Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday Comic Update: Birds of Prey and Justice League

Birds of Prey #6 continues its initial arc as the team searches for the mastermind behind the covert Gotham City mind control. I have really enjoyed the pacing done in this series. In addition to comics, the writer, Duane Swierczynski, is also a fiction and non-fiction crime author. Each issue has a solid ending that segues well into the next issue. The plot is interesting without being too convoluted, and it is apparent that Swierczynski had a well thought arc. The characters occasionally static with everyone playing into their archetypes without much variation; however, that is the case with most team based books. I would really like to see Black Canary on her own, just her and Starling, a recent edition to DCU, doing the vigilante thing. Starling can easily be the loose cannon to a more investigative"straight man" Canary. This will probably never be the case, as DC needs the Birds of Prey to tout their female superheroes.

Justice League #6 brings the initial Darkseid arc to a close. While Jim Lee's art has set a fairly high standard, particularly this issue, Geoff Johns' writing has fluctuated through the first arc. Justice League is one of the more important series in the DCU and I am certain it is one of the more popular new52, yet I am not sure why. Yes, Darkseid made his first appearance in this brand new universe, but it really wasn't very good. We only get a brief understanding of why he is attacking and his dialogue is pointless. Hefty chunks of this book would be better if they didn't have any dialogue. I get the feeling that while Jim Lee and Geoff Johns are two very quality comic book artists, Johns just seems to be adding text to Lee's artwork. 
After defeating Darkseid, (spoiler alert) the super heroes win, the Justice League are being commended by some unnamed politician and during the ceremony, all seven of them are just quibbling with each other. I get it, they aren't used to working together and some members don't want to be included, but they wouldn't be discussing it during an award ceremony. To end this review on a good note, I did enjoy the book, and Johns wrote the role of civillians well. This issue was much better than issue #5, but I expect more from Johns as a writer and Justice League as a series.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Nerding on a Budget: part 2 of 2

Last week I wrote about how I am able to be a nerd while affording things in normal life. When I started listing off everything I quickly realized I needed more than one article. Here is the second round of tips and strategies for being as nerdy as you can without breaking the bank.

5. Ebay- This tip applies especially for trading card games. Websites like troll and toad have decent prices, but if you have the time and patience to shop around a little, you can find some pretty solid deals on cards. Whether you enter a bid or find a good buy it now, a lot of people on Ebay are trying to get rid of things and wont charge as much as some online retailers.

Ebay is also very handy for making some extra cash. I will hold to this statement that every nerd everywhere has a large stash of cards, comics, and memorabilia they do not need or really even want. Starting a small selling page on Ebay is an easy way to recoup some money from all your nerdy purchases. I have recently started selling some Pokemon cards on Ebay, and I have been glad to get some extra cash in return for rare cards I was not going to use. I think it is almost a necessity for any serious nerd to be a fairly well trained Ebay user, the skill will come in handy often.

6. Subscribe- Like comics? so do I. Hate paying $2.99-3.99 for every comic? so do I. Would you like to keep buying comics and save some money? Buy subscriptions! Subscriptions are wonderful and I am a strong advocate for using them. Some shops will give you deals if you subscribe through them, or you can go straight to the publisher. I have 5 subscriptions with DC right now and it is much easier to pay in a smaller lump sum than it is to shell out the cash every week. I still buy some books from shops, but by splitting it up I am able to save some cash and get all the comics I want. Not all companies have the best subscription policy, but DC's is really solid and I assume the larger companies will give a pretty good deal.

7. Research- Know what you are buying ahead of time. This one is simple. Every week I look up the comic release on websites such as comic vine and I see what is coming out. I mark what I plan on buying and then when I go shopping on Wednesday I know exactly what I want. Comic shops and stores that carry nerdy items prey on impulse buys. This way, I know what I am getting and I have few impulse buys. The same idea works for all shopping. Do your research on a new TCG set and you'll probably spend less money on booster packs. If you know when collectibles you want are coming out, you will be able to resist temptation and save money for the items you want.

8. Resist the need to collect- Nerds tend to enjoy collecting things. This can be an issue if you want to save money as there is nothing frugal about collecting things. As nothing in nerding is really necessary, It is hard to tell people to only buy what is necessary, but people can certainly prioritize. You don't need to own everything.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Reviews: Transmetropolitan: Back on the Street

I haven't done one of these in a while, but today feels like a good day to get back in the swing of things.

"Transmetropolitan" was a series that ran under DC's Vertigo title from 1997 to 2002. Transmetropolitan was written by Warren Ellis with art by Darick Robertson. I read this TP a couple weeks ago after my roommate was loaned the first four collections by a friend.
Set in a strange and fairly dystopic future, "Transmetropolitan"follows the events of the eccentric, and often violent, columnist Spider Jerusalem. Jerusalem has spent the last five years in seclusion on an isolated mountain. At the behest of a publisher, Jerusalem must return to the city and resume writing. Jerusalem looks up his old editor and threatens him into giving him a column. The rest of the TP follows Jerusalem on his hunt for storys around the unnamed city. Riots, politics, television,  and new strange cults are just a sampling of what he encounters in the first collection.

The future "Transmetropolitan" is set in is a madhouse. The city is massive, overcrowded and filled with the strangest assortment of "people" one could imagine. It is clear that Ellis wanted culture to take a nose dive for this book. Kids watch a charming Jim Henson-esque show called "Sex Puppets". People take body modification to new levels with people turning themselves into alien forms. Sentience is granted to almost everything. Animals are genetically modified in most ways imaginable. Ellis and Robertson give the reader a solid futuristic worldview that took several wrong turns along the way.

To inhabit this frightening and occasionally stressful world is the ever sarcastic Jerusalem. While he partakes in the culture, he readily mocks the world he lives in and it is clear that he understands that the world he lives in is pretty awful. Channeling the spirit of Hunter S. Thompson, Jerusalem is quick to fly off the handle, has a penchant for fire arms, and is a great and controversial journalist. He is quickly critical of everything he encounters and is constantly searching for a story. He is the quintessential mad man guide to an even madder world.

While the stories are interesting but occasionally a little hard to swallow. However, the way they are presented is episodic and interesting. Since Jersalem is constantly writing a new story, it seems only logical that the series would follow suit. In the media saturated world of "Transmetropolitan" it is fitting that few secondary characters stick around to much, there are just to many things happening in the city. While everything ties together by the end of a chapter, the stories may seem a bit schizophrenic at times, but that adds to the feel of the city. Jerusalem, while being generally unlikable in every way possible shows some depth through his lack of tact. It is clear that he has some sort of moral code, it just is not a straight line by any means.

I really enjoyed "Transmetropolitan". The dystopic element is both terrifying and fun, filled with dark humor. This book is one of the more original takes on comics I have read lately, and I can not think of another medium that could effectively display the madness of the world, while delivering an effective and interesting take on modern society and culture. I give Transmetropolitan: Back on the Streets a 4.5 out of 5.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wednesday Comics Update: Flash, X-Force, Teen Titans, and Green lantern

Flash #6 leads the reader out of the initial five issue arc and does not disappoint. issue #6 introduces the classic Flash villain Captain Cold to the new52. I have never been particularly familiar with Captain Cold, but this new incarnation seems to be a departure from the norm. He no longer uses ice pistols and can create ice organically. Captain Cold is also after something other than financial gain. Cold blames the Flash for a family tragedy and has currently suspended other criminal activity to attempt to kill the Flash in a fit of revenge. The art continues to impress and the dialogue and story seem realistic with equal amounts of time given to plot-line and action. Flash is easily one of the more three dimensional characters in DC right now and I would suggest starting at #6 if you missed the first arc.
Despite all this, there isn't much internal conflict going on with the Flash. Barry Allen is a kind genuine person and that is the only vibe I have gotten from this book. The dialogue is not bland, but it is hard to believe this character has no dark side, or even a dim side. Overall, the book is solid and I give Flash #6 a 4 out of 5.

The current arc of Uncanny X-Force seems to be the strangest, and potentially my least favorite thus far. Considering this series run began with the assassination of a cloned Apocalypse, the return of Dark Angel and the re-cloning of Apocalypse, I expected a lot more. The X-Force crew, along with an alterate universe's Nightcrawler, are in Otherworld attempting to save Fantomex from being executed by the Captain Britain Corps. I do not understand the logical connection of this to all that has occurred previously n the series. Yes, Psylocke is related to Captain Britain, and they are attempting to execute Phantomex for killing the first Apocalypse clone, because the clone was still a child, but I don't understand the logic behind the arc. While the dialogue is still well done and the recent art has been phenomenally stylized, it's very sketchy and looks like paint, the whole premise of this arc does not sit right with me. The arc reeks of a lack of knowing where to take the series after one arc ends, so they have a member be kidnapped and tried for something he did 18 issues ago.
On a more positive note, I enjoy the relationship developing between Fantomex and Psylocke, there appears to be a good amount of tension and caring between the two, and I am interested to see how it will pan out. The alternate Nightcrawler is an interesting character as well. Several people have mistaken him for the original, but his darker side that has witnessed a holocaust comes out regularly as he shows a deep desire to protect all humans. I hope the new Nightcrawler sticks around a while, as the original has always been one of my favorites. I give Uncanny X-Force #22 a 3.5 out of 5.

Considering it had a very light reboot, it may not have been wise for me to begin reading Green Lantern at the new52. While Geoff Johns is easily one of the more well known writers for DC, he has expanded the Green Lantern universe well beyond previous points, and he continues to do so in Green Lantern #6. While Hal Jordan tries to go about a normal life, I am not sure why he was thrown out of the Lantern Corps, Sinestro seeks out different yellow lanterns for currently unknown reasons. It is interesting to see Jordan adjust to civilian life, he still finds a way to fight crime, but ultimately I feel like I walked into the second half of a good movie and nobody will tell me how it started, I refuse to look up summaries. In the end, I am not fully qualified to critique the overall plot-line, but I believe Green Lantern #6 has earned a 3.5 out of 5 on base line entertainment.

Considering how solid Teen Titans has been, I was a little disappointed by issue #6. After their first encounter with Superboy, the Titans spend this issue dealing with Kid Flash's motion control problem. In an attempt to add some flavor, as well as someone to punch, the Titans fight a genetically altered meta human with psychic powers and some kind of mental illness. After the baddie takes a well deserved blow from Bunker, Kid Flash is given a new costume by the now cancelled Static Shock. While I always loved the tv show, I saw no need to have Static make a guest appearance, and I would be surprised if he joined the team. The story also proposes that Kid Flash may not be who he appears to be. The "translated" musings of a faux police officer give the reader a hint at some kind of conspiracy behind Kid Flash. This discovery is a little uninspired. To my knowledge, there haven't been any hints or foreshadowing to this, and I was a little annoyed to have it laid out in the open. I think Teen Titans will remain a solid title, but I hope they rebound well from this diller issue. I give Teen Titans #6 a 2.5 out of 5.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Mini New Comics Wednesday Featuring Green Arrow and the Defenders

Over winter break I had forgotten how annoying it can be to find comics in Conway. While I could easily find every comic I was looking for in the Chicago area, Conway has roughly one and a half comic shops. The Batcave is a nice little shop if you are into several nerdy things (we have Pokemon league there), but demand for certain comics can outweigh the supply. Conway also has a Hastings, which has a wide selection of comics, but is incredibly inconsistent with what they carry and how organized the racks are.

Little Rock has a few comic specialty shops, but the city is a half hour drive from Conway, and since I am trying to stay true to my nerd budgeting, I can hardly justify regular trips to those shops. The predicament I am left in is one where I would like to have readily reviewed books the day they come out, but that doesn't seem feasible. So, my resolution is to do an update every Wednesday of the recent comics I have read in the past week, some books may be a week or two old but it is what I can do.

I will also be adding a standard grading system to my reviews, just a simple rating out of 5.

The second arc finally comes to an end. My favorite hero, and my least favorite book of the new52, Green Arrow, ends its second arc and final issue before the new creative team of Ann Nocenti and Harvey Tolibao. In this issue, GA fights and ultimately defeats what appears to be a toxic sludge version of Solomon Grundy (Midas) and the Red Spandex Ninja (Bloodrose). Their motives for hunting Oliver Queen, GA's alter ego, were hinted at but never fully explained, and I hope they never are. From what I can gather, they were both created  or harmed by the company owned by Oliie Queen known as Q-Core.

This series so far has been an interesting mix of clear but generic art with lazy writing. Despite my criticisms of this title, I certainly hope it gets turned around with the new creative team. GA needs some development outside of the mask, and I hope Nocenti and Tolibao can deliver. I give this issue a 2 out of 5

What I have found since I began really reading comics is that the more DC comics I read, the more I am disappointed. To counteract this, I have picked up a few solid titles from Marvel, one them being "The Defenders". The Defenders are a pretty nifty lineup varying in both physical ability and personality. The up front Red She Hulk and Namor are easily balanced out by the more charming Dr. Strange and Iron Fist (Silver Surfer is cool too, but he hasn't caught my eye yet). but all these characters in a post- "Fear Itself" arc and you have a great cast of characters following up on a great event.

The Defenders have been hunting down Nul, Breaker of Worlds, that scary looking black thing, and have encountered a strange reality altering cult. If there is anything these first few issues have shown me, it is that the lesser known Marvel characters tend to out-perform the sideline DC characters. I have really been digging this book and would suggest to anyone with or without a deep understanding of the Marvel universe, but  who is willing to read "Fear Itself". By the end of the issue the cult appears to be defeated and Nul has been neutralized, leaving the Defenders with an alternate reality machine, which seems to be right up Dr. Strange's alley. I give this issue of "The Defenders" a 4 out of 5


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentimes Day, Everybody!

May all your valentine wishes come true and I wish you luck on your search for cheap leftover candy at Wal-mart. Also, if you haven't ever seen the video, shame on you and watch it right now.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Nerding on a Budget: Part 1 of 2

I have spent the past couple weeks thinking about money. This normally grim topic became a bit darker when I realized just how much money one can put into being a nerd. I haven't been a particularly thrifty nerd, yet, I have not gone over the top on my spending either. However, the world of nerd is a very tempting place to tread. Companies like Marvel, DC, Pokemon, and really anything that fits in between know that their fan-base is pretty entrenched, and they will exploit that. 
mmmm, look at that tasty clipart

Look at any run of the mill comic shop, They have a wall of recent issues, DC and Marvel combined that is over 80 new books a month (not to mention all the smaller publishers). Along with monthly books, every company releases trades of major events and arcs, and like normal books, they make you wait longer for the more affordable paperback. Then comes Merchandise, although I have never purchased any of these, the amount of action figures, clothing, collectibles, variant covers, statues, etc. is staggering. Now, that was just comics, imagine trying to cover multiple interests, all competing for your money and your attention, the stereo type of the unwashed nerd probably exists because they can't afford soap.

I have seen people who clearly prioritize their hobby over some standard quality of life concerns, and trading cards are one of the worst offenders. I play Pokemon. Thankfully, this is by far the most affordable mainstream TCG, the other two being Magic, and Yu-Gi-Oh. Popularly playable cards in Magic and Yu-Gi-Oh can easily break over a hundred. Comics and TCGs just scratch the surface, I don't even want jump into tabletops, MMOs, and video games.

Since one of the main ideas of being a nerd is to be particularly obsessed with a certain topic, the odds of frugality being a major concern seems low. However, I implore all nerds, old and new, out there to follow a few guidelines.

