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



Happy Monday! Today I’m rebloging a post from the PC Repair on Wheels site where I’m talking about one of my favorite books; Microserfs.

The novel is presented in the form of diary entries maintained on a PowerBook by the narrator, Daniel. Because of this, as well as its formatting and usage of emoticons, wich is really interesting considering the similiarties  to what emerged a decade later in the form of blogs (like this one!).

What I’ve always said about Microserfs and why I enjoy it so much is that it gives you a very good feeling for what it’s like to live in teh tech industry. The market and tech world has changed significantly since the 90s – the financial predictions that Microserfs makes were absolutely dead on – but the Tech culture remains largely the same. I look at this book and recognize my world as someone in IT, yet it’s tempered with enough human intrest to make it accessable to someone outside that arena. That makes it a good book to hand to someone outside of my world so they can better understand the industry I exist in.

Coupland revisited many of the ideas in Microserfs in his 2006 novel JPod, which has been labeled “Microserfs for the Google generation”.

I’m not sure why, but I just don’t find JPod as compelling. That dosne’t make sense as they are both so similar. Both Microserfs and Jpod are written in the form of a log by the main character. Both characters are in their mid-twenties, mainly live to work in the digital industry, which also means they are doubting their purpose in life, their friends are their -also slightly dysfunctional- colleagues, they fall in love with a female colleague and their parents have problems.
Perhaps it’s because by this point Coupland had made more of a name for himself and is a more recognizable author. He self referancs himself several times in JPod which I find supremely annoying.

Pick them both up at the Libaray. There’s audio versions as well, and having read the pap[er books and listened to the audio ones I can tell you, there’s not much of any importance left out. Microserfs is read by Matthew Perry (of “Friends” fame) and is the perfect voice for it. Spend some time in these books and see the world through IT eyes. But while you’re reading, don’t forget to put it down here and here to check out the new Violent Blue strips!

Top five favorite superheros

So last week we were discussing Maddie and Lydia’s love of She-Ra – a series that predates them by twenty years….and it occurred to me that I have a similar affection as my girls,  to characters that were popular and then almost forgotten, long before I was born.

If you’ve see some of the earlier Violent Blue strips, you’ll note I like top five lists. It’s a habit developed from watching “High Fidelity” too many times, but that only makes sense as it’s one of my top five all time favorite films.

If you ask me who my top five favorite superheros are right now I’d list off :


2. The Shadow

3.The Green Hornet



Now those bottom two change around sometimes. I know that Nightwings been in there (until the book became too popular and Chuck Dixon left it), not to mention Batman or Green Lantern or Gambit. Those top three however….those have remained the same for over twenty years. You can find drawings of the Shadow and the Green Hornet  in my sketchbooks dating back to fifth grade. There are Vhs tapes with the Green Hornet recorded off of a television station that no longer exists…probably around 1988.  And Superman…well that just speaks for itself.

So why do I have such a fascination with these characters? It likely has to do with my father. My father and I are very different people and we don’t really get along these days. A few trust issues. However, when I was a child, we would watch the old George Reeves Superman TV show, and he would tell me stories about The Shadow…or The Green Hornet. I’d lament the fact that I couldn’t listen to those old radio shows he remembered. It saddened me I’d never read the pulps or see the old Shadow films. It made me seek these things out – a cassette of the Shadow radio show. A comic book here and there. I collected “the Shadow Strikes” from DC like mad. I jumped right on the NOW bandwagon when they were publishing “The Green Hornet”. The internet eventually allowed me to assemble a complete collection of the radio shows and the pulps.

There’s a connection to my father through these characters, just like my girls find a connection to me through characters like Superman and She-Ra. They can’t explain it, they can’t articulate it, but they sense it and it draws them to it.I believe that’s why they fight over my Superman fleece blanket and watch Scooby-Doo meets Batman. From that perspective those costumes they wear make perfect sense, and I hope, that if we ever drift so far apart that there’s nothing else between us, that they will still reach for this kind of common ground.

I believe they will, and I believe that to them, Superman will always mean Daddy….much like it does to me.

And here’s the recap:

New Violent Blue is up today. Go take a look at that while I think up something to do for Whose Line is it Anywho?

New Violent Blue is up.

We’re still continuing the blind date arch, over here at Violent Blue

However,  it’s also come to my attention that Whose Line snuck up one of my strips when I wasn’t looking. If you’re into Doctor Who, this is hilarious. If not, it’s probably just confusing.

Also fair to note, this strip was entirely done with my new graphics tablet. Still working out the bugs.

Happy reading, and eventually I’ll get around to talking abotu going to see Transformers and hamlet last week (Not at the tsame time, but still.)

new Violent Blue today. Hmmm, we’re three strips in to this Blind Date Arc and still haven’t actually gone on the date…..this could be a long one….

View it here: