Archive for September, 2009

30
Sep
09

The 2009 Evertime Realms Halloween Party!

Last years Halloween costume. This year? Wait and see...

Last year's Halloween costume. This year? Wait and see...

Hey, friends! I know the postings have been sparse the last few days, and since my new hard drive isn’t coming in until the weekend, it may still be sparse for a little while. But I’m not going to let that stop me from bringing you my patented brand of seasonal celebration! Tomorrow is October 1, and that means it’s time for the 2009 Evertime Realms Halloween Party!

Last year, in the party, I brought you guys a ton of content — movie reviews, comic book reviews, book reviews, an original novella set in the world of my novel Other People’s Heroes, and the Third Annual Showcase Halloween Movie Marathon. It was a grand old time, friends, and you can go back and read all of those features any time using the categories or tags on the side of the page, or the search function at the top.

This year may not be quite as full. The play Heather and I are directing is opening on Oct. 16 and running for two weekends, which will take a lot of time, but I’ve got a lot of stuff set up already. This year in the party you can expect to see this kind of things:

  • Reviews of assorted creepy movies including (but not limited to) Severance, Murder Party, and Return of the Living Dead Part 3.
  • Novel reviews featuring Drood and The Monstrumologist.
  • No less than three Halloween-themed Toy Story articles.
  • Halloween-themed installments of my Everything But Imaginary column and the 2 in 1 Showcase Podcast!
  • Reviews of every Halloween comic I can find, plus the continuing focus on Blackest Night.
  • The Fourth Annual Showcase Halloween Movie Marathon, this year featuring the classic Universal Pictures Frankenstein franchise! This year, the marathon will be a two-for-one feature! You’ll be able to listen to the podcast version, read the blog version, or both!
  • And we’re going to cap off the month with the launch of my new audio fiction-focused podcast, Blake M. Petit’s Evercast. The podcast will launch on the last Monday in October with a new Halloween short story, “It’s Time to Play the Music.” And don’t worry, if you’re not the sort who listens to audio fiction, the story will also appear in text here at the ‘Realms.

Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? And it all kicks off tomorrow with my first movie review. So tell your friends, spread the word, and I’ll see you back here tomorrow. Have a creepy October!

28
Sep
09

Upheaval

Things have kind of been in a state of upheaval for me lately, both personally and professionally, so I thought today I’d just give you a quick rundown of what’s what.

The professional stuff first. If you haven’t heard already, last weekend’s episode of the 2 in 1 Showcase will be the last for my co-host, Chase. Some personal stuff is taking over his life these days, and he has to pull back from the show. We’re gonna miss him, we wish him luck, and we’re keeping the microphone warm if he ever manages to come back. In the meantime, I’ve talked to Mike “Techno-Dunce” Bellamy and Emergency Backup Geek Kenny Fanguy about increasing their presence on the show, because let’s face it, you don’t want to listen to me ramble about comic books for an hour solo. It’s much better when you’ve got someone to talk to.

Personally, my computer has been a real mess. Following the well-documented epic battle with the virus last week, I’ve come to the conclusion that I either need a new hard drive, more RAM, or an entire new computer. The first one is the most likely at the moment (and is significantly cheaper than option three), so I’m hoping to get that taken care of ASAP.

Third, the people have spoken, and my next podcast novel, beginning in January, will be the superhero yarn Cross-Purposes. The book needs a bit of editing before I can start recording, but that’s the reason I started working on this so early. The podcast, however, will launch the last Monday in October with a new Halloween-themed short story, “It’s Time to Play the Music.” Stay tuned. Hope you dig it.

27
Sep
09

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 138: Age of Apocalypse

Because you demanded it! People have long asked us to do an episode delving into the classic X-Men storyline, The Age of Apocalypse, and we at the showcase aim to please! This week, Blake and Chase talk about the overall storyline, our favorites of the individual issues, and which elements from the Age of Apocalypse managed to transcend “alternate reality” status and become part of the regular X-Men lore. In the picks, Blake loved the first issue of Ender’s Game: Command School, while Chase gives us the graphic novel pick, Saga of the Swamp Thing Book One. Contact us with comments, suggestions, “Ask Chase Anything” questions, or anything else at Showcase@comixtreme.com!

2 in1 Showcase Episode 138: Age of Apocalypse
Inside This Episode:

26
Sep
09

What I’m Reading: Blackest Night-Superman #2

The Blackest Night rolls on, with aBlackest Night: Superman #2n attack on Smallville. Superman and Superboy are facing off the Black Lantern Superman of Earth-2, while his undead wife Lois holds Martha Kent hostage. On New Krypton, Supergirl finds her own father has been transformed by the Black Lanterns into a ruthless monster.

Oh, and it gets better. What do Black Lanterns feed on? Why, emotions, of course. And name one dead character who is the master of emotion? That’s right — in addition to the undead members of the Superman family, the Black Lantern Psycho Pirate is turning Smallville into Hell on Earth.

James Robinson is nailing it with this book. High action, incredible characters, and one of the best battle scenes we’ve yet seen in the midst of the Blackest Night. Throwing Psycho Pirate into the mix was a stroke of genius. They can take what he already does best and turn it into a weapon that really makes a difference in these circumstances. The last few pages had me absolutely giddy — the depiction of Martha Kent in the pages of this book is perhaps the best she’s ever been. As for the artwork… my buddy Mark from Comixtreme.com said it simply and perfectly. Eddy Barrows needs to be on a Superman comic book. Now.

Rating: 10/10

24
Sep
09

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 137: Greg Rucka and Whiteout

A few days late, thanks to Blake’s epic battle with the Computer Virus of Doom, but the Showcase is back! This week, Blake and Chase chat about the work of writer Greg Rucka, whose series Whiteout has hit the big screen. From his early work at Oni Press to works at DC and Marvel, including epic runs with the Batman family, the guys delve into all things Rucka! In the picks this week, Blake is all over G-Man: Learning to Fly, and Chase goes with Guardians of the Galaxy #17. Contact us with comments, suggestions, “Ask Chase Anything” questions, or anything else at Showcase@comixtreme.com.

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 137: Greg Rucka and Whiteout
Inside This Episode:

23
Sep
09

Blake’s Universal Rule of the Universe #59

59. If at any point in your day, you turn to a complete stranger and say, “You’re not a cop, are you?”, the time has come to re-evaluate your life choices.

Read the rest of Blake’s Universal Rules of the Universe right here!

21
Sep
09

I’m back — kinda

Good news, folks. After much struggling with the computer and a full reformatting of the hard drive, I seem to be back online. Fortunately, my documents, photos, and music were all saved on my external drive, so I haven’t lost anything, but it’s going to be a pain in the you-know-what to get everything reinstalled and up and running at full speed again.

20
Sep
09

Where’s the podcast?

I know you’re looking for 2 in 1 Showcase tonight friends. I’d love to give it to you. But I’m having near-catastrophic computer problems tonight, and while I have a team of top technicians from the finest technical institutes in the world working on the problem (i.e., my buddy Mark trying to solve it via IM), I’ve been unable to get the show edited and online. I’m trying my best, and I’ll get it online ASAP.

19
Sep
09

What I’m Reading: Flashforward

FlashFowardIf you’ve been watching ABC at all lately, you likely have seen ads for a new show called Flashforward. It seems, in the first episode, the entire human race blacks out for about two minutes, during which time everybody on Earth has a premonition of the future. It’s an interesting premise, and from what I understand the show will be the sort of long-form science fiction series I particularly enjoy — shows like Lost being the obvious example. Although I don’t want to get sucked into the show before it begins, only to be disappointed, I have to admit this is certainly the new show for the 2009 fall season that I’m most anticipating.

Then, earlier this week, I was told that the show is in fact based on a 1999 novel by Robert J. Sawyer. Intrigued, I decided I wanted to read the book before the premiere of the TV show, but how? What with the play and my class and school, I didn’t have any time to make a bookstore run.

Oh, I love owning a Kindle.

I downloaded the book and read through it in a couple of days. The tale mostly follows a group of scientists working on an experiment with a supercollider that apparently causes the entire human race to experience a flashforward of events 21 years in the future. Some people are overjoyed at their visions, others depressed that their dreams are unfulfilled so far in the future. Still more experience bizarre dreams, assuming themselves to be asleep at that point in time, and others experience nothing at all — a chilling indication that their lives will end before the point of the flashforward. One of the scientists, Lloyd Simcoe, is forced to face the fact that his present fiance does not appear to factor into his future life. His partner, Theo, not only experienced no vision of his own, but begins receiving messages from people whose own visions included information about Theo’s murder. As the world reacts to the visions, Lloyd finds his belief that the future is immutable is beginning to shatter his relationship and Theo becomes obsessed with solving his own murder, a crime that won’t happen for another two decades.

This is a really strong book, although I have to say I like it more for the ideas presented than the story itself. sawyer really brings some incredible ideas to the table. Is the future set in stone? If you knew your current relationship wasn’t going to last, would you end it even though everything is great now?  What if, by attempting to prevent your own death, every thing you did instead caused you to march inexorably towards that very point? There’s amazing story potential in every one of those questions, and Sawyer plays with all of them.

The story structure, however, is a little weak. Lloyd, ostensibly the protagonist, doesn’t really factor into the climax at all, instead spinning off into a minor subplot. One of the major questions (is the future immutable) is answered relatively early, taking away some of the dramatic punch at the end.

Despite that weakness at the ending, though, I found I enjoyed this book a lot. If you’re interested in reading it before the TV show comes on the air (don’t worry about spoilers, it seems clear that outside of the basic premise the show will bear almost no resemblance to the book), you’ve got until Thursday. I think it’s worth it.

18
Sep
09

What I’m Reading: Blackest Night #3

Blackest Night #3As members of the Justice League begin to assemble to battle the threat of the Black Lanterns, an entire League of the Dead sets their sights on the living. In the heat of the battle,the mysterious Indigo Tribe makes its appearance, lays out the history of the Light, and sets up Hal Jordan to make a choice that could decide the fate of the universe.

I realize I sound like I’m gushing over this title whenever I review an issue, but that’s for good reason. There are more moments of pure awesome in each issue of this than in the last three years worth of “event” comics from the Big Two put together. Geoff Johns has pulled out all the stops, nailing us with information, big moments, and real raw emotion. Jason Rusch — the current Firestorm — faces off with Ronnie Raymond, the original. Fans of either version of the character need to read this book — it’s some of the best storytelling in comics. The revelations of the Indigo Tribe are great, confirming a few suspicions I’ve had and raising other questions in its own right. Hal and Barry, practically the co-leads of this series, have an excellent heart-to-heart that really nails who the characters are, and the Atom finds an unlikely but highly fitting ally.

What’s more, this book really has a Justice League feel to it, doesn’t matter that more than half the heroes represented here aren’t currently members of the team. Great superhero teams are about more than whose membership card is up to date, it’s about who answers the call when everything hits the fan. The dynamics here are wonderful, and although I’m very much looking forward to James Robinson taking over Justice League of America, this book really makes me hope that Johns gets a crack at that title someday, preferably with Hal and Barry both on the roster.

Art? You want awesome art? Ivan Reis is nailing it, has nailed it for three issues in a row, and hasn’t missed a ship date. This is so much more important than it seems, but how many big books lately have either been tremendously delayed or put together by a tag-team of pencilers and inkers?

Blackest Night has been absolutely everything I hoped it would be. Keep ’em coming guys. I’m waiting.

Rating: 10/10




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