Sunday, December 28, 2014

Here Is My 100th Post Here, To Finish 2014 With

So here we are at the end of 2014. We had a very geeky Christmas in my household. Some good new pieces added to my Star Wars and Dr. Who collections.

A lot to look forwards to in 2015.

New Avengers movie and Ant-Man (Which I think will be better than a lot of doubters are predicting) from Marvel.

The cinematic universe will also expand with more Agents of SHIELD and the Agent Carter limited series as well as the NetFlix series of Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones and The Defenders.

At Denver Comic-Con this year we are getting another former Doctor, as well as two cast members from Firefly, so already there is a lot to look forwards to.

Marvel Comics is doing a new Secret Wars that will expand to just about every reality we have ever seen in the Marvel universe.

Of course the year will finish up with the new Star Wars movie, which has the potential to reignite the franchise.

I am sure there will be some surprises waiting for us as the year goes on, just as I know I have not covered all the geeky stuff there is to look forwards to in the coming year.

Feel free to comment with anything you are looking forwards to that I have not mentioned.

Friday, December 26, 2014

'No Wonder You Keep Getting Invaded'

I can actually say a few positive things about this year's Doctor Who Christmas Special 'Last Christmas'.

First off it was not as bad as it could have been. In fact it was better than many of this past season's regular episodes. Regretfully that is not saying much. Last Christmas fits in well with the lowered story quality we have been seeing recently. It was more concept than story in the end. The bigger problem is it was a concept we've seen before, dealing with levels of dreams, getting trapped in one's dreams and where reality begins and dreams end.

Now we did get some fun lines. My personal favorite was:"There's a horror movie called Alien? No wonder you keep getting invaded."

I am starting to think they might be stabilizing Capaldi's Doctor finally. It took a whole season, but
he did feel more like the story knew just who this Doctor was for once. We can only hope that this impression stays with the next season.

I liked the dream crab concept, but as with any time I have ever seen fiction play with the dream world, there were just too many aspects that didn't make sense, lacking any fully realized logic. That always seem to happen when anyone tries to deal with the dream world though.

I kept hoping we would get a good punch line revealing that the whole last season had just been a dream and that Moffat had been messing with us the whole time. I might have been able to forgive him for his may mistakes this last year if he had done that.

The ending was... It just was. Nothing special or overly interesting really. No hints of what is to come this next season. In some ways better than what we were given last year, but once more that is not saying much.

Last Christmas was a forgettable entry in the Doctor Who Christmas specials that just helps to defend my idea that Moffat needs to step down before he fully ruins the franchise.

I am a little worried that it seems as if Doctor Who is bigger than ever now at the time the episodes are falling in quality. That is not how you get a franchise going strong.

Monday, December 22, 2014

I Still Just Cannot Get Into Batman

Over the years I have had friends who are big Batman fans and have tried to get me into Batman, yet I have yet to find any Batman comics that have interested me. The character itself actually turns me off for some reason. He has always felt like a character that they never fully figured out. I remember one issue where he goes off on how big of a loner he was... Yet he has his own little band of heroes all based around his persona as well as being a member of the Justice League. It came off more of Bruce Wayne whining than anything else.

So today we received our December Loot Crate and in it we got a recent issue of Batman with a exclusive cover. I went a head and read the comic. Wow was it ever annoying. I have no idea what the big appeal about Batman is. This issue featured the Joker as the villain and I was way unimpressed. The Joker was more a bad horror movie cliche than anything close to an interesting character.

There was nothing at all appealing to me in this comic.

I'm still trying to figure out the 'kryptonite gum' logic. That just seemed too convenient.

So I am going to stick with Spider-Man and Marvel comics. I find Spider-Man to be the far more interesting character and one that I can relate to.

I still rate The Dark Knight as one of the most overrated super hero movies ever. Outside of Heath Ledger's impressive take on the Joker, there is nothing in that movie that is worth watching. But the fans loved it and boosted it to a huge success. Batman clearly has a loyal fan base that I do not see eye to eye with.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

"Thank You For That Report, Stephen"

Still have the song 'We'll Meet Again' stick in my head. For those of you who have not seen the final episode of The Colbert Report, go and watch it. It was a really impressive send off as Stephen ended his nine years of hosting. As he started singing, former guests just kept appearing on the stage to join in the singing. It really was something to see.

During the show Stephen killed death, and therefore became immortal. The show ended with him standing on top of the studio, Sting (sword from Hobbit/Lord of the Rings) in one hand and Captain America's shield in the other, when Santa pulls up next to him with Abraham Lincoln (Who we learn is really a unicorn) and Alec Trebek. Stephen rides away to wherever with this motley little group as he gives thanks to everyone.

It really felt like a true end of an era. It will be interesting to see what he does with hosting The Late Show. I am fairly sure that the character of Colbert is retired for now. What will the real Stephen Colbert be like? Will we be able to watch him as himself?

I also feel sorry for Larry Wilmore who will be hosting the replacement show The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. It is not going to be easy to fill that time slot after what Stephen Colbert created. While the initial ratings will most likely be good, Wilmore is going to face a huge challenge and most likely the critics will not go easy on him.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Let's Not Jump to Conclusions About Episode 7

If you have not seen the teaser trailer for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, then go and watch it before you read the rest of this post.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMOVFvcNfvE

So what can you tell from that minute and a half of footage? Next to nothing really.
What we can tell is that there is new look for the stormtrooper armor. We get a new take on the astromech droid. There are updated x-wing fighters. There is some big bulky speeder bike that a female character rides. The sith has a funky new style ligthsaber that looks to me like it would take the fighter's own hand off if he slipped up even a little. And of course what we already knew, the Millennium Falcon is back.

With all of that I can tell you 100% nothing about the story or the actual quality of the movie. We are not given enough there to be able to make any level of reliable speculation about the movie, yet I have seen people say it is going to be horrible and are fully upset now about how bad they know it will be and those who are already sure it is goign to be brilliant. Yet none of them have seen anything more than that one trailer.

Several of those who I have seen dislike the new movie from just the trailer have been ones who were angered by what J.J. Abrams did with the Star Trek movies. I will right now defend the Abrams' Star Trek movies. While I very much am aware of the many times in those movies that logic was ignored, somehow I find it easy to overlook all that and enjoy the movies. The way those movies were made make them much more enjoyable for me than any of the old Star Trek movies. Yet somehow the diehard Trekkies all seem to hate what Abrams did and that appears to be clouding their ability to give him a chance with Star Wars.

I am not a fan of the title. The Force Awakens does not inspire me in the least. I find it hard to tell anything from that title. I do hope they have planned the new trilogy out well enough that the title will work in the end with the full storyline.

No matter what we all already know that Episode 7 will dominate at the box office and that we will get the rest of that trilogy as well as the other two stand alone Star Wars movies they have planned. The prequel trilogy did not kill the franchise and it would be hard to end up with anything as bad as Episodes 1 and 2, both of which were blockbusters.

We have a year to wait. So next year around this time I will most likely be writing my review of the movie itself. That is when I will know if Abrams pulled it off, but not until then.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Have You Heard About Spider-Verse?

Right now Marvel comics is in the midst of what is the biggest Spider-man event ever, Spider-Verse. They have already said that they will included every version of Spider-Man/Spider-Women/Spider-Girl/Spider-Monkey/Spider-Ham and so on, that we have ever seen through out the years. And it really appears that they are going to live up tot hat promise 100%.

The basic premise of Spider-Verse is a family known as the Inheritors are roaming around all the realities hunting 'Spider Totems' and feasting on their essence. They are based in universe 001 (The main Marvel universe is 616) and they use the Master Weaver to open portals to the various reality to do their hunting.

So the central Spider-Man we have been following all these years has encountered one of the Inheritors before and defeated the guy twice, making him the only Spider Totem to do such a thing on his own. Because of that, when he get drafted to team up with other Spider Totems he is asked to be the leader.

During the events of 'Edge of Spider-Verse' we are introduced to a bunch o f new concepts of Spider-Man as well as previous concepts that haev been out there, but no used much. They are gathered together to fight the big threat to them all. During the 'Edge of Spider-Verse' we get to see the Spider-Man from the 80s cartoon show 'Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends' make an appearance.

In the first actual issue of 'Spider-Verse' we get a bunch of new Spideys introduced. But for me there were two standout short pieces in it. The first was from the classic comics universe were all the heroes use Hostess snack-cakes to distract their enemies in order to capture. Normally those sweet treats are desirable enough to pacify the most dedicated wrong-doer. For some reason this time the villain has no interest in golden cream filled sponge cake.

The second one of note here is all in black and white, done in a series of eight strips. Peter and MJ are having a picnic when an inheritors appears before them. The first panel of each strips more or less repeats what happened in the last panel of the strip before. The Inheritor quickly realizes that time keeps resetting itself in that reality, taking days to preform the simplest of tasks. He is pulled back before he can do anything do to that reality being 'chronally unstable' and is pulled into its own pocket universe to protect it. It was really perfectly done and shows just how dedicated they are to getting every Spider-man in there somehow.

It will be enjoyable to see how Spider-Verse plays out in the end. Outside of several new Spider-man related titles starting up for this event, there is talk of what titles will come out it. They have already said they are working on a Gwen Stacy Spider-Girl on going series.

I am curious are to how this will play into Marvel's big event for next year, an all new Secret Wars, since we have been told that right now everything big happening in Marvel Universe will play into that event.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Do You Want to Hear Me Talk About Doctor Who?

A few weeks ago at Mile Hi Con 46 I got to be part of a Doctor Who panel that was recorded for episode 267 of the SF Signal Podcast. We had a lot of fun with the panel, which was only scheduled for an hour, but with no one using the room after us we ended up going for two hours.

So here is the first half of the panel:

http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2014/11/the-sf-signal-podcast-episode-267-live-from-milehicon-46-the-doctor-who-panel-part-1-with-jason-batt-karen-bjorn-eytan-kollin-and-ian-brazee-cannon/

Enjoy

Sunday, November 9, 2014

I Am Not Ready To Give up On Doctor Who

Last night me and my boys once more got out to the SIE Filmcenter for a special Doctor Who event sponsored by Denver Comic Con. We got to watch the season finale 'A Death in Heaven' on the big screen. The event was supposed to mirror the one they held for the season opener with a costume contest and trivia. For whatever reasons they did not get anything close to the same crowd. A big part of it was they just were not able to get word out about the event this time around.

My youngest was the only one to show up in costume, so he was given his pick of the prizes.

I went into this with the basic idea that this episode could either redeem what to me has been a weak season, or confirm my belief that it is time for a new show runner.

I now have no doubt that Steven Moffat needs to step down and let someone new take over.

'A Death in Heaven' left me more frustrated than anything else. There were gaps everywhere you turned. Story gaps, logic gaps and continuity gaps. Too many deaths of established characters that had nothing of substance behind them. We were given a hint that Osgood could be the Doctor's next companion, and then they kill her off in a manner that was void of impact. It felt like a whole bunch of ideas and cameos were thrown together in a pot, stirred a little and put out there with no concern as to how it all fit together.

The final did fit well into what we have seen all season  long. Most of the episodes have very much been story ideas we have already seen done and done better, in a more believable manner. I was hoping that there would be some point to all these feelings of flashback. I kept hoping to the very end that we would be given something to justify being bored all season long with nothing new.

I can only think of two good episodes for the whole season 'Listen' and 'Time Heist'. They were good, but nothing like the good episodes of past seasons. Then we got pure waste of episodes that made no sense like 'Kill the Moon' and 'In The Forest of the Night', where the Doctor serves no purpose at all in being there as he does nothing to actually influence the story. The events would have played out in the exact same manner without the Doctor being there. Both episodes were filled with bad science and bad logic along with extra storylines that were just a waste. In some ways though that was the common thread throughout the season. So many wasted, unneeded storylines that weakened the stories.

Clara had some great scenes at times, but for the most part was once more under used. Her best episodes are still the ones before she became the regular companion. Regretfully Clara will end up being one of the easier to forget companions of the new series. Considering that she started off as more of a plot point, you can tell that Moffat had no clear idea as to her character.

Of course the big question is what does one think of Capaldi's Doctor. Generally by the end of their first seasons the new Doctors have grown on me. Not this time. The season ended with a Doctor who I still have no idea about. At no point did it feel like they figured out just who this new version of the Doctor was. It never felt as if he stabilized into a cohesive character. We ended with a Doctor who I do not feel as if I know and am unable to form any actual opinion of. He had good and bad moments, yet I mostly remember him being pointlessly insulting at times that it just made him look like an a-hole.

Then they ended the finale with a hint into this year's Christmas special, and I was left with even more doubt about where the showing it going. We get to see Santa Clause enter the TARDIS... Yeah, that did not leave me feeling good about what is still to come.

I am going to keep up with the show still. I was loyal to Star Wars throughout the prequels, the dark times and am going to do the same for Doctor Who through this dark period, hoping that at some point the show will get better.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

So That Was the Death of Wolverine?

Marvel comics this year decided to go ahead and officially kill off one of their biggest characters. They made a huge build up to the event, never hiding their plans or playing games. The on going Wolverine comic did a countdown to the event. Then they went and did a four issue series titled 'Death of Wolverine'.

The best things I can say about 'Death of Wolverine' is that they had some of the best cover art I have ever seen. The covers were awesome.

The story however... Well it really didn't flow or make much sense. It just kind of was there. There is no meaningful journey through his past adventures or getting caught up in some extraordinary saga or even being given a respectful end where he ties up loose end, creating some sense of closure. Yes, he does end up confronting several of his bigger past foes. None of it was meaningful in the least.

Then we get to the end. I won't go into details just in case there are fans who have not read it yet. I am fairly sure we a supposed to get a feeling of irony and of things having come full circle. However both my son and I had the same initial impression of 'That's it? That is how he died?' His death really served no purpose (Outside of making money for Marvel comics). His last action was really not that heroic or dramatic, even though I think it was supposed to be. One element building up to his death was the lose of his healing factor, which to me suggested a simple death to show him being mortal. Instead we get a death that most lilely would have killed him if his healing factor was working at full strength.

So many missed opportunities in this.

The series sold extremely well and will most likely be the best selling comics of the year. So Marvel is happy with how it all turned out.

I hope they don't pull the normal route and in a year or so bring Wolverine back. Although I very much am expecting that to happen.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I Am Going To Talk About Lootcrate

Just recently discovered Lootcrate ( http://www.lootcrate.com ). As a geek who is into just about everything geek related, this is an awesome looking service. Regretfully I am not able to justify such an expense every month, but I was able to treat myself this month for my birthday. Kind of wish I had done it a month earlier though, because I really like what was in the September Lootcrate. What I have seen for this month's lootcrate is still cool. The theme is 'fear' and what you get is zombie/ horror related.

In the September on they had a Alien retro figure, a Captain Mal from Firefly figurine, a tribble just for a start. It seems like every month at least one piece is a Lootcrate exclusive, and exclusive geek collectables are always cool to get a hold of.

I do like the idea of getting a box of geeky goodies every month in the mail. I have never understood how the mail away offer idea has fallen away from use. As a child I loved getting stuff in the mail, especially if I knew it was a special figure or item that you could not get in the stores. Just ordering stuff from Amazon is not the same as getting an unique item.

So I am going to see if others will go and use this link here and enter to win a year's worth of lootcrates. I will openly tell you that if you do this I get 20 entries in the contest, so you can do me that little favor as well as try to win it for yourself. Even if you're not interested in the prize, enter and if you win you can give it to me.

So yes, this post is fully about trying to get more entries in the lootcrate contest. I am not above such gimmicks. I am a geek and a collector who is low on funds and will do waht I can to try and get some cool collectables.

I have not yet received my first lootcrate, but it should be here any day now. I will try and write up a post on my thoughts on it and put up some pics, as there seems to be a whole community out there sharing their enjoyment of the lootcrates.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

How Did Deadpool Become So Popular?

For those of you who do not know who Deadpool is, he is a Marvel comic's character (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deadpool) that was introduced in the 90s. He has grown in popularity over the last 20 years and is now going to get his own movie.

I went back and looked at his first few appearances, which were as unmemorable as it gets. Somehow he is on the covers, yet he is not even close to being needed in either of his first two appearances. He is an uninteresting character who does next to nothing. He is made out to be some kind of super mercenary, yet he is defeated both times simply because he encounted an unexpected adversary. Basically if someone he is not ready to fight shows up, he is going to lose. That is what I took away from rereading his first two appearances.

Somehow over the decades they have expanded the character, although I still do not find him interesting. I have checked out some of his recent issues, as he now has his own on-going series, and found I still did not care for him. His comics are silly, too silly and over the top to tell anything close to an interesting story. There just was nothing there that appealed to me.

Deadpool will remain a character I am just not that interested in and will never understand how he got to be so popular. It is puzzling and bizarre to me how this happened, but this is not the first time I have been puzzled by something becoming popular.

Now I am sure I will see the Deadpool movie at some. I might even enjoy it, but that still doesn't mean it makes any sense at all as to how he got so popular.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Let The Rebellion Begin

This morning I got to go to a special screening of the first two episodes of the new Star Wars cartoon show, Star Wars: Rebels. The show itself doesn't premier for a few weeks, so this was a cool little sneak peek for Star Wars fans.

I will start off by saying this was a far better beginning than what we got with the last SW cartoon, Star Wars: The Clone Wars.We've been given a much more interesting group of main characters fighting the good fight.

It seems to me that one of the reasons Rebels works so much better than Clone Wars is because with Rebels we have all new characters, on new planets, using aged equipment and actually being a small band of average people (With the one Jedi exception) fighting for what they believe is right. So much of it feels like classic trilogy style. It gives us hope that the new series will actually stay true to what made the original movies so good.

I won't go into the plot here, as some might feel there are spoilers to be found there. I will say it is a fairly basic story to begin with, which makes sense, as we need to focus more on the characters and their relationships to start with before we let the story get complicated. So we get what we need here to draw us into this new area of the Star Wars universe.

One of the more noticeable aspects for fans like me is the use of the earlier concept art by Ralph McQuarrie. His conceptual design for Chewbacca has become the character Zeb Orrelios. The speeder bikes and some of the new category of Stormtrooper are the concept art. The show's main astormech droid 'Chopper' has some of the concept for R2-D2 to his design. In the preview for the rest of the season we see a concept C-3PO. My guess is we are in for surprises as the season progresses with various nods to all manner of unused ideas from over the years.

I never like saying this earlier on what I think of a new series. There is no way to tell in just the first few episodes how good the full series will be. I will say Star Wars: Rebels is off to a good start and if they can keep the story going at this level it should be a truly enjoyable ride.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Did You Know It's Banned Book Week?

Yesterday my oldest boy asked me if I knew that there were people banning books. I of course told him it has been happening for a long time and is nothing new. Then we had a good conversation about banned books and censorship. I was proud that he knew banning books was wrong without me needing to have the talk. I explained to him about people who wish to limit the availability of information and knowledge.

Now to help promote Banned Book Week, here are a few links to articles about it.

Banned Books Week and the 'Dangers' of the Comic Book
-This is a good one to learn about the history of the Comic Code and the misguided attitudes some idiots had concerning comic books.

33 Must-Read Books To Celebrate Banned Books Week
-I've not read as many of these as I should have, but it is a list worth trying to complete.

Texas school district suspends seven books from high-school curriculum
-Here Texas shows us that the need to promote and encourage ignorance is still alive and thriving.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Will Captain Citrus earn a spot in the Avengers?

I always find it amusing when comics are used by various companies to promote their brand. I still have the old Kool-Aid Man comics that Marvel did way back when. Some times it can be fun and others it can be too corny and idiotic. Still, it must be deemed worth doing, as companies still spend piles of cash to get their own super-hero.

Today I found out about Captain Citrus, http://www.floridacitrus.org/captain-citrus, the new hero created to promote the benefits of Florida orange juice. In his first digital comic book he teams up with the Avengers. There will be free print comics given away to schools (Yes, I am hoping my boys' school get them). Here is the press release on it, http://www.floridacitrus.org/news/florida-citrus-unveils-americas-newest-hero/.

After reading the first digital comic, this looks to be one of the better thought out promotional character. He doesn't come off as being silly or too over the top connected to the product. I am guessing his origin story will be the free print give away issue, as we get none of his origin in the digital comic. We get a sense of his powers and a hint that he is just starting to learn all he can do.

Apparently Florida Sunshine is more useful than we thought. I am wondering if Captain Citrus is powerless outside of Florida. Or are his powers diminished in sunlight other than Florida's? I get the feeling they won't be exploring any of that. I doubt we'll get much in the way of depth with this character for some reason.

Though after he picks up a cult following, the Death of Captain Citrus will become an historic issue. His arch-enemy Sour Rot (I looked it up so that my name for his villain was an actual mold that contaminates oranges) will infect him and rot him from the inside out.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Do You Believe in Haven?

This last week we had the season five premiere of the Sy-Fy channel original show Haven. I have really enjoyed the show. Unlike so many other similar shows, there has been real progress in the storyline, especially at the end of last season.

For those unfamiliar with the show, it is based off a Stephen King novella titled 'The Colorado Kid'. The show takes place in a small new England town on the coast of Maine called Haven that under goes a unique and scary 27 year cycle. Every 27 years, corresponding with a meteor shower, things get a little crazy in Haven. At that time people who are 'troubled' start to display dangerous, and often uncontrollable, supernatural abilities. Also at this time a young lady comes to town. She always has the same face, but a different name and personality. She is uniquely immune to the 'troubles' and always ends up working with those who are 'troubled' to keep the chaos as diminished as possible.

For the present cycle the young lady has taken the identity of FBI agent Audrey Parker. This, like all her past identity, are copied from other people. At one point the real Audrey Parker actually hunts down the copy and confronts her. We have now learned the her original name is Mara and that as Mara she was involved in actually creating the 'Troubles' with a mysterious man named Williams.

One of the main aspects of Haven that I like, unlike so any other similar shows out there, they do not run in circles. Time and time again we have gotten real answers to the big mysteries of the show. Pieces have fallen into place and that has not taken anything away from the greater story. We have gotten actual progress in the storyline and it has been well done.

The story is coming together and I very much could see this being the last season, even though they have not announced it. The storyline is getting to a point where they could pull of a great ending that is not needlessly drawn out, where everything is pulled together in a satisfying manner. I really have high hopes that is what will happen with Haven. Too many shows have failed to properly take the time to end the show in such a manner. So many seem to think they need to not answering anything until the final episode, which normally makes it all rushed and confusing with nothing satisfying about it.

So I have high hopes for where Haven is going this season. It has been an enjoyable ride so far and I am looking forwards to seeing where they take us now.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Gotta talk About Doctor Who

We are two weeks into the new season of Doctor Who and I figured I should chime in with my thoughts on it all.

I saw the premiere on the big screen at a special event hosted by Denver Comic Con at the Sie FilmCenter.
I ended up winning first place in both the costume contest and the trivia contest they held that night. It was a fun way to begin the new season.


This season introduces Peter Capaldi as the latest regeneration of the Doctor. I am going to come out and say I have not fully formed my opinion on his Doctor yet. They are very much still forming the character and may be doing so through out the season. In his second adventure I get the impression that he has still not pulled himself together. He is a darker Doctor than the last few have been. He is also the oldest Doctor since William Hartnell took on the role as the first Doctor over fifty years ago. So far he has come off as a bit of a jerk, quick to give insult and highly condescending. In some ways he is much like the Sixth Doctor, who was one of the harder ones to enjoy. Capaldi's Doctor at least seems to be trying to work on this where the Sixth Doctor seemed indifferent. It does feel as if this regeneration may take all season to stabilize. Don't know if that will be a good or bad thing.

There is a lot of potential here, so I am ready to wait it out and see how things develop.

One of the big things that is clearly going on is the mirroring of past episodes. In the first adventure, 'Deep Breath' we saw clear connections to 'Girl in the Fireplace' and references to 'The Fires of Pompeii'. The second adventure 'Into the Dalek' felt similar to the 9th Doctor's adventure 'Dalek', with some of the same questions regarding Dalek morality. Knowing some of where this season is supposed to go, I am expecting most of the episodes to have these kind of connection. It can work if done right. If they can balance the episodes as being fully original stories that are all their own, but still feel connected to what has come before it can actually be a very strong season. These first two adventures have done this well.

One of my big hopes for this season is that Moffat actually pulls off the big reveal of the overall storyline. So far that has not been his strength. Too often the way the storyline gets tied up over the last few seasons have just lacked the drama it needed to really deliver. They have felt more like added in aspects rather than actual thought out storylines.

I am looking forwards to seeing just where the new season will take us and I have faith that in the end it will be an enjoyable journey.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

the 2014 Denver 48 Hour Film Project

So this year I was involved in an entry for the 48 Film Project here in the Denver area. (http://www.48hourfilm.com/en/denver/) Your team has 48 hours to put together a short film, no longer than 7 minutes (Before credits). I've been part of a team before and was very proud of our final product: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLZwdsemjRg.

This year I am not sure what I can say about our final product.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_cUALa42rA
Somehow all the needed dialogue to make the story clear got cut. I was not involved in the editing process, so I am unsure why that happened, when the film could have been two minutes longer, and included all that NEEDED dialogue. We filmed those scenes and they would have added so much to the film. As it is I do not think anyone who has not read the script will understand all of what is going on.

I have other isseus beyond that, but it is the feeling the the script itself got ignored for the most part that bugs me the most.

I am taking it as a learning experience. I have ever intention of participating in these contests when the chance comes my way. Even when it feels like a lot of mistakes were made, it does not scare me off from doing something I very much enjoy doing.

Here is another short film I was involved with that I am very proud of: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3gCP6p2LhE
Birthright was done for a 72 hour film contest. My son got a staring role in it and I am really pleased with how it came out.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

My Obligatory Guardians of the Galaxy Review

Yesterday the family got out to the movies. Do I need to tell you what movie we saw? Read the post title.

As the internet is flooded with reviews for this movie already, I will do what I can to offer some new insight into it all.

Let's start with what are the greatest CGI characters we have seen to date. Make no mistake, I love what they did with Golem in the Lord of the Rings, but Rocket and Groot are so well done you really do not think of them as being CGI. Remember, we are talking about a sentient tree and a talking Raccoon as being believable character. While they have the comedic moments, they are not comic relief, but real, significant characters. Even with Groot only being able to say 'I am Groot' we are still able to see a fully realized character in that. Rocket and Groot kick Golem's pale little ass, as well as stomp Jar-jar and Dobby into insignificance.

Then you have the rest of the team. Starlord, Gamora and Drax. They work and are enjoyable. That really is all that needs to be said.

Now this is that basic story of a rag tag bunch of misfits come together and in the end are able to overcome their differences to work as a team and save the day. We've seen it a million times, but when done well it works.  Here it has been done really well.

One aspect I often have issue with in movies in motivation. Why are these characters doing what they do? Too often in movies we have characters that really have no motivation, or questionable motivation.  Here ever character has a believable motivation. You will not leave the theater questioning how everyone ended up where they did.

Also, this movie has a very relevant narrative to our times, which I have not seen mention of elsewhere. One of the biggest motivation in the film is the villain Ronan the Accuser inability to accept peace with his people's long time enemies. In the aftermath of a war with Xandar, Ronan is unable to get over the death of his family. He is seeking revenge, an act that will only promote more hostile actions, destroying any chance at a lasting peace. If you are unable to see how this is reflected right now in our world... There is a world outside your little house and if you need to become more aware of it.

So far Marvel Studios is doing an incredible job of giving us some of the greatest comic book movies ever seen. I truly hope they can keep this going, as ti has been a incredible run so far and with what they have announced as their future plans, it sounds like we have a lot to look forwards to in the future for Marvel films.

The after credits piece is worth seeing just for the amusement of it. The surprise character there got me thinking about his under rated movie from 1986 and I will most likely be writing a post on that here shortly.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

And None of This is Canon, so Just Relax

I am watching Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars and am going to try and write up my reactions as I watch it.

The opening scroll ended with 'And None of This is Canon, so Just Relax', which was perfect.

Perry gets to be the one to snag the Death Star Plans, which were conveniently all on one CD.

They are doing a good job of making references to everything Tatoonie related in the opening song.

I think Vader is abusing his power by having Storm Trooper get his socks for him.

Apparently the Death Star was based off a handheld nut cracker.

So this story is happening as the movie plays out around it, not a retelling of the story.

'Mos Eisley Spaceport, now 14% more scum & villainy.'

Yep, a 'Who shot first' joke got in there. It was Han, and we all know it.

For some reason the value of a time share on Alderaan suddenly dropped to nothing.

'May the Force be with you, and all that stuff.'

'Darth Vader can kiss my Bantha.'

So we have confirmation that Vader actually does have asthma.

Now this is going to be a cool lightsbaer duel. Brother vs brother.

We need action figures for these new Star Wars characters. That would be awesome.

Now we know who got Han to join the battle.

Knowing who designed the Death Star, the exhaust port idea actually makes sense now.

This is one of those episodes that you want to watch the end credits.

There was a lot of interesting stuff happening off camera. So now we have another piece of the whole story.

I have no idea why this is not canon and the prequels are.

Hopefully they will do two more of these to finish up the original trilogy.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I Don't Think That Phrase Means What They Think It Means

Just saw a commercial for the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie that said "You've never seen heroes like this". Considering that this is like the millionth reboot of the TMNT, I really think they might not fully understand that term. I will be overly surprised and impressed if they really pull off giving us something that we really have not seen before, that also gives something of value to the TMNT legacy.

This is one of the most unneeded movies we've been given. The current TMNT cartoon is doing just fine and has been introducing us to some really interesting and unique concepts for the TMNT legacy. The latest cartoon has taken all the best aspects of the past TMNT and worked them together in an on going narrative that draws you in. It is a new storyline that does a great job of effectively paying tribute to where it came from. And it works.

So far for the new movie I have seen nothing that makes me think they are going to do the same.

We have the turtles, which outside of costumes that make no sense (Mikey wears a sweatshirt around his waist, which could never fit him and only could serve to get in his way), seem to add nothing to the characters.

We've been shown a Shredder that looks more like a really bad joke than a powerful warrior. Sorry, but having a ton of blades attached to your hand makes no sense at all for a fight. And it does not look as cool as I think the creative team behind it thought it would.

April seems almost useless from what the commercials have given us, but we really have no idea if they are going to take the character in a new direction. The present cartoon has done a great job with reinventing that character, but the movie appears to be taking her backwards to what we have already seen.

Of course one thing the commercials have hinted at that I really think is a huge mistakes, is that we have been given the suggestion that the government or someone actually created the turtles on purpose as some kind of weapons. Not sure of any level of logic to that in any reality. That is one commercial that makes me cringe. A big part of what makes TMNT so intriguing is that it seems ridiculous to have turtles as warriors, so the main concept only works at it being an accident. There are a million animals that someone would use before even considering turtle is they were trying for hybrid warriors.

I am at the point where I am hoping to see Michael Bay movies fail. After seeing three of the four Transformers movies, it became clear to me that he has no idea what Transformers should be all about. Yet even as they spiral downwards at every turn, somehow they keep making money. I've no desire to see the fourth one until it goes to DVD and I can rent it. And that will mostly be out of curiosity than actual hope it will be enjoyable. That is how I feel about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as well. I so wish the fans of these franchises would vote with their money and make it clear we deserve something better than Micheal Bay and his poor standards of film making. Explosions and special effects are fine tools, but when there is no story to back them up, it becomes pure junk.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How Can This Kind of Junk Still Get Made

There is a movie coming out simply titled Lucy. It stars Scarlett Johansson as a woman who ends up exposed to some chemical that amplifies her mind and ends up giving her all manner of abilities.

The first trailer I saw for the movie started off looking intriguing. It had action and suspense and of course watching Scarlett Johansson is always enjoyable. Then they ruin it by putting in what is happening to her mind. They use the outdated, overly proven inaccurate idea that people only use 10% of their brain. The trailers keep telling us how much of her brain she is using at different times to gain the various abilities and how we have no idea what will happen once she reaches 100%.

They have Morgan Freeman be the one to give us the lines about using the various percents of her brain. His voice does make anything he says sound more official and authoritative, but that doesn't mean it is not junk.

This is a simple unscientific concept that has been shown time and time again to be straight out wrong, based off a misunderstanding of an actual scientific idea of not using our minds to their full potential. This is nothing new though, and anyone who wishes to deal with such a concept only needs to spend a minute on-line to learn the actual facts and not make everyone involved in the film look like total idiots.

This is a movie that I do not think I could shut off my annoyance at bad science in order to enjoy it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

The movie has been out for a while, but I just got to see it about a week ago. Due to being a huge fan of Spider-Man, he rates as my favorite super hero, I had to see it and I am not going to hold back on my opinions of it.

To start with I never saw the point of rebooting the franchise. I always felt after the screw up that was Spider-Man 3, they should have followed through with new casting, but kept the storyline itself going. I have no doubt at all this would have been a better choice for the studio. There was little in the first Amazing Spider-Man (ASM) that actually would not have worked as being a forth part to the story. In fact without having to retell the origin, they might have been able to work more with the plot. With ASM 2, we very much see that this would have been the better way to go.

One thing that both the ASM movies have done is not understood that Peter Parker is a different person when he puts that mask on. Peter on his own is not really cocky or smart mouthed. That is the persona he is able to be as Spider-Man. Yet in the ASM movies, Peter is way too cocky and smart assed in his street clothes. He is not awkward in the least. We see this early on in ASM2, when Peter very unneededly gets frisky with Gwen at the graduation ceremony in front of everyone. It was overly out of character for Peter Parker, yet there are many such scenes in the ASM movies.

I have no real complaints regarding Gwen Stacy. They did drastically change the character for the ASM movies, but for whatever reason it actually works. If anything she might be the best job they did with any character in the movies.

They fully, undeniably ruined the character of Harry Osborn on an unforgivable level that ruins any future stories with the character. I persoanlly feel they did this on purpose in an attempt to make it clear they are not taking anything from the SM trilogy. But the SM movies got Harry right and they should have looked at that to learn how that character should be done.

In ASM2 Harry is as dislikable as it gets. There is nothing in the way of actual friendship between Harry and Peter. They knew each other years ago, but have not been in contact for way long, so there is no real connection between them in ASM2. They are practically strangers. And the ONLY thing Harry cares about is himself. He does not have the conflict of being torn between living up to his father's ideals and finding himself. This is the main driving point in the character of Harry Osborn, yet it is 100% not in the movie. His father dies and he is told he is going to have the same genetic disease, which will kill him and some point in the future. That is the only driving force for his character to do all that he does. He is a selfish, egotistical a-hole. You don't like him and you very much do not feel sympathetic towards him. I am fully puzzled as to where the choice to ruin that character came from.

The character of Electro didn't work either, but that does not bother me as much. Electro is not an important character in the least. The story didn't make him anything significant. He was just the chosen badguy they wanted to use, but unlike what we have seen before with Doc Oct in SM2, they did not make him interesting.

I also had huge problems with the opening of the movie. It did nothing for the story. And when we finally find out what Peter's father fought so hard to transmit before he died, it is a huge let down. It really was nothing important, undeserving of such a build up.

I won't go into Peter's father's secret work station and just how ridiculous it was. It is another aspect that was 100% not needed. Too many wastes of plots that actually did not tell anything close to a intriguing story.

My understanding is that ASM2 is a build up for a Sinister Six movie, which is in itself a huge mistake, but does explain why much of the movie seems forced. It is not supposed to be its own movie, but the beginning of a different movie. That clearly plays a huge role in ruining the movie.

I have no doubt the franchise will keep going, as it is making enough money. Regretfully they have already jumped the shark, but they are not about to admit this mistake because they already have made it clear they are looking for a long term storyline without worrying about making sure each movie is worth watching.

I would say that ASM2 is the worst of the spider-man movies so far. SM3 was actually better, despite its flaws. I am disappointed because Spider-man is such a great character and deserves better treatment. we say what could be done with SM1 and 2 and even SM3 had a lot that worked well. the ASM movies just lack the soul of what Spider-man needs to be.

Now to finish up, I will admit that most likely I will go and see any future Spider-Man movies in the theater. Chances are I will wait until they hit the discount theaters though. I am not as enthusiastic about them as I am the Marvel Studio movies.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The House of the Rising Sun

So I am going to talk about music this time around.

The House of the Rising Sun is a really old song that no one is sure of the actual origins of. It has been recorded many times by many different artists over the years. Originally it was from the point of view of a woman (http://www.lyricsfreak.com/b/bob+dylan/house+of+the+rising+sun_20021207.html), but with what is most likely the most famous version of the song by The Animals, they switched it to a male POV (http://www.metrolyrics.com/house-of-the-rising-sun-lyrics-the-animals.html).

This last year the band Five Finger Death Punch released their version of it. The song is updated and the music is noticeably heavier. The song is very catchy and is getting a lot of play on the radio station I listen to. It has been stuck in my head for several days now.

Now to get geeky.

The most noticeable change in the Five Finger Death Punch version is the change of location from 'New Orleans' to 'Sin City' (http://www.metrolyrics.com/house-of-the-rising-sun-lyrics-five-finger-death-punch.html). It is a change that for me really changes the over all idea of the song.

I'll be interested to know if others agree with me on this.

I always had the feeling that The House of the Rising Song was kind of a hidden place, that might be known about but no one admits to it. This idea works well with New Orleans, as it is a city that is known to have such places while at the same time people are not going to admit to it, but instead will help to keep it a well known secret.

So when they switched the city to 'Sin City', (my understanding is it is a direct reference to Las Vegas, and not a open reference a generic corrupt city or the comic book city of that name) it didn't feel right to me. In a city known for, if not celebrated for, being a center of corruption, does not have the same impact. To say you are going to Sin City or Las Vegas to take part in what the city is known for, it seems a little pointless and needless. For me the concept just does not have the same impact. With our main reference being gambling, it just does not seem like there needs to be a hidden, mysterious house in Las Vegas to sing about.

Still an enjoyable song and one that has an interesting history with a good deal of mystery to it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Let's Talk About Taurin Tales

As many of you know I am a writer. This year I was invited to contribute to a new shared world anthology titled Taurin Tales.

http://nomadicdeliriumpress.com/taurin.htm

I am looking forwards to seeing just what we ended up creating, as I have only read my pieces (I will have two stories in this anthology).  I have seen some hints as to what some of the other writers came up with. It was an interesting experience to flush out the workings of these people. I think it will come together to make an enjoyable set of stories.

J, the editor, is hoping this goes over well as he is already thinking of doing a second anthology that will have open submissions. However Nomadic Delirium Press is an independent small press and could use a little help to get Taurin Tales funded.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1521750492/taurin-tales

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Comic Book Ads



Now I shall start to reminisce about childhood memories in an attempt to show that I am one of those parents.

I have started to go through my old comic books. I have a good sized collection. I’ve been collecting most of my life. I started in the mid-80s and had to cut down a few years ago, picking up a few here and there since then. I been enjoying the Mile High Comics dollar bin to pick up some old issues to fill in the gaps. Reading them has been a highly reminiscent experience. Odd thing is I mainly remember the ads.

Now this is where I will start to sound like an old man.

Comic ads today just are not as interesting and unique as what they were when I was growing up. It is hard to explain the personality of comic book ads to those unfamiliar with them. The most famous of those ads is most likely the old Hostess snack ads where known heroes from both Marvel and DC would use tasty Hostess snacks to distract the villains and save the day. They really were classic ads that stand out.

You also had ads in the comics every year promoting the Saturday morning cartoon line ups. Yes, there was a time when it was big deal to watch cartoons on Saturday morning. The ads from the 80s show cartoon shows I remember well, most of which I watched. Looking through my comics I ran across one that I am unsure as to how it got into my collection, Captain Savage and His Battlefield Raiders. It is from 1969. It has a Saturday Morning Cartoon ad in it for cartoons that I had never heard of before. I actually did not know they had done a Smoky Bear cartoon show. There was also something titled The Cattanooga Cats, which looks extremely 60s.

If you look through comics from decade to decade you do see an interesting evolution of comic book personality that so reflects the time in which they came out. It is in essence a form of time travel and there is something lost when they get converted into graphic novels or e-comics and the ads get discarded.

Okay, that is my geeky quota for now.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Chinese Star Wars Comic From 1980

Just learned today of a this interesting, practically unknown, piece of Star Wars history.

http://www.mcgreene.org/?p=296

http://www.nickstember.com/chinese-star-wars-comic-part-1-6/

This is a unlicensed mini-comic done in a style called ' lianhuanhua' which is real popular in China.

It is very much worth checking out.

I love the art, even if most of it looks nothing like anything we see in the actual movie. A lot of odd use of characters (Oddly enough most of them from The Empire Strikes Back) in the wrong places, like the medical droid 2-1B as an imperial captain.

Always interesting to see one of these odd pieces that are out there.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Doctor Does the Time Warp

Now this is a perfect song for someone to parade with a Doctor Who theme.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WBqHdI5Bdw

I really an impressed with how well done this video is. The make the song fit the storyline of the show with minimal alteration, which is just brilliant.

So watch the video and enjoy and if you don't get it, then go and watch some Doctor Who. The basic set up of the video comes from the David Tennant years.

Even if you not into Doctor Who, it is still a fun video.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Why X-Men? Why?

I am really looking forwards to X-Men: Days of Future Past. Everything seems to point to this be a really incredible X-Men movie. If all goes well the family will get to see it Monday. All the trailers and clips I have seen have helped to reinforce the my confidence in this movie.

So here I am looking forwards to an X-Men movie, feeling that a second is getting on track with doing a Marvel license right, even though they have been going up and down with their movies. If DoFP is as good as I it at seems, that will make 5 of the 7 X-Men movies as being good. It makes me think they are getting back on track and there is hope for the future movies.

Then I had to learn about the casting for Gambit in the next one...

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/video-channing-tatum-gambit-role-706443

Channing Tatum? Really?

My personal opinion is that he is one of the most over rated actors out there today. He has no range at all. He is the exact same character in every movie he makes and gives nothing of depth to his performances. I am at a lose as to how he keeps getting movie roles. My wife, who thinks he is hot, agrees that he sucks at actor and his big movie 'Magic Mike', was a really bad movie and the only reason to watch it is the nudity. Basically it was Showgirls but with male strippers instead of females. Yet somehow a male stripper movie earns the guy 'Sexist Man Alive' and gets a sequel.

Right now I feel there are too many hack actors in Hollywood right now who are getting all this praise and landing big roles that they do not deserve. I won't go into a list of them, but Tatum is on the top of that list. And just to point out this is not a jealousy issue, he co-star in 21 (And 22) Jump street, Jonah Hill, who is never going to make it to 'Sexist man Alive', is also at the top of that list.

I am very much hoping that this casting will change. If not then maybe by some miracle they will find a way to make it work. We will have to wait a few years before X-Men: Apocalypse come out to see just how this works out, but that one casting announcement has me greatly worried.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Chance to be in Episode 7

I made the mistake of showing the video to promote this to my boys. My say we have to enter. Does anyone have $50000 to give me so I can enter at the Jedi Grand Master of the Order level?

http://www.omaze.com/experiences/starwars-episode-vii

We get to see a set for Episode 7 and a new alien, so the video itself is pretty cool.

Not sure why Abrams felt the need to return to Tatooine. Makes me a little worried about the chance of that there may be a lack of new worlds and ideas in Episode 7. I really hope I am proven wrong. There better be a good reason to be back there that works for the bigger story.  Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Did You Get To Take Advantage of Free Comic Book Day?

I love Free Comic Book Day. How could anyone complain about getting free comic books? While the quality may vary, you can still get some real great comics. Hellboy, Spider-man, Serenity, the Walking Dead, Simpsons, The Tick, The Avengers and so on are just a few of the past free comics I have picked up. I would have no idea who Axe Cop was if it wasn't for getting a free issue of it.

This year Marvel did its normal routine by promoting the Marvel Studio projects. They put out both Guardians of the Galaxy and Rocket Raccoon. The GotG was good and clearly connected to the main title's storyline. Rocket raccoon was cute, but didn't draw me in.

There were a lot of indy comics that caught my attention. The First Daughter was a real interesting idea about the First Family of the US and a conflict that will need the forgotten children of our past presidents to deal with.

There was a steampunked Star Wars titled Steam Wars.

So many others that get a little mixed up in my head. A lot of good stuff and some odd stuff that just didn't work for me.

The big disappointment for me was IDW's G.I.Joe vs Transformers. It was just bad. Real bad. G.I.Joe vs Transformers has been done many times before, and generally has been enjoyable. This time nothing in it worked. I don't know what they were trying for, but there was no story there, no characterization, no point to anything they did. It all felt forced and there was next to no interaction between the G.I.Joe team or Cobra and the Transformers.We had two Transformers fighting it out as background to a truly silly battle between G.I.Joe and Cobra.

Regretfully I have a very limited budget for comics most of the rest of the year, so I can't sample as many titles as I get to for Free Comics Book Day.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Dr. Horrible Sing Along Blog Shadowcast

My youngest boy and I went to Starfest this last weekend.

This was the first Starfest I had made it to in about a decade. There were lots of great costumes as expected. I also got to see my ‘con’ friends, a group that continues to grow with each convention I make it to.

There were a few highlights to the convention, like getting to meet Billy Dee Williams. For me the most enjoyable part and the main reason we ended up going, was participating in the Dr. Horrible Sing-along blog Shadowcast. That was a lot of fun for me and Hayden. I was an extra doing any role that was needed of me, mostly just background characters. Hayden however got to play the role of Capt. Hammer, which he nailed. It was a fun group to work with and most likely we will be involved in future Shadowcasts with them.

If you want to see just what a Dr. Horrible Shadowcast is you can check it out here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hu2t9g0xnY0&list=PLbjqbbd1QIa8FqDXFc3d6FJplbMtLG9_c

Although it is something you really should see live to get the full experience of it.

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Princess, A Smuggler and A Jedi Go To London

Filming for Star Wars Episode 7 has actually already started with the 2nd unit crew in Abu Dhabi filming scenes set on Tatooine. All we know about that is there is a large set piece that got rolled out. many seem to think it is a foot for an AT-AT.

There has been no casting announcements made as of yet, but principle filming is to begin soon at Pinewood Studios outside of London. Three individuals connected with the original Star Wars trilogy (Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, and Mark Hamill) all seem to be converging on London right now. My guess is we will be getting various updates over the next few weeks.

Here in Denver we are going to have the Starfest convention next weekend. One guest will be Billy Dee Williams. I would bet anything that he will be asked over and over again if he is going to get to be in the new trilogy or some alteration of that.

After the total disappointment the prequels were, I think we are seeing a huge build up in excitement due to the hope that they get it right this time.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

My New Dollar Bin Comic Book Addiction


The Mile High Comics warehouse store on Jason street is just awesome.  If you have never been there and live in the Denver metro area, check it out. You will be impressed.

About a year a go we started attending various events there regularly. While I have not been collecting comics at the level I used to, my boys and I were enjoying the deals we got in their regular auctions and other promotions Chuck puts on. My boys got some nice older comics for their budding collections at reasonable prices.

Recently I made the mistake of scanning through the dollar comics bins. So many comics for a dollar each, with a good deal from the late 70s early 80s. I  started to fill in the gaps from my collection. And I am really enjoying reading these old comics.

Having actively been collecting over several decades I saw the change in style as comic books kept up with the times, but it having been a while since I read the older stuff I never really though much about it. Now I look at the complete package of the thirty year old comics and I love it. The ads, the story telling and art, the cover layout. It really sets them firmly in their time, the time when I started collecting comics.

While I am not buying much in the way of new comics now days, as we do not have a budget for it. I did pick up a couple issues of the new Ms. Marvel and my first issues of The Superior Spider-Man as the series ended with the real Peter Parker returning, and of course I will be getting issue 1 of the new Amazing Spider-Man. However, in general if I pick up comics now days it is most likely from the dollar bin.

I am exploring some new series for me, like the Micronauts, that I had never gotten into before. I've picked up the few issues I needed to have a complete run of the original Excalibur series. I been filling in the gaps in my New Mutant collection. And I've picked up a few random comics that have just caught my attention.

This is a great way to collect comics on a budget. I just have to keep my visits there to once a month to be safe.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Marvel Studios is Showing Us Just How it Should Be Done

I have been getting more and more impressed with Marvel studios over the last few years and they show no signs of getting it wrong. I have so far enjoyed every movie that has officially been part of the Marvel Studios.

We had the incredibly well done build up to the Avenger. It was next to perfect.  We got the introductions and origins out of the way so it could all come together in a bigger story and it worked.

In phase two the movies have been enjoyable and have connected back to the Avengers, keeping the greater storyline going strong. Now in phase two they added the TV show Agents of Shield to the universe and despite a slow start, the show has done a good job of connecting the universe farther. Not only does the show make references to the Avengers, but it dealt with the aftermath of Thor: Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Solider, making more of those movies. We have gotten a good batch of characters from the comics introduced through the show with Gravatron, Deathlock and the Enchantress. This allows for so much more expansion of the Marvel universe.

Announcement after announcement of the next batch of movies sets us up for a much larger universe to look forwards to. There is also more in the way of a deal with Netflix to do a batch of  four series focusing on some lesser known Marvel characters (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist) that will then meet up for a Defenders mini-series. So many possibilities to be found there.

All of this will be taking place in the same universe. None of that rebooting crap that gets old and makes it hard to build up a strong continuity. This method allows for stronger story telling by not having to jump back to origins of the same character over and over again.

The events of Captain America: the Winter Soldier directly affected Agents of Shield, strongly linking those storylines. This is what I hope we start seeing more of with all that they have planned. There are so many opportunities to build up this cohesive universe and give us some huge stories that would not be able to be done otherwise.

I am looking forwards to see where they are going to take us and I have full faith that they will keep the stories strong for some time to come.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Writing Process Blog Tour

I was supposed to put this up on March 31, but things have been a little busy so I am a week and a half late on this one. I do apologize to those who are following the blog tour.

I was drafted into the blog tour by by my good friend J. Alan Erwine (http://jalanerwine.blogspot.com/ ). He is a writer and editor and currently runs Nomadic Delirium Press.

Now onto the four questions that are the essence of this blog tour.

1) What am I working on? 

Doing mostly rewrites right now. I got involved with a new writers group and let them critique some of my past stories. Now I am looking at their comments and seeing what I can do to polish up my stories. It really does help to have a group that knows how to critique and not go easy on you.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre? 

I like to think I take Sci-fi standards and go in atypical directions with them. I have a story about the evolution of man where human's become feral beast where the males end their lives as food for their offspring. I am also working on a story that takes the idea of sexual contact with an alien and makes
it into something very unpleasant. I have a zombie story, which is one I am working on polishing up, where I have been complimented on my unique take on the concept.

3) Why do I write what I do? 

That's just the way my mind works. I am at my best when I am being creative, with writing generally being my favorite creative outlet and these are the ideas that come to me to write.

4) How does your writing process work?

I pull myself together and write. It's not always easy with everything going on in my life, but time and again I have to get on the ball and make time for it. I always have ideas to write about and there are several dozen stories on my computer that I have started, so there is never an issue with finding something to work on. Each story comes together in a different manner as there is inspiration everywhere. I have a story coming out in the next issue of Tales of the Talisman magazine (vol.9 Issue 4) that I started after a New Years' Eve party at a club where I mostly sat and watched people, many of which ended up in the story.

The final part of the blog tour was to find three writers to pass the tour onto.  Regretfully I was unable to do this. I am going to keep trying to find some who are willing to see if they can keep this going and I will update this post at that time.  For now however it seems this leg of the tour ends with me.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Truly Awesome (And Valuable) Thrift Store Find

I do love thrift stores. If you hit them just right you can find some great deals. And it is really just luck that you are there at the right time to find the better deals.

In High School I found a complete Optimus Prime in the box for four dollars. The box was beat up and the Styrofoam was in backwards so all you could make out was his trailer. I took the chance and everything was there except roller, which was not hard to get a hold of. The stickers had not even been put on yet. He is still in my collection, although right now he is not on display.

Even now days I from time to time find actual vintage Star Wars items. Last year one store had a early figures case from the late 70s for only a coupe bucks. While it is not a highly sought after piece, it was still cool and the price was good.

I rarely pick up something that I plan to sell though. Most of the time I buy stuff to add to my collection. When I do pick up something that I plan to resale, it is never wroth that much. I let my wife do the selling and we make a few bucks off it, generally five to twenty I think has been our range so far.

Today however I found what will hopefully be a good investment of $3.

I have been into Magic the Gathering since shortly after it came out. Early on they released a special set called the Collector's Edition. I picked one up and have had it since then. A couple years ago when I was selling off some of my valuable Magic cards because we needed the money and Magic cards were one collectable I picked-up that kept its value, one buyer asked about the Collector's Edition. I didn't think it was worth much and I wanted to keep it, so I said it was not for sale.

So today I saw one at the thrift store for $3. It felt complete to me, so I figured it was worth a chance. Even if it was not complete I figured I could get more than $3 for it.

Got home and checked on eBay to learn that complete sets of the Collector's Edition are going for over $1000... Yeah, and some of the individual cards were going for over $50 each. So even if it was not complete, it seemed I could make some money on this.

Well, it was a complete set and it was in better shape than the set I've had for over twenty years now.

I did not waste any time in putting a Craigslist ad up for it. I am hoping someone is interested before the weekend, so we have some money to spend at Anomalycon. It is always nice to have a little extra money as it is.

For the time being I am keeping my personal set, although knowing how much it is worth does make it so I might sell it in the future if I need to. For now this nice thrift store find should help that not be needed.

Now to see just how much I can get for it.

My Son's Geeky Birthday

My youngest son just had his 11th birthday. I don't think he got a single gift that I would not mind having.

He got a Doctor Who TARDIS blanket, which he is now wrapped up in on the couch, from his grandparent (It goes perfectly with the TARDIS pillowcase they got him for Christmas).

We got him a really impressive looking book that goes behind the scenes of the making of the Hobbit movies. It has lots of great picture of the props and costume designs, as well as story broad and sets and so on. And a small light up TARDIS.

His friends got him mostly Magic cards.  After twenty years Magic the gathering is still going strong. I love that my boys and their friends play it. I showed off a bit to his friends by showing them my old school magic cards.

He also got a Nerf gun, which we have all played with.

And he got money, lots of money.  With his moeny his picked up a new 11th Doctor's sonic screwdriver, a Character Building set of the TARDIS and the LEGO Back to the Future set that was available for the first time at the LEGO store.

The Back to the Future LEGO set is really cool.  You build the DeLorean, and then you can customize it to whatever version you desire. You can make just about every version of the car with just the one set.

So my boy had a good birthday and we have new toys in the house to play with. Just none of them are mine.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Denver Comic Con Just Keeps Getting Better

As if I needed more to look forwards to at DCC this year, they just announced that they will have actual participants from Face Off (For those of you who do not keep up with this blog, that is the greatest reality program on the air right now) doing panels and demonstrations.

Since my oldest son is interesting in costuming as a career, this will be perfect for him.

I am looking forwards to seeing what other surprises DCC has in store for us. They have been good at building up the excitement for the convention this year.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

You Can't Take the Sky From Me

The Science channel is once more doing a Firefly marathon today. They seem to do one about once a month or so. It is always nice to have something like that playing in the background at times.

No matter how many times I see any episdoe of Firefly, it never gets old. Most programs have some episodes that are not too good and are not worth watching again, or even once in some cases. Most of the time you get one or two such episodes a season. Somehow every episode of Firefly is so well done that they are easy to watch over and over again and enjoy them fully.

With thirteen episodes and one movie, the Firefly saga is undeniably one of the greatest Sci-fi shows ever. I personally rank it as one of the top five. Watching the episodes it is obvious as to why they have such a following after all this time. There are just too many moments of brilliance found in ever episode.

You start with the opening song that is filled with emotion and perfectly fits the show's theme. I rank as the number one opening music for a show. It really is that good.

The amount of brilliant, easily repeatable quotes is incredible. We are not talking about catch phrases here either. None of the characters have catch phrases and that is a good thing. The dialogue is that well written.

There is nothing about I can find fault with in the show. Nothing. It is about as perfect as it gets. Outside of it getting canceled of course.

I do wonder if ti would have been able to keep that level of quality if it had kept going. In some ways the magic of Firefly is held strong by just how little was made. There was no chances given for it to drag on and jump the shark.

I know a few people who have not yet watched Firefly. They really have no idea just what it is they are missing.