As you may remember, I did an interview with Jeremy from GAME.minder back in March. In April, he let the community know that GAME.minder was in danger of shutting down due to financial troubles.
After massive amounts of feedback from the community the guys at GAME.minder has started an Indie GoGo campaign to raise money to make GAME.minder subscription based. Go to their campaign page on Indiegogo and check out what their need are!
GAME.minder is a great service if you are a gamer. Help make sure it keeps going!
Opening this weekend is the 12th Star Trek movie (and 2nd for J.J. Abrams) Star Trek Into Darkness. It’s no small feat for Abrams, to take a movie franchise that was on it’s last legs (save for the die hard fans) and make it something that is once again exciting and fun.
Look, I love the franchise, it was my subsititute best friend as a kid while I waiting patiently for Star Wars to get it’s rear into gear… and when the SW franchise was seemingly over, Star Trek TNG became a regular watchable treat. I enjoyed the shows and the movies, but I also began seeing the end of the road. As the actors got older (Next Generation actors too) and they tried to keep squeezing themselves into outfits and do movies that still required sci fi action, I knew that something had to change. As much as I loved the old actors, I would rather have them burn out early than watch them get older and worse for wear as they pulled out yet another lackluster movie that none of my friends would want to watch with me.
Then J.J. Abrams came, he did something I would never have had the guts to do, and recasted all the beloved characters… and it worked. Using Star Wars themes and visceral images, he made Star Trek what it should be. Now don’t get me wrong, ST was already good, but like SW sometimes it needed saving from it’s creator, and Trek’s creator has been dead for some time.
If there is a problem with Into Darkness, it’s not the story or the fact that it’s not canon (Abram’s established altered timeline lets the purists have their Trek while he explores this new one) It’s that this movie at times may be too dark. I wondered that in various times as Kirk and crew went on a manhunt to kill for revenge, (something Roddenberry would certainly never have written) and Starfleet is caught up in a plan to go to war with another species. It is a far cry to the original premise of mankind learning it’s lesson from war and being a peaceful race.
Despite that, it’s got everything I want in a science fiction movie. Explosions, a great climax, and a chick in her underwear. This movie (and it’s 2009 counterpart) suceeds in doing what other Star Trek movies have failed to do. It grabs the casual movie fans attention. You don’t need to have seen the other 11 movies to get what is going on here, and even more so, you can whole heartedly enjoy the movie when you do see it.
Will there be people who don’t like it? Sure. There always are. But I submit that for the purists’ beloved franchise to survive, it needs this update and it needs this director. Seeing the Enterprise soaring through the screen leaving a cosmic vapor light trail when going into warp is a treat, and one that should be witnessed in a full theater rather than an empty one.
Hey guys, so we have ourselves a new trailer for next installment of Ubisofts cash cow franchise, Assassn’s Creed, Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag. Take a look.
Now, an Assassin’s Creed game wouldn’t be what it is without it giving it’s fans a little bit of a history lesson, and Black Flag seems to be no different.
I really like what they did with this trailer by giving the history of piracy, and what had happened to these British privateers that made them revert to becoming ruthless pirates and playing by their own rules.
Since the announcement trailer we knew that Blackbeard would be a major character in the game, but now we know that other notable pirates like Calico Jack and Charles Vane will play a part as well, which is pretty cool. Everybody knows who Blackbeard is, some may not know about any others like that, but that’s what the AC franchise does well with basing their games during real historical events.
What do you guys think about the AC history lesson? Cool? Not Cool?
Well, this past Sunday during the season finale of ABC’s “Once Upon A Time,” we finally got a sneak peek at the upcoming Joss Whedon created series, “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” The big buzz about this show is the fact that it takes place after the events of The Avengers, but Agent Coulson is alive, and how they were going to explain him still being alive. Well, the sneak peek didn’t explain anything. Then today, we got a full three minute trailer for the series. It still didn’t explain Coulson being alive, but we DID get an idea as to what the series will be about. Take a look for yourself.
On Monday’s episode, Tim said that he wished that they don’t turn it into a Fringe type show. According to this trailer, it seems that might be the way they are going, but I’m going to be optimistic. I think it’ll be good, it’s Joss Whedon, it’s his usual team, so I’m gonna wait until the first episode to judge.
What do you guys think about the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. trailer? Let us know!
Earlier this week, I exchanged a few emails with Matt Gordon and Marty Whitmore, the writer and artist of The Apprentice’s Folly. Matt has been writing for about 5 years, and Marty has been an artist for the better part of twenty years. Both were kind enough to answer a few questions for me. . . .
Matt Gordon Q&A
How long have you been writing, and what other projects have you written besides Apprentices Folly?
I have been writing off-and-on since the end of high school, back in the summer of ’08. I spent most of my high school deeply ingrained in theater, but decided not to pursue it in college. Writing helped fill that creative void. I’ve written several other projects, one of which is currently being drawn by the lovely and talented Jessi Jordan. She’s a supremely awesome up-and-coming artist, and I just happened to befriend her early enough in what I’m sure will be a stalwart career to trick her into thinking collaborating on a comic together was a good idea. I’m hesitant to divulge too much too early, but the first issue will be a twenty-two page, fully colored story you can expect later this summer.
What inspired you to write Apprentices Folly? Any plans to revisit it the characters or setting in the story?
Originally, Apprentice’s Folly was a simple short story I wrote for a friend’s birthday. In that form, the story was more about Jacsun’s entrancement and subsequent entrapment by the Demon’s supernatural beauty than the cautionary tale of adolescent pride you can read today. The change in theme mostly came about out of necessity, since the short story left so much physical description to the reader’s imagination–something that’s inherently hard to capture in a short-form visual medium. For the comic I was instead inspired to make it more about Jacsun than the demon, and wanted to take the common trope of, “Teenagers leaping before he looks.” And place it in a more fantasy setting.
I don’t have any plans at the moment to revisit this world or it’s characters, but I do think the door was left open wide enough that more stories in this setting could definitely be told. I imagine Jacsun’s gristly fate was used fairly often to scare other apprentices away from the idea of practicing magick on their own.
Who are some of your favorite writers, and how have they influenced you?
Oh man. That’s an absolutely huge question, but I’ll attempt to narrow it down. I greatly admire Patrick Rothfuss’ worldbuiding, Neal Stephenson’s attention to detail and commitment to research, Joss Whedon’s characterizations, and Niel Gaiman’s…pithiness seems like too derogatory a term for some reason. His ability to use only the barest minimum of words to communicate the absolute maximum of ideas. I attempt to channel these guys when writing as much as possible, but short of resorting to voodoo dolls and ouija boards I’m not sure if it ever shows through in any of my actual work.
Do you read comics regularly? What are you reading, or what would you recommend?
Okay. Another huge question. I’m a voracious comics reader, especially since its the medium I’m most avidly pursuing professionally. Right now in print I would recommend Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ Saga for its fantastic worldbuilding and design, Brandon Gram and Simon Roy’s Prophet for a truly stunning story, and finally Mark Waid’s Daredevil and Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye. Both of those last two are everything modern cape comics should be. Period.
In the world of webcomics, I can’t give a strong enough recommendation for my friend Victoria Eliott’s Balderdash and Zack Morrison’s Paranatural. Both are absolutely mindbogglingly good, with stylized art bursting from every panel. And if digital comics are your thing, definitely check out D.J. Kirkbride and Adam P. Knave’s Amelia Cole. Or anything from monkeybrain comics, really. They’re killing it over there.
How long did it take to complete Apprentices Folly from concept to physical book?
The first email to Marty about collaborating on a book together was sent September fourteenth of last year. We had our book for sale at Austin Comic-Con that October 26th. Considering all the fantastic artwork he did, it still amazes me we managed to finish so quickly. I vividly remember staying up till dawn two days before the Con, downloading the last finished page before taking it to print the next day.
You can find out more about Matt and his work at his website.
Marty Whitmore Q&A
Who or what has influenced your art and style? I get a video game kinda vibe, but was wondering if you’d like to elaborate a bit.
As far as consuming media goes, I’m pretty omnivorous – comics, webcomics, animation, pinup illustration, video games… I pick up little bits and pieces of everything I like. Kinda like the Borg.
Any artists you’re a huge fan of, comics, design, or otherwise?
I really love Trudy Cooper’s work (Oglaf, Platinum Grit), and Serge Birault is one of my favorite pinup artists. Tatsuya Ishida (Sinfest) is a genius when it comes to line economy, style, and expression.
How do you create your art? Paper and pencil, software, tablet, or a combo of all that stuff?
I do all my pencils and inks practically, in a big drawing pad. Then I scan it, clean it up, and add color digitally in Photoshop. I sometimes use Illustrator for bits and pieces, too – it comes in handy!
How long have you been drawing?
…since I could hold a crayon, really. I’ve been a full-time self-employed illustrator for about six years now, and I’m loving it.
You can check out more of Marty’s work at ideaschema.net.
Thanks guys for your valuable time, and make sure you check out the review of The Apprentice’s Folly!
The Apprentice’s Folly is a work of short comic fiction written by Matt Gordon with art by Marty Whitmore. It is a classic cautionary tale of pride and ambition gone horribly awry.
