Casino and Switchblade
Some more for Angel Lite comics. The evil Casino the Swami and his associate Switchblade. I believe these are the bad guys for their series “The Ballad”. I’m really pleased with how dynamic Casino came out with my overuse of cross hatching….
Gothic Lolita Psycho
This is a fun film in the same tradition as Tokyo Gore Police and Vampire Girl Versus Frankenstein Girl. However when I find this film is it may be a bit superior to both. Tokyo Gore Police very much lives up to it’s name and I always felt that it was far more heavy on the gore then necessary (and this is coming from somebody who enjoys gore) Vampire Girl versus Frankenstein Girl was very much all style and very little plot. The gore is still there but the focus was a little more on the action. Still the aesthetic didn’t always work for me and some elements, like the Frankenstein girl’s look just put me off. Gothic Lolita Psycho works the best of the three films and it’s actually fun watching this strange genre evolve.
Now mind you, this is a comic book. In fact it’s less than a comic book. There is no real plot here, just kinetic action and blood, crazy as the most fevered anime you could watch. It’s a standard revenge story, a group of evil people kill the girls mother (and by the way, we never really don’t get an explanation for this. no why, no motivations, it isn’t even explained as a random killing. They were definitely targeted, but we just never find out why), and she goes out to do revenge in a stylized and eccentric way. This film is really just an excuse to create amazing looking set pieces. It’s all action, but incredible action and very cool visuals. The look and feel pleases me, and that could have something to do with my own Gothic roots. The weapon of choice is an umbrella that has so many lethal variations it would make the penguin blush with envy, flush with guns, blades and handled with the skill of a martial artist using a bo staff or billy club.
To me the most memorable of all the villains is Emma, who is the epitome of the Japanese manga high school girl with pink in rhinestones and over-the-top cuteness, including a cell phone built into wonderful wicked looking guns (seriously, look at those things… double barreled handguns with a blade slipped int between them Someone got that stupid gun from the Green Hornet and did it right – those things are scary!). Other villains that get sliced and diced thorough are a slightly harlot looking owner of a gambling den, a very plain average looking lock pick,along with a bizarre teacher and of course the gangs ringleader who appears to have the powers of Mr. Fantastic….
All in all this is a fun ride period it’s worth you time to watch it at least once period especially if you can rent it rather than purchasing.
Angel Lite commission
William Zo Walker a.k.a. Amp. former pimp and hit man to El Cartel. After he found that El Cartel had his wife killed and pinned on him he went to work for Cartel. After Cartel threaten his daughter April and grandson Duston. He quit and co founded The Red Lobos and The Red Raiders https://www.facebook.com/pages/Angel-Lite-Comics/123392724366941
And don’t forget, new Violent Blue tomorrow!
Last week Monday through Sunday
I’ll tell you what, every time I’m just about ready to get up on agent Carter they take a left turn which sucks me right back in and keep me on board. There’s no way that I could’ve predicted the rather, explosive end of this episode. And it’s enough to keep me around for one more week.
Gotham got really engaging as well this week as well. I like how things are going although the back story of joker coming from an actual circus kind of infuriates me . There wasn’t a whole lot to the mystery itself, the way things were set up were fine, I just wish to God it had not been foreshadowing the Joker.
I also had to put up with the return of Barbara Keane or as I like to call her the most useless piece of flesh on the planet. My hatred for this woman just seems to know limits. Kind of interesting to see her come home and find Selena and Ivy squatting in her apartment but there’s really not much more to it than that and I’m not sure there’s anywhere else to go with that.
This weeks episode of the flash on the other hand, well it wasn’t really an absolutely flash now was it? This week it was the firestorm show. It’s not terrible don’t mind you, and to get to watch Clancy Brown trip around as general Eilling was an absolute delight. Still the show is called the flash, and I felt like we got very little of the flash and a whole lot more of fire storm instead. Don’t get me wrong, I like firestorm> I’m a big fan of Gerry Conway, who created him. We met several times but this really smacks of backdoor pilot especially with the way they are there leaving at the end to go wandering the earth all David Banner style. That just leaves a bad taste in my mouth and I’m eager to get back to more flash rogues next week. Oh by the way reverse Flash and Grodd at the end, just mind blowing.
When it comes to the walking dead, I think I’m just spoiled . I know what is happening from the comics and they seem to be falling a lot more closely to that these days. he introduction of Aaron as the envoy just felt stretched out this episode. I really was anxious to see them actually arrive at Alexandria and the fact that they drew the drama and the tension out to the entire episode was not something I was expecting. Not necessarily a bad move, I guess that I think I’m just a little bit spoiled by knowing what’s coming.
The previes for Gotham this week look amazing and I’m eager to see what happens over the next five episodes period will be turning into night!
We love it when the girls make books here. I think it’s a reaction to their exposure to comics over the years….
Presenting the Mermaid Princess
In Defense of X- Force
X-Force doesn’t always get the respect it deserves for two reasons.
One : Rob Liefield. The man is hated beyond reason. I understand he rubs some folks the wrong way and that he’s not the greatest artist ever, but his astetic practaclly defined the 90’s and that can’t be denied. If it’s not your preferred look (and it’s not mine) then that’s fine but the hatred for Liefield seems to border on the irrational at times.
Two : It’s a mutation (see what I did there?) of the New Mutants, and was that really necessary? It actually goes back to Liefield and who did he think he was trying to relaunch the books so it was just his???
Can I tell you why I have a soft spot for X-Force? It’s the book that got me into X-Men.
I’ve always been team DC, but in the 90’s I wasn’t reading ANY X titles. I hated the 80’s costumes…to pointy. Seriously. On day I was browsing and I came across X-Force #19, and I was hooked. It drew me into the greater world of the X-Men in the 90’s and this is a good thing.
I’d point out, this wasn’t Liefield’s X-Force. Sure it was his lineup, but he’d since left for Image. This was Fabian Nicieza’s run. IN fact, for a while there he seemed to have a finger in everything X related, and this is the incarnation of X-Force I love.
Attempts to redo them or reteam them just never worked for me, though I kind of like the covert ops team with Wolverine…mostly because it was something totally new. Still, I love going back to those Nicieza days and reading that era of X-Force. Look! War machine’s in this issue!
It’s kind of been a big filler week it seems.
Gotham really felt like one of those bridge episodes where they weren’t actually telling the story as much as they were just trying to move people around and get them fit in to place. The scarecrow story didn’t need two parts to tell it, but all this shuffling around did.
The big problem was how much of it was redundant. Yes, the penguin gets his club, but didn’t we see this two weeks ago? re we really doing that again? Yeah Gordon and Tompkins are a couple, didn’t we cover this ground last week?Why couldn’t we just have firmed up her transfer then?
Even the stuff that was original, the whole bit of Bruce in the woods, we get a really great emotional moment, but then when he tumbles down the side of the woods, was anyone else disappointed he didn’t fall down into a cave? I was certain that was it and to not get that was a bit of a tease.
Still, the end was really good, that CG scarecrow haunting Johnathan crane was terrifying.
I’m not thrilled with the promo for next week though. The original plan was to tease the joker, presenting a myriad of possibilities as to who it could be. I was good with this idea, but apparently that idea has been jettisoned. He’s up front and center this coming week….and I don’t like that. The Joker is better when we don’t know where he comes from…unless this entire episode is a gigantic tease… and this series has gleefully shown us that’s not out of the question.
Agent Carter also has a bit of a feel of filler. It’s a shift of Carter from agent to outlaw, but I feel like it could have been accomplished in less time. It’s odd, last week I was still on board, but this is where I think I might have fallen off the series if it weren’t a mini series as it is.
The Flash on the other hand was an interesting episode this week, though we’re still obviously setting Firestorm up for his own series. They really came up with interesting effects for the character, but they are also really dragging this out. I kind of want to see him become part of the cast or just go away for a while. I’d really like to see him show up on Arrow actually…
I’m still enjoying wizard wars, although I was actually disappointed by the Ohioan that won the first round this week. He and his partner’s routine just felt sloppy. Their Canadian competition was much tighter – including a great bit with turning a soap bubble into a light bulb (a variation on catching and hardening soap bubbles in the air – it’s a bit I do myself and I may build a while new routine around this stuff….). I was pleased when the resident wizards defeated them.
That’s it for this week, I’ve been sick the last few days so I’m catching up on bad movies and old Deep Space 9 right now and you may be seeing some of those reviews coming soon.
by the way, for anyone in the Cleveland area, if you’re looking fore a diffrent kind of valentines day party, check out the zombie valentines day party happening tonight at the 5’Oclock lounge in Lakewood!
This event is 21+ only….Who’s looking for a reason to get all dressed up in their best bloody and gory costume in the dead of winter?
Who’s DYING to frolic and party and forget about all the stress of this sometimes sad, romantic holiday?
Weather you are a single zed hunting for a meal, a mated pair of ghouls looking to dance the night away or a whole hungry horde of undead pals trying to find strong drink… You should come spend this Valentine’s Day night with the Z.E.R.O.S.
We are having an “EVERY COSTUME WELCOME” Costume Party and it’s gonna be as simple and carefree as it can possibly be. No stress, no worry..You see, There will be NO bands that you’ve never heard of, to sit through… NO Acts that you have to sit and watch… No Hassles… NO frills… Just a bloody good time, laughing talking, drinking and dancing… between a bunch of US… Us freaks… that look for any reason to dress up and act like the characters we are.
In fact, we are going to reward just that…
THERE WILL BE A COSTUME CONTEST!!!!!
There will be a $5 (or possibly $10) admission fee to the contest and the winner will get 75% of the total money brought in, 2nd place will get the remaining 25%, 3rd place will get the boobie prize… hee hee heeee…
The lovely Juliet Blind offering her spfx makeup talents for a reasonable fee for application. I am also very proud to say we will have a Blind 7 Photography photo booth~ prices of photos will also be more than reasonable! I am so happy and humbled by everyone showing up and participating. Remember folks there is NO cover charge for this so tip your makeup artist and your photographer,….. and the bartender.
Like I said, it’s just gonna be us… so one of us.. DJ Tankgrrrl was gracious enough to agree to spend her holiday playing music to keep you monsters dancing and taking your requests (within reason) to keep our night rolling…
All of this monster-ish… zombie-ish fun…brought to you and watched over by… your friendly neighborhood Zombie Eradicators…. The Z.E.R.O.S.
The wedding plans
This strip is up today over at Violent Blue, but I wanted to post the full size version here, because It’s one of those moments where I feel like you can really see just how much I love this character through the artwork. To me, Superman looks exactly the way he should here. There’s that old familiar face, the body language is calm, peaceful and the feeling is just majestic.
We started off easy last month with Dracula, but this month I want to showcase one of my favorite bad movies ever – Turkish Superman.
After the success of the Donner film, Turkey moved quickly to get their own Superman film in their theatres, billed sometimes as a sequal (the way Fulchi’s Zombi was billed as a sequal to Dawn of the Dead)
Where Superman created some revolutionary special effects, this version actually sets film back a few steps with it’s effects. Flying in particular is laughable. We get a head and shoulders shot of the actor in front of a rear projection screen, which then cuts to a Mego doll on a string in front of that same screen. They don’t always remember to adjust the perspective either. We saw better effects than this back in the TV days of George Reeves.
They do try to keep fairly close to the story and aesthetic of the Donner film though, we get an origin story and very much a coming of age thing going on. Someone has their mythologies a little mixed up though since Jor-El appears to Superman in a cave and explains to him that his powers come from a bunch of old mythological gods….pretty much mixing in Captain Marvel’s backstory into Superman’s. Still Jor-El actually looks good in this film…which is more than I can say for Krypton…or the space scenes in general (which were achieved by hanging Christmas ornaments in front of a black sheet. Seriously. Check the graphic below).
