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Showing posts from October, 2011

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…

Game Time: Nostalgia (DS)

NOTE: The following was originally written on 7/24/10 for the blog I had under "kakapotrainer" on That Guy with the Glasses.  This will be the first in a new tag series, one that focuses on the limited amount of video games that I can play anymore (they are either for the DS, the PSP, or much-derided "casual" games on the PC, since I no longer have the time or resources to fully enjoy a regular gaming console), and I wanted to move it here so it would last.  I have another essay for another tag that I will also be using, but for now, enjoy the first entry in my game reviews. - Mela

I play a lot of DS games, and after I finished the edition of Chrono Trigger for the system (BTW, that's my all-time favorite game), I looked for something new. Amazon recommended Nostalgia by Tecmo, and after perusing the Internet & hearing that it was mostly up my alley, I bought it. Having just finished it, I've decided to review it here. There will be spoilers, so if you …

Ink & Paint: "Who knows what they'll come up with between now and when the show becomes unprofitable?"

So, unless you've been living under a pop cultural rock lately, you've probably heard that The Simpsons is in danger of being cancelled over contract negotiations with the cast.  This announcement came about a month after Fox said they're considering a cable channel that is nothing but Simpsons reruns (more on this later).  The AV Club shows how ending the show could actually net Fox more money than continuing it, and like many, I find it hard to sympathize with a cast who already makes millions of dollars performing on an increasingly irrelevant show.

Some morons (usually on Yahoo, whose comment section reminds me why we should have a basic logic test for anyone looking to register to vote) have thought this is because The Simpsons is stepping on the conservative toes of Fox's corporate owners.  They have failed to realize that shows like The Simpsons (as well as the McFarlane shows and the F/X comedies, other popular targets for politically-fueled conspiracy theories…