Thursday, May 13, 2021

Adult Swim is Bringing Some Shows Back With Feature-Length Movies

There are shows on Adult Swim that either ended before reaching a conclusion or finished but have more stories to tell. Two shows that stopped too early--" Metalocalypse," and, "The Venture Brothers," will be getting a full-length movie on Blu-Ray and on-demand before then streaming on HBO Max. "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," did have a true final season, but it's back too! I enjoyed all the shows so I welcome their return. I will admit to falling behind on, "Metalocalypse," and, "The Venture Brothers," so I maybe need to catch up, but I think I've seen every, "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," episode there was--the good and bad--so I'll be quite eager for that.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Target No Longer Will Cary Trading Cards Soon

Because this is a World where we can't have nice things without people messing it up, Target will be halting its sales of trading cards (in-store) as of May 14th. This seems like it will for sure apply to Pokemon cards and sports cards, maybe Magic and other stuff too. This comes on the heels of Walmart planning on stopping selling these trading cards in-store due to how it has just caused a lot of arguments, fights, and disruptions. A Wisconsin Target had an incident recently in the store's parking lot where a man pulled out a gun and threatened others over sports cards. Now, people can still buy cards online or at dedicated comic and game stores, but some regions lack these kinds of physical locations (with buying via the internet sometimes being a battle against bots too).

I'm not actively involved in collecting trading cards associated with any games or sports but have friends who are and when they can't get to a store dedicated to cards Walmart or Target was useful for them. Now they'll lack that option due to people being extra stupid lately about cards and trading card games. It is such a shame.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

The First Issue of the New, "Heroes Reborn," Shows Promise

A bit ago Marvel announced they were doing a new, "Heroes Reborn," event. Unlike the one in the 1990s that featured an alternate Earth, this one had it apparently be the regular reality but rewritten where the Avengers never formed and that altered a lot of history--resulting in the Squadron Supreme being the big-name team. It sounded like a fun mini-event, but a big chunk of tie-ins were announced. That made it sound possibly a bit bloated for a weekly thing. Still, I tried the first issue and I thought it showed some promise. The idea is that the Avengers never formed for some mysterious reason and it seems like only Blade realizes that the World is wrong. Agent Coulson is President and seems to maybe be evil, supposedly Mephisto is involved in all this I read, and there is a lot going on in this different-but-vaguely-familiar World. There is still a Hulk, but he's locked up, Dr. Doom lost his political power and becomes the Juggernaut. Captain America was never found after he crashed into the ocean during World War II, and so forth.

I am a big fan of alternate-reality stories and have a soft spot for the Marvel version of the Justice League known as the Squadron Supreme so that maybe helped me enjoy this odd first issue. Written by Jason Aaron with lovely art by Ed McGuinness, this first issue is dedicated to basically laying out how things are all warped and that Blade isn't pleased by it. Not a ton happens beyond Blade saying, "This is wrong, this is wrong, that's wrong too!" but it is still fun to witness our Marvel heroes all changed about. McGuinness really does a fantastic job illustrating certain scenes, such as when the Juggernaut-powered Dr. Doom fights Hyperion or when some speedsters (one being a clever amalgamation of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver) fight. It looks good even if not a lot happens beyond place-setting.

I suppose the tie-ins are kind of necessary to help flesh out this strange World whilst the main weekly comic will focus on Blade and anyone he can recruit to his cause of fixing the World. The second main issue and the first of the tie-in issues will be released tomorrow. I may give them a browse as this first issue had me cautiously optimistic about, "Heroes Reborn." It could all fall apart and suck by the end, but right now it's a fun alternate-reality jaunt.

Monday, May 10, 2021

"Venom: Let There Be Carnage," Has a Trailer Out

 The pandemic delayed its release a ton, but now that it is due in September the hype machine is starting to creak to life and promote the new Venom movie. Titled, "Venom: Let There Be Carnage," it features a suitably over-the-top Woody Harrelson as Cletus Cassady AKA Carnage. Tom Hardy returns as Venom--which is good as he was the key feature to making the first movie somewhat enjoyable as I noted in my review. This new Venom movie looks like it will have a decent balance of action and wonky humor as the trailer literally opens with the symbiote singing as it makes breakfast. The whole thing is so silly I almost got, "Deadpool,"-level vibes, but that's kind of how the first, "Venom," movie was too. There's some action, some really odd humor, and a little darkness. Somehow it manages to kinda work. I don't think I'll rush to theaters for this, but I shall watch it at some point.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

I Hope Everyone Had a Nice Mother's Day

Samii, my wife, and the Mother to our son.

I hope everyone had a nice Mother's Day. I enjoyed spending it with my wife and the mother of my child, Samii--pictured above. She is a fantastic lady and the best person I could have asked for to have a child with.

My mom, Ellen.

I also want to wish a happy Mother's Day to my momma, Ellen. I am eternally grateful to have someone as patient as her as my mom--she had to put up with a lot from my sister and myself. I love her a lot!

Kim and Clarkson when he was tiny.

Even though she is no longer with us, Kim deserves a shout-out too. She was Samii's mom and I've written about missing her. She was an amazing Mother-in-Law and a truly awesome lady. This was our first Mother's Day without her.

There are so many amazing Mothers I've had the pleasure of knowing. I appreciate them all!

Saturday, May 8, 2021

The Republican Party Seems to be Eating Itself Alive

The Republican party of late had an uneasy truce between two groups. There were the old-school Republicans who to their credit would sometimes work with Democrats and often held views I disagreed with but could be moderate enough they were usually not awful. Folks like John Boehner, or the Republican who represented my district for a time when I lived in New York, Richard Hanna--the first Republican who actually said he wouldn't vote for Trump in the 2016 election. Then there was the more extreme far-right element that seemed to always exist but really emerged out of the shadows around 2008 when you saw folk like Sarah Palin gaining power and even being given a VP nomination by another old school Republican who had his moments, John McCain (McCain later admitted deep regret choosing her and she was told to stay away from his funeral). 

After that the, "Tea Party," and so forth elements clawed more and more into the public consciousness with their xenophobia and extremism. It all came to head with the election of Donald Trump to the presidency in 2016--a terrible time for sure. The moderate Republicans I named either all retired or have died and the few left found themselves stuck with Trump, refusing to actually stand up for what's right and making them as bad as the extremists in my opinion. One wondered if when Trump was gone they'd wrangle some control back and maybe at least apologize for trying to destroy democracy.

Donald Trump lost the election in 2020. What's left of the more moderate Republicans has been trying to come to terms with this and move forward with a Nation that clearly offered a rebuke to Trump and his hateful politics. The huge amount of extreme and terrible Republicans refuse to admit Trump lost fair and square, keep trying to rewrite election laws to make it harder to vote in the hopes that cheating others out of voting will assist them in winning, and otherwise are terrible. Now the party is eating itself alive as people such as Liz Cheney--the House Republican Conference Chair and the third-highest position in the House Republican leadership--finds herself labeled an enemy of the party for...admitting Donald Trump lost and wanting to impeach him for his crimes against democracy during that time he goaded his followers into literally attacking the Capitol (not that I'm saying Liz Cheney or the Presidential Administration of Bush and her Dad are innocent because they aren't at all). The Republican party may very well schism into two parties or find itself becoming more and more extreme until moderate Republicans end up becoming somewhat unwilling Democrats who hope they can morph that party a bit more to reflect their views than the ungodly monster their party has now become.

America is horrifically divided and even within our own political parties, there is division. It's just that Democrats have smaller quibbles compared to Republicans who either accept reality or live in a fantasy World where Trump won the 2020 election. I don't know what the future holds for the Republican party, but as it seems to be getting more extreme and alt-right I can only imagine any vaguely moderate Republicans will find themselves retiring soon and then writing books about how much they hate what their party has become (the aforementioned Boehner did that) or pushed out. We shall see.

To close with a fun random aside, I actually met John Boehner once. When I lived in Cortland, NY, I would volunteer at the political office for whoever was our state Representative to get community service hours we needed for high school, college, Americorps, etc. Sometimes it was a Democrat in power and sometimes a moderate Republican. When Boehner came out to help garner support for one Republican I chatted with him and saw him speak. He is a pretty likable guy even if I disagree with him on a chunk of issues and his skin is as surreally tan and leathery as it looks on television. The man must spend 18 hours a day in a tanning bed.

Friday, May 7, 2021

In News We All Predicted, Nintendo is Swimming in Money

Last year was the most profitable for Nintendo, ever. 2020 was good to Nintendo for a variety of reasons, but everyone being cooped up at home wanting a Nintendo Switch to play games on was undoubtedly a major factor. I mean, I bought a Switch before the market for them went utterly bonkers (thank God I got it from a store for a good price and not for some absurd mark-up, and everyone else did too. How much money was made? Well, "Nintendo saw a 34.4 percent increase in sales to 1.76 trillion yen ($16.1 billion) and an 85.7 percent spike in net profit, reaching 480 billion yen ($4.39 billion)." Oh, and, "The company had thirty-six games selling a million copies on its hardware, with twenty-two of them being Nintendo titles," so they made bank on the game titles too.

2020 was an awful year for many people, this household included. I'm happy for Nintendo though and hope they keep making fun games and quality consoles (occasional misstep like the WII-U aside). I've been a bit busy so I haven't had time to play my Switch as much, but I continue to enjoy having it. I've come a long way from my vaguely aggressive confusion about the thing some years ago, to sort of wanting one, to now being a fan.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

This Multicolored Boba Fett Toy is Pretty Cool

I'm woefully behind on watching, "Star Wars," movies or shows. I like the franchise perfectly fine, it just isn't my favorite property of them all and I only have so much time to read/watch/play stuff. That said, this recent May 4th  (which has become a bit of a holiday for the brand) it was revealed there would be a retro-looking and rainbow-colored Boba Fett toy, and damn, I want that. The idea behind the color mix is that it is meant to look like a prototype toy. I just think it looks really neat. This snazzy figure will be for sale at Target this Summer and hopefully, I'll be able to snag one.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Yeah, I"ll Gladly Take a New Modest Mouse Album

Modest Mouse has made great music but has taken big breaks between albums. I adored, "We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank," which came out in 2007. Then it wasn't until 2015 they released, "Strangers To Ourselves," and now it's taken until 2021 for, "The Golden Casket." We're finally getting something new though, so I can't look a gift horse in the mouth. "The Golden Casket," will release in full on June 25th and you can listen to a song from it, "We Are Between," at this link. I look forward to the full album!

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

"Dead Dog's Bite," Has Been a Great Comic

"Dead Dog's Bite," is a comic published by Dark Horse about a strange small town where a girl named Mac Guffin (note the clever name) has gone missing for a while. Her best friend, Josephine/"Joe," Bradley refuses to give up trying to figure out what happened and she'll have to put up with a very odd and quirky town in the hopes of figuring out what's going on. The book hasn't been getting a ton of buzz and I don't know why because it is amazing It's halfway done as it is going to be a four-issue mini-series and while there hasn't been a lot of talk, I did enjoy this article by Tom Murphy where he expresses how much he likes the series too.

"Dead Dog's Bite," is by Tyler Boss. Literally, it is entirely by him. He wrote it, drew it, colored it, lettered it, everything. He did so much for this comic I wouldn't be surprised if he was at the printing press overseeing as it was manufactured and the pages were stapled together. The mixture of humor, off-kilter tone, and the strange mystery of what happened to Mac makes for a damn fine read. I can't wait for issue #3 to come out this Wednesday and it'll probably be one of the first comics I read in my stack once I grab a copy. Read this book, now!

5 out of 5 stars.

Monday, May 3, 2021

"Heroineburgh," is a Fun Comic AND Live Action Web Series

Creators of indie comics will sometimes reach out to me and ask me to check out their works. I was intrigued when, "Heroineburgh," contacted me as they weren't only a comic, but also a long-running web series. They found me when I was trending on comics-twitter due to certain posts I'd made on a subject I have now said I'm done discussing. They didn't care about that controversy, they just saw I was trending, read my blog, and noticed when reading my site how I often wrote about cool indie comics. Therefore, they told me about their comic and show then asked if I was interested in learning more. I thought such a thing made a lot of sense as with so many big-name superhero characters getting shows and movies it sounded pretty smart for indie creators to do a similar brand synergy of, "If you like the comic, check out the show (and vice-versa)." I read the first two issues of, "Heroineburgh," and watched some of the latest episodes of the show. I will say I enjoyed both!

The plot of, "Heroineburgh," is that the city of Pittsburgh (where the comic takes place and the show is filmed) had a mysterious meteor explode overhead one night and it bestowed a number of people (mostly those with XX chromosomes) with superpowers. Now, many superheroines are officially recognized by the city as being a public safety force. There are a number of women who have become criminals with their powers and that has resulted in trouble at points. The two issues of the comic that have been released so far all follow different heroines who also appear in the show. The issues tell different fun stories about the diverse cast. I especially liked a story in the first issue which features a genetically modified lizard turning into a Kaiju that the cleverly-named, "X-Machina," fights. What makes all this even more fun is then seeing the characters from the comics come alive on your screen.

The, "Heroineburgh," web series is currently in its second season with 19 episodes total. Some episodes are split into two parts, but whether a full episode or a, "Part," they generally are a bit less or more than 30 minutes. The shows are fun and while not by any means high-budget, do have enough funds put into them that they manage some charming special effects--the costuming is always on point too. The acting tends to be pretty good and the whole show just has a nice fun vibe. Watching it reminded me of the shot-on-video (SOV) horror movies of years past not because things were by any means scary, but because back in the day people would get together with a cool idea, film it, and get it released as a VHS tape that sometimes became a cult hit movie. 

Now we have the internet so instead of SOV we're doing things digitally, but that has allowed even more people to take their ideas and create fun shows. "Heroineburgh," has the same, "We're going to try a bunch of stuff and see what works and what doesn't and we're gonna enjoy ourselves along with way," feeling as SOV movies from the past did and I think that is a major element of why I found it so fun. It is incredibly enthusiastic and eager to share its stories with us via a mixture of seriousness and just the right dose of self-awareness. Another thing that a viewer can appreciate about, "Heroineburgh," is that unlike basically any other hero movies or television shows, there are a ton of female heroes. 

If I may complain a bit, Marvel took more than 10 films to give a female lead-billing ("Captain Marvel,") and DC has been good to, "Wonder Woman," and gave us a movie with Harley Quinn, but female-led properties seem to be the exception rather than a regular thing with some of the big properties these past years. Marvel will be debuting their second female-led movie with, "Black Widow," this Summer, even though they already kind of did her dirty with the way the character was treated in, "Endgame," in my opinion, but I digress. My point is outside of team movies that at least include a female or two and some of the superhero television shows there isn't much with female characters--especially female characters of color, various religions, gay/bi characters, etc.

To much credit of, "Heroineburgh," it is focused on diverse female characters in a way that doesn't seem like it's fishing for compliments for being progressive, it simply has a story to tell that involves a lot of superpowered females and it tells it well. Whether they're dealing with corrupt police mad that funding has been cut due to the superheroines becoming an official branch of the Government, fighting evil business tycoons out to make them look bad, or combatting super-villains, there is a big focus on women. 

Yes, it isn't giving us over-the-top special effects that cost millions of dollars, but it's fun and earnest. You can see everyone making it had just as much fun making an episode as we do when we watch it. Plus, thanks to there being so many heroines featured in different episodes you can basically watch any episode from the first or second season and not be lost or confused as you might be if you tried to watch a later episode of a hero show on the CW or Disney+ (I mean, I don't know who would watch, "Wandavision," without having watched at least some Marvel movies, but if they did they'd be confused).

I feel like I've rambled a bit in this post, but the summary of all this is that I found, "Heroineburgh," to be a very enjoyable comic and fun web series that succeeds thanks to how charming and genuine it is. While it was stressful when I angered certain parts of the internet expressing my opinions, I was happy to see it got me trending and it helped even more folks discover my blog and reach out about their own works. I always love hearing from indie creators and thank Heroineburgh for getting me into their show and comic! You can buy the comics and episodes of the web series on their site, and I'd encourage you to check them out!

5 out of 5 stars for the comic and show.

Note: Issue one and two of, "Heroineburgh," as well as episodes 17 and 18 of the show were provided to me for the purpose of review; you all know the drill by now about me getting press copies of stuff, but I always like to make sure I mention it somewhere.

John Paul Leon has Died

John Paul Leon has died at 49. This sucks. He made some damn fine comic art and was known for being a really nice guy. He did a ton of incredible stuff, but my favorite thing by him has to be the series, "The Winter Men," as well as issue #127 of, "New X-Men," which were about a Soviet superhuman program and a Xorn spotlight issue, respectively. Leon really made a lot of great comics though, and you couldn't go wrong with anything he illustrated.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

My Friend Eric S. Hawkins is Doing a Kickstarter for, "The Zombieful World of Oz," #3

I chatted with Eric Scott Hawkins at the recent Big River Comic-Con and he told me there about how he would soon be launching a Kickstarter campaign. Well, that Kickstarter has started and it is for the third issue of, "The Zombieful World of Oz." It's a steampunk and horror-influenced take on, "The Wizard of Oz," with a grown-up Dorthory Gale dealing with a whole bunch of mayhem now occurring in the magical land. It looks really fun and there are backer levels to catch up any readers who have missed earlier issues--something I always appreciate seeing as it is awkward when you see a Kickstarter campaign for the later issues of a series with no way to read earlier ones! I'd encourage you to check out the Kickstarter for, "The Zombieful World of Oz," #3, and to consider giving it your support!

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Start of May of 2021 Links, News, Etc.

Welcome to the Month of May!

May is among my favorite months for a variety of reasons. The weather is generally wonderful and it features my birthday, which is pretty snazzy. Let's celebrate May with some interesting news and links!

Reading and Learning

Wyatt Russel is such a great actor he got hate for playing the fictional character of John Walker on, "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier," because he was so amazing. He doesn't let it phase him though.

Daniel Schroeder revisited Colton Underwood's season of, "The Bachelor," now that he's come out as gay and found a lot of extra cringeworthy content now that we know more.

"Wonder Showzen," was one of the most surreal programs to ever be broadcasted and its segment with kids acting like reporters, "Beat Kids," was the icing on the cake of edgy weirdness. This oral history explains how it all came to be.

"Mortal Kombat," was an immensely popular and controversial game in the 1990s, so of course there were many (mostly terrible) imitators. Owen S. Good of Polygon has a list. I need to watch the movie still, I heard mixed things.

Mike Rowe is an apologist for the oil industry and quite unquestionably in their pocket when it comes to who is cutting him so big checks to say nice things. He's almost charming and likable enough to make you forget he's a sleazeball.

Funnyman Ron Funches is deadly serious when he says OutKast was better than the Beatles. I mean, he isn't wrong. The Beatles are great and all, but OutKast is just amazing.

This past Earth Day, Susana Polo over at Polygon ranked all of the known DC Earths that exist in the multiverse/omniverse. It was a good read.

Alex Trebek can never be replicated as the host of Jeopardy, but we can hopefully find someone who is good at hosting. What the exact secret recipe is for success, nobody knows.

Finally, Andrew Spiess has a great article examining the recent run of, "The Immortal Hulk," by Al Ewing, Joe Bennett, et al. He delves into its fantastic horror vibe.

Relax, it's May!

I hope this month treats everyone well!

Friday, April 30, 2021

They Went and Made, "Dee's Nuts."

I had a running joke with my wife. I told her that with my name being David, I should start selling nuts. I would call them, "D's nuts." I'd make dumb and silly ads where I'd say things like, "You love those nuts? Well, try D's nuts!" or, "D's nuts taste great in your mouth!" Just dumb juvenile humor. Well, it seems someone had a similar idea as I was at the gas station yesterday and saw the above display. The spelling is different than I imagined, but we've got, "Dee's Nuts."

Dee's Nuts had a variety of flavors that looked kind of odd from, "Banana pudding," to, "Pickle," a more normal, "Cool Ranch Siracha," and the one that sounded especially interesting to me, "Peanut butter and jelly." I will admit that Dee's Nuts were indeed tasty and I liked them. It's more than just a silly joke, it is some good stuff. The flavor wasn't overpowering, there was enough (but not too much) salt, and Dee's Nuts had a good crunch.

While I'm a little sad that I wasn't able to create and sell D's Nuts, I am happy to have tried and enjoyed Dee's Nuts. I'm still wary of the banana pudding flavor, but I may try the cool ranch siracha in the future. Dee's Nuts were indeed dee-licious! Find them at all quality stores or on their website.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

"All the Places in Between," is a Fantastic Comic About Mental Health as a Metaphor

John Cei Douglas' new original graphic novel, "All the Places in Between," is dedicated to exploring mental health as a metaphor. It imagines our mindscape as everything from a lighthouse to a strange crumbling city near a cliff hit by a tidal wave of depression. Published by Liminal 11, I found Douglas' book to be a stellar read as gorgeous to look at as it was meditative.

There is no dialogue throughout, "All the Places in Between." Just occasional text denoting a new chapter or section. Everything else wordless in a manner that assists in showing how hard it can be to communicate our struggles when dealing with anxiety, depression, and the like. A nameless heroine tries to navigate various difficult landscapes and finds that having a companion can really help to ease the stress--just as in life how having a solid support network is immensely useful.

Having the sequential narrative be silent means the art has to really, "Speak," for itself. Douglas is a fantastically skilled artist, however, and manages to impart so much emotion and meaning in his drawings without ever needing to have a word uttered by anyone. The black-and-white artwork hits with an eye-pleasing impact, whether it's a relaxing scene in a meadow or a moment of immense terror as the aforementioned tidal wave rolls in.

"All the Places in Between," is a stupendous book that excels in exploring mental health through artistic metaphor. I would encourage you to buy a copy for yourself from Liminal 11's website, at all finer bookstores, or you can always see if your library can get a copy! It's a marvelous book.

5 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Confession: NFTs Just Confuse Me

I've written posts critical of cryptocurrency before. People have made a lot of money from it, but I still worry it will turn into a house of cards that comes crumbling down at some point (I could be wrong and just look like an out-of-touch old fogey, but so is life). To complicate things further there are now NFTS (Non-fungible tokens), which are basically digital pieces of art that utilize blockchain technology (like crypto uses) to make a piece of art that has unique data making it valuable because...well, just because. This article by Mitchell Clark helps explain things a little bit but don't worry if you're still bewildered, I am too. It's basically jpegs worth thousands or sometimes millions of dollars because they contain unique coding, as I understand it. 

Blockchain mining is of course pretty bad for the environment and some think NFTs just sound like a big scam, but a lot of artists have found it helpful to them when it comes to making some money. Corporations, of course, are interested now too, be they a video-game studio such as Sega, make Magic cards like Hasbro, or comic companies thinking about making NFTs. The whole thing just confuses me even as I try to learn about it. I won't be, "Investing," in NFTs, but more power to those who do.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

My Post Critical of Comicsgate Attracted a Lot of Attention

Yesterday I made a post where I declared I would no longer talk about a certain comic publisher due to their support of the hate group known as Comicsgate. This resulted in lots of tweets arguing it wasn't a hate group between tweets calling me all kinds of terrible names. I deleted and then stopped allowing comments on my post without me moderating them as I didn't feel like being called terrible words on my own blog. This is my site, so my rules (Twitter is whatever, but this is my house, so to speak). For people who are so sure they aren't in a hate group, I sure got a lot of unpleasant tweets accusing me of everything from being an SJW (which I proudly am) to a furry (I am not, but no judgment) to a Nazi (which is hilarious for a number of reasons). Those were the more thought-out tweets between ones using your usual foul language or accusing me of being put up to saying negative things by other bogeymen of the Comicsgate community (yeah, Mark Waid has me on speed dial and asked me to talk smack about them, sure).

I guess having a blog makes me a member of, "The media," who are out to, "Get," Comicsgate. I don't know what there is to, "Get," as they prove daily they are all the terrible things we think they are. I'm honestly just some random dude on the internet though. Yes, my blog pulls in some solid numbers now that I've done it for 10 years, but I'm not some huge website. If one random dude saying he doesn't like Comicsgate gets this much negative attention from them I can't imagine what it is like for the comic creators they've targeted and harassed. People like  Larry Hama, Alex de Campi, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Matt Fraction, Eve Ewing, Tess Fowler, and Ta-Nehisi Coates, to name just some individuals. I'm not a big media superstar. I'm just a guy on the internet who has written long enough I eventually built up an audience. The response of those who claim to be proud members of Comicsgate to my words however has only further proven they are everything I and others say they are.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Olivia Rodrigo's "Deja Vu," is a Catchy Tune

I have to confess that I did not really like, "Driver's License," by Olivia Rodrigo. I didn't hate it, but I found the song to walk the border between sweetly sad and outright melodramatic, with that over-the-top bridge being a bit much for me. That said, I thought she had some serious skill in singing and wondered what else she might have in store for us. Having heard her song, "Deja Vu," I can say I quite like the tune.

"Deja Vu," has a nice bit of snark and combative energy that the wallowing-in-self-pity, "Driver's License," lacked. It features Rodrigo talking about a boyfriend doing various fun things with his new girl, but Rodrigo points out maybe she should be informed that despite thinking she's special and unique, "'s all reused/That was our place, I found it first/I made the jokes you tell to her when she's with you." Basically, Rodrigo sees he is trying to recreate with his new lover what he had with Rodrigo--she wonders if he almost even says her name sometimes when he means to refer to his new gal. Plus, lyrics aside, the song really slaps. It has a cranking melody, Rodrigo singing energetically with her impressive pipes, and you just wanna chant along with it, "Do you get Deja Vu?" in the chorus. I dig it.

"Jimmy's Vendetta: Part One," Kicks-off a Supernatural Thriller With Style

Blue Fox Publishing will be launching a Kickstarter in late May or early June for their new comic, "Jimmy's Vendetta: Part One." I look forward to the campaign to help get it published as I quite enjoyed the first issue I was provided with a digital review copy of! It is written by Luca Palumbo with art by Christos Kyriacou and they make a phenomenal team.

The story centers on a mafia in the near future (2189) that suddenly finds itself losing members to a mysterious killer. That killer is in fact a former mobster named Jimmy who was killed by his own crew and has returned from the dead. Jimmy only vaguely remembers the faces of those who killed him and has no clue why he was killed or for what reason he's even back. What Jimmy does know is he wants revenge.

I really enjoyed, "Jimmy's Vendetta: Part One," with the futuristic setting being one aspect I loved as someone who adores sci-fi settings. Kyriacou's art expertly imparts the vibe of this city with its mixture of glitz and gutters, plus when Jimmy's half-alive corpse shows up it looks perfectly grotesque and terrifying. This isn't a man who has been brought back to life fully, he's a shambling pile of bones and flesh and looks it! Palumbo's writing gets across that the people Jimmy is hunting down are by no means good people, but also is careful to show Jimmy isn't a saint either. 

A lot of questions are raised as to why Jimmy may be back and whom it may benefit, but as this is the first issue its main focus is setting everything up and getting the story moving, which it does fantastically. I'd encourage you to check out the other works of Blue Fox Publishing on their site and keep an eye out in the meantime for when the Kickstarter campaign launches for, "Jimmy's Vendetta: Part One."

5 out of 5 stars.

I Can No Longer Support the Publisher Alterna Due to Their Comicsgate Association

I've written about how awful Comicsgate is. Comicsgate is a, "Movement," that is mostly gone, but pieces of it still kick around being hateful and awful. It basically is an attempt to make comics, "Good again," in the sense there are no politics (well, liberal politics), no inclusivity, and it imagines an era of comics that never existed. Comic books have always been political, had an agenda, and so forth. Comicsgate members often harass and insult others, doxx innocent comic creators, and otherwise are awful. Apparently, the publisher of Alterna, Peter Simeti, is close with Comicsgate and people who have done a lot with the, "Organization," such as Ethan Van Sciver. That is not good.

I basically thought Alterna was just a fun indie publisher who sometimes reached out to me so I could review their works. I didn't really follow their social media, but when Peter would email me about their stuff to review in the past I would. I followed him on Twitter a bit ago and saw odd little things that gave me pause, but nothing outright supporting Comicsgate. Then this Twitter exchange happened:

I wasn't going to argue with him on his Twitter page as that is his own little place. I just told him I couldn't support him anymore. He called me hateful, which is ironic. We're on my blog now, though, so this is my house and you know full damn well I'm going to drop some knowledge. Comicsgate is unquestionably a hate group, Ethan Van Sciver is a huge garbage person, and I will never, ever support Alterna again having seen this full-throated endorsement of Comicsgate from them. I don't know how Peter became so misled as to want to have his, "Fans," be members of a hate group, but that's his choice. My choice is to never support Alterna ever again with my dollars or ever review any of their works if they reach out to beg for some exposure for their books. I don't support hate.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

I Might Watch the 2021 Oscars Tonight for ONE Reason: Steven Soderbergh

I've mostly quit watching award shows. I find them to often be dull events in self-congratulatory navel-gazing that are best enjoyed by watching the few highlights people talk about the next day. There are sometimes great moments sprinkled in these three or four-hour events, but again, watching the highlights saves you a lot of time. That said, I am actually a little bit interested in the 2021 Oscars for one reason and one reason alone--the involvement of Steven Soderbergh.

Steven Soderbergh is producing the 2021 Oscars with Stacey Sher and Jesse Collins. They want to make it, "Cinematic." I'm not sure what exactly that means, but Soderbergh makes damn good movies. Whether he's creating a flick about a pandemic that uncomfortably predicted a lot--"Contagion,"--bringing us a movie about dudes gyrating for dollar bills--"Magic Mike,"--or doing any of his other great works, Soderbergh is a skilled creator of entertaining stuff. Lord knows the Oscars need more entertaining stuff, so why not let Soderbergh make it a little different and weird? I always say I'll take weird over boring any day. I'm not really a fan of award shows, but I am a fan of projects Soderbergh is involved with. I guess I might as well give the show a shot, or at least DVR it and watch tomorrow with the ability to fast-forward through the many, many ads.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

The 2021 Big River Comic Convention Was Amazing Fun!

On Friday I attended the Big River Comic Convention. It occurred today as well, but I was only able to stop by Friday. The hours I did spend there on Friday were wonderful, however! There were a bunch of great vendors, awesome celebrity guests, almost everyone was wearing masks appropriately, people kept their distance, and it was just all-around a fantastic time. In a kinda-sorta alphabetical order, I will now discuss a chunk of the coolness I encountered...

Alex the Comic Hoarder

Alex is a self-described comic hoarder, hence his name. He was at the show willing to sell a ton of great books and we were able to make some snazzy trades. You can find his extremely entertaining YouTube channel on the interwebs and you should subscribe to it!

All Things Lauren

Lauren Schweer is a cosplayer and also does professional photography. She was at the show in some stupendous outfits!

Carey Means

I got to meet the voice of Frylock from, "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," as well as other popular animated characters, but I'll always know Carey Means as Frylock. Mr. Means was a joy to speak with between his clever insights and hilarious jokes. He was kind enough to pose with an original piece of art he made. You can watch him in action on his YouTube channel.

Eric Scott Hawkins

Mr. Hawkins is the creator of, "The Zombieful World of Oz," which is a zombie-filled steampunk take on, "The Wizard of Oz." It's as wild as it sounds and soon he'll be launching a Kickstarter campaign for the 3rd issue of his comic!

Fortress Comics

Fortress Comics had a stellar assortment of books to browse at the show.

John L. Davis IV

I chatted with author John L. Davis IV at the con and bought his collection of horror-themed short stories as I love a good anthology.

Monroe St. Press

The folk at Monroe St. Press take vintage reading and republish it for everyone to enjoy. I bought a neat repressing of an old children's book, "The Magic Pudding."

NSB Dorkphorya

NSB Dorkphyorya was selling a bunch of great comics at the show and I was able to do some dealing with them!

The Whole Show Was Great

It was a Stupendous show and I am honored Big River Comic-Con let me come to cover it again this year. I can't wait for 2022!