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Archive for October, 2014

The Adventures of …NOT Mr. Kidzpointe!

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Even though it’s Halloween tomorrow, we can still be thinking abut Thanksgiving!
This was an attempt to revive the Mr. Kidzpoint idea at a different Church – Faith Alive. You could consider this a pilot of sorts. The idea didn’t take root, and neither did we actually….moving on before anything could really develop.


Carlysle Halloween festival

We’re not done with Halloween yet.  I’m being a little self indulgent here, so feel free to skip this post.

One of our traditions is to go the the Metroparks Halloween festival. There’s usually shows and a DJ, along with wagon rides and a haunted walk. Last year, the haunted walk was a little lackluster compared to earlier incarnations. This year however, they outdid themselves!

Easily comparable to any full size haunt, the Carlysle had attractions every foot of the way, with creatures in the woods outside of the haunted houses every step of the way, including a fire-breathing dragon!

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My wife’s favorite part is the pumpkin lagoon, a small lake, covered in floating jack o lanterns.

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Mine has always been the floating skeletons. Really, simple just flat plastic skeletons you can get at any dollar store, but painted with glow in the dark colors and lit by huge black lights. It’s amazing to walk through and under.

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The girls favorite part is the vortex. You enter a spinning room full of florescent polka dots, disorienting you and making you feel like you are spinning yourself. They hit it four times.

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They dressed up of course, not in their princess costumes (we were afraid of sticks and mud and rips and tears) but Maddie in her Skeleton Princess costume and Lydia in a Ballet outfit. It’s unseasonably warm and they were able to get away without coats for parts of the night.

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The decorations, and DJ and everything made for a great night. This is far out from Cleveland, in La Grange, but worth the experience at two dollars a person!

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More Halloween next week I think. For now, there will be classic Violent Blue here tomorrow and new strips up at http://www.violentblue.thecomicseries.com !


Baron and the Kid

forgotten bannerMV5BMTIwNDMzMDE5NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTUxMzgzMQ@@__V1_SY317_CR51,0,214,317_There’s a pool table in my Library. i like to put this film on when I play or have people over to shoot pool.

From IMDB:

The Baron and the Kid 1984

Johnny Cash stars as a legendary pool hustler, back in town after a long absence. He encounters a young punk who’s got more swagger than skill at pool, and who turns out to be  his son

The film plays itself very straight and doesn’t really earn that kind of serious tone, especially for a TV movie. It’s predictable but what saves it is how much fun it is to watch Johnny Cash chew the scenery. Richard Roundtree shows up and I’m in B movie heaven.

It’s not to hard to find the DVD (and it tends to be inexpensive) and definitely a great movie to put on while you do something else.

No trailer for this by the way, but we do have the music video of the song that inspired the film, and it does a great job of conveying the feel of the movie


Comicfest 2014

comicfest-2014-website

I’ll admit I’ll do anything to get my kids into the comic shop, but I’ve really been loving the Halloween Comicfest the last few year. We headed out to Carol and John’s shop – primarily because they are an extremely kid-friendly environment. My wife and I went as Olaf and Kristoff  (to complement the girls costumes) and Maddie and Lydia donned their Anna and Elsa dresses and headed out!

I’m slowly going through the titles this year, and really loving the Boom! set. I can’t begin to express how happy the Scooby Doo Teamup with Batman made me. We’ll probably do some reviews later this week.

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After the comic shop, we hit the local flea market, which always does a great trick or treat program. Halloween is our favorite time of year so expect more pictures to come!

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Also don’t forget, new Halloween themed Violent Blue up today!


The Adventures of Mr. Kidzpointe part ten

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Part ten of The Adventures of Mr. Kidzpointe! And don’t forget, new Violent Blue tomorrow!


How I got anally violated by the thorny cock of Permuted Press, Part 1

A pretty horrific turn of events for one of my facebook friends, If this publisher is going to continue it’s business practices, they need to be exposed.

There’s more by the way. Once you’re done with this one, check out two more –

The Great Permuted Lynching of 2014

http://timesygn.livejournal.com/106696.html

and

Why I left Permuted Press: The Hidden Struggle of Authordom

http://kindrasowder-insidemymind.blogspot.com/2014/10/why-i-left-permuted-press-hidden.html

and yet even more

The Author Apocalypse

http://www.booksofthedeadpress.com/2014/10/the-author-apocalypse.html


Hollywood Knights

forgotten bannerknightsI think I’m just going to dive straight into the IMDB description on this one.

Hollywood Knights 1980

Led by their comedic and pranking leader, Newbomb Turk, the Hollywood Knights car gang raise hell throughout Beverly Hills on Halloween Night, 1965. Everything from drag racing to Vietnam to high school love.

