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Archive for March, 2013

The Spirit Camera : The Cursed Memoir

gamerSpirit C641696_246134_frontamera! All the fun of the occult but with none of those messy deals with the devil!

This isn’t a title I really paid much attention to until my wife got it for me as a gift. I’m surprised at how much I like it. The Spirit Camera is an “Enhanced Reality” DS game mostly utilizing the camera. THe background is whatever room you are in, but things are in that room you can only see through the camera. No using the D-Pad or stulys to move here, you physically have to t urn around and look for things.

It’s a simple ghost story dealing with a haunted diary (Included with the game). You go through pages in the diary and things happen on them. This kind of stuff starts immediately with the calibration, when a melted face pops out after you align two circles on the screen. Occasionally it will transport you to another place, like the main villains home- a crumbling mansions, dimly lit and foreboding. Again, no D-pad. If you want to look behind you in that mansion to see what that sound was, you have to actually turn around.

gfs_226369_2_1_midThe Spirit Camera has jump scares along with atmosphere. The diary included in the package is a really nice touch and beautifully (if creepy) illustrated. Things happen within the pages, pictures move and can be manipulated, not to mention things coming out of it – that scene on the game case cover? Yeah, that happens. In fact, that hand reaches out to grab yours towards the beginning after you touch a specific part of the book.

The Enhance Reality is used to it’s fullest and is really a great idea. However the camera’s limitations is possibly it’s greatest flaw. You need to be in a really well lit room for this to work properly. Preferably with some sunlight and ambient lighting. Otherwise, the cam will have trouble reading the book, and you won’t really be able to see the background either….and seeing all of this happen in you own home is half the point isn’t it?

Still, it’s one of the most immerse games I’ve played in a long time, making the scares even more potent. The 3d works really well and the switching between the ghost world and my own living room makes it even more effective. If you’re a horror fan, definitely give this game a try. And if it gets to  scary, you can always hit up Violent Blue to lighten the mood.


Easter Eggs!

101_3754We colored Easter Eggs last night. This is what I ended up doing:

101_3756 101_3751 101_3752 101_3753

I like them. Zombies, brains and Pinhead. I asked Lydia how she could tell which one’s were Daddy’s. She pointed to the monster eggs “Because we know you love monsters Daddy!”

Ah, the things I do when I’m not drawing Violent Blue……


essentialPosting the best strips from the series, in order from the beginning.

Every Wednesday and Friday


Other OZ

Movie bannerMV5BMjMyMzQ1ODM1MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjE2MTQxOQ@@__V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_A couple of weeks ago I took my seven-year-old daughter Madeline to see OZ : the Great and Powerful. She’d gone to see The Wizard of OZ with me when the Capitol Theatre in Cleveland screened it a year or so ago and it had been her first time seeing the movie. I thought it would be cool for the two of us to hit the theatre to see the new one together as well. I discovered it was playing at Amherst Cinema so I scooped up Maddie and off we went to OZ.

Someone explain to me why the new movie “OZ : The Great and Powerful” is getting nothing but hate?


My best guess is that it’s because for most people, the Wizard of OZ is simply Judy Garland singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, and that’s a shame, because there’s so much more to the Wizard of OZ in all of it’s forms than that.

A lot of people will know that the Wizard of OZ is a book. Not all of those folks will have actually read the book in one form or another but they’ll at least know it exists.  Not quite as many people know that there are fourteen books written by OZ’s creator L. Frank Baum, and forty altogether that are considered canon. The Fourteen Baum books have fallen into public domain and are freely available on the internet. Check over at Project Gutenberg and you’ll find the original fourteen along with a few of the later ones by other authors.

Hardly anyone knows that there were a grand total of four OZ movies (two of which were actually titled “The Wizard of OZ”. I own copies of ALL of them) that came before the Judy Garland film. Here’s some details below :

wizard_of_oz_1910THE WIZARD OF OZ
  Release date:        1910, March 26
  Description:         A short based on "The Wizard of Oz".
  Production Company:  Selig Polyscope Company
  Producer:            William Nicholas Selig
  Director:            Otis Turner
  Screenwriter:        L. Frank Baum and Otis Turner
  Length:              1,000 feet of film (one reel)
  Cast: Bebe Daniels (Dorothy), Hobart Bosworth, Eugenie Besserer,
        Robert Leonard, Winnifred Greenwood, Lillian Leighton, Olive Cox

his-majesty-the-scarecrow-06DOROTHY AND THE SCARECROW IN OZ
  Release date:       1910, April 19
  Description:        Based on excerpts from "The Wonderful Wizard
                      of Oz" and "The Marvelous Land of Oz".
  Production Company: Selig Polyscope Company
  Producer:           William Nicholas Selig
  Screenwriter:       L. Frank Baum
  Length:             1,000 feet (one reel)

his-majesty-the-scarecrow-01THE LAND OF OZ
  Release date:       1910, May 19
  Description:        Based on excerpts from "The Marvelous Land of Oz".
  Producer:           William Nicholas Selig
  Screenwriter:       L. Frank Baum
  Production Company: Selig Polyscope Company
  Length:             1,000 feet (one reel)

OZ films
  Release date:       1925, June 27
  Description:        A slapstick comedy that is loosely based
                      on the original story.
  Production company: Chadwick Pictures
  Director:           Larry Semon
  Asst. Director:     William King
  Screenwriters:      Larry Semon, L. Frank Baum Jr. (Frank Joslyn Baum),
                      and Leon Lee
  Cinematographers:   Hans F. Koenenkamp, Frank B.) Good, Leonard Smith
  Art Director:       Robert Stevens
  Editor:             Sam Zimbalist
  Distributor:        Chadwick Pictures
  Length:             7 reels, 6300 feet1925 Wizard of Oz
  Cast: Larry Semon (Scarecrow/Farmhand/Toymaker), Bryant Washburn 
        (Prince Kynd), Dorothy Dwan (Dorothy), Virginia Pearson 
        (Countess Vishuss), Charles Murray (Wizard), Oliver N. Hardy 
        (Tin Woodman/Farmhand/Knight of the Garter), G. Howe Black 
        (Cowardly Lion/Rastus (Snowball)), Josef Swickard (Prime 
        Minister Kruel), Mary Carr (Aunt Em), G. Howe Black (Rastus), 
        Frank Alexander (Uncle Henry/Prince of Whales), Otto Lederer 
        (Ambassador Wikked), Frederick Ko Vert (Phantom of Basket)

So, what’s my point?
The fundamental problem with an OZ movie since 1939 is that the OZ everyone else knows, isn’t quite the OZ I know. In a very real way, the Judy Garland film transcended  the source material and became a thing of it’s own. It’s it’s own entity with it’s own following and it’s own identity. the problem is, there still exists a property (to wit; the book and the previous and subsuquent films) that has the same name and a very similar story…..but not nearly as much market penetration. More people know the Garland OZ than know the source material, and as I said; that’s a shame because while it’s a seminal movie, a brilliant classic with groundbreaking effects and imagery….but it’s not a great portrayal of the source material.

I’d be okay with that. I really would, except that movie is so big – it poisons any attempt to further explore OZ…something Disney’s been trying to do for decades.

Some folks will remember Return to OZ.  This was the first real chance Disney had gotten to do an OZ film. There had been abandoned attempts to do some of the OZ sequals in the sixties and seventies for “The Wonderful World of Disney” but none could get off the ground….partily because of the hold the Judy Garland film had on pop culture.

They gave it a good try. They tried to pull directly from the source material, making a movie by mashing up two of the later novels (that in of itself probably led to some thematic issues . One novel would have been a better choice). In addition, one of the things they insisted on was making the characters look like the illustrations in the books. The problem with that however, isReturn-to-OZ-return-to-oz-31219337-1200-770 too many people expected those characters to look like the ones in the Garland film – that and too little scree time for character like the Lion, Scarecrow and Tin Man. The movie felt beholden to the garland film as well, keeping the ruby slippers and making them a plot point (the slippers were silver in the book and are not as big a factor in later novels). The other big problem (and I wonder if it was an issue at the time) is that it looks dated. This is defiantly an ’80’s movie. You can tell. While The Garland film is timeless, the airbrushed look on the Wheelers and the dress on the witch are absolutely hallmarks of the time.

It’s other issue is that while it tries to incorporate the Garland film, it tries to hard to be dire as well. The electroshock scenes are dark and some of the thematic elements seem almost deconstructionist – something which doesn’t work well for OZ. Still it’s  a better film than anyone gives it credit for, overshadowed as it was by it’s 1939 predecessor.


And that brings us to 2013.

I don’t hate on prequels just on general principle. I think Smallville (at least in it’s first few seasons) is a brilliant prequel. My favorite Star Trek novels are prequels to the series and feature Robert April and a teenaged James T Kirk.

On the other hand, OZ can inspire some pretty rotten ones. The Lion of OZ  ( was an interesting try, but it bugs me because it stomps all over too much of the established continuity.  I despise Wicked. Remember what I said about deconstructionism not working with OZ (It’s got something to do with the purity of the vision. It doesn’t work  well with Superman or the Lone Ranger either….but I digress)? That goes double for Wicked.  So how does OZ : the Great and Powerful rate?

This is the best new movie I’ve seen in years.

No, seriously. This is the OZ movie I’ve been waiting all my life for.  A while back I was criticizing Sam Raimi for some of his handling of the Spider-Man movies? I forgive him everything. I like a lot of his films, but I’ve never held him in high regard just because he’s a horror icon. I’ve always though him good, but still growing. This may well be his masterpiece.

They keep the look and feel of the Garland film without being beholden to it. When they need to diverge, they do. The shiney plastic flowers are now CG.  The Emrald City…oh my God. It’s just as I envisioned it: sprawling and beautiful. They fill the world up with amazing creatures – the China girl is the best character in the movie. The effects are spectacular, and I honestly can get past the CG for once, especially for the effects that are supposed to be illusionary.


Going with a prequel was a good idea this time around. There’s no expectation of seeing Dorthy or the Tin Man or the Lion or the Scarecrow. It gives us a chance to clear the slate and start a new franchise….and boy… they ever. There are plenty of nods to what will happen in the Wizard of Oz though – the book or the movie, it doesn’t matter. Some of those made my jaw drop, especially when we find out who the Wizard’s long lost love is – and who Glinda looks like. Ozphiles will know that this fulfills long-held speculation on why Glinda doesn’t have a Kansas counterpart (the way the Witch and the Tin Man and the Lion and The Scarecrow do) in the Garland film. Moreover, it gives the later stories more depth. Suddenly it makes sense why Glinda would send Dorothy to the Wizard, it makes sense why, in later books  she would forgive his usurpation of the throne of OZ and teach him real magic. There’s so much more going on in this movie that we realize and it serves to give the OZ stories greater scope.

I love this movie. This is OZ as I know it. It’s OZ as I’ve always dreamed it could be. I look at these characters and I can see them growing into their counterparts in the 1939 Judy Garland film. I look at this movie and can see how they could create a whole new series of OZ films in their own continuity. It took decades, but Disney finally got it right.

Django Unchained

Movie banner

I’m not a fan of Quieten Tarantino.

There. That’s said.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate him. I don’t hate his movies….not all of them anyhow. I love his crime stuff. I can enjoy his horror. But for the last ten years or so he’s been on this kick to make “Grindhouse” style movies. Even that’s fine. Pulp Fiction has a BIT of a grindhouse edge to it. The problem is, he gets SO focused on making a grindhouse movie that he forgets to make a FUN movie. This is never more obvious than in the Grindhouse double feature. Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror outshines Tarantino’s Deathproof because he manages a perfect balance of grindhousey madness with fun storytelling. He doesn’t lose himself in the art….and I think that’s what Tarantino has done since Jackie Brown.

That all changes with Django Unchained.

There’s still a bit of the old fashioned gridhouse feel to it – in many ways it’s a ’70’s spaghetti western, but dosen’t wallow in it. The name alone is a throwback, but then is used to good effect. Those comic scenes we see in the commercials “the ‘D’ is silent” come off as a lot more serious in the film. The movie is violent, proportinately so to it’s namesake…and the violence is beautifully done. It was once noted that in Anime, the human body contains approximatly thirty gallons of blood, all under high compression. Tarantino obviously subscribes to this same theroy. Every gunshot would unleashes streams of blood – enough to make fans of Ninja Scroll go “Woah! Don’t you think that may be a bit much?”

At nearly three hours, it’s a long film, and it  doesn’t pass the watch test. Sorry, it just doesn’t. There actually seems to be two films here really, you could definitely separate it right before Django goes searching for his lost wife, but I don’t know if the movie could have survived splitting into two parts.

What really strikes me about Django Unchained though, is that it’s a fun movie. Tarantino has rediscovered that balance of gritty grindhouse and retro styling and fun filmmaking and I for one and thrilled. It’s honestly one of his best films, and a perfect example of what I love about his storytelling when it’s done right.


In Defense of The Punisher


Punisher-FilmsA while back I mentioned that I was a fan of all the Punisher movies, though if I had to pick my favorite, it would be the Thomas Jane movie.

Really the big issue here is I think they are out of order. If you shuffle them around a bit, an arc begins to appear. Let’s do these in my order, starting with the Jane movie.

2_midiI know it’s an origin movie, but much like I do with the first Spider-Man movie, I usually start this guy in about halfway through so we have the origin out of the way. Still, that’s important to what I’m observing. The movie serves to tell us where Frank is coming from. It shows his tragedy and his immediate reaction, a lashing out at the gangsters who killed his family.

This film begins his descent into madness. You see him still in touch with humanity though, through the people in his apartment building, but even then – he’s pulling away. You know when he disappears, he’s gone for good.

10726451_galThis brings us to the Dolph Lundgren film.

Poor Dolph has constantly been blamed for the failure of this film. I couldn’t disagree more. sure, he could be a little more articulate, but then again, her dosen’t really need to be does he? The Punisher speaks rarely, and then only when there ‘s something important to say.

The costume has been blamed as well. This really isn’t a bad costume. I miss the skull. I do. Sometimes you’ll hear people talk about how the clever director shaded Dolph’s face so you could see the skull there. I think that’s overstating it a bit, but I understand. We also tend to forget just HOW different this costume was at the time. The modern Punisher wears a costume very similar to what we see Lundgren in, but back in the 80’s he was still in spandex like every other hero, with white boots and gloves.  This costume was really a bit of a shock to the fanboys. Still it was a time period when it was fashionable to do superhero movies and change the costume completely.

vlcsnap-2010-03-01-02h20m36s5The skull isn’t completely absent either, we do see it on the daggers Frank uses, but ti still would have been nice to see on printed on his T-Shirt – everything else the same.

No, what sinks this movie is the script. The more I watch it, the more i think this wasn’t written to be a Punisher movie, but rather just another low budget action flick, re-written to make it into the Punisher movie.

Having the Yakuza as the villain is a bizarre choice for a movie that’s trying to introduce a character to the public. it’s suited far more for a sequel. The dialogue is clumsy and the disgraced thespian turned alcoholic informant is just annoying.

It’s not all bad though. The “B” story with the Frank’s old partner seeking him out is very well done, probably the best part of the film. Louis Gosset Jr grounds the movie and gives us someone to relate to. I personally imagine he’s the same African American guy from the first movie who did the initial drug bust with Frank  that resulted in Travolta’s son’s death. If you can get your hands on the workprint of this you really ought to. It shows far more range on Lundgrens part – there’s more flashbacks to before Frank became the Punisher, several which are referenced in the final cut. I understand that they mostly make the running time longer and drag the pace a bit but several things make more sense in it too.

Imagine now, that it’s been five years since the first movie. Frank is now living alone in the sewer, completely separated from humanity. his descent into madness is complete and he has little or no human contact. He’s dropped weight, note eating right, never venturing to the surface world except to kill. The sum of his human encounters is that once in a while he pumps an informant for information, but that’s strictly business, not personal. He is singly concentrating on wiping out the mob, and he’s almost succeeded, but his madness is wild, unfocused.

It takes the kidnapping of the mobsters children by the Yakuza to bring him back into the human race. He comes out to rescue them in the process encountering his old partner. He begins to see the need for human contact, for relationships. Perhaps he even sees the benefits tactically. That will lead him to build more contacts and wage his war on crime more effectively. MV5BMTM4OTQyODk0NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzQwNDQwMg@@._V1._SY317_CR0,0,214,317_Something we see in full swing in the next film : War Zone.

In War Zone, even more time has passed. The stated body count has increased from the Lundgren film. In this movei we see Frank has built a support structure both in his police contact Soap and his armoror Microchip. Micro’s supplies have helped fortify the sewer that Frank is still linvign in and probably helped him be a more efficiant killing machine. Now with his madness and rage fous insted of wild like the Lundgren movie, we see a more human Punisher, deadlier than ever. Children are still his best connection to humanity thoguh and we see that again here, a theme continued from the Lundgren movie. It fits best this way.

It’s a pity the way War Zone was received. The director has stated being frustrated by the cries of over the top violence in this movie (see my upcoming  article on Judge Dredd for my opinions on what constitutes Ultra-Violence. This movie has a lot of kills, but not a lot of gore) when the critics didn’t understand she was coping most of those scenes almost panel for panel from the comics.

I don’t mind this movie, but I do think Ray Stevenson gets a little too chatty for the Punisher and the mistake of his, killing the undercover agent, which drives a lot of the story just turns me right off. I think it was poor choice. The Punisher doesn’t make those kind of mistakes, and if he dose, he doesn’t get this emo over it.

It was great to see Jigsaw here. I think he should have appeared earlier in the series, but then again, I suppose I understand why he didn’t. It’s a pity they made him so loony. Really a shame. It damages the character a little too much and combined with the other factors just drags the movie down when it could have been so much better. Still it serves as  a good final chapter in this series. As I said, there’s a definite arc here and I could easily consider this an unintentional trilogy.  It’s a pity there no more movies coming our way any time soon, but you can bet that the next time the Punisher hits the Silver screen, I’ll be there watching… and trying to see wher tit will fit in this list.


essentialPosting the best strips from the series, in order from the beginning.

Every Wednesday and FridayNew_023

Work Snug

Found a cute little App for my phone I wanted to share.

I’m on the road a whole lot and it’s not unusual for me to need to hook up to a wifi hotspot to check something. I have NO data plan on my phone so I rely on places like McDonalds and The Library for my internet access. That’s where today’s app comes in handy.

For traveling computer users who can get lost going to the corner market, there’s WorkSnug, a free app for Android and iOS that not only finds the nearest Wi-Fi hotspot but also uses the device’s camera to superimpose its whereabouts on a live picture of your surroundings and leads you right to it.

I’m loving this app, and using it all the time. Hope it helps you out too. I wonder if Steve over at Violent Blue has this on his phone?


Superman’s 75th anniversary deserves a superhero welcome

I’m reposting this article by Mark Naymik from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the original can be found here :

But this was too important for me to just let pass.  This is NOT my writing (although the pictures are mine), all credit goes to Naymik and the Plain Dealer.


Cleveland needs to start cashing in on Superman.

Local boys Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created the comic book hero during the Great Depression in a Glenville home.

The world should know this.

It doesn’t.

This is not a trivial matter to be debated by comic book nerds at their gatherings. When you look at it through the lens of lost tourism dollars and branding, the ongoing failure of our civic and elected officials to capitalize on this Cleveland story is truly comical.

And this failure is about to be exposed.

Thursday, April 18, marks the 75th anniversary of Superman’s 1938 appearance on the cover of DC’s “Action Comics” No. 1.

But does anyone outside a comic book store know this or even care?

Superman is the archetypal superhero who has inspired a multibillion-dollar industry. Movies. Television shows. Merchandising.

So, how many years have city leaders been planning to leverage Superman’s anniversary?


The answer can’t even be measured in months. Credit for any efforts to highlight the anniversary this summer goes to the Siegel and Shuster Society, a group of volunteers dedicated to preserving Superman’s place here. It’s behind the push for an Ohio Superman license plate. It organized and paid for the Superman Welcoming Center at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. And it organized an international fundraiser that raised money to repair and preserve Siegel’s former Glenville home.

To date, our leaders have been riding on the society’s cape.

What’s most embarrassing is that while our civic leaders don’t seem to understand how big a deal this is, the leaders of Metropolis, Ill., do. It’s a speck of a town on the Ohio River that has no connection to Superman’s creators, but it happens to share a name with Superman’s fictional city. Civic leaders have capitalized on that name.

The town attracts more than 120,000 visitors a year to celebrate Superman, including more than 60,000 alone to its annual Superman festival.

Sure, it’s just a bunch of men in tights. But it’s men in tights with wallets. (Of course, women and children also participate.)

Back here in Cleveland, when the Superman Welcome Center opened in October at the airport, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said Superman is “a big part of who we are.”

So why haven’t city leaders embraced his identity and spread the word? I can’t recall any serious effort to formally honor Siegel and Shuster’s legacy. I do remember that someone stole a plaque honoring Siegel and Shuster and that a man drove his car through the ornamental fence that surrounds Shuster’s former home.

We have also never used Superman as a branding tool. We should. Think about the potential. Cleveland: Home of Rock and Roll. Home of Superman.

Instead, we try to wrap our identity around the “Global Center for Health Innovation,” formerly known as the med mart.

Copy of 100_3326What are we thinking? Home of Superman. Or Global Center for Health Innovation. Which of those is more likely to get families visiting the city?

I’m not really comparing the medical mart to Superman. Both are worthy. I just think we have missed the opportunity to exploit the populist appeal of Superman and its subculture.

Why can’t Cleveland become a major comic book convention town? Why aren’t we using Superman to build up our creative arts? I’d love to see the Greater Cleveland Film Commission, which likes to brag about winning production work on comic book movies, put some energy into the idea.

City leaders use the “A Christmas Story” house in Tremont to promote our city, and the only part of the house used in that movie was its exterior. Superman was created in a house here. So why do leg lamps get more attention here than the Man of Steel?

At the moment, Northeast Ohio’s visitors and convention bureau, Positively Cleveland, makes no mention of the 75th anniversary of Superman. When the bureau fields questions about Superman, it refers callers to people at the Siegel and Shuster Society or to Plain Dealer reporter Michael Sangiacomo.

Sangiacomo, a comic book author and widely recognized expert, knows more about Superman  than I know about my own kids. 

He thinks the city can still salvage the anniversary. He’ll soon detail in the paper a list of coming events that he hopes will make this the “Summer of Superman.”

Sangiacomo thinks about the anniversary constantly, and he’s full of ideas. He envisions, for instance, a space such as the Galleria downtown turned into a temporary Superman exhibition site by tapping Superman collectors who live right here in Northeast Ohio. He and others could go on and on.

“Superman is the most recognizable fictional character in the world,” Sangiacomo said. “And no other city in the world can say, ‘He is ours,’ yet we don’t bother to say it.”

I’m not a Superman fan or comic-book reader, but I know a missed opportunity when I see it. Sadly, big ideas have become our city’s Kryptonite. City leaders have profoundly flubbed Superman’s 75th anniversary.

But it’s never too late to tap Superman’s power.


essentialPosting the best strips from the series, in order from the beginning.

Every Wednesday and FridayNew_022


Movie banner

Sinister.200x200-75This is one of those movies I really wanted to get around to seeing, but not in the theater.  Just from the commercials it looked like a really interesting premise and what I could see of the monster was brilliant.

The monster really is brilliant. He reminds me quite a bit of what I tried to do with my “Malice” character back in my days writing for Star Trek : Icarus’ Flight. A lot like the character visually, but done better all around.  What’s more, we almost never see the monster. I really mean that. The monster probably has about one full minuet of screen time and that’s spread out through the entire movie. The truth is, the real monsters are his victims….not the ones who die, but the ones who live.

You see, that’s the trick Sinister plays on you. You think you’re going into a horror movie, ad you feel like you’re watching a horror movie, but that’s not it at all. This is a mystery. A bona fide whodunnit with a supernatural element attached around the edges. It’s a genuinely good piece of writing and a reasonably original concept – making it all the more surprising that it got made.

Because I really dig what’s going on here, I’m not going to really give out any plot points. Go see it. Last I checked, it was available from netflix and your local buybacks or record exchange is bound to have a copy. This will scare you, and if you need a palate cleanser afterwards, well, there should be a new Violent Blue up tomorrow!


essentialPosting the best strips from the series, in order from the beginning.

Every Wednesday and FridayNew_021

Hellraiser pins

hellraiser100_3226Today We are starting on creating the nails for the pinhead makeup. This time around I want something more on my face than just a painted grid, I actually want the nails to come out of the skin, but first I have to create some nail shaped appliances. I figured100_3227 we would try to make it out of solid latex. I have an alternate method in mind, but it would involve rolling each nail one at a time and I’d rather have something that I could just create a mold for and squeeze them out a bunch at a time.  I’ve had so good luck lately creating latex prosthetics so I grabbed a nail that looked about the right size, then pressed an impression into clay. Then I poured latex into the impressions, dripping it in using the brush in the jar. It dosen’t matter if there’s some overlap, I can always trim the flash off later with a razor.


I could just wait all night for it to dry, but I keep a small hair dryer around just for this purpose. I use it frequently when I apply makeup, and this is pretty much the same thing. I’m also eager to see what the results would be and the heat could actually make it dry harder than simple air drying.

Once 100_3230things have gotten hard and dry, I tried prying them out of the clay. It didn’t work, the latex is too flexible and would stretch when I tried to flex it out. I ended up trashing that first batch and startign from scratch again….but aroudn this time I was getting a bad feeling about using this method. Once I got the second set up and dried I grabbed a razor to try and cut the nails out. It worked better, but not as well as I had hoped.


Things were still too floppy, and I could see it as I cut them out. Those fears I had earlier were realized. Latex is just too flexible, it isn’t drying hard enough and I don’t have the resources to compress it. This isn’t going to work. I’m going have to go with plan B.

But not tonight. Tonight I’m going to go read some Violent Blue to cheer up.

Nail Appliance status:FAILED



essentialPosting the best strips from the series, in order from the beginning.

Every Wednesday and Friday


Screwtape part two


Part two of our Screwtape Letters series


essentialPosting the best strips from the series, in order from the beginning.

Every Wednesday and Friday


Maddie’s Trains

Maddie Banner

Lately Maddie has been dabbling in train pictures. That’s probably her grandfather’s influence but still very cool Here we present Maddie’s Trains!

t6rain2 t6rain1


essentialPosting the best strips from the series, in order from the beginning.

Every Wednesday and Friday


Galactus vs Star Trek

DC Clix

Comics are Go! decided to do something different this time around. Mike was wanting to play the Star 203564_616966514983887_695373556_nTrek Tactics game, and he decided to pair it with Galactus.

Now, I’m a fan of Star Trek – or  at least of good star trek (I feel it really got watered down towards the end of the century) built I haven’t been buying this game. I really hadn’t seen to many people playing it and honestly, I don’t need more Trek toys. I have a pretty full set of the Micro Machines ships and what few ship the Tactics set makes that Micro Machines didn’t are WAY expensive. Far more expensive than standard Heroclix. Too much for toys that I didn’t expect to play with and don’t have room to display.

Still, when this opportunity came up, it was too good to resist. Galactus in general is a really good idea for this kind of game and it really got my imagination going. So much so that I created this prolog for the game. (They would definitely carry this comic at Taylors shop in Violent Blue)

st1 st2.5jpg

Mike ended up playing a Romulin team. Jim and I played Federation teams – I was borrowing pieces from Mike’s collection and tried not to duplicate anything that Jim was playing (except the cloaked Defiant. that was just too cool).


526152_605633052786658_1704959097_nI did find a use for my old Micro machines toys. I used the little figures as counters. It ended up looking a little creepy though….like they were just people who had been sucked out of the ship, dead bodies floating is space.


Jim brought along his custom Borg cube as well. I’d seen this while it was still a work in progress, but cool to see it complete with the custom dial mounted and in place.


It’s didn’t get played, but it brings up the question – what would The Borg vs. Galactus look like? I speculated that he’d just slam his hand down on the cube and rip off a chunk with his fingers. Kind of like this.

galactus colored backgroud

A really fun scenario. I’m hoping to see more tactics played up at the shop. Definitely something I’d be up for if it turned into a monthly thing.


essentialPosting the best strips from the series, in order from the beginning.

Every Wednesday and FridayNew_017