Nemo Me Impune Lacessit

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Remember, Remember the 5th of November

Filed under: Principles, Reading, Viewing — Tags: , , — mikewb1971 @ 11:28 PM (23:28)

People should not be afraid of their governments.

Governments should be afraid of their people.


FOR FURTHER REFERENCE

  1. DC Comics, Vertigo Comics — V for Vendetta by Alan Moore, David Lloyd, et al.
  2. Warner Bros. — V for Vendetta

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Captain America and Spiderman, On the Rooftop

Filed under: Philosophy, Politics, Principles, Reading — Tags: , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 10:52 PM (22:52)

Usually, the superhero genre doesn’t do much for me (mostly I wait for the movies to show up on TNT or FX[1]).

But when they[2] get it right, it’s pretty damn good.

I saved these scanned pages from a post made years ago on the calguns.net message board. They were scanned from The Amazing Spider-Man #537.

Considering the current socio-political climate, it seems as though the importance of standing up for one’s views, regardless of whether the whole world is against you, cannot be understated.


NOTES

  1. Why bother going to see them at the overpriced cineplex, with its overpriced snacks, uncomfortable seats, other moviegoers who are assholes, etc., when you can save a bundle by seeing it at home — you can have your food and drink of choice, start the movie whenever you want, pause or stop it whenever you want, and not have to put up with people you wouldn’t otherwise touch with a ten-parsec pole?

    Seriously, they can’t cut much from any of the Marvel or DC flicks — there’s no nudity, excessive profanity or graphic, gratuitous gore to speak of, and if they cut out the comic-book style violence, there wouldn’t be any plot left.

  2. In this case, J. Michael Straczynski of Babylon 5 fame, Ron Garney, Bill Reinhold, Matt Milla, Cory Petit, Michael O’Connor, and Alex Alonso.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

DC and Marvel, Dumping on Their Dinner Plates

Filed under: Media, Reading, Viewing — Tags: , , , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 8:04 PM (20:04)

Skimming through my Facebook feed, I found the following:

Cosmic Book News: Comic Book Retailers Sound Off On DC & Marvel As Sales Drop

Basically, the author explains how DC and Marvel are running their superhero franchises into the ground, and possibly poisoning that particular well for any other publishers, as well.

The interesting thing is that McGloin attributes this to Marvel and DC offering their same titles in both still-pictures-comic format as well as in audiovisual form (movies and television), when both Marvel and DC were letting their franchises be made into movies and TV shows back in the 1950s and 1960s.

Rather, I suspect that we’re seeing the same sort of thing that happened in the mid-1990s, when Marvel began rebooting its franchises (I remember them starting to playing these games with the X-Men in 1994.) and putting out multiple versions of the same issue, with different “collector edition” covers (especially the foil-covered ones!).

Big Bang Comics in Ireland put it rather succintly:

And I’ve heard the tired line before “justifying” the periodic reboots from these clowns:

These characters are so endearing and established . . .

To me, that’s equivocation for “we’re too lazy to develop any new characters.”

Case in point — the Star Trek franchise.

Back in 1985 and 1986, Gene Roddenberry and associates were working on bringing Star Trek back to television, but Paramount wasn’t keen on paying the higher salaries that the 1960s Original Series could command. So they went with a cast of actors not known for being in the science fiction genre. Rather than trying to cast these actors in the roles of the Original Series, Roddenberry created a whole new cast, ship, etc.

Did it pay off for Roddenberry and Paramount? I’d say so. The Next Generation ran for SEVEN seasons, as compared to The Original SeriesTHREE seasons.

Even better — The Next Generation had two series spun off from it (Deep Space Nine and Voyager), each of which had a cast separate from The Next Generation, and each of which ran for seven seasons.

Hell, the prequel series to the franchise (Enterprise) ran for four seasons.

When Paramount / CBS (whoever owns the franchise at this point) did decide to reboot it in 2008 and “bring back the original characters” with new actors, they wrote the script in such a way that picked up from previous endeavours, instead of simply blowing them off wholesale.

Brian Hibbs at Comic Book Resources has this to say:

We have to be mindful that the marketplace is changing, and that we have to change with it. I see a market that is moving away from line-driven buying, that is growing tired of the constant cycle of relaunch and reboot, that has far more options for their time and mindshare than ever before, and that can meet their craving for superhero material increasingly in other media. And that has, most dangerously, had their long-standing habits interrupted by their very pushers.

So far, the ONLY franchise reboot that I’ve seen that was significantly better than the original was the Battlestar Galactica remake of 2003-2009.

So far, out of all of the superhero titles currently published by DC and Marvel, the only one that does anything for me any more is Injustice: Gods Among Us. That’s because when someone gets killed, the writers try to avoid coming up with some cockamamie excuse to resurrect the character(s).

It seems to me that the executives at DC and Marvel assume their customer base to be composed of idiots who will buy into anything with their (the executives’) stamp of approval upon it.

Basically, this is the same sort of logic that Heckler & Koch GmbH used when they pitched their neutered version of their G-36 (the infamous flop called the SL8) — they figured that the HK fanboys (I’m guilty of being a bit of one myself back in the 1990s) would shell out hard cash for anything with a red “HK” stamped on one side of the stock or pistol grip. If that wasn’t a miscalculation, I don’t know what does qualify as one.

Will this endless cycle of reboot and remake ultimately bring down the DC and Marvel movie and television businesses, too?

Should I even care?

H/T Kevin Tuma


NOTES

  1. Approximate reading level – 13.0
  2. Reposted –
    1. Personal blogs and micro-blogs – App.net / Diaspora* / Ello / Facebook page / Facebook profile / Google Plus / seen.life / tsu / Twitter / WordPress.com

Copyright © 2016 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises.
This blog entry created with medit.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

SF vs. Fantasy (and Horror, too!)

Filed under: Media, Philosophy, Principles, Reading, Viewing — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 2:33 AM (02:33)

Current mood: cynical

Recently I read Tomorrow, the Stars, which was edited by Robert A. Heinlein (at least in part – in the preface, he says that Truman Tailey. Judith Merrill, Frederick Pohl and Walter Bradbury helped out there). In that preface, Heinlein mentions a significant difference between science fiction and fantasy

From page 8 of the Berkeley Medallion Edition (15th printing – June, 1967)

“Science fiction is sometimes miscalled ‘escape literature,’ a mistake arising from a profound misconception of its nature and caused by identifying it with fantasy. Science fiction and fantasy are as different as Karl Marx and Groucho Marx. Fantasy is constructed by either denying the real world in toto or at least making a prime basis of the story one or more admittedly false premise – fairies, talking mules, trips through a looking glass, vampires, seacoast Bohemia, Mickey Mouse.”

In the next few sentences of that same paragraph, Heinlein sets out what distinguishes science fiction from fantasy (and horror, as well). Again, from page 8

“But science fiction, no matter how fantastic its content may seem, always accepts all of the real world and the entire body of human knowledge as the framework for the fictional speculation.”

Back in 2003, I was hanging out at Bubonicon 35 with L. Neil Smith, who summed it up very well

In science fiction, the universe is knowable and people can figure it out.

Thus my conclusion that the books in the genre of sword-and-sorcery fantasy belong together with the horror books, if anywhere, rather than with the science-fiction books.

In my view, fantasy and horror stories are more mature versions of fairy tales and campfire ghost stories.

And why do I often feel as though I’m the only one that sees most of the cast of the typical horror movie as complete idiots, simply begging to be slaughtered at whim by the monster or slasher or demon?


Copyright © 2012 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.

Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises.
This blog entry created with gedit and Notepad++.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Barack the Barbarian

Filed under: Media, Politics, Reading — Tags: , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 7:22 PM (19:22)

Current mood: amused     

Well, folks, it looks like veteran comics writer Larry Hama has done it again – this time, he takes on “conventional” “left” vs. “right” politics with a special focus on The Barack.

Web comic – samples of the comics published on paper, as linked to below:

Issue 1 – From a far away land rises a mighty hero. The son of peasants from two different realms, the one known only as Barack protects the people of Hope Kingdom at all costs. Watch as he takes on the likes of Boosh the Dim, Red Sarah and Cha-nee the Grim in this hilarious first issue! Cover A / Cover B

Issue 2 – Barack begins his assault on the Elephant Tower by entering the dreaded Labyrinth of Right Turns guarded by the Screeching Enchantress and her many-headed dogs. Meanwhile his other enemies plot and scheme and work their dire magicks.

Issue 3 – Barack escapes from the horrific Pit of Punditry and battles his way past eldritch threats and byzantine obstacles to reach the pinnacle of the Elephant Tower whilst The Old Warrior and Red Sarah nip at his heels.  At the top of the tower Boosh and his evil vizier cast down spells and aspersions.

Issue 4 – In the blazing conclusion of the first arc, Barack storms the citadel of the Elephant Cult at the pinnacle of their cursed tower to free the goddess held captive there by the evil despot Boosh and his nefarious Vizier.

The Fall of Red Sarah – Red Sarah, wandering the Northern wastelands, stumbles upon the gates of a fabulous city on a hill, apparently deserted. Meanwhile, her least favorite barbarian finds another entrance to the same city. Neither suspects the secret horror guarding the city’s treasures, and neither will escape unscathed – if they escape at all!

Articles covering the series at MTV.com and Wikipedia.

Finally, for those who are just don’t get it, there’s He’s Barack Obama! to really drive the point home.


NOTES

  1. Reposted –
    1. KCUF Media
    2. The Weekly Sedition
    3. Darth Mike
    4. Duke City Fix / New Mexico Liberty / NMPolitics.org / Patriot Action Network


Copyright © 2011 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
Produced by KCUF Media, a division of Extropy Enterprises.
This blog entry created with Notepad++

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Comic-Con vs. Fred Phelps

Filed under: Life, Philosophy — Tags: , , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 12:59 AM (00:59)

Current mood: amused, annoyed cranky

I found this on Facebook —

Nerds vs. the Westboro Baptist Church, Super Heroes vs. the Westboro Baptist Church

Doesn’t Fred Phelps have anything better to do with his time than this inanity? Really.


NOTES

  1. Reposted —
    1. KCUF Media — Blogspot / Myspace / Xanga
    2. Mike Blessing for State Representative / The BTPNM Blog / The LPNM Blog

bomb gun firearm steak knife Allah Aryan airline hijack

Monday, 25 August 2008

New Must-Read — Universal War One

Filed under: Reading — Tags: , , — mikewb1971 @ 5:39 PM (17:39)

While perusing the available titles at Noble Comics, I cam across a “new” title from Marvel Comics —
Universal War One, written, drawn and colored by French comic creator Denis Bajram. I say “new” because it was originally published in French in 1998, and only recently has it been translated to english and published in America.

The story takes place about a century from now, in the year 2098 or 2108 (Bajram’s website says 2058, even as the squadron’s personnel files on that page show dates of birth in the 2070’s, and charges being filed against some of them in the 2090’s). The main characters are military officers awaiting courts-martial that were put together into the “Purgatory Squadron” as a way of giving them each a second chance.

Purgatory Squadron’s mission is to break through “The Wall,” a spherical gravitational barrier of some sort centered around the Uranian moon Oberon. “The Wall” is three billion kilometers in diameter, and almost touches the planet Saturn. Anyone or anything trying to cross The Wall ends up being crushed or torn apart by tidal forces.

All told, Vol.1 was a compelling introduction to the five-volume limited series. None of the characters were the cardboard-cutout types often seem elsewhere, and Vol.1 ended with one of the main cast being killed.

Problems? Some minor quibbles — the capital-type spacecraft appear to be miles long, of the Star Wars variety. The fighters (?) flown by Purgatory Squadron are rather chunky. The hangar bay those fighters are berthed in is cavernous, and the crew pump the air in and out each time they launch and recover craft, which would take forever under combat conditions, considering the sheer size of the hangar bay. (Maybe they have really fast pumps?) Finally, the name of the mother ship (carrier?) is the UESS Genghiskhan — no space there, it should have been Genghis Khan.

Still — a very engaging read — the story line is solid for the most part, and the art is very well done, very detailed. This one definitely goes onto the must-read list.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

I’m a Marvel Guy

Filed under: Media, Quizzes / Surveys — Tags: , , — mikewb1971 @ 9:28 PM (21:28)

Your result for The Marvel or DC Test…

Marvel Universe

                           

You live in a world of angst, interpersonal conflict, and are distrusted and possibly hated by those you have sworn to protect. On the plus side, your world tends to be faster paced and more ethnically diverse. You would most likely fight alongside Spider-Man, The X-Men, or Daredevil. In crossovers, you would probably be paired up with Batman or the Teen Titans.

Take The Marvel or DC Test at HelloQuizzy

Actually, aside from the Star Trek stuff, I haven’t had much use at all for the DC universe — I outgrew the superhero stuff back around 1990, and haven’t looked back.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: