comics Marvel Announces, The Less Excited I Am


Last month Marvel announced a mini-event titled, "Heroes Reborn." It imagines a world where the Avengers never formed along with other heroes starting-up and instead the Squadron Supreme is running the show along with other interesting new versions of familiar characters. I thought it was basically an arc of, "Avengers," or a standalone mini-series. I was wrong as Marvel keeps announcing various one-shots and tie-ins As this, "Mini," event becomes more of a big full-fledged, "Event," I just find myself losing interest in buying any of it. 

Massive events sometimes are cool but can be a waste of money too. I've been following a number of comics that tie-in with, "King in Black," because I have soft spot for Venom/symbiote stories and it's been alright, but I'm glad I am being a little picky in which books I spent money on with that mega-event. I do like a good alternate-Universe tale, with Flashpoint being an event I didn't know I would absolutely love as much as I did back in 2011 or so, and when Jonathan Hickman did, "Secret Wars," and its numerous tie-ins, that was pretty cool. I also plan to read a chunk of DC's current, "Future State," when some issues I ordered thanks to a good discount arrive.

Still, I saved money on both those events by getting the countless tie-in comics from dollar bins or reading trade paperback collections from the library. I wasn't in a rush to read these massive events that tweaked the World in cool ways but had way too many tie-in books. Other, recent events, I have basically avoided and just read the tie-in comics that I was already reading. I didn't follow, "Empyre," at all besides in the X-Men comics I was getting that touched-upon that event--to give one example.

"Heroes Reborn," could be a lot of fun, but I don't want to spend a bunch of money on it. I'll probably wait for the trade paperback/paperbacks collecting it to arrive at the library eventually. I'm in no rush to read the event and its increasing number of tie-ins, so I'll give it time. Saves me a chunk of change, after all.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

I've Been Working on My Weight but Ate Too Many Wings For the Super Bowl

I met with a nutritionist in January as my weight had been getting worse. Between doing a lot less moving around due to quarantining with COVID-19 and having my hernia surgery in the Summer, my weight kept climbing. I was the biggest I'd ever been, about 264 pounds. I discussed healthier eating and a need to be more active with the nutritionist. I downloaded the free version of the MyFitnessPal app too so I could count calories. With eating better and working to try and be a bit more active I'm now down to about 249 pounds. I do have days where I eat kinda bad, but mostly am doing better. 

Today, Super Bowl Sunday, I ate way too many chicken wings. As I write this it is almost halftime and I finally am able to at least move--I felt absurdly full at the start of the game after ingesting a metric ton of wings. I'll continue working on my weight again the rest of this week, but today, I am more wings than man.

Friday, February 5, 2021

Film Friday: That Captain America Twist at the Conclusion of, "Endgame," Still Is Confusing

I watched, "Avengers Endgame," over a couple days (it is so long you need to ingest it in chunks) to refresh my memory for, "Wandavision," when I dive into that this week now that it has built-up some episodes. I was reminded of something that really bugs me. You see, back when, "Endgame," was released people wondered how the team would undo Thanos eliminating half the life in the Universe. The answer was that messy plot staple known as time-travel. 

Anytime you introduce time-travel into a movie you can either have strict rules you try to follow closely or just admit the whole process is messy and people shouldn't try to think too hard about it--I still love that scene in, "Looper," where Jeff Daniels outright remarks, "This time travel crap, just fries your brain like a egg." As those who've seen, "Endgame," know, the team works their hardest to steal the Infinity Stones from the past, but then return them exactly where they belong so as to not mess-up the timestream at all. All the proper steps are taken to keep time neat and tidy. That is until Steve Rogers travels to the past and somehow manages to stay there.

This means through all the movies Steve Rogers found a way to hide in the past, stay hidden, make sure Peggy Carter didn't tell anyone (it is mentioned at one point she had a husband, which I guess could have been Steve under a fake name), and then for a while young-Cap was running around while old-Cap was hiding until the timeline synced back up? Plus, the movies say you can't impact your own timeline with the traveling, yet this does? "Avengers: Endgame," puts strict rules in place, then decides to just chuck them out the window at the end, and it irks me. The one thing I like about it is Anthony Mackie becomes Captain America, and that is pretty cool. The lack of logic for Steve being able to travel through time, however, is so confusing. I know this is a work of fiction, but if your fiction is going to have rules, stick to the rules! 

Others have tried to make sense of the time-travel rules being messed with and it gets to a point where you basically have to shrug and go with the, "Time travel is messy, let's not think too hard about it," method. That is perfectly fine, I just don't understand why all these rules are established just to be totally shrugged off at the conclusion of the flick. Oh well, I'm just excited to start watching, "Wandavision," with my memory refreshed.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

They Are Actually Making Sonic the Hedgehog Lego Figures!

Back in February of 2019, I wrote about how it had been proposed Lego should make Sonic the Hedgehog figures. It took a long time, but Lego and Sega will indeed work together to create 24-year-old UK-based Sonic and Lego fan Viv Grannell's proposal into an official set! There is no official artwork yet, just the conceptual stuff above. That said, when the actual set is revealed I imagine it will look awesome.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

"Teddy," Graphic Novel Review

"Teddy," is an upcoming release this month from the publisher Dead Reckoning, the graphic novel division of nonprofit publisher Naval Institute Press (I've reviewed a chunk of their historical-focused graphic novels). Written by  Laurence Luckinbill with art by Eryck Tait, it provides a biographical look at Theodore Roosevelt's life as told through an extensive (fictional) speech by Roosevelt himself, looking back on his fascinating life. 

I've read a good deal on the first Roosevelt to be President--the good and the bad, and I'd say this graphic novel provides a great introduction to Roosevelt for those who are not familiar with him and want a general overview of what he stood for, what his life was like, and how sometimes the legendary tales about him ended-up overshadowing a very human and failable man (the famous incident that led to the creation of Teddy bears is mentioned with a mixture of bemusement and disgust by Roosevelt. Our 26th President spends this graphic novel remarking on a life that had a solid mixture of sorrow, luck, and choices that sometimes worked out amazingly well (the Panama Canal) and ones that worked our horribly (a failed attempt at a third term as President with a third party).

Eryck Tait does not have an enviable position as this book's illustrator as he is taking a book focused on one man talking and given the task to make it look interesting and exciting. Tait is up to the task, however, putting clever flourishes into the speech, as if the World around Roosevelt were coming alive with the imagery of his retelling of all the eventful moments in his life. Tait makes sure the fact we are reading a speech--a great speech, but a speech still--never results in the book being too dry or stagnant.

"Teddy," is a fantastic book for anyone who is curious about Teddy Roosevelt but isn't sure where to start. Luckinbill's writing and Tait's artwork combine beautifully to result in a stellar overview of a President who left a complex legacy of both immense accomplishments and all too human failings. Look for it at all finer comic shops and bookstores later this February!

5 out of 5 stars.

Note: A digital copy of, "Teddy," was provided by Dead Reckoning for the purposes of review as I am on their press list.