1. Friends- Being a nerd without friends is sad for two reasons: It is incredibly lonely, and it costs a lot more. Having friends with similar interests is easily the bast way to save money on being a nerd. Interested in Dungeons and Dragons? before you buy your own manuals, minis, and board, ask around,  more people play than you would think, and they will probably already have everything you need. My roommate and I share our comics and graphic novels with each other and we essentially have a combined collection for now. Anyone with a solid collection would probably enjoy  sharing their love of comics with a new comer. On the trading card front, if you plan on going to tournaments, ask a friend if you can borrow some extra cards they wont be using. In addition, offer to loan out your cards. If you belong to a league, this builds camaraderie and a team like feel. 

2. Specialize- It is near impossible to be involved in every nerdy activity, as much as you like playing all the major trading card games, reading several comics a week and playing all the recent video games, unless you have a rather large stash of cash, you wont have time, energy, or money to be good at any of them. I find that picking two major activities and then dabbling in a few other may be the best way to go. I read comics and play Pokemon, those two activities consume 95% of my nerd dedicated money. I have spent money on a few other nerd activities, but that was mostly to gain an understanding as to how they work. I enjoy being pretty good at Pokemon and being fairly knowledgable with comics. It really comes down to preference, do you want to be really good at a couple of things, or do you want to suck at everything?

3. Have a Job- One would expect this to be a no-brainer, but sadly, it is not. I spend my fair share of money on comics and Pokemon, I also work at a campus job, and in the summer I run a day-camp. These jobs allow me continue being a very active nerd. Being a nerd is open to everyone, but do nerdom a favor, and be respected in and out of the comic store.

4. Resist Torrenting- This may seem contrary to the point of this article, but i stand by this point. Comic scans are easily available online. D&D manuals can be found in PDF form all over torrent sites. I implore you to not use this method. While certain creators have been able to make a big name for themselves and can ride that into financial gain, many artists and writers are just trying to make a living. The average comic book readership isn't all that large, and while DC or Marvel can make money off movie rights and merchandising, the average comic book writer wont be involved in any of that. Support your favorite creators, buy their book.

check back later for my next installment of Nerd budget tips.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Comics Reviews, a much delayed look at JLI, Action, X-men, and Animal Man

 Some of these books are pushing a week and a half since publication, but I think it is important to get down my thoughts when I have a spare moment.

Action Comics #6 continues to to take amore complex turn. We are introduced to the
concept of time travel and superman in the New 52, as well as the Legion of superheroes,
a group of future heroes inspired by Superman. Superman's weakness to kryptonite also
begins to come into play and the story starts to read like a standard Grant Morrison story:
interesting, complex, and at times a little too self referencing and tedious. Action Comics
is easily one of the better books being published, but don't start buying unless you are in it for thelong haul.
Justice League International #6 takes its spot as a standard wrap up and transition
issue in between story arcs. Having defeated the evil space miner from destroying
Earth, the need for the JLI comes under question by the United Nations. The issue
concludes with an easy lead in to the next arc as a group of American political terrorist
keep trying to blow things up. While this issue could easily be shorter, The creative
 team try to keep character interaction and development up in one of the largest
 teams in the DCU. The interactions while being fairly standard, are interesting to
read and the cast is fairly diverse in diction opinion and emotion. If you are looking
for a good place to jump in to the series, check issue #7 next month.

I don't get tired of saying this, Animal Man is wonderful. Even filler issues with
no direct link to the main story are interesting to read. Most of the issue is a portion
of a film starring Buddy Baker, Animal Man. No reference has been made to his
occupation as an actor since the first issue, so it was pretty interesting to see a full
portion of the fictional film. The "film" has its own commentary on super heroics
and is a reminiscent of stories like "Black Freighter" which appeared in "Watchmen".

Don't let the cover fool you, this book is actually really good. Wolverine and the
X-Men #5 continues the many problems facing the newly opened Jean Grey
School. Between a lack of funding, an Apocolypse clone, an apparently pregnant
Kitty Pryde, and the ever-douchey Hellfire Club, there is plenty of material to
deal with. Despite the many characters and subplots, the book is not hard to follow
and everyone gets their fair share of face time. As I have previously stated, if
you can start reading this series, you should, you wont regret it.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

5 Reasons why I love the new "Amazing Spiderman" Trailer

5. Denis Leary- This one may only apply to me, but I think Dennis Leary was a pretty good casting choice as Gwen Stacy's father, Captain George Stacy. His mix of intimidating seriousness and sarcasm seemed like a good fit to play the police officer anti-vigilante, but law abiding, antagonist.

4. It's Gorgeous- From what I have seen so far Amazing Spiderman may be the most attractive of the big superhero films coming out this year. Based on the previews alone, I believe it trumps both The Avengers and Dark Knight Rises in pure cinematic beauty. I had the pleasure of seeing the trailer in 3D last time I was at the movies, and it uses the technology well. Without having obvious "3D scenes", the images  and action of the film go well with the extra depth given by 3D.

3. Gwen Stacy- In many ways, Amazing Spiderman is relying more on the comics for inspiration. Since this film is about the beginning of Spiderman, it makes sense that the romantic interest of the classic hero would be Gwen Stacy. As Peter Parker's official first love, the decision for having Stacy both lies close to the comics and differentiates the upcoming film from the previous Spiderman movies.

2. Peter's Parents- As a kid, when I had little knowledge about comics outside of the films, I always wondered what happened to Peter Parker's parents. They never really elaborate in the films, probably to give Tobey Macguire more time to mumble his lines, what really happened to them. I can only speculate what information will be divulged, but I am happy to see that Parker's parent's history will be brought up outside of the comic world.

1. Science!- They finally made Peter Parker a scientist. While the previous films focused on his love of photography, they leave out one major detail, Peter Parker is a fairly active scientific genius. To be fair, the previous films did show him with an obvious interest in science, but they completely skipped over how he made his web-shooters by giving him naturally produced webs in his wrist. Andrew Garfield plays the slim bookworm type much better than the fairly muscular Macguire.

Check out the trailer if you haven't seen it yet.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Emergency Update: Powergirl is no longer showing huge cleavage. It's about time.

Old Powergirl
New Powergirl
I ran across the cover for the upcoming cover for "World's Finest" and I saw that they finally updated Powergirl's costume. The former costume is dead and I am very happy about it. The old costume, with its large "cleavage window" as I call it, has bothered me for a long time. As someone who readily defends comics against most insults and accusations, having a ridiculously costumed heroine created and written by mostly men doesn't help. I hope the new costume sticks, and while comics are still dominated by guys, this costume change is a step in the right direction.


Friday Forgetfulness: I review some comics and rant about my life

This has been a fairly busy week. I had a short essay due and a test on Wednesday, followed by the release of the Next Destinies Pokemon card set. Last night I went with some friends to see the 3D release of Phantom Menace ( it was as bad as ever but was a lot prettier). This leaves me with today to catch up on my nerd blogging duties and by the power of Grayskull, I will! (personal crisis, I just referenced He-Man).

The scan sucks because
Mewtwo is so shiny.
Comics- I picked up Animal Man #6, Action Comics #6, Justice League #6, and Wolverine and the X-Men #6. Look later tonight or maybe tomorrow for my standard review article.

Pokemon Cards- Next Destinies set came out. The release was a fairly big deal due to the re-emergence of ultra rare EX cards. I was lucky enough to pull a few including a beautiful full-art Mewtwo (pictured).

Nuzlocke- I haven't played much in the past week, but I have been working on my next chapter of the Nuzlocke-Noir (check the pages bar for a link).

Check it out, it's  cyberpunk
Hunter S. Thompson
Phantom Menace- I saw Phantom Menace in 3D last night in the local Cinemark's faux I-MAX theater. It was a lot of fun, but sadly George Lucas did not choose to kill of Jar Jar Binks in the edited version,  I just have to keep pretending he isn't there. The visuals were impeccable and it is certainly worth seeing if you love Star Wars, I haven't seen it, or feel like spending $11  on a film that was released 13 years ago. If you own it on DVD or Blu-Ray I would suggest watching it at home instead of trekking out to the theater.