This is fun. Especially at parties. It’s also a nice thing to have in your collection if you’re a Superman fan. Bootlegs abound at every con I’m at so I guarantee you should have not real trouble finding a copy!
The People’s Court
Daytime television. *sigh* it’s really it’s own beast isn’t it? I still find it strange how many court shows are one these days. When I was growing up, Daytime television was game shows and soap operas and the only court show was “the People’s Court”
Back then it was Judge Woppner. He’s had a couple of replacements since then, but when I sent away, the presiding judge was Marylyn Millian.
More recently I noticed that you could get Harvey Levine through TMZ. You see, he would stand outside and do the recaps which was a cool addition to the show, and it makes a great companion piece. Thanks People’s Court!
Better call Saul
It’s odd, I seem to be watching more television than I ever have before. At least more than I’ve watched a very long time, and this is in great part due to the fact that my wife is watching a lot of this with me. Ladies you know that saying that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach? Totally wrong. A way to a man’s heart is by watching his television shows with him. Seriously sit down and watch an episode of Doctor Who with them or catch the football game with him on Sunday and then talk with him about it – I’m telling you it’s almost better than sex. It’s one of the things that my wife does with me that I love the absolute most.
So I watched the premiere of Better Call Saul this weekend, and it has some bad will immediately because of the way AMC tried to shoehorn it in between Walking Dead and Talking Dead (especially considering how emotional WD was this week!) I understand trying to follow a strong popular series with a new series that you’re trying to promote, but to move the Talking Dead (which is basically the documentary on how each episode is made)further back, it’s too late in the night that for that nonsense and you lose momentum. Better Call Saul needed a very strong series premiere to build over come the bad will there.
This was not that strong Episode.
One of the things that made the Saul character work in Breaking Bad is that he was the comic relief.What I was really hoping for in Better Call Saul was a single camra comedy with dashes of drama kind of taking itself seriously but still being funny. This is not what we got, and the character lacks the gravitas to really pull the levels of dram they are shooting for. Saul was always designed as a one-dimensional character in this attempt to go back and retcon him into some sort of layered deep character just doesn’t work. I will not be back for the rest of the series and quite frankly I think the entire conception was a Misstep. I realize we’re following Breaking Bad, but Better Call Saul wasn’t the way to do it. Better Call Saul would be better served as something lighthearted and funny.
Among other things you’re watching this weekis Gotham. There was a real misdirect here, I was looking foreward to the Scarecrow episode and to discove it was his father was a little disappoing. I think the scarecrow could be someone older than Bruce Wayne, in fact I’d love to have seen him actually be one of Wayn’s teachers, however, being homeschooled now kinda puts the kibosh onthat. The biggest misdirect however was the way that Edward Nigma was suspended. I thought for sure this is the beginnings of the Riddler and it would make perfect sense for him to be disgruntled after being fired from the police force, but no, by the end of the episode the status quo was restored and he was back on the force. I’m not sure if that was a missed opportunity or not .
We were also delighted to return with Wizard Wars. This series really engaged me, and I think it’s got to do with the way it’s a competition and also with the stage and parlor aspects of it. I tried watch the show following it on SYFY a sort street magic kind of series which is interesting in itself, but I’m not that into street magic I’ve always been drawn far more to parlor and stage magic, indeed that’s the kind of magic that I do.
Sci-fi did manage to raise my ire however. The series premiered the week previous and I missed it and there’s no way of me watching it on sci-fi without loggin in with some arcane credentials from my cable provider. I used to catch up with Hollywood treasure by watching online and it kind of pisses me off that site is making it so much more difficult to keep up onthier shows. Just another reason to hate the network I suppose.
I enjoyed the flash this week as well. The Flash has really been quite a discovery for me, I don’t think I wanted to like this as much as I do (I suppose a misguided loyalty to the 1990 series) but I caught up on the entire series over he Christmas break and found it to be really well done at whole lot of fun. The return of the series has been no exception. We’re back to monster of the week and in fact this a villian we’ve never seen in the comics, but there is also another bit with the Pied Piper. The scene with his implants was horrifying and we can see he can be quite a violent character, and I think actually more interesting than anything we’ve seen in the comics.
Really I think this is where the Flash’s strength lies.
They embraced that this is a comic book, something that superhero shows in the past of really shied away from. Arrow even took a long time to get there.
You can see where they are trying to shoehorn Firestorm in to the series. We’re in full back-door pilot mode, though I can’t really see Firestorm carrying his own series. A miniseries or perhaps even setting up appearances in Justice league? This would be the smartest thing at DC could possibly do. Far smarter then steadfastly trying to separate their television and cinematic universe, but that’s a whole other tangent, we don’t really wanna get into that right now.
That’s it for this week, Gotham is on tonight and I will be seeing in front of the television with my wife seeing where we go with the scarecrow ! Can’t wait. (but since we have to, go check out todays Violent Blue!)
Illuminations: Competitive Vs Casual?
Jamie Macneil (Jmacneil1329)
When I first started playing HeroClix, it was purely for fun. I work with a group of teenagers, teaching them strategic games, and I picked up HeroClix to play with them and to have a cool game to teach. We had a lot of house rules, mistakenly messed up on a lot of power interactions, and had a great deal of fun. Most importantly, we were able to help the kids make friends, have a good time, and develop some life skills. We didn’t have many resources, but we tried hard to get donations for pieces and spare board games. We even bought discount bricks online to run tournaments for them. After a while, the other volunteers, Sam Nurge and John Elia, and I started playing by ourselves with all sorts of teams, reading over the ‘Realms, and having more fun making competitive teams and being more involved in the game.
The next step for us seemed to be going to bigger tournaments, but as we read the forums and talked to more people online, we got the impression that competitive players were a mean group who would stab you in the back and steal your dog if they got the chance. This led us to stay away from any big tournaments (no matter how much we wanted the chance to make our own figure or ATA) and make assumptions about anyone that went to big tournaments and events. I never wanted to find myself becoming “one of those meta guys.” I told myself I would have no part in being a jerk gamer and therefore wouldn’t go to any conventions. Just like most other HeroClix players, I found the biggest jerk who was semi-competitive and type-casted the rest of competitive clixers to be just like him. When we brought the teens that we worked with to weekly events, he was the type of guy who would cheat them with false rulings and short clixing when I wasn’t looking. It always made me upset and turned me away from the competitive scene even more.
A few years later, the Infinity Gauntlet came around right when I was headed back to college. The figures and Infinity Gauntlet were too good to pass up, so I found a group to go to near my school and started taking the drive to the store. I even taught a few new guys to play and brought them along. The store was called Comics and More and it was in the King of Prussia mall, the second biggest mall in America, so naturally it brought a large and diverse group. Every week these guys helped my friends and I build teams, gave us free figures, and even bought our entry fee for us sometimes; they were by far some of the best clixers I’ve ever met.
During one of these events, I was in the running to win, and I had never won before so I was pretty excited. I had figured out a tricky team based on BB Shazam and IH Hulk/SM Libra. Basically, I would convert Bruce Banner into Hulk (who ignores all damage unless the attack roll is doubles) and have two Libras there to re roll opponents attacks (because its not prob). I would get in people’s faces to tie them up, while Shazam would swing around with two AIM Agents and pick people off. In the second to last match, my opponent told me the Hydra TA didn’t benefit you unless the person shooting actually had the Hydra TA. The judge confirmed the ruling even though I argued against it, and it cost me the hit I needed to win. I ended up coming in fourth. When my opponent found out the ruling was wrong, he called me the next day, apologized profusely, and gave me a free Black Adam SR figure to make up for it.
I realized I was in the best play group ever. I was surrounded by people who wanted to benefit, not only the game they were playing, but also the people playing it. My friends and I were always invited back, invited to different events outside of gaming, and generally taken care of. What shocked me is that I was playing with some of the best players in the game.
