Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Intro to the Classic 70's Sitcom, Star Wars!

Oh Internets, you never cease to amaze. Who'd ever imagine you could still come up with something new and entertaining with all that Star Wars footage you have clogging your collective harddrives. By the by, I'd totally watch this show.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Panel Discussion: Scans From Runaways, Jack of Fables, Thunderbolts and More

Cute OverlooaaAHHHG! - Runaways #8
This panel combines Geekanerd's love of zombies with our lesser-known love of cute stuff. But here's the weirdness...this zombie disease is only supposed to effect those who have had plastic surgery. Are we meant to infer that this lady is so into appearances she got her little "fashion accessory" a face lift too?! Or maybe tail/ear clipping counts...either way, poor puppy. At least he seems to be making the most of his newfound zombie strength by running amok.

Burn of the Week - Mercy Sparx #3
This dude finally gets his own anti-heroic splash panel, and it gets ruined by an off-screen insult. That's all the context you need.

Best Actor - Deadpool, Thunderbolts #130

I never read much Deadpool but Andy Diggle gives his some great meta-banter and artist Bong Dazo (lol) matches the comedy with some fantastic facial expressions...MASKED facial expressions!
Curious wonder! And what's with those little bubbles? Are they sick bubbles, from the smell?

Old school Warner Brothers dread! This is some Wile E. Coyote shit.

And again, WB Cartoon-Style lovesickness! This is a wonderful page...details like his pinky-out grip on his gun and buckling knees make this a classic pose. And he's actually right to react this way- Black Window 2 might look like a generic blonde comic babe, but check out her sexy Russian-accented malaprops! Who can resist?

Most Creative Use of Superpowers - Runaways #8

This manga-tastic issue of Runaways had lots of fun momments, but these two examples of the kids using their powers in simple yet functional ways made the kids all the more easy to identify with. It'd be pretty sweet to have a campfire on your foot whenever you wanted...I'd like to see him try to light a cigarette with it. Don't smoke, kids!

Movie Moment - Mercy Sparx, #3
Here we see Mercy Sparx, Demon extraordinare, re-enacting a pivital scene of Joel Schumacher's popular remake of Birth of a Nation, Falling Down.


Spoilers for Jack of Fables #32 and Runaways #8 below!

Best Use of Repeated Panels - Jack of Fables #32
Direct your attention to the left side of this panel. If you find out a group of girls you've been having casual sex with for the last several years are in fact your half-sisters, that's the makings for a long freakin' bus ride right there.

Best Splash Panel - Runaways #8
You need to click on this for the full effect. As cute and fun as the art is in this book, Takeshi Miyazawa really brings the nightmare on the last page. A giant monster made of zombies...arms and legs sticking out every whichway. Oh god. The more I look at this, the more I feel like I need to go outside and get some fresh air.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Geekanerd Giveaway! Or: The Power of Fan Democracy

Geekanerd is a fabulously professional website, and accordingly we often have big companies showering us with riches. And by riches, I mean highly caffeinated soda. And by us, I mean you, the reader.

The drink in question is Mountain Dew, which recently had a fan vote to see what color their new Dew, Voltage, would be (spoiler alert: it's blue).

This got me thinking about past examples of companies putting the fate of their properties in the consumers hands. There have been fails, and there have been sales. Let's take a look at fan democracy in action....

Marvel vs DC
In this epic cross dimensional war of the mid 90s, fans got to decide the victor of the fights. It was a chance for comic nerds to democratically settle age-old "who would win" debates once and for all.

Or not. Certain results were so unlikley it can only be concluded that fans voted along party lines, and that the Marvel boys had the majority. How else to explain Storm beating Wonder Woman? And we all like Wolverine, but taking down Lobo? The Main Man is an instellar demi-god who's held his own against Superman...Wolvie would be lucky to scratch up his leather jacket.

Verdict: Fail

More tales of fan power after the jump...or just skip to the end for free soda...

ReBoot ReLaunch
What happens when you give fans TOO much power? A curious example of this scenario can be found in the relaunch of ReBoot, which you may fondly remember as a smart and funny Saturday morning CG cartoon from the early 90s. When the property was acquired by Rainmaker Entertainment, the devs gave the show's loyal fans a major stake in how the relaunch would proceed. They posted five ideas for a new ReBoot web comic, each by a separate production team, and let fans decide on which concept and team would get the green light.

The winner was Arrival, which was generally considered by the voters to have a plot that stuck closest to the original series, and brought back all the original characters. But sadly, geek cred doesn't necessarily translate to quality, and the comic was ripped apart by the same people who gave it the green light.

Verdict: Fail

New M&M Color
Oh light brown M&M, we hardly knew thee. In 1995, Mars Inc. in their infinite wisdom decidded to kick their classiest shade of candy shell to the curb, and let consumers vote on the replacement. The winner was blue, America's favorite color, who we now all know and love as the cool M&M who likes to wears sunglasses, just like Poochie. I miss tan.

Verdict: Sale AND Fail

Mr. Payback
The self proclaimed "first interactive movie" was also the last. This 1995 slapstick comedy played only in theaters specially equipped with seatside remotes, which allowed you to pick the main character's decisions for him. Hey, we all loved choose your own adventure books when we were kids, same thing, right?

"NO!" screamed film critics. The mere idea of allowing an audience to steer the course of a film offended anyone who worshiped at the altar of the capital a Auteur. Critics might have given it a bit more of a chance if the film hadn't been a completely horrible piece of early nineties trash, but it bombed bad enough to put off anyone who might have improved on the gimmick.

Verdict: Mega Fail!

Jason Todd
This is the big one. Long before Cap and Superman's "deaths" made headlines, the news was picking up the story of the Boy Wonder's fan-mandated death as proof that comic geeks are not only uncool, but sadistically disturbed. The more subtle truth is that A)The robin who died was a mean little impostor to Dick Grayson's throne, and not the beloved sidekick most of America knows and loves and B)Even then, the vote was very close.

This also happens to be a case in which fans made the right choice: offing Jason addressed the irresponsibility of Batman's decision to train child apprentices, and gave the Dark Knight a new degree of doubt and humility. It also gave us Tim Drake, a smarter, more interesting Robin, and got rid of that Jason brat for a good decade or so. Those were the days.

Verdict: Sale!

So where will Voltage fall in this grand tradition of product/consumer synergy? That's for us to decide. And you can sample Dewmocracy in action on us.

Email us at Tips@GeekanerdBlog.com with a fan vote we missed, or one you think needs to happen. We'll pick the most interesting submission and the folks at Mountain Dew will send them a free case of sweet, sweet, blue caffeine juice. Contest ends Friday, April 5th.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Some Final Frakkin' Thoughts on the Battlestar Finale

I've been meaning to write this for the better part of a week now-surely you all know that Battlestar Galactica ended last friday, right? Well, the 2-hour finale sat on my dvr for almost a week before I got around to watching it. It wasn't a chore; that's not why it sat like so many unwatched episodes of Dollhouse clogging my Tivo's brain. No, I just found it hard to watch the end of one of my favorite series-fearful of the inevitable disappointment.

Well, I've watched it now and have given it the proper time to sit in my head. I think I finally know where I stand. Now, I know a shocking number of people who haven't watched this show yet (certain other unnamed editors of this very site for instance... yes I know, a travesty). As quintessential nerd viewing, you people need to get on board. But, for their benefit, I warn you now: SPOILERS ABOUND. Don't click the jump if you plan on watching the series. Also for their benefit, a brief and vague summation of my feelings about the ending: It left me happy, satisfied, and thoroughly unimpressed... an absolute shame for one of the most challenging and risk-taking series on tv.

For a series that is founded on truly biting social allegory, the ending was shockingly happy. In that one regard, it was a bit refreshing I guess. No one you cared about died (other than the president, whose cancer already made that obvious) and we got to end smiling about all our favorite characters leaving happy. It filled my inner fanboy with glassy-eyed happiness. However, so would a movie about Boba Fett fighting Batman over a gold-bikini-clad Leia. Obviously some desires shouldn't be fulfilled.

As happy as the finale sorta made me, it left me completely unimpressed and surprised at the sheer lack of risks they took. Over the past few years, BSG has boldly tread where very few shows dared; disguised in little more than a thin Sci-Fi veneer. Evil, proselytizing, mono-theistic robots? Sure! Overt analogy to the occupation of Iraq with genocidal cylons standing in for the Americans and the sympathetic humans acting as suicide bombing "insurgents"? Why Not! A torture scene in which the victim begins to derive sexual pleasure from his torment! Hells Yeah! Apart from the lack of lady nipples and the word "fuck" (neatly replaced by "frak"), you'd be hard pressed to find a show this daring on anything other than HBO. I almost imagine they got away with some of this stuff because the Universal execs signing off on it never looked beyond "robots kill humans in space? GREENLIGHT!"

So for a show so used to taking risks and surprising us at every turn, why a lackluster ending? Did you ever stop to think that maybe it's your fault, hmmm? For a show like this, with mysteries lathered over nagging questions, is there anything that would shock us at this point that hadn't already been endlessly debated in some internet forum? Is there really any ending that could surprise? We've had years and years to think about these things (thanks to the agonizingly long breaks between seasons) so of course every possibility has already been covered. Unless they pulled some Grant Morrisson shit and had Ron Moore come down in the end and say, "I'm your Cylon God," there really wasn't much they could do. The concept of Baltar's vision being an angel has been talked about since season 1-so no surprise there when, whaaa? lo and behold she is an angel! Same goes for Starbuck who, once we established the last cylon wasn't her, had to be an angle type thing as well. Earth was pre-historic Earth all along? They've been talking bout that one since the end of the mini-series ages ago.

But despite all that, it started out well enough... great even! The first hour was exciting and had me at the edge of my seat like no other finale has since Deadwood. In fact, there's a moment where it seems like the entire thing might just end in a glorious orgy of violence and misunderstanding... which would actually be a pretty appropriate ending for the series. But then they get out of it ok and end up at Earth. No, not the Earth they already established as Earth... but our Earth. Earth 2 I guess (and not the one with the grey haired superman). APPARENTLY, as hinted above, the whole series took place 150,000 years in the past, and the survivors of the series turn out to be our ancestors on Earth. Cute if a) it hadn't already been a standing theory online for 4 seasons or b) they hadn't decided to use All Along the Watchtower.

Here's a serious snag. When you use a real world artifact in a series set in some obviously fantastic place far from our plane of existence, well, that should have some meaning. So when the final 5 cylons started mumbling the lyrics to All Along the Watchtower-the internet was abuzz with theories about what this could mean. Turns out, the song is just the FTL coordinates for Earth and apparently was written 150,000 years before Bob Dylan was born... I guess that means he was communing with angels when he wrote it?

And on the topic of Earth's ancestors... one last thing that really bugged me: This show has prided itself on portraying this fantastic story with a sense of grim realism. They rarely forget that the fleet is populated by a bunch of scared people who don't know the inner workings of the story like the main players might. Unlike other SciFi and fantasy stories, there isn't a blind allegiance to the main cast. Instead, these scared masses are a constant thorn in the side of our heroes-forcing them to make terrible decisions and shoot people and all sorts of nasty stuff. So forgive me if I don't really buy their sudden willingness to just ditch their ships and technology to live some primitive tribal life screwing cave men (which, yes, is what they implied happened)

Lessee, any other mysteries? Oh yeah, the shared visions of the President, Athena, and Caprica 6 about Hera? When the visions started, the loyalties of all 3 parties were divided and aimed in separate directions. It was a genuinely scary race to save Hera from these potential future threats posed by their "comrades". Turns out, the kid just got lost in the hallway and auntie 6 and uncle Baltar find her. No biggie. See, by the time the vision actually plays out in reality, all 3 parties are so firmly on the same side that there's absolutely no threat!

So, yeah, it may have been a lackluster ending. Its optimism and cheerfulness may directly contradict the messages of season's past. The clever and layered mysteries may have fizzled into nothing. But I'm gonna be honest with you, it still left me kinda on the giddy side. It certainly appealed to most of my baser geek instincts. You just have to come to grips with the fact that, oftentimes, the question is a whole lot more exciting than the answer itself. A series built on mystery is almost doomed to disappoint in the end. It's a problem that Lost is gonna have to seriously address going into its final season. But either way, sometimes it's nice to get exactly what your inner fanboy wants. It could have used a tad more Boba Fett for my liking though.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Apocalypse May Be Sooner Than We Thought... And It Doesn't Even Involve Zombies!

Apparently, according to some space nerds, the apocalypse may be looming ever closer... and it has nothing to do with Zombies! We here at Geekanerd are all about fear-mongering when it comes to the accursed undead (or the Watchmocalypse). But there is an even greater menace. The Sun itself. And not for the obvious reasons; primarily the danger it poses to our pale, geeky flesh. No. Apparently a massive solar storm is destined to inundate our planet with cosmic rays or something... and I don't think we'll come out the other side all stretchy or invisible. Instead it could shut down our entire power grid. So this wouldn't even be a cool apocalypse-just the agonizingly boring slow decay of civilization without any power. On the upside, if we time our apocalypses juuust right, this could come just in time to shut down our robot overlords as they attempt to rebel and enslave humanity.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Notes On Black Freighter and Under The Hood

The Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter came out Tuesday on DVD and Blu-Ray, so we Geekanerd HQ held a late night screening. We watched everything on the disc, most notably the film adaptations of the Black Freighter pirate comic and a fake documentary based on the prose passages at the end of each chapter of the Watchmen graphic noel. AKA, the stuff that n00bs don't even read.

Even though this disc is being billed as "BLACK FREIGHTER! feat. Under the Hood" I was way more impressed with Under the Hood than the 'toon. Here's why:

Matt Frewer As Moloch
I am ashamed I didn't recognize Matt Frewer right away, since the man has so much Geek Cred: he's Max Headroom for godsake. He's great in the movie as Moloch, an ex-villain who's keeps pace with Dan Drieberg when it comes to being sad and washed up. Even with those silly ears, he gives what might be the most subtle and real performances in the film. So it's awesome to see him show up for a sit-down interview with the crew of Under The Hood. My favorite part on the whole disc occurs when he, in a completely non-book piece of dialogue, explains that he got out of the villain biz because once Doctor Manhattan came on the scene, he was afraid of the severity of what villains would have to do to compete. This sad observation is a piece of foreshadowing that I think Moore might have approved. Well, probably not. I approve, though.

Production Design

Under The Hood is fashioned after a 70s news magazine program, so there's lots of file photos and old footage of heroes from various eras.

Dollar Bill posing next to a revolving door....IRONY!

Poor, poor Mothman.

Silk Spectre glamor shots. You can tell this is in the past, because she's smoking, which is now against the law in photographs.

Silk Spectre on the plane that bombed Hiroshima. Symbolism!

Bernard the Newspaper Guy
From the first time he came on screen I was thinking, SAY IT....and he did. "Inna final analysis!". The collection of minor characters centered around the newsstand are one of my favorite things about the Watchmen, and it was unfortunate that they couldn't be incorporated in the movie. So it's fun to see Bernie actually get to do a little pontificating on camera. The only downside is they give him some pretty cheesy lines, at one point basically restating the Comedian's groaner of a line about how awful it would have been if America had lost in Vietnam. Hey, dramatic irony. I see what you did there.

Jupiter Family Snapshots
This is hilarious, and perfectly sums up this unfortunate mother-daughter relationship.

Over all, Under The Hood is just as good as all the awesome viral material that was released in the run-up to the film. Sure, there's some silly dialogue, a few performances by actors who were clearly cast only for their resemblance to Dave Gibbons drawings, but over all, it feels like a very high quality fan video that a bunch of die-hards put together out of love for their favorite comic. That's actually pretty much how I feel about the Watchmen film in it's entirety. But Under The Hood is shorter, and that's always a good quality in fanvids.

PS: Oh yeah, Black Freighter. Kinda looked like it was animated on Flash, though it wasn't. Must be the digital coloring. The weirdest thing is that unlike the panel-for-panel accuracy of the film, the look of Black Freighter is totally different than the book - no crazy Dave Gibbon colors, instead it looks like they just picked one of those ready-made Photoshop palettes and called it a day. Why did they venture away from the look of the book only to make it LESS visually interesting? Strange decision. Also the sharks during the shark look kind of cute. The animated gore is positively tame compared to the snuff-fest of the rest of the film. Still worth watching for the story itself, solid-to-impressive voice acting, and Nina Simone singing Pirate Jenny over the credits, which is much more chilling than anything that precedes it.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Real Life Thai Spiderman Saves Some Kid!

The Spiderman is real, and he's Thai. (is that too vague a watchmen reference?) Anyhow, apparently some brave Thai fireman dressed up as spiderman to rescue an autistic 8 year old who had crawled out onto a ledge. The boy's mother had tipped off the fireman that the kid was really into comic books and superheroes, and that prompted Somchai Yoosabai to rush back to the station and get his spiderman costume; which he apparently reserves for the most awesome fire drills. Short story shorter, the kid practically leapt into Spiderman's arms. Who could blame him, I'd die of joy if Spiderman came crawling up my building bringing me a juice box! Also, I'm just happy there are still kids under the age of 24 who are into comics. Only in Thailand.

My First Tabletop or: Firefly's Second Demise

Back in January a friend who had just come back into the country asked me if I'd like to join a Serenity/Firefly based tabletop RPG that he and his friend were starting up. Now, my experience with role playing games is limited to one summer in Middle School when at a summer camp I had a Vampire the Masquerade "class," which consisted of teaching the group of kids how to play an rpg and then trying, completely unsuccessfully, to run a game (what can you expect from a bunch of Middle School idiots who've never played an rpg before though?) So what I had was a basic understanding that you were allotted points and had to fill in little bubbles or numbers to indicate how powerful you were. Also that there were, at some point, dice involved.

So when I was asked if I wanted to join up, I figured why not. Two of my friends were going to be playing and it might be fun. Got an email with all the relevant info/sheets/rules etc that we needed and created a character. The classes worked a bit differently and we had the main necessary guys in our party, so I decided to play a "socialite" and just be a rich, generally douche-y guy for fun. I figured character and role playing were pretty important to an rpg, so I thought it would be fun to have a jerk that people wouldn't like. I also ended up putting points in skills that would probably be of no use to me in a game about space, like fencing. Because socialites have a lot of useless skills that don't help anyone and generally make people hate them even more.

When we all finally sat down for the first session, I was a little nervous since I still wasn't totally sure how to "play," but everyone assured me it would go fine. The GM sets the scene, we're all in a seedy bar/casino parked on a small planet with our own separate agendas, "Go for it," she says. (Yeah a lady GM, girls play too). My friend looks at me and says "I'm standing in a corner pumping coins into a slot machine." I look at him, and say "...what?" I have no idea what the hell is going on, or even who he is. I managed to forget my entire backstory that involves his character and why I'm even there. I tell everyone to hold on a sec and have to ask my friend his character's name. Then I have to look over my backstory sheet to try and figure out what I'm supposed to do. The game is off to a fabulous start!

The rest of the session went better as I started to get more comfortable with the role playing and just going with the flow. We finished up, and I felt better about the whole thing. "Yeah, that was fun, I think I can do this," I said to myself. And then the inevitable happened: the whole thing started to fall apart.

As you know, getting 6 people over college age together weekly can be nigh impossible. Someone always has to work or has a girlfriend or has a party or has ANOTHER rpg they play that day. This is why rpgs are strongest in the middle school/high school crowd. Everyone is on the same schedule. Then college you still have workarounds, but when you have a job and you're living in the city where you can't just drive over to someone's place in 5 minutes, it's a different story. The next session one of our group couldn't make it. We had two muscle characters, so we were alright with just one. We make it through quite a bit, and we do alright for ourselves, even if things go slower because we're down a man.

When we set up for the next meeting, another one of our group has some bad news: she can't make it because she's moved...upstate. So there goes our other fighting character. The guy who couldn't meet last time shows up again, but since he was out last week, we have to locate him in the prison (yeah did I mention we're stuck in a huge prison full of armed guards and violent prisoners?) So the three of us left; a socialite, an engineer, and a pilot with no sense of smell, one leg and basically zero ability to fight or shoot a weapon, battle our way through a prison break and have to fight a bunch of guys ourselves. This of course takes very many rolls as only two of us can use weapons in any effective way, and one of us (not me) continually manages to botch half of the rolls he makes to shoot.

So we finish our session. It's a little annoying to get through, but we make it and there's four of us in the party now. That's enough to keep playing. The next session, two more friends of the gm show up to play, and it looks like we might actually have enough people to make this a fun game. The session goes alright, if not a little rocky with two totally new guys who need to be integrated into the party through story time.

What the hell have I gotten myself into?

So we plan the next session, and no one can come. One of our original guys has moved to Guatemala for a few months. Another just can't make it, at all. It's too far or he has another game to play or he has work the next morning or whatever, so he's out for good. One guy never responds to any emails, and another has classes or papers when we want to play. The trying to put the game back together phase lasts about 2 weeks or so until it's obvious it isn't going anywhere and our game, like it's namesake, has been cancelled before the season's end.

So my first real rpg experience lasted 4 sessions, never with the same group twice. Not the greatest way to try and get into it. I have my doubts as to the feasibility of actually running games outside of school. People are just too busy, and when you live in NY and have to take the subway, getting home late can be a real pain. I am not put off however. Although I am out of the city until summer on business, I'm planning to try and get a new group together to play a new game that I am going to try and GM. Sure, it will probably be a disaster and end in shouts and tears, but for the sake of the geeky teenager still inside, it's worth a shot.

Any good tabletop stories you guys have? I know this is probably nothing compared to the tales some well seasoned rpgers could tell.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Five Things I Learned About Playstation Home

There's been a lot of to-do about Playstation Home these days, and exactly how many PS3ers are actually logging on to Playstation's attempt to merge the narcissistic thrill of creating a Mii with the empowerment fantasy of Warcraft with the creepy consumerism of Second Life. Five million have joined, but does anybody actually hang out?

I decided to overcome my crippling fear of anything resembling Second Life and check out P3's digital realm from corner to corner. Here are the five most interesting things I learned.

5. Someone Had a Lot of Fun Turning Resident Evil 5 Into Universal Studios

When you log into Resident Evil 5 World, not only do you get to take your Home avatar on a sightseeing tour of the first level, you get to pretend you're on on the game's  actual"set", complete with director's chairs, lights, scaffolding, and gigantic green screens.  Artificial artiface....we media studies nerds love this crap.
This is an awesome idea.  I wish they would take it even further, with zombie extras walking around half in costume, drinking coffee and eating off of craft service tables.  What if they had a NPC Chris Redfield walking around, out of character, and you could line up and take your picture with him?  Also there should be a snack stand.  Basically, I just really like Universal Studios, and I would like to see it pulled even further in that direction.  Some sort of water rollercoaster would also be cool.

4. Lots of People Use This Thing as a Dating Sim

I saw so many people on avatar-dates. It's scary how easily people can transfer stereoyptical social interaction, like hanging out at a mall, into a virtual setting. In the main plaza of home, there's a movie theater you can enter to watch trailers for terrible movies, like Knowing. While looking around the theater, I saw a boy and a girl sitting down in seats, watching the trailers, and chatting to each other about their feelings and stuff. I also saw another couple seemingly in a fight, perhaps on the verge of breaking up.  The guy was apologizing a lot, I'll say that much.  

It's all well and good to date a computer character, but my question is; why would you conduct your internet relationship in a public place, where any 12 year old nerd can interrupt your deep emotional conversation by humping your leg or breakdancing in the six inches of space between you and your sweetie? I guess what I'm saying is, get a room, people.

3. Red Bull Land Has A Terrorist Training Program!

The Red Bull world is a nice place - it's a beautiful sunlit island with a boardwalk surrounding a lovely white beach that you can't actually walk on.  You can also rent a Red Bull glider and race the pros around this tropical paradise. Or if competition isn't your thing, you can veer off the course and crash you plane into the public square in a magnificent fireball, over, and over, and over again. Surely I am not the only person who thought to do this.

2. There Are Way Too Many Options For Character Creation

I am something of an artiste when it comes to creating avatars. All my friends come to me to design their Miis, or their Rock Band characters, or their Xbox Guys, or whathaveyou. But the character creator in Home is freaking out of control. You can basically make a near photo-realistic CG model of yourself, if you feel like spending 45 minutes to do so. And once you do, what then? Do you really want to see a scarily accurate version of yourself running around the uncanny valley, bumping into walls and getting leg-humped by people wearing street fighter costumes? I certainly don't. Besides, gamers have enough trouble drawing the line between the real and unreal. This is going to make people jump out some windows.

1. Home Is A Soulless Dystopia

What does one's life consist of in Home? Looking at placid bodies of water, staring up at towering white architecture plastered with ads, buying things for your apartment, and having short conversations with other CG people, and trying not to stare too hard into their cold, lifeless eyes.

So that's my impression of Home. Some hits, some misses. The level of tolerability of any online community usually depends on the median IQ of the people who inhabit it, and the people I saw on Home struck me as surprisingly polite (saw almost no griefers or heavily censored text balloons) and not too set on making waves, adding to the overall dystopian effect. There is definitely a lot of room for home to become much more interesting and much more creepy, and I don't doubt it will get there. Just don't get hooked by buying pretend yuppie furniture and clothes with real money. You will be tempted. Resist.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Imperial March on the Tesla Coil... with Iron Man!

Who'da thunk that science and geekdom would get along so well? This guy looks like the unfortunate love child of Tony Stark and Emperor Palpatine... and we're all the better for it. Enjoy!

Friday, March 13, 2009

ITEM! Obama Makes British Prime Minister Watch Star Wars

So about a week ago, the Prime Minister Gordon Brown came to the White House to talk to Obama about, I don't know, the economy, probably? The details of their meeting do not concern us, but what does, is the contents of the world-leadery gifts they exchanged.

Brown gave Obama some a pencil holder made out of a Historically Important Boat, while Obama gave Brown a "specially ordered" AFI 25 Greatest American Movie DVD Set.

Okay, now before we all start hemming and hawing about how incredibly lame it is to give someone a freakin' DVD in this day and age, bare with me. The important thing about this gift is the movies that were included in the set, according to the Daily Mail (verifiable accuracy not included):

Please note #13 on the list...little movie called STAR WARS: EPISODE IV - A NEW HOPE.

THAT'S why Obama didn't give him the movies on Blu-ray! This whole "25 DVD Set" is just the first step in a plan to make all the world leaders watch Star Wars, which as we all know, is not currently available on Blu-ray.

I think basically Obama must be a closet Star Wars fan (he was fifteen when New Hope came out, nuff said?), and is surreptitiously trying to get all the other world leaders to watch the movies again so he has someone to talk about them with (his kids are probably into like Twilight or something).

How I think Gordon and Obama's next meeting might go, after the jump...

Just one question remains...was it the Special Edition?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Panel Discussion: Scans from Daredevil, Secret Six, Locke and Key, And More!

The Magic of Comics - Daredevil

Its been a long time since I've stumbled across an image this striking in a comic. The simplicity and economy of design on this page tells more of a story than the words... and that's comic book art at its best. This is a beautiful and simple way to sum up Kingpin's life as a supervillain in New York. My particular favorite is the subtle Bullseye within Daredevil... and notice he's holding Elektra's sai. They really jammed alot of history in a single, beautiful image.

Movie Moment - Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1
Oh. Man. It's a fargate!

PS: I feel kind of bad that the only panel that I pulled from this fun and awesome issue by one of my favorite indie writers (Jonathan Hickman!) is just an excuse to make a stupid Aqua Teen Hunger Force joke. But honestly; why are people still making interdimentional portals look like Stargate? Have we reached the limits of our collective imagination when it comes to giant sci-fi gates?

The Magic of Comics Part Deux - Locke and Key: Headgames #3

This book never ceases to amaze. Here's an awesome (and rather hot) use of the repeated panel-a comic classic! In this case, bringing us from the realm of daydreamed fantasy to embarrassing reality. Notice her smile turns into a frown in the second panel. Classic!

Banana Randomizer Award for Achievement in WTF - Secret Six #7

Its easy to forget in a cloud of d-list super villains that Bane is as A-list as they come... he literally broke the Batman... very few villains in the DCU have street cred like that. Its nice to be reminded of that sometimes. But that's not what's crazy about this page-its Bane's venom fueled vision of the world that's nutty-go-crazy. Apparently when he's all juiced up, he sees the world as a series of twisted Batmen. Somebody's got some serious bat issues. Heh, be sure to look closely and check out the Ragdoll batman!

Most Hardcore Move - Terror Titans #6

So Clock King doesn't want to get to close to Ravager, cause his pre-cog skills don't work in close combat. So he throws these little saw-blade ball thingies at her, which for some reason she doesn't have time to dodge. So she just reaches out and CRUSHES them with her hands! KRAK! SMASH! That's some Wolverine shit right there, minus the sissy healing factor.

Clearest Example of Batman's Insanity - Gotham Gazette #1

If you can't see a lady in person, but still want to make an impression, what's a gentleman to do? Nothing says "refined elegance" like rigging suspending a champagne bottle from the ceiling and rigging the cork with a miniature explosive device so the cork explodes off when she gets home! JESUS CHRIST, BRUCE! Even from beyond the grave you embarrass us all with your horribly cold and twisted ideas of intimacy.

Best Line of the Week - Secret Six #7

It's great when comic characters are able to see beyond the absurdity of their situation and just speak bluntly for a change. Sometimes it takes no name D-list villains to get us there (is the Electorcutioner or something like that? Anyone?) The broken jawed mumblings of the shark dude are funny enough, but its the electric dope's blunt "screw this, I need a hospital" that takes the cake this week. Understandably, you'd be pretty fed up with all the convoluted BS going on in this scene too... he's the voice of the everyman-or at least, every man with shattered ribs and 3rd degree burns... I don't know what goes down in a super villain fight but I'm sure it hurts like a mofo.

Beatdown of the Week - Daredevil

David Aja has quickly climbed to the top of Geekanerd's fave artist list with his offering this week in Daredevil. As far as visual storytelling goes, this issue is top notch. You could erase every word bubble and narration box and completely understand what's going on. And the icing on this brilliant cake? A giant monster fat man fighting 3 dozen ninja! What more could you ask for in a single comic? Not only is the action dynamic and exciting, but Aja punctuates it with stark black, white, and red panels of weapons and blood-you can practically feel each strike. I love the black and white rising sun effect as the ninja nails Kingpin in the back. And to end it, the massive Kingpin is beautifully brought to his knees with katanas jutting from his back in a series of 5 panels. This is comic book fighting at its finest. Well done Mr. Aja.

Slashiest Exchange - Terror Titans #6
JUST KISS ALREADY! Actually, there's not much in the dialouge to suggest any slashiness, so don't even bother reading it. But let's just say I happen to know, FOR REASONS WHICH ARE TOO NUMEROUS AND CONVOLUTED TO EXPLAIN, that on the internet there exists a bizzare amount of of Rose/M'gann fic, so this exchange just sort of ping'd that on my radar screen. I'm just. Saying.