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Showing posts from 2011

2011 in Review (Mela Style)

Yes, now that 2011 is on its way out, and all we have to look forward to next year is NBC's piss-poor Olympic coverage & yet another painfully venomous election before Armageddon mercifully hits us all, it's time.  Time, of course, for yet another end-of-year list.  Now, since everyone else is going best/worst of different media, I am taking a different track.  I am listing off different trends, events, and other such things that struck my attention about 2011.

Best DVD Release:  TIE!  MST3k Versus Gamera and Jem: The Complete Series.  Both of these have been personally long-awaited, and they did not disappoint.  My only serious nitpick with either one is that the extra about the fandom on the Jem set, which seemed rather weak compared to the other extras.  But both of these were DVD sets that I actively cheered when I got them, so choosing one over the other would be too damn hard.

Best Web Review Series:  Marzgurl's Don Bluth Retrospective.  (I'd also like to give …

Omnicommentary #3: I'll Love Her and Keep Her and Call Her George

Legionnaires #3: The Beast Below

Creative Team: Tom & Mary Bierbaum (writers); Chris Sprouse (artist); Karl Story (inker); Pat Brosseau (letterer); Tom McCraw (colorist); June 1993

Legion Roll Call: Andromeda; Brainiac 5; Cosmic Boy; Dragonmage; Gossamer; Invisible Kid; Inferno; Leviathan; Live Wire; Shrinking Violet.

Miscellaneous Notes: This issue's note is "Special thanks to Gaijin Studios".  Chris Sprouse was part of this art group, along with Cully Hamner, Adam Hughes, and other notables.  Sadly, as of early 2011, Gaijin has shut down and parted ways.

Summary: Leviathan tries to fight the stony monster (seen last issue killing two tech workers), but he accidentally knocks out Gossamer & winds up being knocked out himself.  Brainy identifies the monster as Mordecai, gets a rescue party together, and intends to hit it with a suspended animation gun to move it to safety.  Gossamer, of course, is safe - Mordecai has locked her in a little cage and written her a poem…

List-O-Rama: Many Things They Never Should Have Cancelled

I just want to warn everyone: This will be an epic-length post.  If you don't feel like reading a lot, just scan for the stuff in bold for what each subject is.

So at Major Spoilers, their newest podcast Top Five did a show about the Top Five Things They Never Should Have Cancelled.  Their answers cover everything from TV to food to the space program (thoroughly agree with that one), and they asked listeners to share what theirs would be.  I wanted to write a response to it in the comments, but as I thought about it more & more, I realized that I had waaaaaaaay more than five things.  So here's 15 things they never should have cancelled and why.

Honorable Mention - Raising Hope:  This is technically not cancelled... yet.  Fox is doing their damnedest to justify doing so, however, in such a ham-fisted way that it's downright inexcusable.  The story of Jimmy Chance & his attempts to raise his daughter (whose mother was a serial killer sent to the chair) with the help …

Ink and Paint: Smile! You're on Pretty Cure!

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It's that time of year again, time for Toei to announce the new season of Pretty Cure.  Even if the most exposure I get are YouTube clips and stills with episode reviews (because I've had terrible, virusy experiences with fansubs and anime importers are apparenlty just as sexist as American producers), I still enjoy following the franchise.  It's the perfect combination of punch-inna-face action and magic girl frilliness.  So even though it'll inevitably be greeting with cries of "It's not as good as (insert favorite season/continuity here)!  It's the end of Precure!", I can't help but look forward to it and share my first impressions.

Here's the first poster from it (source link):

According to preliminary info, the series has a fairy tale theme and the characters are Cure Happy (pink), Cure Sunny (orange/red), Cure Peace (yellow), Cure March (green - her name references Maerchenland*, the magical world for this season & the German word fo…

Ink & Paint: OUTRAGEOUS!

Now that Nanowrimo has truly & wholly been failed, it's time to write about cartoons again.  And comics.  And cartoons based off of comics.

To be precise, we're here to pay respects to Batman: The Brave & The Bold as it prepares to bow out and leave only Young Justice & its carnival of well-animated unlikable jerks until the DC Nation block starts.

I will be honest:  I did NOT enjoy most of the first season of this show.  As cool as it was to have Aquaman with a fun-loving personality or see Jaime Reyes in action, it felt like another of Cartoon Network's giant toy ad shows.  Aside from Aquaman, the heroes didn't seem to have a whole lot of personality, the plots were kind of slow & standard-issue, and many of the plot developments seemed like they were designed just to justify molding a chunk of plastic.  It put me off for some time, and it wouldn't be until later that I read an interview with James Tucker explaining that they had to front-load the…

Guess what?

I failed in less than a week.

Less than a week.

It's hard to find yourself inspired enough to make the stories & characters in your head come to life with words when you have more real-life stress than you should.  When you have one person who refuses to take on their share of household stress and another who lives to generate a surplus, it's gotta go somewhere, and that's usually me.  Also, it's a little hard when the person in the next room keeps insisting that you hunt down random objects for them or give your opinion on whatever manufactured outrage the harpies on The View are shouting over each other about or watch some inane reality show "highlight".  I've put my adult life on hold for you indefinitely - can't you give me one month where I can do one thing I want to do and be left to my own devices for a refreshing change?

So long as I live the life I have to live keep things running smoothly, I will never be able to write.  It'll be a Sh…

A General Note for November

If you see a post here after today, it will mean I failed.

I am trying to refrain from blogging during the month of November to concentrate on NaNoWriMo.  Even if I wind up writing a goddamned fanfic, I want to make it.  I haven't succeeded since 2007, and each year's returns have dwindled to less and less.  I am sick of it, and I want to make a concerted effort to hit that magic number this year, even if it's crap.  Since I can't remove real-world distractions like work or chores or sleeping, I have opted to abstain from blogging here (among other pasttimes - sorry, Dragon Quest IX).

That means that the third Omnicommentary will have to wait.  Addressing the sale of the Fraggle Rock movie rights to a studio that will inevitably produce a product designed to make me livid with nerd rage will have to wait.  Addressing Sam Register's maybe-brilliant-maybe-doomed decision to give Lauren Faust a girl-centric superhero show on the DC Nation block will have to wait.  Any…

Overthinking Everything: Epic Fail. NOW.

A while back, I wrote about three shows I wanted to see bomb this fall season.  One turned out to be simple, hokey fun, so I am okay with it.  One turned out to be the undeserved success I expected, managing even to pre-empt Fox's Animation Domination cash cow block of programming.  And the last one, regrettably, still hasn't been called on the carpet (except by the AV Club) for its naked plagiarism of Fables and the double-dealing back in 2008, and worst of all, has been considered a ratings success.  With the new fall season under way, I've learned that there is far worse.  Two of the worst of the far worse, The Playboy Club and the revamped Charlie's Angels, have already died deservedly quick deaths.  But there are more, just as bad, that need to go away.

Terra Nova (Fox): To somehow keep our future from turning out like the love child of ZPG & Blade Runner, a family joins a colony that goes back in time to set up Terra Nova during the time of the dinosaurs.  The…

Game Time: A Witch's Tale (DS)

I can't play horror games - my nightmares do not any outside assistance, thankyouverymuch.  But around Halloween, I want to play a game that has some of that Halloweeny feel.  My view of the holiday is similar to The Nightmare Before Christmas - spooky & macabre, yet oddly cute & charming.  Since video games are increasingly aimed outside of my demographic and into the wince-inducing "manchild" field, I don't normally get that option.  It's either Silent Hill freakiness that I just can't handle, gory stuff to fill the Saw-shaped void in twisted little hearts, or nothing.

Thank God for Nippon Ichi Software.  The people who brought the world the awesomeness of the Disgaea franchise and the wholly underrated ZHP: Unlosing Ranger Versus Darkdeath Evilman occassionally put out stuff for the DS (usually ports of their older games).  Thus, we have A Witch's Tale, a game rife with spooky-cuteness that's unique to the DS and, except for the TVTropes en…

Omnicommentary #2: Shake Hands with Danger (Ba-dum-ba-dum-ba-dum-ba-dum)

Legionnaires #2: In Death's Grip

Creative Team: Tom & Mary Bierbaum (writers); Chris Sprouse (penciller); Karl Story (inker); Pat Brosseau (letterer); Tom McCraw (colorist); May 1993.

Legion Roll Call: Apparition; Gossamer; Inferno; Leviathan; Live Wire; Saturn Girl; Shrinking Violet; Triad; and Ultra Boy.

Miscellaneous Notes: This month has a note of "Special Thanks to Wade Grawbadger". Probably better known as Wade von Grawbadger, he's an inker whose best known run was on James Robinson's Starman.

Summary: Mano & the Hand gang are quickly taken down thanks to some quick thinking by Triad & Violet, and he's turned over to the Science Police.  Back at the HQ, we have a *sigh* love triangle brewing between the three founders before tryout time.  Here we meet Cera Kesh, a plain & slightly pudgy (which means "morbidly obese" compared to standard comic designs) telekinetic girl who is publically humiliated by Live Wire & Inferno for…

Four Color Philosophy: Back to the Boarding House with Bloom County

NOTE: The following was originally written on 4/17/10 under "kakapotrainer" for my That Guy with the Glasses blog.  Since it addresses what I feel is the finest comic strip of my lifetime, I am reposting it here.

As a fan of the comic medium, I'm quite fond of comic strips of all stripes. While this field is in largely sad shape (with only a few I actively read because they're good but most read just to mock them a la "The Comics Curmudgeon"), there thankfully are reprints always available from various sources. Having gotten The Complete Bloom County V.1 as a Christmas gift, I was reminded how awesome my all-time favorite comic straip was in its heyday.

I was also reminded of the dangers of going back to the well.

As much as some people might lament the loss of strips like Calvin & Hobbes or The Far Side, their creators deserve a lot of credit. They knew when to quit, then knew not to let lesser hands handle them after their retirment, and they would no…

Ink & Paint: Action Animation - No Gurlz Allowed!

Note: This was originally written on 5/6/10 under "kakapotrainer" for my That Guy with the Glasses blog; since it was the exact moment when I realized I was in love with another "boy's club" field, it is worth reposting here.  Sad to say, with the loss of Dwayne McDuffie (the last great champion of quality action-animation writing over toy sales), the apparent dumbification of Greg Weisman on the unwatchable jerk fest that is Young Justice, and nearly all of the current slate of Cartoon Network's programming (only exceptions being Batman: Brave & the Bold and the new Thundercats, I would argue things are worse.  Nick and the Hub are making some strides towards appealing to girls again & both are succeeding, but CN has more or less owned the action-animation field & continues to make it more insuffrably fratboy than even gaming.  So, yes - still angry.

Since I'm a fan of comics and said I was an animation fan in my profile, it should be no su…