Archive | June, 2011

Macross Plus Review

Posted on 28 June 2011 by VinnieAve

Vincenzo Averello

I what is the first of possibly many classic reviews I bring you Macross Plus.

To date this is the third Macross property that I have watched. The others are the original Macross series and its retelling Macross: Do You Remember Love. What I watched was the Manga Video release of the 4 episode OAV. When I was buying up cheap old DVDs this was on that made my list and I am glad it did.

I enjoyed both of the other Macross works that I watched and this was no exception. Part of this was that it used the same basic framework of Macross, the love triangle. However, here its not the main character and two women, its the love interest and two men. That and the love interest isn’t a pop idol but a former pop idol… very different with a history with our main character and currently seeing the other guy. Our main character is Isamu Alva Dyson, a test pilot with his Zentradi (the alien attackers of Macross) rival Guld Goa Bowman competing with two different planes to see which company will get the nice government contract. Also the pop idol scenes (again this is a Macross show) are performed by a computer/hologram that is managed by the female love interest, Myung.

Where this show could have gone was a zany romantic comedy with some robots but staying true to it’s root more in more that just basic frame work we have a short show that focuses on the characters and their relations (all combinations of the three) to tell a fluid story. Since this is sci-fi they manage to also tell a story that asks some bold questions about humanity and if robots can replace humanity, both as weapons and performers in this work.

Like the other Macross works I’ve seen music plays a large role. Here there is a combination of the music of the pop idol and orchestral pieces. Yoko Kanno does an excellent job her setting the mood with music, this is to be expected but I can’t not say it.

Finially, I think that even if you haven’t seen anything in the Macross franchise you can still get enjoyment out of this. I hope all scifi and anime fans check out this great work that isn’t really a mecha show but it has enough to appeal to fans of that genre.

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The Ghostbusters Are Getting a Full Time Job Again (and my rant against incentive issues)

Posted on 28 June 2011 by VinnieAve

DM

IDW and Sony Pictures announced recently that a new Ghostbusters ongoing series would be starting soon, spinning off the popularity of IDW’s recent Infestation event. Writing the book will be Ghostbusters: Infestation author Erik Burham along with artist Dan Schoening. I, for one, could not behappier about this. I grew up watching The Real Ghostbusters, and like many geeks live and breathethe original movie. Ghostbusters 1-shots have been played around with but an ongoing series is quitefantastic and will be, with any luck, good enough to bring a new generation to have a fascination with my favorite paranormal investigators and eliminators.

With that said, I am going to take this opportunity to gripe at one thing mentioned in the article. IDW announced that not only would the issues feature incentive covers, but also additional variants featuring individual Ghostbuster heads that readers are encouraged to ask about. At least now were calling variant covers something closer to what they are, incentive covers. Working on the retail side of the comic book industry, I cannot tell you what a sham the concept of incentive covers is. Ideally, they are supposed to increase desire for said books by offering either a more popular artist on the cover or just plain better art. Sounds great right? Well since standard a retailer is only shipped variants based on how many normal books are ordered, usually an unfavorable ratio, small retailers end up with few to no incentive covers. See the incentive is for retailers to buy more so they can get more of these alternate covers.

Therefore, instead, what ends up happening is the small store buyers walk away unhappy and said retailers do their best to sell these incentive issues online to try to stay in business. If comic companies want to actually encourage the comic industry, maybe they should lighten up on the retailer and do something crazy like run prints of each cover equally and ship them out the same. I wouldn’t want anyone to go crazy though.

Source: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=32983

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Fables after 9 years

Posted on 28 June 2011 by VinnieAve

David Rosenthal

For a long time I have been a long time fan of the comic book Fables. I found that up until about a year or so ago, the writers have been doing a great job of keeping the story line fresh and new. Then it seemed like thing started to slow down. It seem like they started to draw out the plot line. At first, I thought that they were going doing something big for the 100th issue. It seemed reasonable, not many comics get to 100, and it was good to do something big for the big issue. But then the 100th issue came out. It started out with a big battle between the current bad guy and one of the witches. Then it all went downhill from there. The battle was really interesting and cool but the outcome of the battle didn’t seem to have any effect. The witch used her most of her powers but there was no real bad effect on the bad guy. It really took a lot of the wind out of battle. Furthermore, the issue was a hundred pages long but the story line didn’t even last for half of that. The only good part of the comic, in my option, was the side story wasn’t even a comic really. It was just a short story.

What really annoys me is in the most current issue (Fables #106), they just took out the bad guy in like 3 pages. There was no real battle or anything. They just seemed to be floundering and they just decided to more on with the story. For now at least, it doesn’t seem like there was effect of the bad guy being beat. I still think there is a lot they can do with the world of Fables. Hopefully they will have something good in moving forward.

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The First Amendment Applies to Video Games

Posted on 27 June 2011 by VinnieAve

Today the US Supreme Court ruled that states cannot prevent children from buying violent video games. This means that like movies, music and comic books video games will continue to be industry regulated. The ESRB will continue to exist and put those nifty ratings every video game where everyone can see them (if DVDS were sold this way people would throw a fit). So people who are saying that this will allow children access to violent video games have no leg to stand on.

There was a lot of fear that this would get through the court but reaaly there is no evidence that violent video games are dangerous to kids health. Honestly, I wish I could find this article again but the most violent crime was committed by the generation that grew up with the Smurfs not the one that had Space Ghost and Johnny Quest. I am glad to see that this did not get through this time around. If we have learned anything from our past its that rational people are not compelled to violence by media.

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Newsflash! Hollywood Finally Figures Out Geeks Are Fickle and Hard To Please

Posted on 27 June 2011 by VinnieAve

DM

In the wake of Warner Brothers, Disney Studios, DreamWorks, and The Weinstein Company sitting out the San Diego Comic Con this year, many are wondering what that means for the industry.  Many have pointed out on the web that putting on big shows at the convention has resulted in little to nothing to show for it when it is time to count the ticket sales.  Scott Pilgrim, Tron and others have little to show for extravagant promotional stunts and displays. Though there will still be a strong Hollywood showing at this year’s SDCC, many wonder if the end is nigh.

Its bull crap and, frankly, I doubt it completely.  I find it much more likely that this is an impromptu stand against rising prices at SDCC with no real returns.  I will be the first to admit that I have no idea what goes on behind the scenes but I could totally see the studios wanting more incentives to be there and make SDCC that much better.  I predict some, if not all, of these companies will be back next year and probably for a better price.  Keep in mind that now that Disney owns marvel lock stock and barrel there is not quite as much reason for them to parade about when Marvel can do it for them.

In any case, I hope that all of you who are going to SDCC enjoy your time and give me wicked fun spoilers.

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CBLDF Helps when Canadian Law is Stupid

Posted on 26 June 2011 by VinnieAve

Vincenzo Averello

Recently as young man was arrested while crossing into Canada. He was arrested for possession and importation of child pornography. However, all reports say that he was not bringing in anything pornographic in nature. He was bringing in manga. I know that there is pornographic manga and manga that can be misconstrued as pornographic. Currently, it is said the manga is a doujinshi (fan-comic) and an original book of stick figures in sexual positions. Even if these are sexual they are still artwork, and that is artwork that has a right to exist. The minimum sentence if convicted is 1 year. My hope is the case will be dropped once the investigators realize what it is.

Luckily, this man has the help of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. I am very glad to here that this man will be supported by an excellent group. They will be providing both financial support and personnel to help with strategy.  The more cases like this that happen the more and more officials will push the line of what is and what isn’t legal. This is a time to take a stand and defend artwork. I hope that this man is freed and that law enforcement official can not be overly reactionary to comics in the future.

I will be sure to follow this story and keep you updated.

Source:

http://cbldf.org/homepage/cbldf-forms-coalition-to-defend-american-comics-reader-facing-criminal-charges-in-canada/

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2011-06-24/comic-book-legal-defense-fund-to-oppose-canadian-manga-charges

http://io9.com/5815306/american-faces-minimum-1-year-in-prison-for-bringing-manga-to-canada-on-his-laptop

 

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Innovation Geeks Be Loud and Proud, You Are Helping to Feed the Nation

Posted on 26 June 2011 by VinnieAve

DM

You remember when you were a kid at the grocery store and your mom told you to put back that dented can of Green Beans because it looked like the bag boys had played hockey with it out in the parking lot?  Well that was actually probably a smart move because as most of us know denting can indicate small holes that in turn would lead to bacteria that will liquefy your soul.  Or something like that.  Apparently, most food sellers dispose of these cans to, again rightly so.  Now though, a food bank in Tennessee is testing out a Vacuum Chamber that will test these cans for those small holes and thus prove whether they can be used or not.   Results have been mostly positive, proving the majority of the cans run through usable, thereby saving a great deal of food that would normally be thrown away and feeding the hungry with it.

Rock on social services geeks with your waste not want not attitude.  Let’s make this world a better place whether it wants to be or not.

Source: http://www.npr.org/2011/06/25/137375088/food-bank-shortages-lead-to-innovation?ft=1&f=1001&sc=tw&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

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Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Lost Adventures

Posted on 25 June 2011 by VinnieAve

Vincenzo Averello

This week I picked up and read through the newest addition to the Avatar franchise, The Lost Adventures. This is some of what I like out of comic publishing, things getting graphic novels and that being the main path of release. Honestly, the style of this book wouldn’t have worked as monthlies since there are 26 short stories that take place in the Avatar world during the 3 seasons of the show. Now, some of these were already published in Nickelodeon Magazine which I expect very few people over the age of 12 read, so this collection is really convenient for the fans of show who do not fit into the demographic of Nickelodeon (that is a big group).

So for this we have a 226 page book of full color glossy pages. This book is entirely made up of stories that average 6 pages with one going as high as 23 pages. The writing was by writers of the show and there is no change in quality or style. One flaw of the book that I have to say is that it doesn’t really have the advantage of the series since the stories are not interlinked and don’t tell continuing stories. It might be interesting to see between what episodes these stories go. Many of these stories are very hijinks driven with the characters being the same as they were in the show.The writing and art for this book is not consistent but that is par for the course with anthologies. The art sometimes really goes off the deep-end of quality. I doubt there will be another of these books but honestly, I’m fine with that since there will be a new TV series next year.

I’m going to highlight some of the stories that really stood out to me.

Relics- This is the only story from the first season that I liked. We have the recently revived Aang finding an Air Nomad relic and trying to find the source. This isn’t the best of the stories but it does well capture the spirit of the first season.

Sokka the Avatar- This is decent. I’ll say it now, the comedy stories that have Sokka being a jackass are funny to me. The title tells the premise. I’m not going to say much, if you like Sokka you might like this.

It’s Only Natural- This is after the Earth Kingdom falls and the king has to flee. Sokka tries to teach Bosco (the Earth King’s bear) how to be a natural bear. This falls into the same category as Sokka the Avatar.

Private Fire- Wow, this is the third in a row that is a Sokka story. Here, Sokka tries to learn about the Fire Nation after Aang leaves school. Eventually he joins the Fire Nation Army as the bearded Wang Fire. This is the longest story in the book and it decent. This is quite similar to Sokka the Avatar.

Ember Island Arcade- At last a good non-Sokka Story.  This features Zuko, Mai, Ty Lee, and Azula. The main bulk of the story is Zuko and Azula playing an arcade game based on Aang’s adventures. This is one of the stories we bad art but it has a story worth looking at.

These are only a sampling of the stories that are featured here. By and large I didn’t enjoy the shorter stories but the book is worth a look for fans of the show but this has nothing here for non-fans.

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UN Alien Ambassador Clueless

Posted on 25 June 2011 by VinnieAve

Despite the plethora of reports stating otherwise across the web, no one has been appointed to the role of “Alien Ambassador” for the UN. Malaysian astrophysicist, Mazlan Othman, who is head of the UNs Office for Outer Space Affairs, was rumored to be up for the job according to UK media source The Telegraph. She denies any knowledge of this though and seems slightly surprised people would think that was possible. I will let you read the rest at the source if you are interested.

How in the world could a legitimate news source buy this in any way? I looked around The Telegraph’s web site and it certainly looks legitimate enough, but if someone thinks at all that the UN, let alone any of its major nation members, would remotely consider allowing one person be the go to person for potential alien contact they are as high on goofballs as any person can be without dying or terminal idiocy. For one thing, she is an astrophysicist. I will grant you that that makes her all kinds of smarter than me, but that in no way makes her qualified to treat with alien cultures. For the FSM’s sake, we would at least get someone remotely skilled in diplomacy or, at the very least, sociology. I can also guarantee you that there would be oversight so far up that person’s butt that they would be able to see out of her mouth. That is IF the member nations let the UN handle it at all (because we know how trusting we all are when it comes to other countries).

This would also take the UN to acknowledge that we are not alone in the universe. Frankly, that is a lot of expectation for a body with the history of the UN. The whole thing boggles my mind. In any case, do yourself a favor and type some of this stuff into your favorite search engine: The conspiracy buffs are writing crazy fun stuff with this out there. In the meantime try to remember that there is a difference between being in charge of “outer space affairs” and being the person that aliens demand to see when they land.

DM

Source: http://news.discovery.com/space/no-un-alien-ambassador-as-the-bets-roll-in.html

Original The Telegraph Article:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/8025832/UN-to-appoint-space-ambassador-to-greet-alien-
visitors.html

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Flashpoint Week of June 19

Posted on 25 June 2011 by VinnieAve

Vincenzo Averello

Kid Flash Lost

As with a lot of the Flashpoint books much of it seems to go past me. However, Kid Flash Lost fits into the other camp, the one with a decent story and a low learning curve. This one does a bit of filling in the universe with little character development, at least it does one. Sadly, as with most comic books you really only get chance for a big reveal. I won’t spoil it. However, there will be spoilers after the break. I enjoyed it but it was very predictable and made sure that things got filled in for people who haven’t been reading comics all that long (a big thank you).

Lois Lane and the Resistance

Yet another world building book, this gives us a look how the Amazons are running New Themiscyra. This isn’t surprising, nothing really out of the ordinary. This book is okay, not much to say sadly so I’ll leave it there. Also the cover lied (I’ve got to stop hoping for things that are on the cover), there is really no Etrigan.

The Outsider

Its already been said that I lack a lot of knowledge about comics and the first thing I had to do with this one was see if The Outsider had a past before according to DC’s the source blog (http://dcu.blog.dccomics.com/2011/06/17/flashpoint-friday-introducing-michael-desai/) he is an original creation with his book being placed into the What Ever Happened to the World’s Greatest Supervillains group. It’s an interesting read. This happens concurrent to the events of Flashpoint #2 (I want to reread it now so I can fill-in what happens in this book. He is working with the heroes of this world and seems have to have quite a degree of power in the world. It’s more interesting to see what will happen to this character after the events of Flashpoint, than really caring about him now. I think he will tie in more later in the series but he has a bit of that James Bond villain feel, which I like (not perfect, he gets a bit emotional) but this could be a fun character.

Reverse Flash

Well this book is the one that is meant for those of who have not read comics. It serves as the refresher course for all the crap Reverse Flash has done to Barry Allen. It’s nice that they do this. The art is a little wonky and not really what I’d go for but it does the job, it’s not elegant but it works.

PICK OF THE LITTER: Kid Flash: Lost Continue Reading

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