Saturday, April 30, 2022

Neal Adams Has Passed

Neal Adams has died at the age of 80. He was an amazing creator. He made so many awesome comics and was outspoken about the people who made our beloved artform getting proper treatment. I saw him at two separate conventions and he was engaging and excited to talk about everything from, "Batman: Odyssey," to how people were getting famous on social media and that he wished he had that technology back in the day as the world was getting more and more connected in fabulous ways.

I would read stories of some people running into Adams at cons and him not being in the best mood, but I am pleased that any time I saw him he was extremely friendly and otherwise beaming with excitement to see fans at a convention. It cannot be stated enough how much Adams did for the art form of comics and fighting for creator's rights. He will be missed.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Film Friday: The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is a Stupendously Good Time

I was able to catch a showing of Nicholas Cage's latest movie, "The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent." It stars Nick Cage as, well, Nick Cage. He plays a (slightly) exaggerated version of himself who is equally eager to work and exhausted with Hollywood. As the trailer for the film shows, to pay off some debt he goes to the birthday party of an eccentric rich guy who loves Cage's work and supposedly has made a fortune in agriculture but might be hiding some secrets. Pedro Pascal plays this fellow and is an absolute hoot. Pascal and Cage just being zany and off the wall is the main draw of this film and they deliver the goods. 

Watching Nicholas Cage poke fun at himself in such a self-aware manner while also actually making a convincing argument for himself as deserving of a little more respect as an actor gives the whole movie a surreal metafictional air. How much is drawn from real life and how much is exaggerated, one is left to wonder? Plus, it helps that this film is hilarious. Everyone in the supporting cast is terrific from Neil Patrick Harris as Cage's agent to Sharon Horgan as Cage's latest ex-wife and Lily Sheen as Cage's very annoyed teenage daughter. Plus, we get Ike Barinholtz and Tiffany Haddish as CIA agents who riff off of each other deliciously. At just over an hour and a half, "The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent," is the perfect length, never wearing out its welcome but instead leaving us wanting more. This is definitely worth watching.

5 out of 5 stars.

Film Friday: Sony Is Making Some Random Spidey-Related Flicks


Sony owns the rights to characters that relate to Spider-Man. They've shared with Disney/Marvel so that everyone at both companies can cheer as money falls from the ceiling as if it were a game show. Seriously, the last Spidey flick was especially bonkers in how much it made. However, Sony does have its own flicks that can essentially acknowledge Spider-Man but not always the MCU, maybe? There might be a separate Universe? It is still unclear exactly how the rules work, but Sony is doing its own thing too with stuff like Venom, Morbius, a Kraven movie incoming, Madame Web, and now...El Muerto?

Yes, El Muerto is a character who appeared in a couple of, "Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man," comics some years ago...then was never heard from again. He's going to be in a movie with musician Bad Bunny playing him. This was announced at the same time Sony mentioned the no-brainer of, "Venom III." People went from saying, "Of course!" to even those who know deep-cut characters that have interacted with Spider-Man scratching their heads and saying, "Huh?" I thought making a Madame Web movie was digging heavily into a list of Spidey's friends & foes, but this is as deep a dive as there ever was. If the movie will be good I don't mind by any means how random a character is getting a film, however. I'll just take some quality entertainment.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Time For an Article About How Wendy's Has Made Me Angry

I will never eat at the Wendy's near our house ever again. I will still eat at other Wendy's restaurants, but the one near our home has angered me to an absurd degree that I'm going full-on Karen, as the kids say. You see, I may live in one of the safest cities in Missouri, but I feel outright robbed by that Wendy's. I tried to handle everything in a respectable manner without going online and complaining as us David's apparently like to do, but all other options are exhausted and I shall use my very public platform to discuss how a fast food restaurant did me wrong.

It was April 19th of 2022 and I went to the Wendy's located at 14799 Manchester Road. I had ordered in the Wendy's app so that my order would hopefully have zero chance of being messed up. When I arrived there at 6:45 PM the line was crazy-long. That was okay, I know stores are short on staff so it is important to be patient. I waited in the drive-thru line (nobody was allowed inside the location and it was drive-thru only) and got to the order box. I told them my order and was informed I needed to pull up a bit so they could bring it to me when it was ready. After waiting some more my food was brought out. I had ordered two drinks and a Frosty. I was only given one drink and a Frosty but before I could say anything the employees had run back inside. It was 7:35 PM or so by this point and the store was set to close at 8PM so I just shrugged and figured that would be the only mistake, perhaps. I was wrong.

