Category Archives: comics

Hidden Gems…the best stuff of the rest of the stuff

Nerds like stuff. That’s one of the coolest part of being a nerd; all the STUFF! But sometimes we get hung up on the stuff that everyone else is getting hung up on. That’s how stuff gets popular. That’s just the way things are, but there’s so much stuff that some truly great stuff gets pushed to the wayside. Let’s talk about some of that stuff. Just because stuff isn’t the most popular stuff, doesn’t mean that it’s not great stuff, maybe even better stuff than the stuff everyone else is stuffing themselves with. Here’s some stuff you maybe missed. Stuff.

GAUDEAMUS

Hard to pronounce, hard to put down.

Hard to pronounce, hard to put down.

Gaudeamus was a sci-fi novel from acclaimed novelist John Barnes. It’s also a damn hard word to spell, and no picnic to try to pronounce. It launched in 2004 to little fanfare, and that’s a shame, because it’s a really fun read. Barnes tells the story from the first person, using himself as a main character, listening to the story told to him by an old college friend. Got all that? It’s a tricky little literary device, but one used to great effect here, as it makes you wonder how many of the people in this story actually exist, and which ones are pure fiction. It makes me wonder that too, we have so much in common. If there’s actually a Travis Bismarck out there, I’d like to have a beer with him and hear about his adventures. And if there’s not, just read this book, maybe while drinking beer. Beer is nice.

UFO’s, telepathy-inducing sex drugs, and punk rock bands disguised as clowns, there’s a lot going on here. So much, in fact, that it’ll have you saying “what’s going on here?” up until the very end. Go read it, it’s a neat little ride.

NEXTWAVE

This pretty much sums it up, yeah.

This pretty much sums it up, yeah.

Marvel comics are pretty hot these days, and every title gets the scrutiny of whether it’ll end up as a huge blockbuster movie. Here’s one that almost assuredly will not. And that’s a bad thing. A not-so-super team comprised of D-list Marvel heroes Boom-Boom, Photon, Machine Man, and Elsa Bloodstone, with Newcomer “The Captain”, whose powers include “generic superhero shit”, Nextwave had a twelve-issue run and became insanely popular with people who read it, and no one else, really. It’s a damn shame. It’s sarcastic humor and open mocking of itself are extremely endearing. I’ve never met anyone who read this and didn’t love it. Go read this too.

THE SPOILS

Annnnnnnd...dick joke!

Annnnnnnd…dick joke!

Do you play Magic:The Gathering? Well stop it! The Spoils is yet another CCG that made it’s debut in 2007 to a huge splash (maybe too big) as an alternative to Magic. If you’ve ever played Magic, you can learn The Spoils in about five minutes, and do well at it. Building off of the basic rules structure that MTG introduced, and improves on it in some key ways, namely resource management. The real kicker here, though, is the game’s style. The Spoils is not afraid to make all kinds of off-color, though not truly obscene jokes on it’s cards. Where Magic takes itself super-serious, The Spoils hands out dick jokes like Halloween candy, while not letting the humor take a backseat to solid mechanics and fun gameplay. Unlike most things on this list, this is still going, and definitely deserves your support.

Boob jokes too? There's something for everyone!

Boob jokes too? There’s something for everyone!

There’s some of the stuff that you may have missed on your quest for neat stuff. Go check some of this stuff out, it’s pretty great stuff. What obscure stuff are you into? Sound off in the comments! Also, check out the movie The Stuff. It’s a movie…about Stuff.

thestuff

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No girls allowed!

I’m kinda steamed, kids. I’m annoyed, I need my fangs milked (not a sexual innuendo…this time), and I’m about to start pointing fingers. If you’re the reactionary type, maybe skip this one…

 

DC Comics is doing a line of Joker-themed variant covers for their books in June. The cover to Batgirl #41, has been cancelled. It was cancelled because of whining. Take a look.

jokerPersonally, I think it’s pretty great. For long-time fans, it’s instantly evocative of Alan Moore’s classic story The Killing Joke, a story that was extremely important for Batgirl. It provided something that most comic book characters never get; character progression. After The Killing Joke, Batgirl as we knew her was gone for decades, and Barbara Gordon was forced to find a new niche in the DC Universe as Oracle, a character that was interesting and popular.

Even if you’re not familiar with this story, the cover is visually striking. The mind immediately begins to wonder what’s going on. It’s sinister in a way that’s so playful as to make it more sinister. It makes the viewer concerned for Batgirl’s welfare, wondering how she’ll overcome this situation. It accomplishes what art is supposed to; it makes you feel something.

Just kidding, it glorifies violence against women.

Seriously, people were so incensed by this one simple image, that letters had to be written, tweets had to be tweeted, shitty blog posts were posted (ooh, how meta), all about how misogynistic this was. It should be noted that it was also pointed out how awful it was that Joker’s gun is pointing downward, further hinting that maybe Barbara was molested during The Killing Joke…because it couldn’t possibly be just how a pistol would happen to hang if the hand holding it was draped over someone’s shoulder. I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried.

Are we supposed to pretend that in the gritty, violent world of costumed weirdos who live for little else than beating each other senseless, that women are somehow safe from all harm now? It kid of solidifies The Joker’s status as a villain if he can just show up and torment anyone he wants, doesn’t it? No, he can only get into fistfights with Batman. That’s safe an inoffensive. He can also cave in the occasional Robin’s skull with a crowbar, so long as said Boy Wonder is, in fact, a boy. Come on people, when did we decide that villains have to be politically correct?

Well, congratulations, idiots, the cover has been cancelled, you can go about your fantasy life that bad things in fiction only happen to people you want it to.

And while I’m working so hard at alienating fifty percent of the world’s population, I want to touch on something else. Ghostbusters.

It seems that humanity has collectively given up on Bill Murray agreeing to do Ghostbusters 3. That’s a shame, but something we all have to deal with, and we dealt with it in a pretty okay way; it was announced that a new, all-female cast would be rebooting the franchise. My sphincter immediately tensed up at the thought of another reboot, but I was impressed by the cast, so I made peace with it. Funny ladies are funny ladies, I wasn’t really looking at it as any kind of progressive thing, other than progress for the Ghostbusters franchise. Then the unspeakable happened…which I’ll speak of now.

It was announced that a second Ghostbusters movie was being produced, with Channing Tatum and probably Chris Pratt attached. Wow, thought my simple and terrible man-brain, Twenty-five years of no Ghostbusters, and now we get two? That’s great, right? No, it’s apparently awful! How dare men get to be Ghostbusters too! Internet opinion-spewers like charming Nerdist spokesbeing Jessica Chobot expressed their disdain at this terrible act of male oppression. Speaking of which, I’d just like to compare credentials here for a second…

Eat your heart out

Eat your heart out

I don’t get it. How is everyone getting something a bad thing? I understand how women should be happy that they’re getting represented in this, but then why are men not allowed to want that too? Sounds to me like equality isn’t equal. All this ballyhoo is really getting us nowhere.

Recently, on aintitcool.com, contributor Jeremy Smith wrote an article about Neil Blomkamp’s upcoming Alien sequel. He criticized Blomkamp for having reservations about his qualifications. Good for him. If you’re as much of a rookie as he is, approaching a beloved franchise like this should be a humbling and nerve-wracking proposition. It’s nice to see an artist not approaching their craft like a damn narcissist for a change. But Smith bellyaches that the task wasn’t given to a woman filmmaker. I’m sorry, I didn’t know this was an issue here. Blomkamp did some sketches, the studio was blown away by them and quickly contracted him to make something out of it. Should they have instead said “This Alien concept art is brilliant, too bad they weren’t done by a woman, then we could make a movie!” If you think the answer is “yes”, go away.

So what’s the takeaway from this? Well, probably that I’m some sort of cro-magnon man. But if you’re of rational mind and not tragically brain-damaged, it’s that none of this shit matters. Art should be shocking sometimes, otherwise it’s not art. Two Ghostbusters movies? Two Ghostbusters movies, people, that’s awesome! A new Alien movie that could be really cool? I don’t care who makes it, that’s great too! I’m not saying I don’t want movies starring or made by women, just the opposite, they recently announced a new Star Wars movie entitled Rogue One, starring Felicity Jones. That sounds like a movie about a female X-Wing pilot, and that sounds amazing. I can’t wait for that. Basically, what I’m trying to say here is, we should all unbunch our panties, and stop listening to bloggers.

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The return of…COSTUME IDEAS FOR FAT GUYS

It’s that time again, convention season is upon us, with Origins just having passed, and Gencon, SDCC, and Dragoncon just around the corner. “Oh no!”, you’re surely saying, “I wanted to wear a costume, but have been eating like  pig and not doing crunches!”. Well, voice in my head, you can relax, here once again, is a small list of suggestions for my more portly brethren.