God I wish this was better. I mean, look at this cast! Fran Dresher, Tony Danza, Robert Whul, Michelle Pffiifer most of these before these people were really famous..or to put it another way, at the time, Tony Danza was the biggest name here.

It’s weird, there are really two separate stories going on here…enough to make me wonder if the “A” storyline and the “B: storyline were even conceived together or if this was a mashup of two different scripts.

It’s just to raunchy humor for me to really get into. To many scatological gags, fart jokes and vulgarity.  On the other hand, I know a lot of people dig this kind of movie. My friend Sean loves it and Imagine William would really like it too. If this kind of comedy  is your cup of tea, I really highly recommend it, especially to see so many of these people at the start of their careers!


Exists

Movie banner

Exists_posterThis weekend I caught a sneak preview of Exists, a new found footage Bigfoot movie, as part of the Capitol Theater’s 12 hours of Terror marathon.

“New found footage Bigfoot movie” kind of says it all doesn’t it?

The movie is directed by Eduardo Sánchez, and if that name seems familiar it should. This is the guy who did The Blair Witch Project – the film which really made found footage a thing. He understands tension and atmosphere. I’m an apologist for Blair Witch, a film that kept me squirming throughout the running time until hitting me with a disturbing image that stayed with me for months at the end.

It seems however, that he may be a one trick pony. Exists is cut very much from the same cloth as Blair Witch, with one harrowing rescue scene in particular that feels like it was cut straight out of  that film and dropped into this movie with only  the names changed to protect the innocent….

exists-castThere are some significant differences here from Sanchez’s previous attempts though. The conceit of the go pro cameras and advancements in consumer electronics really make  things a bit more plausible. It also caters to a specific type of personality, the kind of guy who HAS to film everything going on…and we get that kind of personality in droves.

Really,  the personalities are a big part of  the problem. I don’t like any of these people. I find it hard to be sympathetic to them and their plight, and I’m not alone. I could hear rumblings in the audience about “I hope she get’s it first!”. This is normal in a slasher. You pretty much get presented archetypes and then proceed to knock them down like dominoes. A found footage movie is different. It’s supposed to be a slower burn, driven by character development. I don’t really feel that here. Almost all the characters are unlikeable, and when we get the reveal of the bigfoot’s motivation for attacking them, you don’t get the mixed feelings of sympathy and anger the story needs.

Another big difference is the reveal of the monster, and this I really like. The bigfoot is really well realized, trailer-for-the-bigfoot-found-footage-film-exists-from-blair-witch-directorand surprisingly scary. To this day I still hear people say their biggest complaint about Blair Witch is that we never get a reveal of the monster, never any clue as to what is really going on. Never fear, Exists gives us plenty of the monster and uses the shaky came to it’s best effect in concealing it and distorting it to make it scarier. The deaths are violent and frequently at least partially on screen. It works in a way that mysterious off screen deaths would not have played here.

All in all, it’s not a bad film. It’s actually a good take on the bigfoot film – if you like those kind of movies (alas, I don’t). It’s far better than most SyFy originals or any of the dreck the Asylum keeps pumping out – though that’s a ridiculously low bar to clear.

exists2Exists will be getting a limited theatrical run in a couple of weeks (One of those fifty screen one weekend kind of things so they can say it was theatrical in the marketing). It probably won’t be hitting Cleveland, but it will be available on VOD and streaming at the same time, and really, that’s where it belongs. I’d be a little disappointing if I plunked down my $9.00 for this at the multiplex, but if it shows up on netflix and you’re into this genre, it’s defiantly worth checking out. In the meantime, while you’re waiting, don’t forget to check out new Violent Blue strips up today!


I see the New Captain America is not sitting too well with everyone. There’s a brief review over at Penguin comics from my friend Douglas. A VERY brief review.

http://penguincomicsnet.blogspot.com/2014/10/all-new-captain-stupid-as-hell.html

I actually really like the costume and there is some logic to it, still, I’m personally not planning on reading it as it seems like this is going to be a very temporary change, possibly shorted than superior Spider-man and I really would have preferred to just see this in a mini-series of the elseworlds variety.

What does everyone else think?


Thank you Grace Lee Whitney

Autographs

It’s interesting, a lot of people have their own favored incarnation of Star Trek. The “Real” Star Trek to them. Peter David mentioned once that to his daughter, Star Trek is TNG. When she thinks of Trek, she thinks of Worf. I have one friend who won’t watch anything but the original series.

For me, it’s an odd mixture. When I think of Star Trek, I think of the original series cast…but the MOVIE time line. I love the red uniform period. The Harve Bennet era. I think the Enterprise A is the most perfect starship ever designed.

I’ve tried to get as many of the cast to sign autographs in their movie uniforms…but this one is a real treat. Grace Lee Whitney played Yeoman Rand In the original series briefly and then has cameos in most of the films. I love that she ended up on Sulu’s Excelsior (and WHY OH WHY was that never made into a TV series???) and when she had an actual ROLE in the Voyager episode Celebrating Star Trek’s anniversary, I was just thrilled.

I wasn’t sure she’d sign. I know she has been known to sell autos through websites and occasionally hit cons, but I thought I’d still take a chance with a small 8×5 of her in my favorite uniform.

I didn’t really exect to get this one back. I’m so grateful I did!

grace


Doctor Zero

bestdz 88Doctor Zero sometimes defies description.

He looks like a Superhero. He acts like one. Everyone calls him a hero.

Good. That’s what he wants to happen.

Zero is actually an immortal – less than a god (but don’t tell him that) who has spend history manipulating the course of human history. In the present day he takes the guise of a superhero because those are really  the modern creatures of myth.

His intentions aren’t always altruistic, not always benevolent….because remember, just because it looks like a superhero, talks like a superhero and walks like as superhero, doesn’t mean it actually IS one……

This series would actually be perfectly at home in DC’s Vertigo imprint, and was really  Marvel’s first attempt at creating a mature-themed line of superhero comics under their Epic imprint.

I found most of these in quarter bins, but I suspect these are far to old for them to still show up so cheap. It’s part of Epic’s Shadowline Saga, but can stand fairly well on its own. Grab it if you’re a fan of Vertigo types of storytelling.

 


Blackheart and Lex vs. Aliens

DC Clix

10432966_774795659231526_6139643403347240508_nMan, looking at that War of Light set is almost enough to get me back in the tournament scene, but not quite. I do think I’m going to have to grab a couple of the Star Sapphires for Maddie though. She’s loving this set. Speaking of her, Maddie asked to play some Heroclix the other night, so I pulled out the old broken church and we set up. I played Blackheart with Superman and the Sentry which worked really well. Well enough that Maddie wanted to use him the second time around. She loves the removable demons.

10431505_774794915898267_8343229473592789254_nindexI decided to play a whole army of Aliens. I still have the set from the Horrorclix set and try to translate them to Heroclix as best as I can. These guys are still surprisingly dangerous with Charge at the start of every one on those dials. Maddie set up a team with the Blackheart,  Lex and Brainiac, and rounded out her team with a few low cost, low point figures like Iceman, Jubilee and Spider-Man (and by the way, seriously Wizkids? Why can’t you ever make a GOOD Spidey?)  Of course charge bases me with these characters and eventually Maddie got surrounded on a couple fronts. As i mentioned, she was also playing the Lex and Brainiac duo figure and was still holding her own but it was clear that he was going to get overrun.  Blackheart stayed in the background, generating red and blue gargoyles until he finally had to blast a bunch of those aliens from existence. I could almost see him just looking over at Lex as he complains –

lex and b

“Um, Blackheart? This may have been a bad idea. I don’t think we can hold them off…”

“You don’t need to hold them off. You just need to take out as many of them as possible before they destroy you so I can finish them off….”

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Another Bonus Violent Blue

essentialAnthoer bonue Violent Blue strip, or as we like to call it around here “Matt messed up the scheduling again….”

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The Iron Man project part ten

Iron ManDespite being the largest piece of the costume, the breastplate is still really only going to be two pieces – three if you include the collar.
100_3998We start off with eh big breastplate, a couple of strips jutting out to go under the arms.100_3999We score it inside diagonally and bend it into shape. This is going to have kind of a puffy angular look, similar to the armor in “The Ultimates”100_4001 100_4000I’m also cutting out a smaller strip for a collar. This will hide my neck and cover the seams where a mask will eventually rest. I’m leaving the collar open at the front though, suspecting my chin will need the clearance to come in and I doubt you’ll really notice the extra space anyhow…if it’s too obvious, I’ll wear a turtleneck underneath and solve the problem that way.100_4011Teh back is actually designed to fold over and overlap the top of the front. It starts out with a “v” cut, but we’ll round that out once it’s attached. 100_4002After the parts are created it’s a simple task to put them together, and add a hole in the middle along with some Hard Drive bling in the corners. I may wait until after I paint this red to add the back for the arc reactor. We’ll see next month!100_4012


Lawn-Con 2014

Conman

Finally! I’ve been wanting to make it out to Lawn-Con for three years, but it always fell the Saturday of Wasteland…and I’m not missing Wasteland. This year however, Chris Yambar moved it to Sunday to avoid a scheduling conflict with another show, so I did the unthinkable and crammed two cons into a single weekend.10351002_840455722665519_8204665829786687211_n

10703562_840451975999227_1597159163234946952_nThe venue was beautiful at the old B&O Railway station. I love these kind of places and they decorated it beautifully inside. a sort of tent town popped up outside of it with vendors and wares, along with a wrestling ring.  I believe the art show going on inside was separate but I’m actually not sure. Either way, they complemented each other and made for a great symbiosis.

