Sunday, December 13, 2015

State of the site

It's the holidays, the first time after moving away from home, which means traveling. I'm in the adjustment period of starting a new job, which is taking up my entire day due to an overly long commute (90 minutes each way). I've had another writing project come along and mostly hijack my creative energy.

All of these mean that what I was afraid of is happening now: my output on the blog has fallen greatly, and it's hard to find something that I can do about that between now and the beginning of 2016, at the least.

So, I wouldn't quite call this a reset, but it feels like that. I don't like to have the blog sit dormant, but at this point, I think that's the best thing to do. With all of the other things going on in my life, I need to rethink the workflows and processes I use to get things written, and as they catch up to my new life, I am going to start posting more again. Until then, apologies to anyone who reads this, and I hope to be back to my previous level of output before too much time passes.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Comic Review: Wayward #11

The only thing I am more excited for than Wayward is the return of Saga, but that is another story for literally another day. I've been drawn to this from the beginning, loving the way that it legitimately does both manga and western comics without feeling pandering, and I missed it a lot over its hiatus. I can give it no higher compliment than this: I love it, even though it is full of spiders.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Comic Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 #21

This issue keeps going back and forth between being something I read before, and something that I forgot happened. It's at a point in the series that it feels like they're waiting for Angel and Faith to wrap up so that this can pick up full force when that ends. Until then, this issue is mostly just here, moving the story only incrementally forward and repeating character beats we've seen before.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Why Jessica Jones and Daredevil feel barely real

This isn't review of anything, or a particularly deep moment of thought and retrospection on Jessica Jones , since I'm six episodes in at this point and haven't had the time to really digest it. Instead, this is about the general feeling I've been getting from this show, and that I got from Daredevil before it:

These shows should not exist.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

An explanation and pre-emptive apology

I've only missed a couple of days of posts recently, but this is the kind of thing that's likely to start happening more often in the near future. Long story short, I just started working again this week after several months and no longer have this as the main focus of my attention. I will do everything I can to make sure that the number of posts doesn't go down tremendously. It likely will decline, but I will do everything I can to keep that decline from being too large, since I love doing this and I hope people like reading it.

So, apologies if content falls short in volume, but I will be doing everything I can to fit it in around this change.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Comic Review: Last Sons of America #1

Last Sons of America is a really strange comic. It feels a lot like BOOM! is trying to make an Image Comic, with a very different style than I expect from them. It's going after big ideas in a very grimy and bleak world, and I found myself fascinated and intrigued, even though I'm not entirely sure why I like it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Comic Review: Zodiac Starforce #3

It is pretty obvious from reading this that Zodiac Starforce is a 4 issue series. We're on issue #3, and it has the very specific feeling of a story trying to stop itself short before it reaches the real climax, putting this in an awkward place. It has to put everything at the lowest point, but is not really allowed to do anything with that yet. It's kind of an awkward issue for that reason, but a small bump in their execution is not going to stop me this close to the end after liking it so far.

Monday, November 16, 2015

TV Review: Agents of SHIELD Season 3, Episode 7 "Chaos Theory"

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. can be a weirdly frustrating show at times. When it's good, it's really good, but not for reasons that are all that interesting to talk about. It also has difficulty in trying to balance different storylines, so that when it's really good in one area, it has problems in another that don't kill it, but just drag things down a bit. This episode, "Chaos Theory" is a great example of that, putting a temporary bow on the Lash storyline while kind of fumbling some stories in the background.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

TV Review: The Flash Season 2, Episode 6 "Enter Zoom"

I was not planning on reviewing two episodes of The Flash in a row, but that was before I watched this episode and started thinking about it. It just sticks out from everything else the rest of the season, and everything else that was on this week that I might have wanted to talk about, to the point that I have to review it. In this episode we meet Zoom, who manages to meet if not exceed all expectations, and the real question to ask is how the show managed to pull that off.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Comic Review: The Goddamned #1

All that this book had to do to hook me was call itself "Biblical Noir". One thing that comes with my religious background is that I really like stories that are based Biblical stories or ideas, but not the sanitized versions that pop up a little more often. I wouldn't quite agree that The Goddamned fits as noir, but it is Biblical and different from most that I see, so it has me from the start.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Comic Review: Limbo #1

Limbo is yet another in a larger than expected number of comics about Private Investigators that I've stumbled into recently. No, I don't mean that in the "Really, another one of these?" sense, as Limbo is a very different entry into that genre. It's the kind of thing that shows why this kind of story seems to last forever, since there is always something new that they can do with it.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Comic Review: Joe Golem: Occult Detective #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
Trying to review something like this is difficult because I feel so mixed on different aspects of it. There are times that something is "all good" or "all bad", or feels overwhelmingly one way or the other, and that makes giving an opinion of it easier. When there are different parts, all of them working at different levels, it's harder to come to a conclusion. Joe Golem: Occult Detective falls right into this, with different storylines of wildly varying quality, and that makes it quite difficult to really talk about.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Comic Review: Johnny Red #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
Johnny Red will get a lot of attention just for the first name listed in the credits: Garth Ennis. He has a great reputation in comics, so any new releases with his name on it are going to get a lot of attention from the beginning. Even with his writing behind it, Johnny Red is a bit messy trying to get to the point that it becomes an interesting story.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

You Should be Watching The 100

Promotional Picture from The 100, used for Season 1 MarketingI realize that I am working on a nearly impossible task here. Trying to convince someone who thinks they don't want to watch The 100 that it's worth their time is incredibly difficult. What it seems to be from the outside is not what it is, but it spends just long enough as the bad version of itself to make most people stop watching it. When you do get through it, however, it is a kind of incredible little show that doesn't get nearly the love or conversation that it deserves. On a different network or with superficial genre changes, this would be a highly regarded show, but it's a Young Adult show on The CW, so people get a bad impression from the start.

Monday, November 9, 2015

TV Review: Arrow Season 4, Episode 5: Haunted

This was the episode that everyone was really excited for because it featured Matt Ryan playing Constantine, after his show on NBC was cancelled last season. I found it hard to really get into that, considering that I never watched the show and didn't feel a particular compulsion to watch it. What mattered was how he worked in this episode, which oddly made it a good counterpoint to this week's episode of The Flash. Both of them featured a character with a lot of extra baggage attached (Constantine here, Wells there), but while The Flash used it to kickstart the plotline for the season, here most of it went to this one episode, not having quite as large of hooks for the main storyline.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

TV Review: The Flash Season 2 Episode 5: The Darkness and the Light

Though they didn't share any explicit connections, this week's episodes of The Flash and Arrow had an interesting structural connection that I don't think was intentional, but found interesting nonetheless. Both brought in a character with a lot of attached baggage (Wells here, Constantine there) and mostly built the episode around them. Over on Arrow, it felt like a diversion from the main plotline of the season, while on The Flash it's being used to kickstart development far more quickly than we expected.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Comic Review: Dead Vengeance #2

In its first issue, Dead Vengeance was this fun thing that I kind of liked reading. It was a fun read, but not something that I was going to go out of my way to try and sell people on or sing its praises. At risk of spoiling my opinion, this issue takes it from there to must-read in the span of a single issue. This started with a body in a circus exhibit coming to life, and with this issue, it throws out an idea that feels so completely out there that I cannot help but love this book now. I won't spoil what it is, but I will do my best to get across why I love this.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Comic Review: Angel and Faith Season 10 #20

I love the Buffyverse, but I've had a rather complicated relationship with the comics recently. There has been a lot of good recently, but I've also been mentioning in my last few reviews that it feels like they might be losing their way. After this issue of Angel and Faith, which has led me in both directions, I've given up on trying to project or predict where it's going. All I can do is look at the issue in front of me and evaluate it, and there's a lot of good there right now.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

How People Work: A love/hate relationship with productivity porn

There is far too much on the internet written about productivity. All over the place. I've even written and sold some articles about it, regurgitating unoriginal ideas and hoping someone would be desperate enough for content to buy it - I'm not proud of it, but you'll do what you need to when it pays.

This particular type of article is one I both love and hate. This is specifically from Lifehacker and their "How I Work" series, but there's almost a pocket industry on many sites of people talking about what people do to be productive. I find it to be one of the most inane types of articles, with people going on and on about things that work for them. That's why it's trouble - it works for them. It will not work for everyone, because not everyone is them.

But it's also something that I love. I like seeing what it is that people do to try and get things done. Mostly, though, I'm looking for why they do the things that they do. If I'm going to get any value out of it, it's in the reasons why they do certain things, trying to untangle why those things work for them and what about their discovery process can be relevant for me.

These articles are probably stupid and inane, but sometimes they're things that are hiding valuable information. It just requires digging and reading between the lines to get something actually useful out of it. Unfortunately, it never feels like they're written for that, which is why I find myself so conflicted about them. 

Comic Review: Adventure Time 2015 Spooktacular

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
I'm not overly familiar with Adventure Time, having seen just enough to know that I like it without having gone through the entire series. That is important because it gives me a somewhat strange perspective on this issue. The particular reason is that this issue attempts to give some backstory to Marceline before she became a vampire. To me, it was an enjoyable story, if not particularly deep, but it's likely to be controversial to people who like the fact that Marceline's backstory is mostly kept a secret.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Comic Review: Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
The more time I spend with All-Ages comics, the more I think that I'm secretly 5 years old and just good at hiding it. Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is not only aimed straight at a young demographic, like other Plants vs Zombies comics, it fits a lot of the things that people don't really like about comics aimed at kids. Instead of hating it, though, I find a lot of joy in reading it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

More Star Trek: a Truly Unsurprising Announcement

Yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter broke the story that a new Star Trek series is in development. The most reported aspect has been the release strategy. The first episode will air on CBS, but not the rest. Those will be on CBS All Access, their streaming service that was announced the day after HBO Now and promptly forgotten. This is an interesting gambit to get people on the streaming service, as House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Daredevil, and the other Netflix original series have proven that exclusive content is a strong driver for streaming service subscriptions.
Generic Starfleet logo to go with generic Star Trek announcement
Generic announcement = generic logo. 

That, however, is not the most interesting part. It's an obvious move to bring Star Trek back, since this franchise has been perpetually ahead of its time, and the rest of pop culture just caught up to what Star Trek was back in the 90s.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Comic Review: Cyrus Perkins and the Haunted Taxi Cab #1

Cyrus Perkins and the Haunted Taxi Cab is kind of difficult to talk about. It's not overly complex, since most of the premise is in the title and first page of the story, but it works as an example of a problem that I often have with comics, and it's hard to tell if the problem is me or not. There is a lot that I like here, similar to my reaction to other comics from Action Lab, and without the way that it ends, it would be something that I absolutely love. The way that it ends gives me pause, and I can't tell if it's a failure of the book or of me.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Comic Review: The Rook #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.

Going off of the synopsis, The Rook sounds like something I would absolutely love. The idea of someone fighting a one-man war against a time-traveling terrorist is the kind of high concept thing that I love to see people do. While I like the concept, this issue doesn't do a lot to give me confidence that the rest of the series is going to match up to its potential.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Comic Review: The Steam Man #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
The Steam Man is a combination of western, steampunk, alien invasion, and vampire story. I love reading stories made up of different elements that feel like they were pulled out of a hat, but end up working together, so of course this was a perfect series for me to try and jump into. It gets started on the right foot, but it's not so outstanding that I'm ready to declare undying love for it quite yet.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Interesting Comics This Week (10-28-15)

Marvel Comics:

Cover of Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1, courtesy of Marvel ComicsUnbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 

This comic gave me a hard time even finding it because, as the cover is glad to point out, this is only their second #1 issue this year. It was only reset because of the Secret Wars nonsense, but if it helps get more people reading this again, then we have a very good thing. I reviewed a few issues of this before, and while it sometimes felt a little too much like Ryan North, it was still a lot of fun to read and follow.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Comic Review: Power Cubed #2

I picked up the first issue of Power Cubed just because it was a #1, and it turned out to be a really fun surprise. I've really been looking forward to this second issue, which manages to avoid the slump many second issues fall into. It keeps everything that made me love the first issue and avoids showing the cracks that many stories would by this point.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Comic Review: The Paybacks #2

I loved the first issue of The Paybacks, and that puts the second issue in a bit of a difficult place. Now that the idea is no longer so new, it's time for the book to really get into the story that it will be going forward. This is the problem all second issues have to deal with, and it's hard to contend with. Here, this issue isn't quite as good as the first and starting to show weaknesses, but it's still good enough that I'm not going anywhere.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

TV Review: Goham Season 2, Episode 5 "Scarification"

When I reviewed the Season 2 premiere, I was very mixed on where Gotham seemed to be going. Throughout the first season, it tried to take itself somewhat seriously, and I held it to those standards because of that.

Things seem to have changed. The last few episodes, the show has decided that it wants to have fun with its concept, to embrace the ridiculous. This show has always been a little silly and stupid, but now it's actually embracing that fact, which is not a direction that I was expecting it to go. While that makes for a much more enjoyable show, it also makes it harder to talk about. It's similar to trying to review a comedy, where trying to say what makes it good runs the risk of just repeating the jokes, trying to explain what makes Gotham so much fun runs the risk of just writing a recap of the episode.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Comic Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #20

Even after reading it a couple times and thinking about it, this issue feels a little strange. Beyond just my completionism, I was drawn into it when I saw that they would be bringing back the ghost of Anya, a character that they seemed to have abandoned after bringing her into the early part of the season. The rest of it didn't strike me as being all that interesting or important, but it took up just as much of the issue as the Anya part of the story.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Comic Review: EVE Valkyrie #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
Admittedly, EVE: Valkyrie has an uphill battle to fight as a comic series. It is based on a spinoff of EVE Online, which is a Virtual Reality Space Combat Video Game, a string of words that feels like it's designed to blow your mind with its potential. Even without that to live up to, it looks and feels like a rather generic version of a story about space combat, which is disappointing.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Comic Review: Mirror's Edge Exordium #2

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
I did not expect to come back to this series. When I reviewed the first issue, I loved the way that it looked, but found the story very lacking. Still, the art was so good that, when I saw this comic come in, I decided that I wanted to give it another shot, just to see more of the art if nothing else.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Interesting Comics This Week (10-21-15)


Cognetic #1
A psychic being that once controlled 1/3 of the world's population returns to take control once again. We're looking at the end of the world through mind control, a hivemind, however you want to think about it. Despite some exhaustion with the end of the world, I like a different kind of apocalypse, and this looks like a pretty interesting one.

Welcome Back #1
Assassins who are locked in an eternal war against each other, across multiple lifetimes, each time they are reincarnated. One of them becomes self-aware, while the other is on the hunt. The funny part is that I'm starting to consider a setup like that to be straightforward, but it's simple enough to draw me in and know exactly what I'm getting into.

Dark Circle Comics:

Shield #1
The original Shield was a WWII hero who predated Captain America, and they're reviving the character again here. The gender-flip of the main character will hopefully be more than a gimmick, which unfortunately happens a little too often. Still, the revival of old characters is always interesting; it's whether it's in a good or bad way that remains to be seen.

Dark Horse Comics:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 #20
While we haven't touched on it in a while, having the ghost of Anya be a part of Xander's life was a great little piece to add to this season, and we're going to be exploring that further here. Honestly, that's all I needed to be really interested in what's coming in this issue. The incubus demon is much less interesting to me in comparison.

Dark Horse Presents #15
This book can be a little hit or miss - that's kind of the nature of an anthology series ­- but it's always worth paying some attention to what's being published in Dark Horse Presents. It is essentially a blank check for creators to make whatever they want in a short story format, with the possibility of a trade or new series somewhere down the line. In other words, it's the experimentation arm of Dark Horse, where things are developed before being more fully formed later on.

The Paybacks #2
The first issue of this series was a lot of fun, so of course I'm interested in returning to it. To copy a phrase I used way too many times in the review, it's about superpowered repossessors, which is an idea I'm still not sick of. Now the Batman analogue, Night Knight, is part of The Paybacks, which is going to make an interesting addition, since he can't be taken seriously as a hero, so what is he going to be as part of that team?

Power Cubed #2
This comic is a ridiculous balancing act, throwing a ton of ideas together into a comedic book, and it pulled off the first issue. It could still go terribly wrong, but for now, we have a ridiculous and fun comic with no sense of reverence.

The Rook #1
A time traveler discovers a terrorist that travels through time. He decides to start a one-man war, following him through time to fight back. This is exactly the kind of crazy I want to see in a comic, it's just a question of if it can live up to it.

The Steam Man #1
Wild West steampunk alien invasion fought off by giant mechs, when vampires are added to the mix? This is my kind of insanity - throw absolutely everything you have together into one - and I just hope they can make it work. The crazier the idea, the more fun it is if you pull it off properly.


Back to the Future #1
Look, I am more than sick to death of people talking about Back to the Future. I'm more than ready for the day to pass. However, I have to give it credit for being released on the day from the second movie. There's also the chance it might be an interesting comic.

Danger Girl: Renegade #2
I liked the first issue, and that's exactly why I'm looking forward to this one. Okay, that's a bit simple, but it's true. It's a fun adventure somewhere between spy and adventurer archaeologist, and I'm interested in reading more of that.


Hawkeye Omnibus
The entire run of the Hawkeye series by Fraction and Aja, in a single hardcover omnibus. Yes, it's $100, but it's worth every bit of that. It's one of the best recent series from Marvel, and across comics as a whole.

Shattered Empire #4
The end of this series almost came out of nowhere, seeing as the first issue is in such the recent past. This is the first real glimpse the comics have given us of what happens after Return of the Jedi, and with the timing of coming right after the new trailer, it certainly has a lot of attention.


Clean Room #1
Looking at the description, I'm not 100% sure of the tone of this book, but the description really speaks for itself. Something in a self-help book makes Philip kill himself, and his fiancee, Chloe, is determined to find out what really happened and who the self-help guru really is. There is the danger of this turning too preachy, yes, but the setup sounds like something out of my brain, so I'm definitely interested.

Monday, October 19, 2015

TV Review: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3, Episode 3 A Wanted (Inhu)Man

I didn't review a previous episode of the show this season, even though it's basically appointment TV for me. I tried for the first episode, but a lack of time that week and an inability to figure out where to start held me back. This show has a lot going on, and most of the characters are working on slightly different plotlines, meaning that it's often hard to find a cohesive way to talk about an episode without just listing the things that happened in the episode. It's not a weakness of Agents of SHIELD, just a consequence of how it tells stories that makes it a little more difficult to write a review.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Comic Review: Switch #1

Before reading this, I had no idea that Switch was related to the Witchblade series. It's not the most direct connection, but the Witchblade is in it and the creator worked on Witchblade before, so I'll count it. I've wondered where was a good jumping on point for that series, and this seems as good as any.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Comic Review: The Paybacks #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
I don't know for sure, but it feels like The Paybacks is a concept that has been done before. It has to; taking out loans to get the gadgets to become a superhero, then needing superpowered repossessors when you cannot pay feels both original, but is such a great idea that someone has to have tried it before. Unlike the hypothetical version I can see in my head, The Paybacks is not full of 90s grim and gritty, but is bright and colorful and fun, not like I've come to expect from most alternate superhero stories that publishers other than the Big Two love to publish.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Comic Review: I Hate Fairyland #1

There are a few creators that I will be interested in anything that they do, and Skottie Young has become one of those for me. I just had so much fun reading his Rocket Raccoon series, and now he has a series, I Hate Fairyland, with Image? No need to convince me further, just let me have the book.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Comic Review: Lara Croft and the Frozen Omen #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
The first interesting thing I noticed about this comic is the title, Lara Croft and the Frozen Omen. Tomb Raider is not in the title, which is both apt because there are no tombs, and an admission that Lara is well enough known that her name should be able to carry the marketing. With the change in the games to focus more on storytelling and Lara as a character, which the title here is hinting at, it could be a good shift for the series as a whole. The real question is that this is a video game tie-in comic, which don't have a great history, and will they bring that storytelling care here as well?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Comic Review: Dead Vengeance #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
When I previewed upcoming comics, all I needed to be sold on Dead Vengeance was the tagline: Dead Private Investigator Tries to Solve His Own Murder. It's a great start for a high concept story idea, and the opening scenes match that good start. We have John Dover, former radio personality, waking up after he's been dead for 10 years, trying to figure out what happened to him. It's set in 1940 and is really going for a noir tone, so you can probably guess what the story is setting you up for.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

TV Review: Arrow Season 4 Episode 1 "Green Arrow"

First thing being first, I did not hate Season 3 of Arrow. I know that it got a lot of hatred for a lot of things that it did, and while I think that Season 2 was definitely superior, I still liked Season 3 quite a bit. Most of the problems were coming from the logic of the world, not the emotional and character work, and I find that to be a decent trade off to make.

Monday, October 12, 2015

TV Review: The Flash Season 2 Episode 1 "The Man Who Saved Central City"

The Flash ended a surprisingly great season on a surprisingly great episode, with the minor exception of a slightly cheap cliffhanger to end the season: Barry running into a singularity that was threatening to destroy Central City. This ending led to a lot of speculation and expectations for the story to pick up in a particular way at the start of Season 2, and it didn't really go in that direction. Many things that were taken as a given didn't happen or happened differently, and while this is still a strong episode, that and the strength of last season led to a lot of people thinking this is somewhat of a lackluster premiere.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Comic Review: Saints #1

Even though I'm spoiling the rest of the review, I did not like Saints. Looking at this week's preview, I liked the premise. Unfortunately, the synopsis almost felt like it was coming from another story, not being inaccurate, but not the way I would have interpreted the story.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Comic Review: Paper Girls #1

The only thing it took to get me to read Paper Girls was the first credit: Brian K. Vaughan. Saga is my favorite currently running comic, and for that alone I will give everything he writes a shot, even here when I'm a bit shakier on the premise of the book.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Comic Review: Angel and Faith Season 10 #19

Angel and Faith started in a weird place for Season 10. The last season was a lot to live up to, and it started with the title characters separated by the Atlantic Ocean. While it's never been up to the level of last season, it's worked up to a solid part of the Buffyverse this season. Some of the things in this issue and the last arc have made me worry, and I'm hoping it can right itself.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Comic Review: Zodiac Starforce #2

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
As a small warning, it is impossible to talk about Zodiac Starforce without making constant references to Sailor Moon. It's very much based on it, being part of the magical girl genre, but several elements are so specifically and strongly influenced by Sailor Moon that I can't help but reference it all the time. Despite all that, Zodiac Starforce is not a carbon copy, borrowing elements and taking them in its own direction so that it stands alone as a good series in its on right.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Comic Review: Colder Toss The Bones #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
I have a bit of a mixed history with Dark Horse and their horror comics. Some of it is that not everything will be great, but horror is also not my favorite genre, so I'm a weird one to be reviewing them. On the whole, Dark Horse horror comics are good, so it's always worth a shot when a new one comes out. Add in that this is part of a longer series with a proven track record, and I had to give it a shot. Turns out, Colder Toss The Bones is a good comic and makes me want to read the next one.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Interesting Comics This Week (10-07-15)

Archie Comic Publications:

Jughead #1
The first issue of the new Archie comics really sold me, and they're looking to go straight into the type of comic line that a lot of other publishers have. What gets me most interested is Erica Henderson drawing the book - I loved her art in Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, and seeing more of her here, especially since she seems to thrive with the strange and over the top, sounds like the perfect combination.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Comic Review: Butterfly Hardcover

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
I first picked up Butterfly after seeing the first issue on the shelf, the cover grabbing my attention. As it came out in single issues, I liked the story, but as with any short miniseries, there's always the feeling that you need to get it all together to really get the full story. Now that the hardcover collected edition is out, this is a good time to go back to Butterfly­ and take a closer look.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Comic Review: Mirror's Edge: Exordium #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
I have almost no experience with the Mirror's Edge game, save playing through the demo a few times. It still made enough of an impact that, when I saw this comic was out there, I was interested in seeing what it had to offer. If you don't have experience with the game, don't worry; everything you need to know to jump in is summed up on the first page.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Comic Review: Pixu: The Mark of Evil

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
Pixu: The Mark of Evil is not at all a comic made for me. I am usually not a horror fan, and my favorite part of anything usually is the story. Despite that, Pixu does what it does so well that I couldn't help be drawn in, and I ended up liking the book much more than I expected.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Comic Review: Dark Corridor #2

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
  • Story by Rich Tommaso
  • Art by Rich Tommaso
  • Cover by Rich Tommaso
  • Published by Image Comics
  • Release date: September 2, 2015
Last month, I was quite pleasantly surprised by the first issue of Dark Corridor. Many other comics are about crime in dark and depressing worlds, but this one was different. The different style made it stick out from similar comics, something that continues in Dark Corridor #2.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Comic Review: Power Cubed #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
I am a sucker for ridiculous concepts for a story. Make it as stupidly over the top as possible, with ideas that seem to have nothing to do with each other and could never work together, and I'm going to be predisposed to wanting to read it. Power Cubed falls right into that category, having a mix of all sorts of elements that don't seem to fit together. If done wrong, however, that makes these comics doubly disappointing - not only bad, but a bad example of something I love. Fortunately for it, Power Cubed is so far a good, if not great example of that kind of insanity, teetering right on the edge of great and disaster, and tipping over towards great. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Comic Review: Wild's End: Enemy Within #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
Last year, there was a miniseries called Wild's End, about a village that was caught in the middle of an alien invasion. Don't worry if you haven't read it, since I didn't read it either, and it's not really required reading for the new series, Wild's End: Enemy Within. Enemy Within manages to stand on its own, and works well as a story set in the aftermath of an alien invasion.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Interesting Comics This Week (9-30-15)

Archie Comic Publications:
I did not expect to enjoy this series as much as I have. Archie was something that I always knew about, but never paid any real attention to. This series has made them interesting to me for the first time, and is making me see why these characters have been around for so long.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Comic Review: Mythic #4

I started following this series after picking up the #1 issue randomly. I read just about every #1 from Image, but don't always pick up the issues after it. This comic just hits a very specific spot for what I want to see and feels like a recent theme: comics that decide they're going to throw as many ideas out there as possible and make them work. Somehow, Mythic has kept pulling it off for a number of issues and is showing no sign of stopping.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

TV Review: Gotham Season 2, Episode 1 "Damned If You Do"

Last season, I watched every episode of Gotham. I didn't quite watch it as it aired, especially after the first couple episodes, and I finished a few weeks after the season ended, but I mostly kept up with the show. It was okay, trying to do a lot of things and only sometimes succeeding, with a lot of elements that seemed ill-advised or problematic. Probably the worst thing I can say is that I don't remember a lot of the first season, which is never a good sign.

Still, I was cautiously optimistic and watched "Damned If You Do", the first episode of this season, and I still have no idea if my optimism was misplaced. I wouldn't call it good, but I wouldn't call it bad either. At the very least, they appear to be trying to go in a different direction.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Comic Review: Over the Garden Wall #2

Despite never having watched the TV series it comes from, I loved the first issue of Over the Garden Wall. It felt like such a weird and inventive comic, and don't hold the All-Ages audience against it. Without knowing the TV series, it's a bit hard to follow the jumps in time that it takes, but it makes up for that with continuing how fun and off the wall it is throughout.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Comic Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 #19

This is a particularly weird issue of Buffy. It has gotten a lot of positive reception, which I understand and don't completely disagree with, but it is also a weirdly flawed story that doesn't work for nearly the entire issue. Somehow, the ending pulls it together, even though the rest of the issue doesn't really work.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Comic Review: Danger Girl: Renegade #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
Before reading this issue, I didn't know that Danger Girl had an established history in comics. As it turns out, that is a very good thing. Danger Girl: Renegade #1 makes me want to read more, and its back catalogue means I don't have to wait for a new issue to get more.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Comic Review: Drive #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.

Drive started its life as a novel, then was adapted to a movie, and with Drive #1, IDW is now adapting the novel to comics. While the novel is considered a classic and the movie has a lot of critical acclaim, the comic is unfortunately not up to those standards.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Interesting Comics This Week (9-23-15)

Mentioning a comic here doesn't necessarily mean I will be reviewing it, and not being here doesn't necessarily mean I won't. Instead, this is meant as a simple look at what sticks out about what is coming out this week.
Action Lab:

Princeless Be Yourself #4
Despite having only read the Raven: The Pirate Princess spinoff, just about everything in the Princeless series jumps out at me as something to pay attention to right away. This one is the final issue in a miniseries, so while I can't speak to it out of experience, it's still worth looking at, or noting down to keep an eye out for the trade.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Comic Review: Over the Garden Wall #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications. 
I had trouble at first figuring out exactly what I thought about Over the Garden Wall #1, based off the Cartoon Network miniseries. A lot of that comes down to it looking like a kids' comic, which has a lot of negative connotations in the industry now. That term isn't meant as a negative here, since it doesn't have the unintelligent sense of humor that you might suspect out of a kids' comic, but instead is just in a style that appeals to kids, without sacrificing any wit or intelligence in the humor. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Comic Review: D4VE2 #1

Even after reading through it a couple times, I can't tell you what exactly D4VE2 is. It is about robots, and is quite out there, even by comic standards. Trying to summarize it is a losing battle. I will likely check out the next issue, though I find it difficult to explain exactly why.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Comic Review: Tokyo Ghost #1

The only comics I've read by Rick Remender are this and Low, and both have given me the impression that I do not like what he writes. He's not the only creator, but there are similarities deeper than just the writing. A lot of people like him, but so far I have not, and Tokyo Ghost does nothing to make me want to come back for another issue.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Comic Review: Awake #1

Awake is only the second comic I've read from Action Lab (the other being the surprisingly good Princeless: Raven the Pirate Princess), but I'm getting a feel for one thing they do well: All-Ages comics. They're not perfect, but they're so much fun I'm more than willing to overlook the flaws.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Comic Review: Boy 1 #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
 Science fiction often exists for the sake of making fantasy stories feel more grounded. From the beginning, Boy-1 seems to be straddling that line, trying to bring fantastical things to life while actually starting in real science and moving forward. It focuses on genetic engineering, though exactly the role that it plays in the plot is not really clear quite yet.   

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Comic Review: String Divers #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
When I first read it, I had no idea where String Divers came from. I had my suspicions, but it wasn't until looking into it later that I discovered that it was based off of a toy line. I don't say this in judgement, since I'll defend the possibility of good out of any source material, but to illustrate how knowing the genesis of something can explain so much about it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Comic Review: We Stand on Guard #2

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
When I read the first issue of We Stand on Guard, I was not over the moon about it. I liked it enough that I wanted to keep reading, but I was curious how well it would work as a continuing series. I loved the fact that it was all about the US at war against Canada (something that the creators liked to encourage), but I was having trouble actually being pulled into the characters and storylines. After reading We Stand on Guard #2, I continue not really knowing what I think about the series, but I see enough promise that I don't want to quit yet.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Comic Review: Morning Glories #47

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
Writing about Morning Glories at this point is a nearly impossible task. This series has been going for almost 5 years at this point, and is unfriendly to new readers to the point of being outright hostile. The storylines are labyrinthine even when they're playing nice, the mythology is still unclear, and it makes Lost look positively straightforward. Still, for all of that, this series is truly great when doing what it does best, and for those who have put their time in, even a slower issue, like Morning Glories #47, is still a good read.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Comic Review: Star Wars: Shattered Empire #1

In the new Star Wars universe, this is the first of the comics to cover ground after Return of the Jedi. In fact, it starts almost immediately after that, starting to move the story forward in the immediate aftermath of the battle of Endor, but despite finally moving things forward, there are a few issues with how it handles moving the story forward.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Comic Review: The Shrinking Man #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
Shrinking Man #1 is the first issue in IDW's adaptation of the Richard Matheson novel, which even if you haven't read it, you likely know from reputation. True to its name, it follows a man who is shrinking a little bit every single day, and despite their best efforts, scientists have no idea why it's happening or what they can do about it.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Comic Review: Transformers: Combiner Hunters One-Shot

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
Transformers: Combiner Hunters One-Shot starts off with an idea that I can really get behind. There is the possibility of combining some Transformers together to create a much larger one, and while that is happening, there are other Transformers hunting them down. As a high concept premise goes, it's pretty good. Also, despite this being a one-shot, it's not surprising that this is part of the Transformers comic universe; IDW has built a strong universe with those comics, and one of the strengths of a shared universe is the opportunities to tell a small story within that universe.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Comic Review: Valhalla Mad #3

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
This is an odd comic series that I'm really not sure what to think about. When I read and reviewed the first issue of the series on my own site, I was in the same spot, but three issues later, I'm still not sure what to think about it. When I first picked up Valhalla Mad, I recognized the writer and artist from Catalyst Comix, a series that I loved despite barely knowing what it was half the time. I'm still trying to work out what I think about this series, but for some reason, I'm compelled to keep reading.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Comic Review: Transformers: Robots in Disguise #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
I've never been a Transformers fan, mostly because I was born about 10 years too late for it to be a large part of my early life. In fact, all I've seen are the Michael Bay movies, but those are another discussion for another time. I do know a lot of it by osmosis, and with the launch of a new ongoing series based on a cartoon series, this issue of Transformers: Robots in Disguise (not to be confused with the previous series of the same name) felt like a place I could jump in and just have some fun with the series.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Comic Review: Poseidon IX #1

At risk of spoiling my opinion, I am just confused by this comic. I know that Poseidon IX is somehow connected to the Aphrodite IX series, which I am vaguely familiar with buy haven't really read myself. Without that knowledge, this book left me more confused than anything else, and does not make sense as a jumping on point for the rest of the series. From my perspective, little about it really makes sense. 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Comic Review: Plutona #1

Plutona is being sold as a comic about superheroes, but it's really only about it using a wide definition of the term. There are superheroes in the world, and they interact with the story, but they're not the main thing that it's about. In the end, none of that really matters, as it's in the areas other than basic premise that this story sticks out.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Comic Review: Angel and Faith Season 10 #18

This season of Angel and Faith has been a little strange. It started with the title characters on different continents, and that came back for this arc focusing on how Faith fares in London without Angel. With his arc in the Buffy series coming to an end, this arc had to come to a close to bring him back. Unfortunately, it ends rather abruptly, causing an awkward end to an otherwise solid arc.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Comic Review: Death Head #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
Dark Horse has a long and proud history with horror comics, and Death Head #1 is just their latest entry in that genre. I've never been the biggest horror fan, but I'm always willing to try anything. Unfortunately, this first issue ends up being more than a bit of a let down.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Comic Review: Aliens vs. Zombies #1

This was originally posted as a review for Word of the Nerd. Reposted here with slight modifications.
Sometimes, a story can sell me with the premise alone. Whether it can be summed up in a couple sentences, or just in the title, if it's a short premise that can get me excited, it will take me a long way. For that, Aliens vs. Zombies #1 hits it right on, with the premise fitting nicely in the title, and the longer premise hooks me further, past even a somewhat lackluster beginning.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

An explanation and apology for lack of posts

It's been a little while since I've posted anything here, and it's not something that I feel good about. I like writing, and I like writing here, and I spend a lot of time here with comics, which is something else that I love. The problem, as always, is that life gets in the way.

As of yesterday, I have moved from Michigan to Georgia, a very long trip that involved a lot of things taking way more time than I expected them to, which is just how it always works when you're moving. I've barely had the time to read the comics that I was going to review, no less actually review them, and whenever I've tried to work on other writing (I promise that I, some day, will write more than just comic reviews), I've never had enough time for it. Even when I had time to write or something, I was just too exhausted to do it.

I know that I don't have a lot of readers, but I like the fact that I get anyone reading this at all. To those of you who read this, I'm sorry that I've fallen behind. I cannot promise it will get back up to speed right away, but I will do what I can to get it back up and running as soon as possible. I might have another week of nothing getting posted as I continue getting moved in and start working on writing again, getting articles back in the pipeline, but hopefully this will be back on its feet again soon. Moving is hard, especially moving so far, but now that it's done, hopefully I pick back up and start writing and posting consistently again.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Comic Review: Batman '66 #25

Despite not realizing it, this is an issue that I've been waiting on for a while. Well, half of it is; this is one of the issues with two stories in it, and the first one is something that I've been looking forward to. Night of the Harlequin features the return of Harley Quinn (spelled Harlequin here, but I just prefer using the other spelling), and I've wanted to see more of her since she first appeared. The second one, Bad Men, is probably the better of the two stories in this issue, but the first is the one I have been waiting for.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Comic Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten #17

At risk of spoiling my opinion of this issue, I liked it well enough. It's not bad, it's not badly constructed or headscratchingly weird or anything like that to make me dislike it. The thing is, I've read this issue before, or seen it in an episode of either TV series. Everything in the Archeus arcs we've dealt with has been oddly repetitive, and it's feeling like they think they're running out of new things to do.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Comic Review: Wolf #1

I don't understand Ales Kot. I've read a couple of his comics before, and even reviewed one before, but I didn't get it there either. Maybe he's a genius that I'm too stupid to get, maybe he just works in a style that I don't really like, or some combination or variation on those, but Wolf is yet another comic of his that I just don't get.