 

HOUND

Payback time, Rosie!

Payback time, Rosie!

Thank you, Michael Bay, for giving us a Transformer with a weight problem. Seriously though, This fat robot from Age of Extinction stole the show. A big transformer that smokes an artillery shell like a cigar and talks like John Goodman? Yes, that’s badass. This one might be tricky to pull off, but for those with the skill to build those awesome transformer costumes we’ve all seen pictures of, this is an awesome choice.

 

GALIUS ZED/ZILIOUS ZOX

In buttery day, in fattest night...

In buttery day, in fattest night…

HOLY SHIT

HOLY SHIT

 

Green Lantern fans rejoice! These guys are…round. That counts, right? Ok, so they’re mostly giant heads, a la MODOK, but with a foot growing out of their asses, but there’s a start to work with. Choose good guy Zed, or his rage-filled brethren Zox of the Red Lantern Corps. If you want to make it even more disturbing, Zed came back as a gross Black Lantern!

 

SHADOW KING

All hail Burger, I mean Shadow King.

All hail Burger, I mean Shadow King.

Old school X-Men villain Shadow King is Charles Xavier’s psychic nemesis. They’ve had several run-ins in the past, often with him appearing in the form of his astral avatar, a big muscular blue monster. Well, tough, I’m talking about his doughy, fez-wearing human form. Still, people who get it and not think you’re dressed as fat Dr. Who will totally commend you.

 

JINBE

Ladies...

Ladies…

I don’t know a lot about the anime One Piece, but I’ve been told by a friend that this large karate fighting fishman is pretty darn cool. Well…he looks pretty cool, and that’s really what this is all about, isn’t it?

 

KINGPIN

I'll get you, Spider-Man...after lunch!

I’ll get you, Spider-Man…after lunch!

Hey look, it’s Kingpin! Everybody loves Kingpin, right? Well, except Spider-Man and Daredevil. Oh, and the Punisher. This is a nice, easy, recognizable costume that also serves as stylish eveningwear!

 

CARDINAL MONCADA

I vant to drink your gravy!

I vant to drink your gravy!

This Iconic NPC from Vampire: The Masquerade, was quite the specimen. A high-ranking member of the nefarious Sabbat, Moncada had the distinction of being morbidly obese by human standards, which practically unheard of for a vampire. This comes with the added benefit of swanky, yet breezy clerical vestments.

And one for the ladies…

FAT PRINCESS

Giiiiiirl, slice me off a piece of that...cake!

Giiiiiirl, slice me off a piece of that…cake!

If I could be serious for a moment, as hard as it is for overweight men to find costumes, it’s even worse for women. Women’s standards for costumes are so much higher because they’re expected to look like supermodels and dress like fantasy prostitutes. Well, plus-sized gals can be just as beautiful as the scrawny broads. Fat Princess was a great little game for the PSN, and the titular character makes a great, and not too revealing costume for the nerdy girls who can’t fit into a size 0.

That serious moment is now over…heheh, titular.

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I Hate Diversity…

Now for a post that will be misunderstood and have people thinking I’m a racist.

I’m not even going to start with one with a picture of Katherine Heigl’s underwear this time.

There’s a disturbing trend in popular culture, and by that, I mostly mean comics, movies, and stuff like that, to replace beloved, well-known characters with altered versions that cater to special interests. Now please don’t get me wrong here, I’m not against there being diversity in media, I’m against artificial forced diversity.

Here’s a prime example; Miles Morales. Miles is the newest character to assume the role of Spider-Man in Ultimate Spider-Man. That universe’s version of Peter Parker died and Morales took over as the permanent replacement Spidey. Also, if you’re paying attention, He’s half black and half hispanic, so they could shoehorn in two types of minorities! The higher ups at Marvel have pretty much admitted that they killed Peter Parker so they could replace him with a black guy. Some bullcrap about how the president is black now, so why not Spider-Man? Horseshit. I have no problem with black superheroes, if they’re well-written, they can be awesome, just like white superheroes. Look at Blade, he’s black, he’s also awesome! He’s also a character designed from the ground up to be who he is, not a pandering ploy to draw in minority readers. Blade rules, Miles Morales can fuck himself.

He's not my Spider-Man, I didn't vote for him.

He’s not my Spider-Man, I didn’t vote for him.

 

Now I’m not picking on black people, I’m not a big fan of making a black character white for no reason, luckily, that has only happened twice that I can remember. Baxter Stockman from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (he was black in the original Mirage comics) and Fox from Wanted.

Angelina?

Angelina?

To be fair, once in a while, it turns out ok. I mean, no one can deny that Michael Clarke Duncan’s Kingpin was the best part of the Daredevil movie.

We'll let this one slide...

We’ll let this one slide…

A far more egregious instance of this is in the new Superman reboot movie, Man of Steel, where Perry White is now black (haha, irony), and Jimmy Olsen is now a girl.

But it's more fun to watch him/her/Olsen run now...

But it’s more fun to watch him/her/Olsen run now…

Fishburn is a great actor, and this in and of itself doesn’t bother me, but can anyone tell me what purpose it serves the story to make “Superman’s pal”…well…a JOILF? (Jimmy Olsen I’d like to fuck)

Another instance that’s really boiled my cheese is the “New 52” version of the golden age Green Lantern, Alan Scott. Alan Scott was the first Green Lantern ever to hit comics, and was the original defender of Gotham City. Now…how do I say this sensitively? Now he loves other dudes’ butts.

INSERT "FLAMING" JOKE HERE

INSERT “FLAMING” JOKE HERE

Again, I have no problem with gay people, none whatsoever. Some of my best friends are gay (ooh look, a cliche!) But this actually steps on the toes of diversity. You see, in the old DC continuity, Alan Scott had a son who went by the name Obsidian. Obsidian was a really cool character, unlike his father, whose power was to magically control light, Obsidian could magically control darkness. He also loved other dudes’ butts.

Yes, you do.

Yes, you do.

I didn’t care if he was gay though, he was still a cool character, and now he just doesn’t exist, and his father is left holding the gay bag (which is color coordinated to go with anything.

Am I alone here? Surely not. I’d love to hear from some of you about this. Leave a comment, does forced diversity bother you, or am I just a horrible person? Or both?

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Costume Ideas for Fat Guys

Convention season is almost upon us again, and I know there are a lot of dudes out there that have the same issue I run into year in and year out, and that problem is that there are limited cool costume ideas for larger men. Now bear in mind that I write this with no malice in my words, but to legitimately help my fat bretheren. I’ve been to enough cons to know that there are enough of us out there to make this an issue, so if I can help even one fat nerd feel cool this convention season, then I will feel as if I’ve done my job…but first…

KATHERINE HEIGL IN A BRA!!! (Hey, I have to get hits, y’know)

Now, on with the show…

VOLSTAGG

Volstagg the voluminous, member of the Warriors Three, and friend to the mighty Thor. This one doubles as a group costume if you have two friends willing to dress up with you, one dashing and one…Asian.

ICE KING

This Adventure Time baddie is a cool and deceptively simple idea. The character himself may not be actually fat, but you’d never know that by looking at him. Plus, Adventure Time has gotten pretty popular lately, so you’lll be asked for plenty of photo ops.

FOLLOWER OF NURGLE

I’ve done this one myself. If you’re into Warhammer 40,o00 then there’s a chance that you’re also a large, scary man. The cultists of the Chaos god Nurgle tend to be a bit on the hefty size. True, in the fiction the Nurgle cultists are bloated with parasites, but it works just as well if you’re bloated with McNuggets like myself.

MOJO

Ok, here’s the deal, if you can figure out how to pull this one off,please let me know how.

THE PENGUIN

This one’s classy, and pretty easy to do. Just find a plus size tuxedo, and top hat, and a monocle, and you’re ready to hit the con and heckle anyone dressed like Batman. This one’s great if you’re a bit on the short side too.

BARON HARKONNEN

He who controls the spice controls the universe, but he who controls the McRib controls the…mobility scooter, most likely. This one’s not 100% accurate without the use of some kind of hover-harness (again, if you figure that one out, please let me know), and an uncontrollable case of face herpes doesn’t hurt the authenticity either.

That’s it for now. If you’ve got some ideas that I didn’t think of, feel free to leave a comment.

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It all turns to crap…

Hello readers. Tonight, I think I’ll scream and swear about things. You may be familiar with this concept. If so, then it won’t come as too much of a shock.

First off though, the obligatory picture of Katherine Heigl in a bra…this time with real-time bouncing action!

Now that that’s out of the way, it’s time for me to go all old-man crazy. You see, it seems that the world is conspiring to take everything I love and make me hate it. I know things change sometimes, but this should be a subtle and painless process. It should not involve violently shitting on the target audience. Allow me to explain.

Star Wars

Now I know it’s become a national pastime to crap on Star Wars, what with all the “wah wah George Lucas raped my childhood” bullshit. I’ve always defended the prequels, even though they weren’t as good as the original trilogy, I thought they were fun movies, and good enough to not accuse the director of sexual abuse. I’ve even enjoyed the Clone Wars cartoon, that is, until halfway through the third season.

Halfway through the third season, they introduced a new character (though that’s a stretch) called Savage Opress. Yes, dumb name, I know. Savage was Darth Maul’s brother, you could tell because he’s basically Darth Maul, only yellow instead of red.

Super fucking creative.

At the end of the season, it is hinted that Darth Maul is still alive, and Savage must go on a quest to find him. We are then left with an entire season to try to forget about this before it’s resolved. Now I’ve not always been the biggest fans of where they’ve taken the Star Wars continuity with the prequel era stuff, but I’ve been ok with it, this though…oy. It’s as if the writers saw that George Lucas took a shit on the floor, so they tried to clean the shit by pissing on it. It’s pretty much a unanimous opinion that Darth Maul was handled badly in Phantom Menace and had too little screen time, but was done was done. That was the thing I always liked about Star Wars (the movies, not the Expanded Universe), dead was dead.

Ok...but how does it poop?

So after what was a mostly painful to watch season, we’re treated with the season finale that involves Savage finding his brother, now crazy with a robot spider body (at least it wasn’t a centipede I guess…), and taking them back to their denmonther who fixes his brain and makes him a pair of cyber legs…WITH MAGIC.

Lieutenant Dan, you got new legs!

I don’t get it, I really don’t.

Comics

I’m a big comic book fan, always have been. My local comic shop recently stopped carrying single issues, in favor of more gaming stuff (more on this later) and graphic novels, and since then I’ve given up cold turkey. Let’s talk about why.

Spider-Man has always been one of my all-time favorite superheroes, and of his supporting cast, Venom was by and large my favorite. This is a common feeling as he’s probably the most popular spider-villain of all time…so Marvel decided to fuck with him. Now, I understand that things change and characters have to evolve, but what a ridiculous back-and-forth Venom has gotten. Eddie Brock, the human half of Venom was diagnosed with terminal cancer, so he sold the Venom symbiote. This led to Mac Gargan, formerly known as the Scorpion, becoming the new Venom for several years. Naturally, the fans still loved Eddie, so what does Marvel do? They put him in a reverse colored costume, and called him Anti-Venom. Stop laughing, I’m not kidding!

Stupid, lazy, or clever? You decide!

But people still wanted Venom, so what does Marvel, in their infinite wisdom do? They put the Venom symbiote on long-time supporting cast member Flash Thompson, who becomes black-ops army Venom…still not kidding.

Hey Spidey, wanna play Call of Duty?

I liked this at first, because I thought it’d go away, but it’s still going! Anyway, this is all personal opinion, at least they didn’t mess with an icon like Superman, right?

Popped collar too? Why, Superman, why?

Superman was a timeless character, and his costume and his personality reflected this.  But somehow DC decided that they wanted a more modern look without the red trunks, and a more cynical attitude. A Superman that took no shit and was willing to kill. They might as well just call him XTREME Superman and have him chugging Red Bull and rocking out to dubstep.

Fuck it, I’ll just go play some D&D…

Dungeons & Dragons

Shit! This too?!? Great. So not long ago, Hasbro released a new edition of Dungeons and Dragons. And edition that wiped the slate clean. An edition that replaced some of the old standbys with stuff that seemed straight out of World of Warcraft. An edition that nobody wanted. Along the way, someone decided that about half of the stuff that everyone knew and loved would be left out and, feeling so distraught without it, the players would shell out additional money to get it back in future supplement books. Pretty sneaky, sis. But for the main book, they had to fill the gaps with something…whhat’s a good replacement for the good old Gnomes…

That dragon has boobs, the nerds will love it!

The backlash on this was enormous, so much so that the previous edition was cleaned up, polished, and released by another company under the name Pathfinder and, in a shocking turn of events that has never happened in the five decades of Dungeons and Dragons, has replaced it in popularity.

But when I play it, I always hear "Careless Whisper" in my head.

That’s enough for now, I’m feeling old and tired, and should probably take my Geritol, so until next time, get off of my lawn!

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