I took the girls with me to this one, I’ve always heard it’s very kid friendly and wasn’t disappointed. They each got a book to take home and were fascinated by the art. They loved all the people in costume and for the very first time  they got to see a wresteling show.

In addidtion to the wrestling, there were bands outside and inside. I weas really enjoying the acoustic duo as we wandered the station and only caught the tail end of one of the bands outside.

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The real treat on stage however was Jason Delfosse doing side show antics. My daughters were fascinated and transfixed as he lifted a boat anchor with a chain attached to his tongue and walked up aladder made of machates, or ate fire and jumped bare foot into broken glass.

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We all entered the costume contest and the girls were adorable. I think I like Maddie better in that Supergirl outfit, but Lydia puts her own spin on it. I actually heard one of the judges complement her choice in boots. Maddie’s Poison Ivy was a great unique choice as always.

I went up and stood next to Iron Man (who I met back at All Americon) along with my friends Riley, Stephanie and Josh. There were some stunning costumes up there . The dragon still wows me, and that Batman Beyond just looked sick. I looked down and noticed that part of my foot had broken off – I’d been shedding bits and pieces of Groot all day. That’s a rough costume to wear.1920577_840511529326605_7914649208502742619_n

Imagine my shock when I won first place. My jaw dropped. I never get first. I’m still feeling a bit gleeful.

We ended the day with some shopping. Maddie was in the Yambar booth and I suddenly heard her scream “JEANNIE!” I couldn’t believe it. She found I dream of Jeannie comics which Chris was gracious enough to sign.

This is a really fun show and I hope to get back to it again. If it stays on Sunday we definitely will, but I suspect that was an aberration. In any event we were stoked to get out there this time and recommend anyone who can make it check this show out!

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Cinema Wasteland fall 2014

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Wasteland is the convention I wait for every six months.

We started off the weekend with a bit of sad news, a cancellation, but Graydon Clark (Director of Dracula vs. Frakenstien) was being replaced by Dean Gates who had done makeup on films like Phantasm 3 and Day of the Dead, not to mention my favorite Star Trek sequal, DS9. He was a great pleasure to talk to, hearing about his time working on Star Trek in particular. It was also nice to find someone else who shared my opinion that Ds9 was largely ignored by the networks and really, what a shame.

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In the hallway was one of the bigges surprises of the weekend. Annabelle was there. The studio brought one of the screen used dolls to Wasteland and it was incredible to just look at it. It’s a hard plastic, not a ceramic, but incredibly creepy. Those overhead lights don’t really add to the spook factor, but she was great looking just the same.

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I saw Pink Flamingos this time around, and really I will say, it was better with a group. Hanging with Angelique and Shrew, Sally and Brandy, you get a group of people who appreciate this kind of transcgressive cinema. There were still parts I just couldn’t watch, but it did get better wit hthe group, and the talk with Mink Stoles afterwards was just fascinating.

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One of the things Wasteland  does that other cons just don’t seem to do is bring in forign guests. This time around it was the ladies of hammer films,Caroline Munro , Veronica Carlson, and Martine Beswick. A long talk about the golden age of hammer, working with Cushing and Lee and just a wonderful chance to hear stories from these ladies about a time and films we all grew up loving.

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Also a really pleasant surprise was Geretta Geretta ‘s talk. I hadn’t realized how much she’s done over the years and how much sci-fi in particular. She talked about how in the 80’s EVERYONE in sci fi had to wear headbands….I came away with a list of films to look up.

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Of course the big event of the weekend was Brandy and Mark’s wedding. It was a humorous ceremony, very much in Wasteland tradition – I say tradition because it’s at least the third wedding that’s taken place there. But it makes sense, with some many familiar people around, this is where they wanted to be. Brandy was beautiful in her crimson dress, and the wedding was complete with first dance, boquet throwing, garter throwing and father daughter dance…which devolved into the Batutsi, I kid you not.

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Did I mention that later on in the evening A. Ghastlee Ghoul auctioned his pants off during the Miss Wasteland ? Yeah. That happened.

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I can’t even start on the dozen films I watched over the weekend. I think I’ll save some of those for future columns. Another great weekend at my favorite convention. But wait, convention stories aren’t over yet – tune in tomorrow. (in  the meantime, there’s new Violent Blue up today!)


Giraffe

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One of Lydia’s mother’s favorite outfits to put her in is her giraffe outfit. Lydia has worn it to the zoo more than once. So one day she decided to put on  the giraffe outfit and draw the animal itself!

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