The Violent Blue blog***Comics, Horror and Pop Culture***Updates Tuesday through Friday (and occasionally at random)

Archive for June, 2013

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

Every Wednesday and FridayNew_049


Stupid Zombies!

gamerImzl.wincmctf.320x480-75 posted a while ago about the Stupid Zombies game I play on my tablet. It’s a lot of fun, though I’ve beaten most of the levels in it.  I recently got my wife a little tablet for Christmas and was loading it up with games when I discovered Stupid Zombies 2!

It’s more of the same, and that’s not a bad thing. you are shooting at shambling zombies, trying to ricochet your bullets off walls, platforms and obstacles to clear out the invading horde.

There’s some new features to the gameplay that are really nice improvements. First, you always have a laser site – a beam that shows you about where the bullet is going to go. This has been a great help in trying to line up shots in between small spaces. The other fun element is getting extra points for head shots. I’ve spent more time trying to get that perfect aim to blast off the zombie’s head when I would have previously just tried to get all the targets off the screen in the quickest way possible.

I’m having great fun with this. It’s as addictive as the original, and definitely a sequel that doesn’t disappoint. Certainly the kind of thing they would play over at Violent Blue. A free version for your tablet or smart phone is available through the Amazon app store.


48

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

Every Wednesday and FridayNew_048

I don’t in fact, use that word. I’ve never under stood this “that’s our word” thing, and I have heard guys use that phrase with the term “Geek”. I don’t agree with that. I think it’s offensive in other situations as well, there are words that African Americans that’s apparently okay for them, but not if it’s used in a historical manner in Jango Unchained…Sorry, no. It’s just as vulgar and offensive coming from either mouth. You haven’t robbed a word of it’s p0wer, it hasn’t gotten watered down. It’s still used with hate from the people who look down on you.

If you want me to fix your computer (I went to school for that. It’s not a passion or hobby) then I suggest you don’t refer to me as a geek. Just because I read and write comics doesn’t make me like the term geek. If you’re calling me that I suspect I’m better read than you, because I can think of a dozen less offensive alternatives (and just as many unacceptable ones). I HATE the term “geek Culture” and the way we’ve tried to integrate it into our lexicon. I’m sorry, but I have no interest in salving the conscious of the cheerleaders, jocks, homecomnig queens and preps that now think the rows of consumer electronics are cool, like superhero movies now because they are blockbusters  and suddenly want tech support.

Even as we tell ourselves that the idea of “the Geek” is becoming mainstream, we’re still laughing at them, not with them. Just watch the Big Bang Theory. I’m not sure exactly why it has such a big fanboy following. You’re the butt of those jokes guys. You really are. The alcholic, promiscuious aspiring blinde actress is the one they portray as “normal”. Everyone else is just a joke.

My point is simple. Stop accepting it. Wether you’re into comics, electronics, science, ect. don’t call yourself a geek and don’t let others call you it. It’s not a badge of pride, it’s just a surrender to a society that has tried to drag you down, probably your entire life.


The Solution

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Malibu_Comics_logoIn retrospect, I really believe that Malibu should never have gotten into superhero comics.

For a very long time, back through the 80’s they have a very good business model, similar to Dark Horse. They republished old comics, ran licensed properties and published titles for other companies. In fact, Image comics stated as an imprint published through Malibu (That’s why you get vol1 and vol 2 of titles like Youngblood and Wild CATS – the first volume was published through Malibu). Image would later pick up on Malibu’s old 258450-73907-ultraversestrategy and publish books for indie artists at a flat rate depending on the length of the run (Brian Michale Bendis did a lot of his books through Image this way. MVCreations  published the first run of He-Man and the Master’s of the Universe this ways as well).

But during the comics boom of the 90’s, everyone wanted a shared superhero universe and Malibu threw thier hat in the ring with the Ultraverse. Many of us remember Ultraverse heroes like Prime, drawn by Norm Breyfogel or Nightman, who had a brief and ill conceived TV series created by Glen Larson (of Knight Rider and Buck Rogers fame).

Not a lot of people remember the Solution. I don’t even remember seeing this on the racks in the 90’s. The series ran 18 issues and I’ve since found all of them in quarter bins.

The Solution are heroes for hire, willing to take missions for a fee. In Russia, nuclear bases are being attacked by Quattro, f33842-5152-37785-1-solution-the_superour ultra-powered mercenaries, and their nuclear warheads are stolen. Meanwhile, the Solution are in Hong Kong fighting the Dragon Fang, the world’s largest Triad group (and the people who stole The Solution’s leader’s fathers company. This is a vendetta). Eventually, an agent of the KGB tries to hire the Solution to stop Quattro from keeping the warheads.

Tech is the leader, in combat she’s your standard guns and ammo kind of girl, but what sets her apart are her skills as a hacker. She has wetware tech implants in her skull that allow her to cyberpunk any computer system wirelessly (and this was back in the days before broadband or wireless internet.)

Shadowmage is, predictably, their mage. She’s a trans dimensional being and In ever exactly caught onto where she was from – part of the Ultraverse continuity I wasn’t familiar with I think. Their brute Vurk is also inhuman, an alien who has a counterpart on the bad guys team. Finally there’s Dropkick, their martial artist.

Despite seeming like a cookie cutter superhero team, this group actually works together well and I suspect there was some thought put into what kind of Arch types to compile here. Tech is a reasonably original concept, and one not used a whole lot even today.

I like this series, but it is standard superhero fare. There’s some fresh ideas, but not enough to ever expect to see this title ressurected. Marvel bough out all the Ultraverse characters in  1994, for the sole purpose of keeping the Ultraverse out of DC’s hands.  DC wanted to buy the Ultraverse.  Marvel felt that a DC/Ultraverse  competitor was too much of a threat at the time, and would knock them down to the number two publisher in the field. Qusada has adamantly said marvel won’t do anything with The ultraverse, and even though he’s not really in control over at marvel any longer, it’s a fair guess that The Solution is gone forever. Still, they left us 18 great issues to enjoy. In fact, I think I’ll go grab a couple of those after I finish some Violent Blue here….


Trinity of Sin

DC Clix

Trinity-of-SinI had the dubious honor of playing in a game against the Trinity of Sin this weekend over at Comics are Go!. The game actually turned out to be a three way game, and for the most part, it was two teams trying to take down the Trinity.

What’s the worst thing about playing against the Trinity? It’s not the massive 16 click dial. It’s not even the tough 19 defense it starts out with. It’s not even the occasional poison trait. That only comes up occasionally, when Pandora’s face shows up on the dial. No, the worst part of this thing is the horrifying feedback damage from the mystics keyword. Instead of the normal one click, if you keep all your figures on the team base, you take two clicks of damage every time you make a successful attack.1FCBDthor

Big Mike came in fast and hard with some heavy hitters, hoping to knock down that damage before the feedback destroyed him. I had a similar idea and really thought long and hard  about adding the FCBD Thor to my team. He starts off with a 5 damage and an 11 attack. The problem is, even if he hurdles that 19 defense, he only gets one hit at 5 damage and that’s a charge. Not only is that feedback going to knock his damage down to 4, but he’s also stuck being poisoned knocking him down even further, not to mention being in the line of fire for anyone using pulse wave – a go-to power for dealing with Mystics.

3699I think Pulse Wave could have worked here actually, but so slowly with that one damage at a time trying to chip away at that deep dial. I pulled my Composite Superman and played him at the 80 point level, then pushed him one click where he goes into Pulse wave fro a couple of clicks. Unfortunately, I deployed him badly, then got distracted trying to pick up a Kurreth’s Hammer and got based, then blasted.

My main strategy for dealing with the Trinity ended up being Blackheart. He’s a hefty piece, but he’s a mystic too, and any time he takes damage it would feedback on the Trinity- a good start.

The main reason I choose Blackheart though, was his pets. He comes with two detachable gargoyles. When he mcl1V_DXewdKofWJWVpQntwuses his power of Dark Thunder, a gargoyle detaches and becomes a bystander with it’s own attack and defense and movement. When it’s KOed, it returns to the Blackheart base where it can be summoned again.  I barely moved Black heart all game – in fact the only time he moved is when the red Gargoyle TKed him away from Trinity (on Mike’s suggestion – thanks!). I kept pulling up the gargoyles, placing them in front of Blackheart to protect him from ranged, then the red one would TK the blue one over to Trinity where it would attack. Trinity would then have to destroy it or take poison – taking one of Trinity’s actions. tumblr_mebxcyxotz1r75v8vo1_1280If there was no blue, the red one would make a ranged attack while Blackheart generated another blue one. My allies on the other side would perlex down that massive 19 defense to make it more manageable and I’d keep hitting, which would destroy the gargoyle but never give damage to Blackheart who would just pop another out. It chipped away at the Trinity dial while he was mopping up the other team.

It was fairly effective. We got the dial down to click 11, and I know I couldn’t have done that on my own. That’s why I said it was nice to play this as a three way game.  It gave us both a chance. Still, that Trinity of Sin is a monster piece.

I did find one thing cute. Every time I’d detach the gargoyles, they don’t stand well on their own. They would topple over and I would just lay them on their side. When I’d TK  the blue one over to Trinity, I’d lean it up by Phantom Stranger and say it was nuzzling him. If you can’t beat ’em, annoy them!

stranger

Okay, now that you’ve read that comic, head over to Violent Blue. We’ve got a new strip up today and meet us back here tomorrow!


47

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

Every Wednesday and FridayNew_047

Those are in fact, my actual all time top five favorite movies – though OZ Great and Powerful may have just bumped High Fidelity off the list.  Moreover, I’ve actually gotten to see more than half of them on the big screen. Both Falcon and Tiffany’s were screening last year at different festivals in Cleveland!


Pinhead Skullcap Pass Two

hellraiser

100_3265    Today it’s try two for the skullcap part of the Hellraiser makeup. It turns out that the sculpty pins that we made for the bald cap constantly broke when taking it on and off. We need something sturdier.

Since we need something stiff and sturdy I want to revisit the molding process. I’m hoping that using hot glue and a mold, I can create pins that are sturdy enough to withstand the bald cap being taken on and off, but light enough not to fall off or drag the makeup down. The most important thin here however, is that they look like the model magic pins I will be using on my face.

100_3264We start off with some sculpty and a nail. I like using sculpt for hot glue molds because unlike clay, it doesn’t melt. It’s designed for high temperatures and can withstand the heat of the glue. The glue isn’t hot enough however to bake the sculpt into a hardened mess so it can still be reused. I pressed a nail into the sculpt and carefully pulled it out. The impression looks good, but now we have to see how the glue holds up.100_3266 I coat the inside of the mold with a little vegetable oil. It’ll help the glue release from the mold after it cools. When I pull it out I can immediately see a problem. there’s WAY too much flash. To many ridges and bumps. even painted, this won’t pass for the same kind of nails I have in my face, and I can make nails for facial makeup out of this stuff…it’ll be too heavy. back to the drawing board.

PINHEAD SKULL CAP : FAILED100_3268


46

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

Every Wednesday and FridayNew_046


Jokers hideout map

DC Clix

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Ages ago when I was first creating Heroclix maps, on of the first ones I ever did was this half size Joker’s Hideout map that I got from The Absorbsacon’s site. I did a couple from there and really liked them.

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223041_227457983965299_8329039_nTime passed, I was more busy with Violent Blue, not playing as much and I put the map away. Then, not too long ago I went down to grab it to setup a huge HC world, and it had vanished. I ended up rebuilding it, with some new touches.
206072_227458010631963_3101649_nFirst we start with the base. Layer two pieces of foam for height (we’ll need that height when we do the stairs)
Cut notches on one side which will be the front stairs. The back end is layered a bit to fit the second half of the base more tightly.

With the base created, we next need to glue the actual print out of the map on to the 188212_227458080631956_7336895_ntop of that foam surface.
Let the edges hang over a bit a cut two lines in  those stairs. We’ll trim that back in a while. In the front, we fold the stairs a couple of times to give a staggered look.
The next step will be to glue the sides on the bottom and under the edges.

Pinch the corners so they overlap and 281453_227458117298619_5920853_nsupport each other. These are made out of card stock and printed on both sides.

I  also printed out a second set of stairs because once folded, we’ll need just a bit more length. That’s one long piece of paper glued under the unit. Finally, glue the whole thing on a base (can be cardboard, I used some thin foam).
I added some columns to hide 283150_227458170631947_717462_nthe seams, and a few extras to complete the look. The columns are all mis-matched, which is perfectly appropriate for the Joker. More 3d elements than previously, and the walls are now brick, with purple painted brick inside. It’s set to look like they just moved in and painted the bare walls.

Ready to play!

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Yes those ARE Weeping Angels behind Harley there…..(customs I made)

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Happy Fathers yester-day

So father’s day was interesting. Amy asked the girls what they should get my father and they said “Lone Ranger stuff?” That was a fine answer. She then asked them what they should get me. They both chimed in “Heroclix!”

That’s cute. Not sure why they were thinking that, especially since I haven’t played in a month or so, but then again, I do play with them sometimes on the Gotham City map that’s set up in the Library. Nevertheless, I didn’t think they were going to follow through with that.

Did you know Five Below has Heroclix?

507_589158027795291_1314736104_nNothing new of course. In fact I don’t think they sell anything that’s playable in a modern age tournament, but then again, a lot of the time I’m playing golden age (all sets) anyhow. They got me a box of Hypertime, and a box of Justice League. Lydia chose the Hypertime box because it had Catwoman on it and she expected her to be in the box.998894_589157927795301_1722548181_n

I actually pulled some nice figures out of the Justice League box. There was a Batman and Robin duo figure I always wanted and a really powerful Emperor Joker…200 points, but way powerful. I think I may match him up with that Lex and Braniac figure I have some time.

Amy also got me a gift certificate for Comics Are Go! (and they have the best gift certificates ever….) and while they were there, the girls snagged bookmarks and the free All-Star Superman for me. It occurs to me that my girls have been in that shop more times than Amy has.

We took the girls to see Epic this weekend as well, and while I was there I noticed two previews for movies I want to see that I’ve been putting off. Superman and Star Trek are both coming to the palace. I’ll be heading there for both in 3d, 5.00 each.

palace

Finally, if you were watching the parade in Avon Lake this weekend and you thought you saw me dressed as a zombie…you were right. I marched with the Lorain County Zombie Outbreak Response Team to promote their Zombie Walk in the fall – a charity event to raise food for the Second Harvest Food Bank.

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I think I hurt my back with some of that shambling. You’d think I’d have finished that assignment for Angel Lite comics or gotten more work done on Violent Blue, being out of commission like that….