 Graphic Novels and Books- Remember those nifty little reviews I used to do? Me neither. It has been a few weeks since I wrote a full review on anything, but I haven't stopped reading. I am currently reading through "Transmetropolitan", courtesy of my friend Rima, and Michael Chabon's well known "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay", courtesy of my girlfriend Erin. I plan on putting some more reviews up in the near future.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Monday Night Roommate Activities: Draw Ronnie James Dio

Last night my roommate, Josh, and I were in our room with his girlfriend, Katie. We had just watched Princess Bride and after listening to a selection of Dire Straits songs we began to sing music from the Tenacious D movie, a normal Monday night. The Tenacious D song we were singing was "Kickapoo", which has both Meatloaf and Dio featured. From there, I can not remember exactly
what happened but Josh and I began to sketch our own versions of the late metal singer. Here is what we came up with. Who's drawing do you like better? check the poll in the right hand column.




Monday, February 6, 2012

Pokemon Update Extravaganza and Mewtwo's Birthday

There is a need for a update in my world of Pokemon, so here it is, coming at you live on your internet connection.

Cards- This is a pretty big week for Pokemon cards. The new set, NeXt Destinies (yes, the X was intentional), come out on Wednesday. To my chagrin, this set will include the return of EX cards. For those not versed in the card game, imagine very effective and popular cards that are ridiculously rare, those are EX cards. I  pre-ordered a box a while ago and I will be geting that on Wednesday, so hopefully I get a good pull.
In other card news, my friend and former roommate, Adam Bigott has become a front page contributor on Adam is easily one of the better Pokemon writers I have seen in a while and is a damn good player. Adam also has a youtube channel that I occasionally appear on.

Nuzlocke- I have made some headway on my Nuzlocke run. I have also begun a creative interpretation located above in the pages bar.

Mewtwo's Birthday-Today is also Mewtwo's Birthday. Everybody's favorite enraged psychic clone was born on February 6th according to a boo in the Red, Blue and Yellow games. Check the picture for all the details you need


Saturday, February 4, 2012

1st Nuzlocke Update: Beginnings and Expositions

First update is a short one. I started my Nuzlocke game today and after getting through all the beginning story, I was able to get up and running on the challenge. So far I have only had the chance to catch one other Pokemon, so my party is only my beginning Torchic, Ringo, and now a Zigzagoon, Bowie. As I venture forward, I grow fretful of when I will start running into the challenges created by Nuzlocke.


Friday, February 3, 2012

Fact Friday, and why Grant Morrison frightens me

It is Friday once again, and that means I must enthrall discover the hidden underbelly of comics. However, between schoolwork, work, and everything else I have neglected to meet my standard quota of 3 facts a week. Where I lack in quantity I will make up in quality. I offer this gem of an interview given by Grant Morrison in an interview.

1. Grant Morrison has dirty thoughts about the DC comic universe.
Anyone familiar with Morrison's work on comics, or his book "Supergods", will know that Morrison loves comics in an unusual way. Rather than a standard fanboy type appreciation, common in your run of the mill comic dork, Morrison takes the characters he writes for on new and strange journeys through their own psyches history as characters. The best example of this is Morrison's run in Batman. However, in this following interview from the Institute of Contemporary Arts in 2003. 
Warning, this is not appropriate for children.

Then, when I drive the DC Universe home, I’ll say, “you’ve got something on your mouth,” and it’ll say, “where?” and then I’ll swoop in and lay a kiss on it, and say, in a very soft and tender voice, “there.”

Then, after a little bit of kissing about, I’ll lightly brush my hands across the DC Universe’s nipples.  And if it gives any sort of pleased reaction—which I expect it will, because I think sixty years of life without any action will have made the DC Universe a randy little thing—then I’ll rub my hands back and forth across its nipples, exciting it. 

And then later, I’ll have the DC Universe naked and in my bed, and I’ll put on this very special mix tape I’ve already made for the DC Universe.  A little bit of trip-hop, a little bit of house, but also this absolutely brilliant Sade song. 

And then, I’ll be rogering the DC Universe something fierce, and it’ll say, “Oooo, Grant, no comic book writer has ever made me feel this way,” and I’ll say, “It’s because I’m also a reasonably competent artist, and also I have a tongue stud,” and the DC Universe will start bucking involuntarily against me, and moaning, “Brave and The Bold me, Grant, Brave and the Bold me.”  And then I’ll reach into my bedstand and pull out the Talking Hulk Hands. 

And I’ll have the DC Universe down on all fours while this one Dr. Octagon song is playing, and I’ll be all, “You like that, don’t you, you wet little comic book universe?  You like some hot intra-company crossover action, don’t you?” And it’ll be all “Yes, oh God, yes,” and then I’ll rap on the wall three times and Mark Millar is going to come out of my closet with a video camera rolling and a Captain America suit on. 

And I’ll be all, “I bet Mark Waid never made you feel like this, did he?” and before the DC Universe can say anything, Millar and I will start our synchronized sexy Glasgow boy band dance routine…it’s a very powerful Scottish tradition which involves a lot of spanking and gossiping about other comic book writers:  the intention to be to drive the DC Universe into such a wild state, it becomes incontinent with lust and screams, “I must team up with both of you!”  And then we have what could be described, on one level, as a comic book three-way orgy.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Nuzlocke Challenge, The comics, the gameplay, and why I feel like subjecting myself to it

Nuzlocke is an alternate form of playing the Pokemon video games. The base rules for gameplay are:

1. You may only capture the first Pokemon you encounter in an area.
2. When a Pokemon is knocked out in battle, you must consider it deceased and set it free.

Anyone familiar with the Pokemon games should know this style of play is a far-cry from the standard rules of Pokemon Play. This form of play was popularized by a blog/webcomic entitled Pokemon Hard-Mode. To read the webcomic, check out

The comic illustrates, and dramatizes, the authors quest through the game as the in game character Ruby. This premise naturally leads to many Pokemon jokes, as well as several Lost references, and is sometimes as sad as it is funny. Considering that as a kid I felt like Pokemon are immortal, it is devastating to witness their "deaths" throughout the series. I would highly recommend this series for anyone who has played the games. They are funny, a bit crass, and a very enjoyable Poke-farce.

I recently decided to take up my own Nuzlocke challenge on the Gameboy Advance Sapphire Version. Several of my friends have partaken in the challenge and I hope to complete it with some success. I will be following these rules in addition to the main two:

3. I must Nickname all Pokemon
4. I can not use any healing items on my Pokemon outside of battle
5. If all my in party Pokemon faint, I lost the game and must start over.
6. I must log all important feats and write updates regularly

For more info on Nuzlocke rules, check out

I plan on choosing Torchic as my starter and I think I will name him Ringo. Updates will be fairly random, as I will need time to actually play the game, write about it, and do my normal college routine.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

One Man Lord of the Rings and a delayed new comic day

Sadly, the Batcave, Conway's comic book store, did not have the books I was looking for today. I hope to  get these issues in the next day or two and do a catch up post. However, I saw something today that easily tops any new comic book Wednesday, One Man Lord of the Rings.

Hendrix student activities chose to host Charlie Ross, the one and only performer, after he came by campus last year performing his One Man Star Wars show. In my excitement, my roommate and I eagerly arrived at our auditorium a full hour before the performance. Thankfully, we were not the only ones so excited to see the show and after about 45 minutes waiting, we were allowed to seat ourselves.

We procured seats in the third row, 3 being the number of Elven rings of power, and after a few minutes of painful anticipation, Ross took the stage. Combining all three films, the performance is based on the extended films, in to one hour of LotR is no easy feat. Ross performs character voices, stage movements, sound effects, and at a few times camera angles, all in a black jumpsuit. The only part of the show not done by Ross is the lighting, which were well queued to suit the scene (Shout out to my boss Sunny from the Media Center).

I laughed, I got the chills, and the crowd loved it. I would easily suggest trying to see this act, or his Star Wars show, if you ever have the chance. For more info, check out the website: