Archive for September, 2012

30
Sep
12

2 in 1 Showcase at the Movies Episode 32: Looper

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Bruce Willis in the new sci-fi crime drama Looper! This week the Showcase boys give their on-the-spot review of the film. In the picks, Blake takes DC’s Sword of Sorcery #0. Don’t forget to e-mail us your top ten favorite movie monsters for our Halloween episode! Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@CXPulp.com!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

At the Movies Episode 32: Looper

 

26
Sep
12

Everything But Imaginary #462: Six Comic Characters Who’d Make Good Replacement Replacement Refs

Fans of televised comedy, over the past few weeks, have found themselves in something of a golden age. There is a new troupe of clowns on TV that are goofier than the Marx Brothers, less logical than the Kids in the Hall, and more chaotic than Monty Python at their peak. You know them as the NFL Replacement Referees. But things are getting tense and something needs to be done. So this week, I suggest six comic characters who’d e better than the zebras we’ve got wandering around aimlessly right now.

Everything But Imaginary #462: Six Comic Characters Who’d Make Good Replacement Replacement Refs

24
Sep
12

Who are your favorite movie monsters?

 

The next Showcase Top Ten will be deep in October, gang, so we decided to get all Halloweeny-on your butts. Tell us your favorite movie monsters!

And the fun of it is, YOU get to define monster. Is a serial killer a monster? A ghost? A guy in a rubber suit? An adorable Muppet? It’s up to you, friends. Just a couple of ground rules:

You’re voting for the monster, not the movie. If you say “I’m voting for Freddy Krueger in Nightmares 1, 3, 4, and 7, but not 2, 5, and 6,” I’m going to stop reading and just chalk up a single vote for Fred.

Similarly, don’t vote for the same monster twice on one list. (I know that seems like common sense, but you would be surprised at a couple of the lists I’ve gotten for previous episodes…) You can count two members of the same species or line as two different monsters, though.

Like we did with the Villain top ten, you can cast a group vote for a kind of monster if they usually do their thing as a horde and not individuals (such as zombies, the Borg, the Jurassic Park raptors, etc.)

And this time it’s MOVIES ONLY. No comic book, TV or video game monsters unless they have also appeared on the silver screen. (Direct-to-video movies count.)

Okay, gang. Get your top ten list in early! Send ’em to Showcase@cxpulp.com!

 

23
Sep
12

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 273: Superman Vs. the Elite-The Commentary

Blake and Kenny sit down this week to give their thoughts on the DC Animated film Superman Vs. the Elite! The guys talk about the movie, the comics that spawned it, and discuss DC’s next film, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part One. Plus, a special bonus for the ladies out there — the heavy, sensual breathing of Kenny “The Fan Guy” Fanguy. (Sorry to everyone else, we’ll try to make sure those microphones are a more respectable distance from our noses next time.) In the picks, Blake takes Batman #0. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@CXPulp.com!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

Episode 273: Superman Vs. the Elite-The Commentary

19
Sep
12

Everything But Imaginary #461: An Old Trick Finds New Life

In the 90s the comic book publishers of America found a new trick: gimmick covers! Holograms! Pop-ups! Colorforms! Bulletholes! If they could add some stunt to a cover and charge more, they would. And saints preserve us, it may be happening again…

Everything But Imaginary #461: An Old Trick Finds New Life

18
Sep
12

Announcing… The Obligatory Everything But Imaginary!

Well guys, it’s been about twelve minutes since I launched a new product, so it’s time, wouldn’t you say?

I’ve been reading comic books since about 1985 or so. Since 2003, I’ve been writing about them over at CXPulp.com and various other places all over the internet. And now, because absolutely nobody is demanding it, I’m presenting my new series of collected features from the corners of the web, The Obligatory Everything But Imaginary.

The idea is simple: every couple of months, I’m going to gather up five or six columns, essays or reviews from my somewhat vast archives that fit a chosen theme. I’ll do a little bit of editing, add some footnotes to give them necessary context and to inject a little additional commentary, and then put them in the e-book stores of the internet. The question, of course, was what to call this not-at-all-new series of columns. Taking a page from the great Bill Watterson, who chose the title The Essential Calvin and Hobbes for a book that collected two previously published books of comic strips which themselves had previously been published in newspapers (and was therefore not even remotely essential), I decided The Obligatory Everything But Imaginary had a nice ring to it.

Today I present the OEBI Vol. 1: A Revolving Door in Heaven. As the solicit text I wrote states:

When a superhero dies, nobody thinks they’ll stay dead. When a superhero kills, everybody gets up in arms. When someone close to a superhero bites the bullet, no one knows what to think. A REVOLVING DOOR IN HEAVEN is a series of handy essays about the phenomenon of death (and life) in mainstream American comic books.

The Obligatory EBI is not a money-making proposition for me, it’s a name recognition thing, so I’m offering the volumes as cheap as I possibly can. In the Smashwords.com store, where you can get it in any format for whatever e-reader you happen to have, it’s a whopping zero cents. That’s right, absolutely free. In the Amazon store, you can’t set a book for free unless you meet some very specific criteria involving where the book appears digitally and exclusivity and sacrificing a Peruvian tree frog at midnight on the winter solstice… long story short, this book isn’t eligible. So I’ve set it at the lowest price Amazon will allow, 99 cents. But fingers crossed, Amazon will notice it’s free elsewhere and price-match… they do that sometimes.

Anyway, however you want to get it, the book is available now. Check it out, tell your comic-lovin’ friends, and feel free to suggest topics for future volumes!

A Revolving Door in Heaven at Amazon.com
A Revolving Door in Heaven at Smashwords.com

16
Sep
12

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 272: The Ultimate Top Ten Time Travel Stories

In the newest Showcase Top Ten, Blake and Kenny go through the greatest time travel stories of all time. The guys present their lists, read comments from you, and announce the final winners! In the picks, Kenny goes with Green Lantern Corps #0 and Blake takes Archer and Armstrong #2 Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@CXPulp.com!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

Episode 272: The Ultimate Top Ten Time Travel Stories

09
Sep
12

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 271: New to Who

We’re back! After an unexpected hiatus, Blake and Erin return to the Showcase with an all-new episode. Erin talks about her new indoctrination into the Doctor Who fandom, we discuss the new Allan Heinberg Wonder Woman and Joss Whedon SHIELD TV projects, chat a bit about Marvel Now! and the new Justice League of America, and share ideas for who should star in a female version of The Expendables. In the picks, Blake doubles up with Green Lantern #0 and New Crusaders #1. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@CXPulp.com!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

Episode 271: New to Who

07
Sep
12

Why I’m Excited for the iPhone 5

Although I’m writing this before the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT, the world is pretty much in agreement that the September 12 press conference by the Apple People will be the announcement of a new, shiny, fifth (or sixth, depending on if you can count or not) generation of its lauded iPhone. It’s gonna be bigger, flashier, faster, and as someone who has had a pretty crappy cell phone (THE SAMSUNG INTENSITY II — I AM SAYING THIS IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS SO THAT SEARCH ENGINES WILL KNOW HOW BADLY THIS DEVICE SUCKS) for a couple of years now, I’m really excited about this announcement.

Because, friends, once that iPhone 5 is available, I’m hoping I can grab an iPhone 4s for a decent price.

Granted, we don’t know anything official about the iPhone 5 specifications yet (plenty of rumors, but nothing official), but if there’s one thing we can pretty much be certain of, it’s that it will instantly be the most expensive phone on the market and a legion of Gotta-Have-It Apple lovers will be lining up outside the stores even as the announcement is made, probably watching it on their iPads. I really don’t have any problem with Apple products — I’ve owned an iPod for years, I use iTunes regularly and I recognize the superiority of Apple computers for things like graphics and video editing — but aside from people who do graphics or video as their career, I’ve never understood those for whom Apple is a lifestyle choice.

I definitely want to finally upgrade to a smartphone. Last week’s soul-crushing media blackout following Hurricane Isaac drove that idea home more than ever — it was killing me to spend days without checking my e-mail (or… y’know… reading Bug online). But do I need to spend six hundred bucks for the privilege? Lord, no. If I can get a “lesser” phone for a “lesser” price, I’ll jump all over that.

What’s more, I simply cannot conceive what they could possibly put in the iPhone 5 that will make it that much better than the 4s. Higher memory? Great, but is it worth that kind of cash? A bigger screen! I’ve never really had a problem with the screen on my iPod, except when I try to read digital comics, for which my Kindle Fire is a far superior device anyway (thanks, Erin). According to some rumors, the iPhone 5 will be ten times faster than the current generation. Wow! That’s a lot of times! But good grief, how fast a phone does Apple think I need? I’m a child of the 80s, friends. I fought the Prodigy Wars. I remember the days when every effort to connect to the Internet was preceded by ninety seconds of “EEEEEEEEE-SKRRRRRRRRRRRRCH!” If I can save upwards of five hundred dollars, I can wait an extra ten seconds for that Angry Birds update to download.

Speaking of Angry Birds, that does point out the only real reason I’m predisposed towards getting an iPhone — any iPhone — as opposed to an Android device. Like I said, I’ve had iPods for years, and I’ve really enjoyed my iPod touch (basically an iPhone without 3G or the capability of making phone calls). I’ve got a lot of apps, music, and media that I got from the iTunes store. I’ve got it set up to download my podcasts and synch everything to the device just the way I want it. I think about having to start everything over — and losing a lot of that content — with an Android device, and I shudder. Yes, Apple has its hooks in me that way.

But that doesn’t mean I’ll let them keep me hooked in every way. The last iPhone 5 rumor I’ve heard is the one that makes me want such a creation least of all — all new ports and connections for the device. I’m sure if you ask Apple the reason for changing the way the phone connects to your computer they’ll tell you something about increased speed or upgraded terahertz or protecting you from grabulons in the gibbetygoo. But whatever reason they have, the practical application of it is this: buy an iPhone 5 and all of your accessories instantly become useless. The cable you use to connect to your computer? Wall chargers? Car chargers? Car adaptors? External speakers? Docks? Clocks? Socks? Smocks? We live in a world where they’re making it possible to plug your iPod and iPhone into your refrigerator, people. But if the iPhone 5 has a different kind of connection, every one of those proprietary devices becomes instantly worthless.

So yes, Apple. Bring on the iPhone 5! Let the lines form! Let the Apple People have their nice, shiny new toy! And more power to you, if that’s your thing.

Me? I’ll be perfectly happy picking up the leftovers you don’t want anymore, and keeping my wallet a lot healthier.

05
Sep
12

After Isaac

Well, friends, we made it through another one. Hurricane Isaac took out our power at about 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The good people of Entergy got it back to us a little after 9 p.m. on Saturday. We got internet and cable back earlier today.

I’ve been trying to come up with what, exactly, I should say about the storm that you can’t find elsewhere, something specific to my perspective and my experience… and honestly, there isn’t much to say. Isaac was a category 1 hurricane. He did some damage. Luckily, he didn’t do any severe damage to me or my family, but there are other people who weren’t so lucky. Still, it could have been worse.

If there’s one thing I want to say that I haven’t heard from a lot of people, though, it’s my feelings about how the news media handled this storm. From the first stirrings of Isaac in the Atlantic to his last vestiges drifting north, the coverage I saw was irresponsible, reprehensible, and for people who pride themselves on keeping the public informed, it was absolutely unforgivable. Each network was nothing more than a flurry of panic, fearmongering, and half-assed “stories” that left me almost physically ill.

And this is my response after I’ve calmed down.

If you really want to see my fired up response, I’ve posted a video here that I filmed during the storm, culminating in a little rant on Saturday afternoon, where I got a bit angrier than I ever intended it to be. If you don’t feel like watching that, I certainly don’t blame you. Just know I’m good, my family is good, and life is coming back to normal. Thanks for all the good thoughts.




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