I found out most of these people went to high level events, competed at a Worlds level tournament, and even regularly played with a Worlds winner at another local play group. I was perplexed. I thought Worlds players were wolves in sheep’s clothing! I thought Worlds players were all out to get me! I was told they were all jerks that couldn’t care less about anything except prize sharking and glory grabbing, but I realized that was wrong.
After that, I started to attend more events, went to all the local tournaments, and met a lot of great guys. When Realms Open Championship’s (ROC) came out, I started to go to those and even hosted one of my own. Again, some of the best players from around the world sat across the table from me and gave me a smile and a nice handshake. I won some, I lost some, but the game only got better. When I lost, I tried to be graceful and my opponents were friendly. When I won, I received the same courtesy and I always left tournaments with a smile and a sense of fun.
Eventually I made my way to Dragon*Con for the ROC Championship. The first day of the event was an absolute blast! I lost to Joshua Ernest (probably the nicest person I have ever met) in the final round of the ROC held that day and ended up coming in third. Even though I didn’t win, I made great friends. The second day was even better; I met people like Pat Yapjoco, Keenan Notae, and Matt Devine (all people who know the game in and out and can play better than almost anyone I know). Some of the funniest times I can remember happened sitting around a Hibachi table, all with the people I used to think were out to short their way to the top.
Later on in the day, Matt Devine and I had the unfortunate luck to be held up at gunpoint hours before we were supposed to play in the championship. They took everything… even Matt’s clix (that they probably had no idea what to do with). When the community heard about it, they came to life. I was expecting to get no sympathy from these people competing to win their share of the $15,000, but instead, they paid for our meals, helped us find the clix we needed that were lost, gave us cards and dice and tokens and markers and maps, and everything we needed. Majestix even offered to let us all stay in their room. I couldn’t believe I had judged these gamers so poorly in the past, and I became very thankful that I had these new friends in my life.
Whatever I had heard on the ‘Realms about the “evil meta-gamers” was dead wrong, and whatever was told to me about “not having fun at high level events” was even more wrong. If I had stayed in the bubble of fearing ROC’s and Regionals, I would never have the privilege to know these people, nor would I have had the fun of great competition. I’m glad I made the change. I’m glad I stopped judging people’s intentions from behind a message board, and started letting myself have a good time at great tournaments. I realized that being “one of those meta-guys” would be a huge compliment.
If there is one piece of advice I can give, it is to not limit yourself to local events. Don’t be afraid to try your dice at a ROC table or take a trip to a big event. Big events are the place where you meet new people, get new ideas, and have tons of fun. Don’t ever let anyone tell you differently.
Ron’s Big Adventure part two
Part two of my favorite movie! Find your purpose in Ron’s Big Adventure!
He-Man 2002 comics
When Masters of the Universe relaunched in 2002, Val Staples and his company MVCreations lobbied hard for the license, finally landing it after much deliberation. They originally published through Image but eventually moved to thier own imprint.
This series is worth it for the pencils by Emeliano Santaluca alone, the insane level of detail is amazing, not to mention the hidden eggs they would constantly throw in. This was the first time I saw a Wind Raider inthe new series. You might see the guards in Eternia firing the guns that came on the weapons rack in the vintage Castle Grayskull, or spot toys on the shelf of the faceless one’s lair….
Other details like a small crack in He-Mans chest plate, or the terrifying detail of Skeletor’s horrifying face. It’s a beautiful series. Much like the Sunbird Legacy that we review last month, it’s also a very violent series. There’s an image that stick with me, Beast Man charges the battlements and disembowels an Eternian guard. we see blood and tissue fly….these are the comics after all, and they have a wider audience, they don’t necessarily have to tone the violence down for the kiddies. it’s also a good reminder that these powerful brutes and creatures Skeletor has surrounded himself with are just that – monsters.
This series folded all to soon. Bad deals with the distributor, too many restrictions by Mattel and the cancellation of the cartoon series all formed the perfect storm, but I do still occasional see these in dollar bins and on eBay. They’re worth searching out, particularly if you’re a fan of He-Man.