I got home and my wife's nuggets were missing, my chicken sandwich was totally wrong, and the drink that we did get was not even correct. Half the order was incorrect or missing. At this point, Wendy's was closed so I figured I would go the next day to tell them what happened and they'd be happy to fix everything. I was soon to learn that I was wrong yet again.

The next day I went to Wendy's after I dropped Clarkson off at school. I drove up to the order window and told them how I had placed an order in the app, came to get it, and that a big chunk was wrong. I said I could show them the app if they had any questions. They asked if it was a Doordash order and I explained that no, it was me in the app. They asked if I had gone back to the store yesterday or called. I clarified the store had already closed by then. I was told that because I hadn't made the problem known yesterday or called even if the store was already closed, I was out of luck. I was surprised to hear this because you know who fixes problems near our house if something is wrong? Basically any other fast food store near us. If I go to the McDonald's near our home at 15204 Manchester Road and inform them an item was forgotten or messed up, they offer to replace it or give me a gift card. I always have the receipt, but they say it is all good if I offer to give it to them--they just help me. Wendy's did the opposite.

I did some Googling and eventually found the number to call Wendy's hotline. I called and after holding for some time got a human. I explained everything that had happened so far to them. They said they could refund me the value of the items in the app or could inform the general manager at that specific Wendy's so that the manager could call and talk with me. I said I'd be happy to talk with the manager so I could discuss with them what had gone wrong and how things could be improved in the future. It has been a number of days and no manager has called from that Wendy's. 

I can only conclude that whoever is running the Wendy's near my house doesn't care that a customer is upset. They didn't know this customer had a blog that attracts a significant number of readers every month who enjoy pop-culture ramblings. They also didn't know that I'm perturbed enough to call out this specific Wendy's and then tweet the corporate account so they can be aware of how disappointing this specific location is. As I said, I'll still eat at Wendy's but don't expect to ever see me at that location closest to our house ever again. I'm far too petty, and I will admit that. I would still encourage people to eat at Wendy's restaurants that are near them, but if you're ever in my area and see this specific Wendy's, just keep driving up the street to the McDonald's is what I'd suggest.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

"The Death of the Justice League," Gives Us That and Little Else

Death in comics means basically nothing (at least in hero-focused stuff). When a character dies the odds are they'll be back. It might take less than even a year or decades, but they return. The saying used to go that nobody stays dead besides, "Bucky, Jason Todd, and Uncle Ben." Then they brought Jason Todd back as the Red Hood, Bucky came back as the Winter Soldier (and Captain America for a time). Uncle Ben remains dead, but seeing as how an alternate-universe version of Gwen Stacy now is a big thing and folks thought she would have to stay dead...who knows about some multiversal Uncle Ben appearing someday? My point is that death in comics is impermanent but if you make that death seem like it matters at least then the death itself can result in some good drama. Should killing your character/s produce some good storytelling, go ahead and do it even though we all know they'll be returning before too long. This leads me to ask, how could a comic about killing a bunch of the Justice League in, "Justice League," #75 feel underwhelming of all things?

I've not been reading the main, "Justice League," comic much, but have been following general summaries of the story and was dipping my toe into the, "Justice League Incarnate," that the main team encounters and works with this issue. Basically, a Darkness is sweeping the Universe and it seems like this is the kind of challenge that can't be beaten. Everyone teams up (the JL, JLI, and other characters who got pulled into the fight such as Black Adam) and a man known as Pariah appears and causes all kinds of trouble along with the Darkness as a bunch of the OG Justice League die. Some get smashed, others are instantly disintegrated, it is supposed to be dramatic, but it is less of a big deal itself than ending with the cliffhanger of, "Read Dark Crisis to see what happens next!"

Joshua Williamson is a skilled writer and Rafa Sandoval is an amazing artist. However, they have the unenviable task of taking an issue that is in some ways a big climax of storylines but has to set up an event, and this results in this feeling a bit like the ending half of one story and the beginning half of another instead of its own dramatic thing. I mean, a big chunk of the Justice League is dead, in the main DC continuity! That should be wild! Remember when other comic characters have died how it made National news? This wiping out of a whole bunch of major characters has barely registered a pulse among the media or readers. That's not for lack of Sandoval's stellar art either. He illustrates the heroes fighting the Darkness and those under its control gorgeously. The comic is basically one massive fight scene and thanks to Sandoval it is a stupendous one. 

I'm going to guess all or most of these heroes will return during or after, "Dark Crisis." I may be wrong, but I could see that happening--which is fine! As I said, superhero deaths happen as often as the common cold in comic-books. Still, I just wish this felt more like its own dramatic occurrence as opposed to a mix of a blasé ending merged with an attempt to start an event with a, "Shocking," number of deaths.

2.5 out of 5 stars overall (the art is worthy of 5 out of 5 stars, however).

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

I Reviewed, "Gnartoons," for Forces of Geek

I'll review things sometimes for my chums over at Forces of Geek. I just read and offered my thoughts on, "Gnartoons," by James the Stanton. It is a very strange comic without a doubt. Did I love it for that reason? Hate it? Read my review here and find out!

Monday, April 25, 2022

A Short Thought on Netflix and Their Silly Business Moves

Hey, Netflix. If you're losing customers (and your stock is in trouble) I don't think your responses are the smartest moves. You probably shouldn't start showing ads or cracking down on password sharing because I can think of plenty of people who would just outright cancel Netflix if ads pop up or sharing gets nixed. With so many streaming options out there Netflix is still the biggest dog in the game, but it is no longer the only big dog. Plenty of others are coming for the crown. Don't think investing in games is going to be a surefire way to stay on top either, Netflix. Maybe stop canceling shows people like so quickly, or before they can even give them a chance? You throw so much at all the walls and don't even wait to see what sticks. 

Other streaming services might have less in terms of the sheer amount of stuff, but what is there is nice and curated and enjoyable. Because you're the Netflix you don't have an exact niche like some streaming services that do specific things and do them well, you're all over the place. That's fine too, but asking us to pay more when other services cost a ton less and provide similar quality entertainment is dumb. You're making some silly business moves that are only going to make things quite bad before they possibly get better...or just become even worse. Tread carefully these next few months, Netflix, you don't want to piss everyone off and tank your stock even more.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

My Two Favorite Foreign Sodas Are Actually Both Owned by Coca-Cola

The Coca-Cola Corporation makes a lot of products. They have certain sodas you can only (easily) find in other countries. My two favorite, "Foreign," sodas are actually created by Coke and that's just trippy. I am referring to Inca Kola and Thums Up. Now, Inca Kola was originally its own company but due to corporate restructuring and debt, they basically let Coke take over the brand in 1997 besides in the soda's native country of Peru. Thums Up was created by Coke employees the Chauhan brothers and a research team in 1977 and is huge in India. Both drinks are very different yet tasty in their own unique way.

Inca Kola is sweet and fruity, with some thinking it reminds them of a cream soda with a slight hint of lemon. Thums Up tastes a bit like Coke but with a stronger smack of cinnamon and perhaps nutmeg--it is almost a bit spicy. You can find Inca Kola in America in South American specialty stores with Thums Up found in Indian grocery stores. I am, of course, working at drinking less soda overall, but when I get hankering for a carbonated sweet drink these hit the spot. It is just odd that these decidedly, "International," drinks both have a very domestic owner.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

A Madballs and Garbage Pail Kids Crossover Sounds Quite Fun

I've written before about being a fan of the weirdly hideous bouncy toys known as Madballs and the comics which featured them. Now, they and the parodic Garbage Pail Kids will be having an epic crossover via the publisher Dynamite! Yes, in July of 2022 there will be, "Madballs vs. Garbage Pail Kids," #1. Sholly Fisch shall be writing the mini-series and Jason Crosby is doing the art. This is probably going to be quite the wild little event and I'm excited about it!

Friday, April 22, 2022

"The Stretcher Bearers," is a Stark and Thoughtful Graphic Novel

I received a copy (for the purposes of review) of the graphic novel, "The Stretcher Bearers." Published by Dead Reckoning, they are the graphic novel division of the nonprofit organization known as the U.S. Naval Institute. This graphic novel is written by brothers Reid Beaman and Ryan Beaman with Reid illustrating. It is a superb piece of historical fiction that really puts readers into the thick of the World War I. The comic chronicles the lives of men known as stretcher bearers, soldiers, "who were tasked with running into harm’s way to rescue their fallen brethren from the clutches of death." We specifically follow Maxwell Fox with his fellow troops as they struggle to survive in the Hellish parts of the battlefield known as No Man's Land.

Reid's illustrations really impart how claustrophobic and crushing it must have felt being in the trenches as everything blew up or got shot to pieces around you, and his detailed art imparts how gruesome war could be without seeming intentionally nasty so much as just brutally honest about the horrors of combat. Whether facing poison gases, airplanes strafing them, or their own psyches' betraying them, Reid draws everything with fantastic skill as he and Ryan give us a tale of trying to find the faintest glimmers of hope in a nightmarish place.
"The Stretcher Bearers," is a fantastic book that shines a light on a war that often gets overlooked in our history classes and popular culture. Reid and Ryan Beaman do a fantastic job giving us a story that is harsh but not completely grim and definitely worth a read.
5 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

My Article About the Worst Date Movies Has Been Posted at Cinemaways

I sometimes contribute articles to various places and one I wrote for Cinemaways has been posted on their site! It is about the, "Top 10 Worst Date Movies." Many of the movies are great, but really bad choices to view if you're with a potential romantic partner. Give the article a read and let me know if I forgot a flick that you would (or do) regret seeing on a date.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

"A Hunter's Tale," is a Thoughtful Poem-Meets-Comic

I like to try out comics I see that look interesting and when I saw the solicitation for, "A Hunter's Tale," I was super intrigued. Ryan Claytor (of Elephant Eater Comics) is a comic creator and he illustrates a poem by his Grandfather, Kermit Claytor. The poem is about a hunter finding a deer in the woods and thinking about life from the deer's point of view as well. It is a great poem about empathy and Ryan is a skilled artist who really brings the words to life as we read them over the pages.

I really enjoyed reading, "A Hunter's Tale," and would encourage you to ask your comic shop to order you a copy, or you can get one for yourself via this link! I give, "A Hunter's Tale," 5 out of 5 stars.

Monday, April 18, 2022

The Aqua Teen Hunger Force Has Returned!

Between Kendrick Lamar announcing a new album, the trailer for the next Thor movie, and what I'm about to report on here, today has been a good day for me regarding news about entertainment I enjoy! You see, it has been over seven(!) years since any kind of new content featuring the Aqua Teen Hunger Force (and friends). The series had a movie, changed its name off and on, and was always off-the-wall weird. When I met the voice of Frylock, Carey Means, at the 2021 Big River Comic Convention he hinted that something was maybe in the works (but couldn't say more). Then, less than a month later Adult Swim announced some cool projects were in the works, including new ATHF content. 

Now we have, "Aquadonk Side Pieces." There will be 10 one-shot shorts featuring various, "Famous," and, "Popular," characters from the ATHF mythos. As Polygon explains in this article, "Adult Swim will release a new episode of Aquadonk Side Pieces every day from today until April 17 via the network’s official YouTube channel, with each episode premiering at 12:00 p.m. EDT. The as-yet-untitled Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie sequel is slated to release sometime this summer." I do indeed wonder if there will be a big announcement on the 17th about the movie. One can dream, eh?

"Thor: Love and Thunder," Has Released a Teaser Trailer

It feels like we've been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for a trailer in regards to the new Thor movie. Today the official teaser trailer for, "Thor: Love and Thunder," dropped, however! We only get a glimpse of Natalie Portman wielding Mjollnir, and there is no Gorr the God Butcher as far as I could see, but this little taste has me excited. Have a look:

We get to see Chris Hemsworth's Thor hanging with the Guardians of the Galaxy, there's a little glimpse of Tessa Thompson (appearing to be stuck dealing with bureaucracy as the ruler of New Asgard). It looks fun, and if it can be half as entertaining as, "Thor: Ragnarok," it is bound to be a good time.

In Awesome News, Kendrick Lamar Has Announced His New Album!

Bust open the, "Break in case of emergency celebration," glass, everyone! Kendrick Lamar has announced that his new album, "Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers," is coming out May 13th, of this year! For some context, the last album Lamar released (not counting how heavily he contributed to the, "Black Panther," soundtrack) was, "DAMN." That came out April 14th, 2017. For further context, my now five-year-old son wasn't even three months old yet at that time. To say I've eagerly been awaiting a follow-up would be an understatement. When Lamar releases an LP it is generally my album of the year, so while I don't want to get my hopes up to an insane level, I am incredibly pumped! Now to figure out what it means that he seems to be using the moniker, "Oklama." I love a good mystery.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Archie Comics is Doing NFTs and Nope, Just Nope!

It was announced that Archie comics (with the help of an agency known as Palm NFT) will be bringing us an Archieverse in the form of NFTs. Folks will be able to buy one of 66,666 tokens for $66.66 each and then will get to play games and contribute story ideas for new Archie horror comics. If your ideas or artwork get chosen you get some royalties and story credit. In other words, people will have the ability to buy the right to pitch Archie comic ideas. It's quite the clever scheme if by clever you mean stupid. Individuals are expected to pay to enter some community with little alternate reality games and to get to try to break into the comic industry--the industry should be paying you, friends, not the other way around. It goes without saying that a lot of Archie fans (young or old) don't like this

This is a shame as Archie has put out some damn good comics in the modern era, with some of the horror ones being fantastic before they were horrifically delayed (to the point I doubt they'll ever actually conclude). We all know NFTs are a scam. The biggest supposed success story from them is a game that is basically digital feudalism and suffered a massive hack of the supposed super-secure currency. It is one big hustle, all of it. Alas, until NFTs come crashing down the grift will continue.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

I Love this Cover of, "So Into You," by Donald Glover/Childish Gambino

As many of you know, I like hearing interesting covers of songs. I enjoy unique/weird ones a lot and how when they're done well they can just sound snazzy. Lately, I've been really digging one that was recorded some years ago with Donald Glover AKA Childish Gambino. He does the original version of, "So Into You," by Tamia--it later had a remix of sorts by Fabolous which featured her (two versions, actually, with one having Ashanti, it's complicated). You can hear the original song right here and then I've helpfully embedded Glover's cover below:

How did I not know about this until recently? I'm a fan of much of Glover's work (I still need to watch, "Atlanta," but I'm working on it), and this is just plain snazzy.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Oh Great, People With My Name Complain the Most Online

I love watching News 4 Great Day (formerly Great Day Saint Louis) in the morning. Today, they discussed how the most common name that complains about things online is not Karen as one would suppose. It is actually, David. Yes, my name. That is what has been reported online at least by some tabloidy papers. Apparently, we Davids love to complain online and leave bad reviews for things. Now, I will admit that when I wrote on Yelp back in the day I would at times not leave glowing reviews of everything, but I usually said more good stuff than bad. I also am at times not a fan of stuff here on the blog but calling me a #1 complainer would be a stretch compared to some reviewers. I guess there are just plenty of Davids out there who like to hate on stuff. What can ya do?

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Charlamange Tha God Will be Developing Comics

I'm a big fan of the radio show, "The Breakfast Club," which has Charlamange Tha God as a host. I also really enjoyed, "Tha God's Honest Truth," a show he hosted and which will be returning for another season this Summer. He's discussed his fondness for comic books on multiple occasions and now is going to be getting into the comic-book business. Charlamange will be working with Simon and Schuster as well as AWA to develop ideas and get talent to create various titles. He's already tapped Kevin Grevioux to do a new graphic novel for Simon and Schuster called, "Darkstorm," about, "...a reluctant superhero with PTSD who is seen as an anti-hero except to those who know him best." 

That synopsis sounds a little generic but Grevioux is a good writer so I'm optimistic about it. A comic that will be coming from AWA  is, "The Vindicators," and it centers on a, "...diverse superhero team and a relatable origin story set in a bleak dystopian future." I've enjoyed other stuff by Grevioux that I have read and I am a fan of Charlamange's work so my interest is quite piqued in all of this. I look forward to reading the upcoming comics and imagine Charlamange will discuss them on his radio show and when his television program returns.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Dan DiDio Seems to Have Plans and is Making Moves

Dan Didio was fired from DC Comics. We didn't know why back then and still lack that knowledge. He seemed to be kicking back during the pandemic and relatively happy though. He also contributed to an oral history of the New52 (in which he played a big role). DiDio was keeping things relatively low-key. However, news has come out that he is going to be running a new publishing business with Frank Miller involved. Little else is known, but I imagine DiDio is going to be getting more creators for whatever business venture he has in mind. He clearly has plans and is starting to make moves. What exactly DanDio is up to is a mystery, but I'm sure as answers become apparent it'll be quite interesting.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Gilbert Gottfried Has Passed

Gilbert Gottfried has passed. The statement of his passing mentioned a, "Long illness," and some sites think it was related to a heart condition. Regardless of the cause of death, he led a long and often hilarious life. I was a fan of his as a kid and an adult. He did child-friendly things like voicing Iago in, "Aladdin," and a guest appearance on, "Are you Afraid of the Dark?" He also was at one point the voice of the AFLAC duck, but certain jokes upset the company and they fired him from the gig. Speaking of edgy jokes, Gottfried excelled at those too. He basically tells the best/dirtiest joke possible in a clip of him from, 'The Aristocrats," but was apparently still a, "Big softie on the inside." Whether he was doing stand-up, performing in a movie, or appearing on, "Flea Market Flip," of all things (I love that show) Gottfried was an intriguing guy. He will be missed.

Monday, April 11, 2022

So Much For an Amazing Doughnut with a Free Comic

On April 1st Bad Idea announced they would be at the then-upcoming South Carolina Comic-Con, but as we know they are supposedly no longer a comic-book publisher. They were now selling doughnuts/donuts. They said for $20 you could get an incredible new style of donut and they'd throw in a comic and a fun box. The comic is about a beaver who deals with a cruel corporation or something, but I was curious if the donut was actually going to be good as the press release on April 1st went on and on about the donut. I talked with one of my sources (e.g. some random person I happen to know who bought it), and they told me it was a Krispy Kreme donut. Just a glazed Krispy Kreme donut, not even sprinkles or something clever. The donut was the real April Fool's joke, clearly. 

Bad Idea could've just sold the beaver comic for $20 without making a big deal out of donuts as the comic is already going for dumb money on eBay like other limited Bad Idea items. As I keep saying, Bad Idea puts out good comics and if they'd drop the dumb gimmicks they'd maybe actually get some respect in the comic industry. As it is, they did something stupid and got press for it. I guess in the end they won as here I am talking about them. Even when they lose, they win in some twisted fashion. That's arguably the most impressive thing about Bad Idea at the end of the day.

Sunday, April 10, 2022

How Exactly is a Dinosaur like, "The Joker," Colin Trevorrow?

Remember when the, "Jurassic Park/World," franchise was about how humankind's desire to make a quick buck resulted in them attempting to create a park full of dinosaurs that failed--once before it even opened and another time when a genetically modified dino wreaked mayhem? Yeah, simpler times. Now we've got a dinosaur that is being compared to The Joker in, "The Dark Knight," because, "He wants to watch the World burn." A Dinosaur, a creature that should operate on primal urges, apparently is also a criminal mastermind. It is a Gigantosaurus, and it is apparently the, "Bad guy dino," of, "Jurassic World: Dominion," according to director Colin Treverrow. 

Treverrow directed the first, "Jurassic World," which despite having a number of flaws was overall a pretty good time in my opinion. Then we had the weird-but-not-bad, "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," with director J. A. Bayona, who gave us almost kind of a strange horror movie at points and set the Dinosaurs free into the World at the end. Now Treverrow is back and giving us a weird yarn about the dinos coexisting with humans--not very well--with the old and OG cast working together to solve this mayhem. Apparently, the dinosaurs are crazy villains now too for some reason--I guess more genetic meddling? It is just an odd statement. I'm still hopeful for a good flick as when I rate the, "Jurassic," films I love the original the most, then, "Jurassic World," comes in second. It is just such a weird phrase to say about the movie. 

Oh, and in case you want the full ranking:
1. Jurassic Park
2. Jurassic World
3. Jurassic Park: The Lost World
4. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
5. Jurassic Park III

Saturday, April 9, 2022

The Big River Comic-Con of 2022 Was an Absolute Blast!

A free cookie from the show!

The Big River Comic-Con of 2022 has wrapped and as with any other time I've attended, I had an incredible amount of fun. There were a bunch of attendees with some in incredible cosplay and others in regular clothes who were simply excited to check out comics and toys and more! I attended Friday afternoon when it kicked off and I was there a bit of Saturday too! I started the show off by saying hello to my good friend Alex the Comic Hoarder. We were able to cut a deal trading comics and I think we both walked away pleased! Here he is posing with some of his wares:

I saw my chum Jack of Fortress Comics too. He had a wild assortment of superb books and was a treat to chat with as always. He posed with some of his lovely comics for me:

There were some big celebrities at the show! UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes was happily chatting with fans and signing all kinds of cool memorabilia. He can be found on his Instagram! He was kind enough to pose for a picture:

I also had the pleasure of chatting with Austin Tindle, who has voiced a ton of anime characters! Here he is kindly posing with his banner:

Michael Biehn was another guest at the show. I know him best for, "Terminator," "Aliens," and how he was the voice of your character in, "Far Cry: Blood Dragon." He was so busy chatting with tons of fans I didn't have a chance to snap a photo, but it was great having him at the con!

The good folks behind Rebel Scum made my acquaintance and I admired a ton of awesome comics they had brought. I also talked with the founders of the Nerd it Up Store, who will be opening a physical location in Gerald Missouri this May! I bought some cool comics from G&K Collectibles as well, who were fun to talk with about what various comics have been getting popular for one reason or another. I saw my friend, the talented author Amy Hale, who was there promoting her awesome books, and snapped a pic of her:

Author Brian K. Morris was present and he had fun catching up since I'd seen him. He was sitting at a table with his stellar assortment of titles. He let me get a picture:

Great River Collectibles had a slew of fun toys and collectibles--as their name would promise. Muddy River Comics had some really cool titles as well which were fun to dig through. Heroes for Kids were raising funds and awareness too. I got this picture of them:

My friend, author John L. Davis IV was at the show as well with his great books (I forgot to get a pic). There were plenty of other vendors too whose names I did not manage to get, but I loved chatting with everyone and getting awesome wares. I purchased this super cute, "Cookie cat," shirt for my wife without even knowing what it was from beyond it looked cute (it is a reference to the show, "Steven Universe," I later learned):

On Saturday (earlier today) there were a bunch of cosplay contests for all ages (and some pets) plus panels with the celebrity guests. It was a super busy Saturday with many spectacular cosplay outfits and eager attendees. I left in the later afternoon and the show just wrapped a little under two hours ago. I always look forward to the Big River Comic Convention as it is incredible fun! Between the guests, events, superb comics, and other awesome stuff for sale it is--as my title said--an absolute blast! I'm already pumped for the show next year and as soon as official dates are announced I'll be putting the next show on my calendar.

Friday, April 8, 2022

"Max Payne," 1 and 2 are Getting Remastered Now

I have written about how I'm a big fan of the, "Max Payne," games--with the original over 20 years old now. The third game (which was developed just by Rockstart with the first two being done by Remedy and Rockstar) was a lot of fun as well, but the 2nd is my favorite. Well, Remedy announced they were remastering, "Alan Wake," and that made folks wonder if other games would be a similar treatment. We've got answers as they have now have cut a deal with their friends at Rockstar to give us a remaster of the first two, "Max Payne," games

This is exciting news as I really loved the neo-noir style of the first two games. I can't wait to see what kind of fun modern tweaks can be made to these classics (besides how they'll probably look amazing) when the games come out in the future. It sounds like development is in the early stages, so we shouldn't expect to see anything much for a while. I'll still be eager for when we learn more!

Thursday, April 7, 2022

An Article Got Me Thinking About Modest Mouse and Their Best Album

Tatiana Tenreyro of the AV Club had an article discussing Modest Mouse and how their album, "We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank," was arguably the best thing they made in a post, "Float On," era. That is a reference to how the song, "Float On," on the previous LP became a massive hit and basically gives us a Modest Mouse separated into an era before that song and after. "We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank," was the LP that came right after the massive success of, "Float On," and it doesn't try to replicate that song, it does its own thing and is an amazing album for it. I completely agree with Tenreyro that it is a fantastic album and I'd argue it is the best thing Modest Mouse has ever made, in their whole career. I've listened to more recent stuff, but back in 2007 it was a great time, and nowadays is fantastic too. Anyways, now that I'm thinking about it this much I guess I need to give it a listen again!

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Whatnot Has Added an Arts and Crafts Category, Which is Quite Neat!

I have discussed how I enjoy buying items on Whatnot from comics to old VHS tapes, vintage toys, clothes, and so forth. They've got some cool categories. I also have a great time selling on Whatnot (I generally just sell comics). I was intrigued to see Whatnot sent a text about how they have now added the arts and crafts category to make it even easier for people to sell homemade items. Observe:

Now, I'm sure Whatnot has to officially say this has nothing to do with what any competitors are doing. Whatnot would say they just want to let people who make cool craft products sell their wares on their app. Unofficially, the timing is absolutely perfect for Whatnot to do this, however, as everyone is really, really mad at a certain site/app. This site/app has been known as the place for homemade and vintage items. Yeah, I'm talking about Etsy.

Etsy has continuously upset sellers over recent years. They pushed for sellers to offer free shipping as long as folks spent a certain amount--whether sellers liked that idea or not. They raised fees in 2018 too. Now in 2022, they plan to raise fees even more and sellers are ready to basically strike in response. It's been a bad look for Etsy and I wouldn't be surprised if folks consider Whatnot an attractive option to sell their goods. I'm a huge fan of Whatnot and I'd welcome more sellers and buyers for sure. It's going to be a long week for Etsy as sellers go on vacation mode/strike from the 11th-18th. We'll see if Whatnot sees a surge of users during that time--users who could very well stick around for the foreseeable future!

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

"The Lions of Leningrad," Offers a Gripping WWII Story

I was able to read a review copy of, "The Lions of Leningrad," thanks to being on the press list with the publisher, the Dead Reckoning imprint of the U.S. Naval Institute (a non-profit that puts out fascinating books). Written by Jean-Claude van Rijckeghem with art by Thomas Du Caju, this was a fantastic read. The book takes place primarily in then-Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg)," and after starting up in 1962 to set up a mystery, flashes back mainly to the early 1940's so as to follow the lives of a group of teenagers in Soviet Russia. The book chronicles their lives as they face threats from the outside in the form of German planes bombing them as well as interior threats from a vicious and corrupt Soviet party.

"The Lions of Leningrad," is an engaging read with all the leads being likable (at least at first) and readers really start to care about these teens as they struggle with the general challenges of growing up along with simply trying to survive in a war-torn city where everything including food is a scarce commodity. Caju's artwork is fantastic, with scenes of fiery explosions igniting the page and the period-era cars, clothes, and vehicles looking like true-to-life replicas. Between the intriguing story and superb artwork, this is a great book. I would recommend, "The Lions of Leningrad," to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, great comic-book art, or who just wants to read a great story!

5 out of 5 stars.

Monday, April 4, 2022

Just So You're Aware, "Blade," and, "Blade II," Are Now on Netflix

Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe existed there were Marvel flicks made by other studios. Some of those movies are now retroactively in the MCU thanks to studio mergers and deals (all the Spider-Men hanging out illustrates this). However, the first big Marvel hit was, "Blade." Before Spidey, before X-Men, we had Wesley Snipes fighting vampires. Now you can watch, "Blade," and, "Blade II," on Netflix. this is exciting news. "Blade: Trinity," is also streaming, but we don't need to talk about that film. There is a, "Blade," reboot coming in the future that will be set in the MCU, but why not catch up on the classic films in the meantime?

Sunday, April 3, 2022

I Tried the New Chef's Chicken Sandwich at Panera and Have Opinions

I have kept my eyes on the chicken sandwich wars since they really heated up in 2019 (no pun intended) and various entities tried making their own version (McDonald's was meh). Now even Panera (or as it is called around here, Saint Louis Bread Company) has created its own signature and spicy chicken sandwiches. I gave the regular one a trial with my tastebuds and it was good...but not great.

The Chef's Chicken Sandwich comes with a piece of chicken, some lettuce, little parmesan crisps, and garlic aioli. I got mine without the aioli as I generally don't enjoy it. That said, the sandwich was solid. The chicken is pleasant, the parmesan crisps add some nice crunch, and I found the sandwich a nice little dish. I wasn't utterly amazed, however. When I eat Popeye's version of the sandwich I find it so darn delicious I don't care if all the grease and such upsets my tummy. Panera's sandwich is lovely but you aren't going to text anyone about how great it was. Should you be at Panera and after something a little different, the Chef's Chicken Sandwich should hit the spot. I'll try the spicy one sometime soon although the only difference between them is some buffalo sauce is added. That might compliment everything nicely, however. As it stands, this sandwich is a solid-if-unremarkable...

3 out of 5 stars.

Saturday, April 2, 2022

You can now, "Buy Me a Coffee," Via the Website With that Name

I once attempted having a free newsletter but it didn't really take off. Therefore I would never try to have a Substack. I also attempted to do Patreon but didn't really get the hang of it. Now, however, I have something quite simple I can utilize. It is, "Buy Me a Coffee." It is a link that allows you to throw a couple bucks my way at any point in time if you ever want. You don't have to make an account or anything. You just give me some change if you like my blog and want to help, well, buy me a coffee.  Just visit the link and feel free to give me funds if you'd like. You don't have to by any means, however. I'll be making this a little link on the site too so folks can click on it if they like.

The Big River Comic Convention for 2022 is a Bit Under a Week Away!

In less than a week, the Big River Comic Convention will be kicking off! On Friday, April 8th, and Saturday, April 9th the BRCC will happen in Hannibal. I had a fantastic time at the previous two Big River Comic-Cons and imagine this show will be awesome as well. There are plenty of vendors, creators, and awesome celebrity guests such as Matt Hughes, Michael Biehn, Austin Tindle, and more! There will be cosplay, gaming, tons of comics, toys, and other neat items--I can't wait! You can get the latest updates on their Facebook page and buy tickets/get general information at the main website I linked to above. I'll see you at the show soon!

Friday, April 1, 2022

It is April Fool's Day Again, Unfortunately

I'm not a fan of April Fool's Day. If it were people doing harmless funny things as jokes for 24 hours I'd be fine with it. Instead, it seems to be used as an excuse to do horrible, "Pranks," that really upset others. That, or websites post bogus articles as a, "Joke." I swear this day is awful. I promise I will not be pulling any April Fool's Day tricks on anyone and if I see others doing really stupid ones (fake pregnancy announcements, fake deaths, or whatever) I'll give them an earful about it too. 

I may sound like I'm some kind of prickly person against fun, but if you do a cute little prank that's fine. Tell your loved one you're going to get them a candy bar then show up with two and go, "April Fools! I got you two chocolates instead of one!" That's sweet. Don't tell your spouse you've been cheating and then when they start sobbing let them know it was a trick, however (I've actually read about this). Let's just try and get through this day with our sanity intact.