Thursday, December 15, 2016

Marvel Yule Log

Do you love watching the slow combustion of logs on your television or mobile app for hours at a time? What if it's tied in with your favorite Marvel heroes?

Have I got a deal for you!

To get us out of the bleak midwinter, Marvel + Coke teamed up with the polar bears to bring us the apartments of five of their beloved heroes.

First is Cap's, complete with his old shield plus folded up flag on the mantle and his round shield on the floor. There's even a picture of Peggy Carter on the end table. It'll play the same O Christmas Tree song in old jazzy tunes throughout the hour. I assume that's because Cap adores the song and thinks there's nothing weird about binging on it as he's dancing off screen in the kitchen while handwashing dishes.

Ms. Marvel's comes complete with her New Jersey homestead where the teenager of course left her clothes laying on the couch as well as an Avenger's comic book. You'll hear the apartment life throughout the hour as her parents shuffle around preparing dinner.

Thor's is surprisingly modern with stucco walls instead of stone. He did seem to murder and skin a Coca-Cola polar bear for a rug. Not sure how that helps with the crossbranding. You can see Mjolnir and his cape left on the left side bench as well as a tiny hammer on the mantle. Randomly, green light will flash as I assume Loki comes home for Noremas dinner to make his mom happy.

Iron Man's is all about Tony Stark's favorite character -- himself. With a giant painting over the mantle that's also holding every various helmet of the armor, it's clear who this room belongs to. There's a tiny picture of Pepper up in the corner. The pizza box is left open because, if you notice at 4:52, there's a giant man who looks a bit like Galactus hanging around outside the window. Christmas can wait when there's a world to save.

Saved for last is quite possibly the cutest of them all, the Guardian's of the Galaxy ship. A bit weird, it's not a fireplace but some kind of orange plasma ball. What makes it so adorable? At about 30 seconds in the music kicks in and...well, you have to watch the video to see. Spoilers and all.

You can see it even better in the close up, which Marvel was also nice enough to include for all the heroes.

I know what I'm putting on in the background for my Christmas Eve cooking and present unwrapping this year.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, A Survivable Boxing Day, and general Happy Holidays from me, Cap dancing to O Christmas Tree for the 50th time, Iron Man bashing in Galactus' big big head, Thor falling for Loki's christmas cracker, Ms. Marvel sledding with Lock Jaw, and the most adorable baby dancing tree there is.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Halloween 2016

I have a giant bruise on my knee, my fingers are diced like hot dogs for a pre-schooler, and there's a good chance I started a fire somewhere I forgot about, but halloween is over!


Let's celebrate with pictures!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

All Hallows Read Posters 2016

September is the stepping stone to October and we all know what that means. Time to get ready for All Hallows Read. What better way than with a free poster or five?

This is my sixth year making free posters for anyone to share and use to advertise All Hallows Read. Free! 

I'm trying something a bit different by hosting the files at dropbox. They're also at deviantart, if that's easier to download off of.

I don't put a year on any of the posters, so you can reuse any of the old ones you'd like such as:

2015 - Trees, Haunted Globe, Bats, and More

2014 - Raven, Grave Reflection, and more

2013 - Fairy Witch, Tentacle, and others

2012 - Spiders and Bats and Mummies

2011 - Universal Hammer Monsters 

You can download the whole lot for this year from a file here right now if you'd like. I also included all of the past years in the dropbox file so you can add whatever you want whenever.

Now let's get to the new ones!

Pumpkin - Nothing says Halloween quite like a carved gourd (unless you've got a turnip around, pedantic)

Bones -You never know what you find when you open a book.

Tombstone -  I wanted this one to feel like those old book covers from the 70's and 80's. Haunted nostalgia.

Graveyard -  A statue reading a book inside a cemetery inside a book. Don't Blink, you might miss the best parts.

Bloody Wall -  Sometimes you just need giant eyeballs, spiders and a touch of gore. It's Halloween, let's get spooky.

Once again, they're all free, all of 'em. So download the links, print, and decorate to your heart's content.


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Refreshing Halloween Props

It's that time of year when I'm haunting through every store to get a taste of their Halloween treats. A few have gone -- Michaels, Menards, Home Depot, Spirit -- but a lot are waiting until Labor Day is dead and in the ground. *twitches thumbs*

While some things I buy as is a few often need a little bit of help so this weekend I took a few props and made them awesomer.

First was a Cyclops skull from Spirit. It's neat that it's ol' cyc with its mammoth skull influence but the fact it's a blowmold and the painting is meh I decided it needed some flesh.

It was a simple case of dipping paper towels in latex then spreading it across the skull.
After the latex dried, I just painted it. First I used a wood stain for the base but that was too light so I mixed in some brown and black acrylic with my sponge to give shadows and depth.

Cyclops looks a lot gooier now.

My other find came from Home Depot. A fun little secret is that it's really easy to get those cheap ass looking tombstones and turn them into something cool. All you need is paint and a sponge.

I found one with a carving I liked, but the paint job was meh sliding into snooze town.
First I added a layer of brown. Brown is vital to giving depth to tombstones. I know, that seems stupid, but trust me. If you want to mimic the look of old stone, brown helps to not only age but give it a heft.

After that, it was various shades of black or grey depending upon if I wanted to lighten or shadow a section.

Instantly better tombstone I managed in about an hour. When I don't have the time to carve one myself (which can take days to a week), I like to get a cheap one and fix it myself. The liberal application of paint can make any store bought tombstone look ten times better.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Dragon Age Art Colored

If you're not following me on twitter or facebook you may have missed out that I started a Dragon Age series (that's nearing 500K words because I am a blabber mouth).

It began as an idea I had to wind together Cullen with the Hero of Ferelden and turned into an amazing chance for me to meet and get to know some awesome people.

One of them is Space_Aged who out of the blue did a picture of Cullen and my Amell.

Adorable right?

Because that's not enough, she surprised me again by illustrating a scene from My Future.

It was in Black & White, but I - in trying to avoid writing - decided to color it.

She was entertained with my coloring instead of chucking badgers at my head, so I did a few more.

Here's an adorable one of Cullen and Alistair being all sweet.
And this adorable one of Cullen & Dorian:

Anyway, head on over to her tumblr, check out her stuff and give her a note, or chord, or however tumblr works.

ETA: two more I colored on because I need a project badly:

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Taliesin - Elven Assassin

In preparation for Book 3, I ordered a fancy commission of Taliesin. He's my elven assassin in Dwarves in Space.

I got it from Icedwing Arts who also did my Variel.

Friday, July 15, 2016

What To Do When Your Childhood is Destroyed

Today is the end, the fabled apocalypse predicted in Tobin's Spirit Guide -- July 15th the Two Thousand and Sixteenth year of our Lord, marked in the annals of history forever as Destructor Friday. Aka the release of Ghostbusters with the ladies in it!

Cries and lamentations echo down the stricken streets of America, fully grown children wailing in their cribs as they face what this will mean for their future and their past. Well, don't worry. I'm here to help guide you through this trying time before everything we've ever known is destroyed by the Public Culling police.

First, you must gather together the sacrifice of what must be. By decree of all reboots, in a ritual fire shall be tossed your copies of the original Ghostbusters movies. For once a new one shall appear, all memory of the original is forever wiped from human conscious and never spoken of again. 'Tis Ape Law! (The one with Tim Burton's Ape Lincoln. No one knows who Charlton Heston is anymore).

While you stand over the fire, the flames a disturbing green from boxes of Ecto cooler popping like zits in the heat, mourn. Not just for yourself (though there will be plenty of that I'm certain), but for every other person that existed upon this planet who can no longer delight in the phrase "He slimed me." Can no longer wonder how you respond when someone asks if you are a god. Will not understand why the hell there needed to be a ghost blow job scene. Gone. Every second of it that has been shall never again be. That is the power of reboots.

For within the flames burns not only the movies of your past, the toys with only boys on the packaging (even in 2016), and your single solitary man tear, but also chars to ash your childhood. No one on the entire planet can understand the true suffering you must endure because someone dared to remake a beloved movie from your childhood, you probably shouldn't have seen anyway (dear lord were there a lot of sex jokes in Ghostbusters that went right over our heads).

No more long summer days of you peddling your bike to the dirt lot to try and build you own treehouse, no more hazy nights chasing after bugs -- all of it gone like chaff on the wind. As you rise from the fire, every ounce of misery and angst burned from your body with it, there is only one avenue remaining for someone as twisted and gnarled as a man with no childhood. With all of your loved ones obliterated from your life because of the existence of a reboot, any reason to cling to the things you once cared for, joy itself drawn from your soul like weep from a wound, what more can remain for a man but to become...


It's true. He had no childhood because his parents were gunned down in front of him.

You no longer have one because the Ghostbusters reboot deleted yours from existence.

Sure, you don't have the money to afford all the fancy gadgets or the wise and caring butler who'll call you on your shit. Nor do you have the lifetime of training spent traveling the globe to become the best at everything (it's a wonder Batman doesn't just club his enemies with his oversized ego sometimes). But now you have the traumatic lack of a childhood that in turn gives you the drive to become the Batman of All Star Batman And Robin. Which means soon you'll be kidnapping kids, forcing them to eat rats, and all while shouting "God Damn" with every other sentence.

Thanks to the evil executives at Sony daring to think a vagina was strong enough to lift a proton pack every man in America shall be twisted and warped by their gutted childhood into the Dark Knight himself.

Look upon what you have wrought, Paul Feig, and tremble.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Free and 99 cent books!

To celebrate my birthday this week I'm offering the first two Dwarves in Space books for only $0.99

Thousands of years after the jewelry's destroyed, the sword reforged, the dragon ridden, and the indecipherable prophecy translated into a recipe for sugared biscuits, the dwarves turned to that final frontier: space. And along came the elves, orcs, gnomes, trolls, ogres, and those vermin-like upstarts, humans. 

Dwarves in Space is Tolkien merged with Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in a horrific transporter accident. 

That's not all! You can also get my books The King's Blood and And They Lived for free! That's right, just head on over and download them for no money at all.

Save the Prince, save the world. Maybe stop for coffee.

A kingdom on the verge of collapse, magic threatening to rip the world apart and the only one who can save it all is a black teenage girl.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Space Plant

Over the weekend I got two new succulent plants that were going cheap. The only problem, I needed a new pot for them.

Cue the paint!

This one I did by hand and with the help of my sponges. Because of that I don't have a lot of easy steps for how to make it yourself. How I paint a planet is to make a big white circle, dab on black, then blue until it looks good.

After the acrylic I coated in a sealant to try and preserve it and also make the stars shiny.

Now my space cactus can live beside the Dragon Age petunias until winter comes.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Bethesda at E3

Bethesda opened in probably one of the dorkiest ways possible with this bootup screen:

 If you can't read the fine print, they're bringing back...

EA at E3

EA kicked off the festivities at E3 this year by inviting you all in to play. Play was the word of the day. They really really want to invite you to come play inside their windowless van, and then put the lotion on your skin or you get the hose.

Play to Live! seems to be EAs new catchphrase as they keep dropping it with a big grin, which also sounds like a new comic featuring the Joker teaming up with the Riddler in a Frank Miller book.

To show off that this is the FUTURE! they also had a conference happening simultaneously in London which we'll cut away to for absolutely no good reason whatsoever beyond the fact we can.

The Future!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Far Harbor - A Review

(Insert pun about the fog everyone has to make before starting these)

Be warned fair sailor, thar be Spoilers lurking in these murky depths. I shall attempt to keep 'em contained within Davy Jones's locker but it's a wee bit hard to talk about the plot without mentioning the plot unless I pull out hand puppets. *whispers* I am being told hand puppet to text technology has not been invented yet. Damn lazy scientists.

If you're just coming in out of the mists yourself, Far Harbor is the big kahuna DLC for Fallout 4. So grand was its creation, Bethesda came out to brag about its massive size and increase the price of their season pass. The big question hanging over this supposedly massive DLC is, is it worth the $26?


Okay, okay. Let's begin at the beginning of the quest. Like everything in Fallout, you have to stumble into this DLC by listening to a radio broadcast which points you to visit Ellie at the Valentine Detective Agency.

Before heading out, grab Nick. I don't care where you left him, if it was months ago and there are dozens upon dozens of places to stick your companions without any way to locate 'em, find him. You will want Nick with you. A good chunk of the plot revolves around our favorite synth's backstory and at one point only Nick can unlock a door. So, I hope you didn't get him stuck in a deathclaw pit or anything, otherwise, happy digging. (Sadly, while we learn more about Nick, no one at Bethesda listened to the masses and let you romance the synth, even if he is fully functional.)

Nicky's got you heading north to the only kept up and clean house in the Commonwealth. It's so nice there's even water in the sink. I may have spent five minutes dropping things into it to see if any would splash out. In my defense, holotapes are boring as sin to listen to.

It seems their daughter Kasumi's convinced herself she's a synth and buggered on up north to a place called Far Harbor that's also home to Acadia - a mythical synth refuge. You borrow their boat and head off to the new map island where things start to look a touch creepy.

Note, on the way up to Far Harbor do not touch ANYTHING! If I so much as bumped the camera control stick the game went BOOM! Might just be a PS4 thing, but that's a fun Bethesda bug to look out for.

Climb out of your little automated boat you're not allowed to steer (I assume you and Nicky water skied in shifts for the two day trip up north) and you'll meet the denizens of Far Harbor. They're sort of our stand in Minutemen, the humans just trying to survive despite blah blah blah. Of course there's one jerk who's trying to get the rest killed because jerks gotta jerk. Can't have a horror story without one jerk.

They're quick to introduce you to the new monsters on the island - Gulpers, which are overgrown salamanders, and the Fog Crawlers which are awesome. I want one as a companion. I bet it makes creepy wing-snapping insect noises then leaps on my enemies to suck their brains out through their ear canals. Having bested our newest creepy crawlies which, if you're anywhere close to level 50+ are not at all difficult to take down, it's time to find Longfellow and get this main quest going.


I do not like this Longfellow. He's your standard cliché old man hunter who's gruff, a loner, and talks about how he'll make an Island Woman out of you yet (blech!).
Eventually, Longfellow becomes a potential companion. That's right, another god damn male companion. We have three female companions: Piper, Cait, and Curie to varying degrees of cliché. Try and name all the male companions in one breath. Here we go:

Danse, Deacon, Preston, Hancock, Strong, MacCready, Nick, Codsworth, X-68, Longfellow.

And breathe. Bethesda, you could have done something, anything more interesting than old white gruff guy living alone in his shack. Shit, just making it a woman turns your caricature into a character. An older woman, with grey hair, wrapped in the furs of her kills, who doesn't take crap from anyone. Boom! Ten times more interesting than Longfellow. I'm picturing Mom from Futurama with a harpoon gun. See, already that's way better.

Is it just me or is Bethesda running backwards?

All the Trappers (the raiders for this DLC) on the island are male. There isn't a single woman in the mix, meaning I spent nearly all my time on the island fighting men. Dear god, did I travel back in time to 2005 when we all argued about the feared existence of Fake Girl Gamers?

Even if you don't care about Longfellow or the companions because you work alone, the plot is a waste of time. It's a cup a noodles microwaved on high that burst through the styrofoam and oozed out of the hole retread of the main game. On one side are the residents of Far Harbor (your Minutemen), the other the bonkers Children of Atom (the Brotherhood) and finally Acadia (the Institute mixed with a dab of the Railroad). Each faction is at odds with the other for what at first seems an interesting idea.

Upon reaching Far Harbor everyone kept talking about the fog. This radioactive, deadly fog that creeps across the island. It seems that the fog's been getting more radioactive over time and everyone's blaming everyone else. The Children of Atom bare most of the blame because, you know, crazy and their idea of christmas is finding a new cluster of tumors. Then there's the mystical DiMA, a prototype synth who shares something in common with Nick that's running Acadia. He claims that the Children of Atom had nothing to do with the fog, but can't remember why. For "plot reasons" he's missing most of his memories. Seems DiMA used to be in tight with the Children of Atom until their High Confessor "disappeared mysteriously" and the new guy kicked him out, keeping his long stored memories for himself.

That creeping fog is kinda cool to watch, rendering an almost gothic and consumptive feel to the DLC.
But after having to suffer through the same desaturated misty view for hours and hours struggling to spot anything on the island I got real sick of that damn fog. My only salvation was the idea that the main plot would let me solve the radioactive fog question and clear some of it for the people, maybe reveal the hidden beauty on the island buried below the rendering that put me in mind of the look of Fallout 3 - brown, featureless, dull, Super mutanty. (Can anyone explain to me how there are so many Super mutants and no female ones? It's starting to really bug me now)

Yeah, that doesn't happen. The fog question, never answered. Why the Children of Atom's previous High Confessor vanished, also never answered. The main questline is so damn short I finished it without even realizing in about four hours (with a lot of wandering in between). It is the most linear main plot I've ever stumbled across in a Bethesda game, and that's saying something. No surprises, no shocks, no even what the hell are you thinking? If the plot were a math question, we'd be eating the same number of apples and wondering why all our siblings are the same age. It's that bloody boring. There were things remaining to explore across the island, but I was expecting something new like an addition to the Fallout lore, to the world, to at least crack open any new theme beyond a replay of synths versus humans.

There is one new section of gameplay that will have you tearing out your hair and cursing Fallout's shitty controls. And it's, of course, required.

Welcome to DiMA's memories, an area you have to sift through to conclude the I guess we have to call it a plot. It's like if the Geth Node in Mass Effect 3 and Portal had a really stupid baby that was also infected with lice.
You know how when building your settlements, when you put down a table or chair they always come out backwards facing the walls? Imagine having to get a chair lined up just right, meters above your head, with only enough space to turn once around before you fell to your doom and have to start all over? That's trying to get through DiMA's memories.

The puzzle itself is a typical Bethesda one where they think they're more clever than they are. It's not too bad, especially if you've ever played Portal -- the teeth grinding comes in trying to accomplish it in tight quarters and boxes refusing to line up. If you haven't played it yet, you'll see what I mean. If you have, you're already nodding in agreement and probably trying to fish a controller through the hole in the wall where you threw it.

My biggest problem with Far Harbor is it's not interesting. There are a few little fun things but by all that is good and holy, it is not worth the $26. I keep comparing it to another island DLC from Bethesda, The Shivering Isles in Oblivion. That thing was freaking huge, with interesting dungeon crawls and a main story that didn't go A to B to C you're done. Bye! There are almost no buildings to enter and explore on Far Harbor, only their Vim Factory (which is the obligatory Nuka Cola competitor that makes you smell like lobsters, apparently). Other than that, it's a few boats and ruins which you can barely see because of the unexplained fog. All in all, dullsville baby.

It adds nothing to the world, raises no interesting questions, and gives us barely any memorable characters. Longfellow is a snore, a snore I want to punt off a cliff. Honestly, about the only interesting one is Nick and his familial revelations but even that is brushed off in true Bethesda fashion with an "I don't want to talk about this ever again." Emotional arcs are too hard, so just pretend nothing happened. At this point it feels like Bethesda and Fallout in particular have completely abandoned any attempts at telling a story. Which wouldn't be so bad if their bread and butter of exploring was fun, instead of stumbling across a few shattered houses, picking through the remains, killing a Super Mutant, and cursing at the fog.

Unless you're a completionist or really like fog, I say give Far Harbor a pass.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Dragon Age Planter

Now is the summer of our content - provided we didn't piss off the Tudors and wind up buried under a carport.

I love any excuse to dig in dirt and smell bright things, so gardening is the perfect hobby to pick up when the weather turns nice/excruciatingly hot/dead/nice again. While ceramic pots are fancy and all, I have a dog who's less than graceful when she's chasing after a tennis ball.

The problem with preferring plastic pots is they're boring as sin to look at. Flat browns and muddy greens is all anyone can bother with while ceramics get the prettiest colors and shades. But no, I shall stand up against Big Ceramic and make my own eye catching plastic planter.

Designed to house my black petunia and candy corn plant (it's my Halloween in summer design) this is crazy easy to make. All you need is a planter, spray paint, cardstock, an exacto blade, and tape.

I printed off the dragon onto the cardstock and proceeded to slowly trim it out with the exacto blade to make the stencil. You could do this with any of your favorite emblems and have an entire gamer garden.

The only trick is to make sure you get the fusion spray paint that's designed to stick to plastic (which is one of the 10 wonders of the modern world. I couldn't do a tenth of my prop making without it). If you're working with a terracotta planter then you needn't bother, the old fashioned stuff is fine.

Make sure to leave a long drying time between the first color layer before adding the stencil. The fusion stuff stays tackier longer and tape may flake it off.

Now, tape up your stencil and get to spraying. Once it's all dried and you've touched up some inevitable run off, plant your elfroot in there and you're ready to save thedas.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Dog Bite Revisited

This is for that blonde, Stepford prig who accosted me on a walk because I dared to write a blog about an incident involving her dog biting mine. Seems she's mad because I called her moronic husband an idiot because he let his dog burst out of his front door, run across the street, AND BITE THE ASS OF MINE!

No, you bleach blonde bitch, she was not scratched. She was bitten! A veterinarian inspected the bite marks inside her anus. Animal control took pictures. We had to harass you for weeks for you to just pay the $60 for her medication when your dog BIT MINE IN THE ASS!

There was weepy, bloody discharge coming out of her ass. That doesn't occur from a scratch mark, that's caused by your dog attacking mine completely unprovoked, you screeching harridan. She didn't just bleed on your front lawn, she bled the entire long walk back home, on the floor while I held her, and on the trip to the vet. So don't you dare come at me with your made up imaginary world of that being a scratch.

I wondered how your dogs could be such terrors to the point anyone who walks near them lives in fear but now I understand. Your head is shoved so far up your own ass you cannot accept responsibility for anything. Rather than do anything about your dog attacking mine, you'd rather blame me for writing a post on my personal blog you searched to find what your dog did to mine, my family. And because you know Stepford must be a bad word what with all those syllables it means I'm just as bad as you. Right lady. That'll hold up in court.

Your dog, your property, bit mine IN THE ASS! Fucking deal with it! Your denying will not change the facts. Real life isn't fox news. I have documentation, vet bills, Animal Control took pictures. Your own front yard was coated in my dog's blood. Who knows how many other dog's blood yours has taken before or since.

My dog is still scared of chocolate labs, especially any off a leash. And do you know why? BECAUSE YOURS BIT HER IN THE ASS!

You were the one who bothered to google search for me, for your dog biting me in the ass. I left no connection whatsoever to your boring ass house here, you got to keep your privacy. But then you dared to shout at me while I was walking past, minding my own business. Just like that July day when your dog ran across the street and bit mine in the ass! Teeth marks in her anus and her vagina. Deep enough to put her on antibiotics. To have blood gushing out for miles.

You're fucking lucky we didn't see any reason to sue. To force your animals to be put down. It wasn't just the chocolate that ran across, but your little white snippy things as well. How many has it bitten as well?

The next time you feel the urge to fire up Google, maybe look up some classes on taking responsibility for your own shit first. And please, do not wait sitting in your front yard to yell at people you hurt because that reflects poorly upon you to the neighbors your dogs terrorize and is pathetic as hell.

My dog has never bitten anyone. My dog is well trained. She didn't even yelp when people kept touching her butt to document what yours did. If you can't be trusted to train a dog to not bite people because you can't own up to your own shit, then don't own a fucking dog!

Peace and Love, blonde bitch.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Dwarves in Space 2

The prophesied time has come. I'm pleased to announce pre-orders are open for Dwarves in Space 2: Family Matters.
Family, it’s a kick in the teeth on every planet.

Five years have passed since Variel changed her name, her face, and her credit rating in order to leave the Knights. After kicking Sovann, the knight who came after her ship, out the airlock, she thought she was free of her past.  Unfortunately, she forgot to take care of that pesky husband problem. Thanks to legal finagling, he’s tracked her down and has her ship and crew on lockdown unless she plays ball, but all Variel wants to do is knock his teeth up into his brain.

The Elation-Cru are on a mad dash across the galaxy to secure enough unicorn (the drug, not the horse - though consuming it will cause you to grow a horn and excrete rainbows) to pay off her husband and unlock the ship before it explodes. Drug dealing was the last thing Variel wanted to get pulled into, but Marek always brought the worst out in her. If he keeps pushing it, he’s going to see why she was a feared Knight of the Crest Empire.

All the characters are back; Ferra the elven engineer, Orn the sarcastic dwarven pilot, Monde the orc doctor, Brena the loopy bard, Taliesin the not-brooding assassin, and WEST. Can’t go anywhere without WEST, their not-quite-sane artificial intelligence, it would set the toaster on fire in protest.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

WB, DC - we need to talk

Guys, I'm starting to think you're not well.

When Deadpool proceeded to do what anyone with a pulse suspected it would, we all joked that "Oh ho ho, DC's gonna try and make everything all dick jokes and gore to get that now coveted R-rating. Ha ha. I bet they're slapping in some CGI shots of the bat-peen just to get there right now."

See, that's what we call hyperbole. A joke. Oh right, you're the serious company. I should explain what a joke is. It's something funny that doesn't involve brooding and standing in the corner talking about your dead parents or how you're Jesus. Laughter often follows. Deadpool, on top of the violence, cursing ,and sex employed many of them to varying degrees of success, but they were crammed into all ninety minutes. You're not Deadpool. You can't all be Deadpool.

So, why in wide world of sports do you think releasing an R-rated cut of Batman vs Superman (hereafter referred to as Bats Vs Soup) is a wise idea? I get it, I do, you want to be seen as an adult. You've screamed as much while stomping your feet for just about every interview since word of Bats vs Soup released 5,000 years ago. After Marvel stole all your thunder and invented this Shared Universe that you were totally going to do once you got all your shit in line, you've been drifting.

Rather than go back to your roots of superpowered gods that relies on the old mythical fantasy of ideals and morals, you decided that you needed to reinvent yourselves (we're not calling it a reboot this time because we think comic book fans are like toddlers. If we call broccoli cupcakes you'll totally eat it). Marvel is now that old fashioned comic book company full of overpowered girls that talk to squirrels and out of date muslim teenagers who can stretch her limbs to take selfies. But not you, DC. You're the adult one. You're the one with your finger on the pulse of the nation.

And what you got out of Deadpool shattering box offices was that those adults you cater to are dumber than a bag of hammers. They don't really care about something well crafted that hews close to the source material and is teeming with love. Nope, all they give a shit about is that now magical R rating you used to run and hide from.

Libertarian Superman who was raised by Pa Kent to only look out for number one and fuck the rest is so much edgier when he lets off a few "motherfuckers" during his climactic scene where he fights a Ninja Turtle off (I am being told that is Doomsday, but I think the voice in my ear is full of shit). And our archetype who began all these clones, the Nolan Batman, is a totally relatable character when he uses his guns (?!) to viscerally shoot a man's skull in half. That's what the adults really want to see, Batman blowing people away. But no jokes though, this is still the serious company.

I'm sure Bats vs Soup won't fail fail, it can't. You've put the GDP of a small European country into marketing this damn thing. I'm half expecting you hired people to go door to door asking why people haven't seen the damn thing yet and offer to drive you to the theaters. But this blatant and sad dip into the R-rating for no other reason than "We're the adult ones, damn it! ME! ME! ME!" has me a bit worried for you.

There's another recent development that has come to my attention. Wonder Woman. I shall refrain from sharing my opinion of Gal Godot because that would require another 2K words and an excessive use of r-rated language. No, what I'm here to talk about is Etta Candy.

I am no Wonder Woman fan but even I knew about Etta Candy, the plus sized best friend of Diana from way back when who smashed skulls and loved sweets.

As you can see, she isn't model plus size. She's voluptuous, she has real rolls, Ruben would weep for joy if he could paint her.

And who does the pro-women empowering™ strong female character cliche movie get to play as Etta Candy?

A skinny woman in a fat suit. I am not even fucking kidding.

They hired Lucy Davis best known as the not Pam on the not US Office, and then they stuck her in a fat suit THAT'S STILL SMALLER THAN THE CHARACTER IN A COMIC BOOK!

Are you fucking kidding me?! (Oh no, my blog post just slipped into the r-rating. Here on out it's nothing but dick jokes).

You have the one, the ONE not size 2 female character in comic books. You didn't give in to the idiotic New 52 reboot of making every fat woman skinny (poor Amanda Waller), but rather than just cast a woman of the same size as Etta you *grabs DC's collar* PUT HER IN A MOTHERFUCKING FAT SUIT!

That shit was old fashioned as hell with Shallow Hall, a movie first no one should see and second released in fucking god damn two thousand and motherfucking one! You arseholes!

I cannot wait for when the actors all start running the interview circuit and Lucy Davis talks about how BRAVE she was for wearing a fat suit on camera. How DARING it was for her to appear not as skinny as humanly possible for a few minutes in a movie. Truly, give this woman a medal for dressing up like a large woman for a few hours. She deserves all the accolades. Bravo! Bravissimo!

Fat women aren't people, they're something to overcome. Something actors suffer through for the art.

Wonder Woman is a totally empowering movie for women...assuming you're not fat, don't have any visible muscle mass, or are not any color other than lily white. Girl power!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Feminine Wiles is Not a Superpower

Because the hype machine for a movie begins before anyone even starts filming, we get quotes and tidbits from the stars of Batman vs Superman: Dawn of a Franchise every other day until the earth is swallowed into the sea.

The latest comes courtesy of Gal Godot the actress who's inhabiting the body of Wonder Woman and may or may not be voicing her (We've never seen her talk in a single one of the 5,000 trailers, even for her own movie).

If I may quote Gal Godot regarding Wonder Woman, she says in Movieweb:

"Her sexuality is part of her power, but she is also a feminist icon."

Are you fucking kidding me? I know, I shouldn't be surprised right. This is Zach Snyder universe, the beloved creator of Sucker Punch. Of course those ladies are only good for what's between their legs. As long as we gussy it up as feminism and empowering no one will notice all we know what to do is oggle them.

But Marvel's so much better, uh...
It's okay though because see first Widow's all helpless and whimpering and tied up but then she goes super kick ass feminist lady and beats up the guys. It's totally hot, I mean empowering! It's empowering to watch that. Right ladies? Oh who cares what the ladies think, this is all for the men!

And e come to the issue with "Strong Female Character" being a marketing buzzword without anyone having a clue what it means or how to show it. It's like nonplussed. Does it mean surprised or unsurprised? No one will know until they open the box and kill the cat!

Black Widow's main job in the Marvel U so far has been to be Tony's secretary (lady job check), be the sweet one who brings in the Hulk (Only ladies be all compassionate and shit), feel bad for Barton so we know he deserves to be rescued from Loki (double compassion), cry at Loki (need it be said that's a lady thing?), feel bad for not having kids (all ladies dream of being Mommies!) and be a love interest for every possible character they could cram in leading to Renner shoving his foot deep into his mouth. About the only time she was really helpful to the plot was Cap 2 where she just made out with him like once. That hardly counts.

Could you imagine if Steve Rogers tried to seduce his way through Hydra? Or if the Hulk simpered and whined for information before smashing someone? Of course not! Because they're men and men aren't dictated by their sexuality. Men take. Women give. Even their slutty Tony Stark comes off as using women for sex, he never tries to snuggle up to them for anything they have.

The ones doing all the writing for these Strong Female Sexy Sexy Characters are, of course, men. To them women are a collective of fun parts that occasional bump together that forms a thought on accident. But unless there's a man around to hear it, that lady didn't really say anything useful. She's supposed to look pretty all the time even in a warzone and play the cute, useless one until BAM the plot calls for her to beat up a warehouse full of men. Don't worry though guys, once the hero's on the scene she'll be back to simpering and useless in low cut tops.

But Natasha's a spy, and spies are supposed to be all sexy and shit to get information. Okay, fine. It would be one thing if Natasha was a one of, but that is the only damn play men know how to write for women. She's strong and sassy, but she'll purr over the bad guy's lap the second the plot calls for it because she forgot how to punch? Her lasso of truth was in her other swimsuit?

People demand women have something to do other than be rescued but men have no idea how to write it. They'll include the obligatory she beats up all the bad guys in a pointless scene but you can replace nearly all Strong Female Heroines™ with a potted plant and it'd have no effect on the plot. Shit, Gamora was upstaged by an actual talking tree who repeated one line. What did she do to help the Guardians really? Aside from give Starlord pants tingles she um, uh...held the door open for them?

Sex is the one power all women are supposed to have (regardless if that's true or not), and it's the one all woman are supposed to use against men (again, not remotely true). Which means men are fucking terrified of it. They do all they can to regulate a woman's sex appeal. Slut shaming, dress codes, "boys will be boys," it's a woman's job to control men because they can't hep it, it's her fault for what she was wearing/doing/thinking. These supposed feminine wiles terrify the hell out of them.

So that's what they write. That's the only strength they think women have, their breasts and ass. Which brings us back to Wonder Woman. She's an Amazon, she can have a punch off against Superman, she's currently the God of War, she's thousands of years old, but what's her power? Her sexuality.

If you were hoping the Wonder Woman would have her being the actual hero, looks like you'll have to keep waiting. All she can do is bat her eyelashes, pout her lips, and stick out her chest to get the bad guys to give up. What year is it again?