Jacsun is our protagonist, and is a teenaged apprentice of magick. He is considered at most an average practitioner of the arts by his master and his peers, and it is this alleged mediocrity that leads him down the most dark path that will ultimately seal his fate. To prove his worth (admittedly to everyone else, but also to himself), he decides to summon and master a demon. I mean, who wouldn’t be impressed by such a feat of magick prowess? Instant respect could only follow.
Unfortunately for Jacsun, that’s not how it goes down. He successfully summons a demon, but his adolescent mind is no match for the cunning of the devil. It takes the form of a beautiful woman (did I mention she’s naked? Cause she is. I mean, she’s just been summoned from hell or wherever, where she was eating a heart of some sort. Besides, everyone knows demons don’t wear clothes), and Jacsun is enthrall by its beauty. He fails to contain the demon in time as she continues to seduce him, and in the end he loses his life to the fruits of his ambition.
Gordon spins this yarn with the greatest of ease, and the panels really come to life when combined with Whitmore’s pencils. Like any good story, you’re pulled along, panel by panel to the inevitable conclusion. There’s building suspense as Jacsun prepares to put his magick to the test. After successfully summoning the demon, the reader is right there inside Jacsun’s head as his pride gets the better of him and he entertains thoughts of fame and power when he should be ensuring the demon isn’t free to destroy him, as he is overcome by the demon’s beauty and cunning, and finally in his final moments when his fate becomes clear. As the reader, you experience a host of emotions through Jacsun: fear of the unknown, pride, confusion, and finally the dread and fear of accepting ones fate, all over the course of six pages.
And over the course of those six pages you’ll find Whitmore’s fantastic artwork. Whitmore’s characters are cartoony yet detailed, and easy on the eyes. No line is wasted, and the result is clean, sleek pages of art. His attention to detail in the backgrounds of panels (candles, doors, smoke) adds an additional dimension to the pages. Plus, he also draws a smoking hot naked demon chick that you’ve gotta see to believe. The artwork is black lines with splashes of red (eyes, blood, demon word balloons) and is printed upon a parchment colored stock, which gives the book a remarkable style and feel. The brownish yellow of the page works better with Whitmore’s lines and the colors than simple white pages would have, and goes hand in hand with the fantasy genre here.
All in all, “The Apprentice’s Folly” is a fine work of comic art, totally self produced from concept to completion by Matt Gordon and Marty Whitmore. You should check it out. And for more with the creators, check out some q&a with the creators here.
When I heard Shane Black was taking over the third Iron Man movie. I had mixed feelings. The dude did a winner (Lethal Weapon) and a stinker (Last Action Hero) close to twenty years ago and I just for the life of me couldn’t figure out why they were giving this to him when he had John Favreau’s shoes to fill from the last two movies not to mention a little flick called “The Avengers” which was going to be the movie it would have to follow.
********** WARNING… I’m a spoiler fiend and don’t care **********
So before I get into the bitter old man comic book fan rant that is Cinema Beer-Te “Iron Man 3″ Edition… Let me just say that as a whole, Iron Man 3 is fun. As a redblooded American Male, it’s got the big three action movie staples:
1. Lots of Explosions
2.Good guys kicking bad guy ass in a big finale
3. A hot chick in undergarments
Bam… you win Shane Black, there you go. That formula has been around since the 80′s and thank you for not straying. This formula mixed with the hype, is going to ensure that Joe America sees and loves the movie.
Now here’s what I have issues with:
It’s not The Avengers:
That’s cool man, it doesn’t try to be. But the sad thing is, I wanted it to be. In my heart, as the Marvel issued movies got better and better leading up to The Avengers (with the exception of the snoozefest that was Thor) I was hoping to see the bar get raised. It’s not Iron Man 3′s fault, this was the act that had to follow probably the best superhero movie to date. The issue I have, is that this movie (as far as I see) did nothing to further the big Avengers storyline for phase 2 Avengers stuff (the phase 1 movies all had an easter egg or plot that would give us a hint of what to expect with the Avengers… and while we are on the subject of plot…
The Plot had more holes than a Goth kid in a piercing studio:
Why oh why is Tony messing with one suit of armor throughout the whole movie? Why is he trying to repair it so bad when Jarvis already reminded him that it is not battle ready? Why is there a 12 year old kid in the movie acting as a sidekick (didn’t they see Phantom Menace? That never works)
When it comes crunch time… BAM! Tony’s underground garage opens up and 41 other Iron Man suits fly out controlled by Jarvis. Yes… all 42 suits survived. So why is Tony stuck in Tennessee trying to repair one crappy untested suit with no weapons?
One more thing on the suits… In the other movies, Tony has fought villains, big robots, alien invaders and giant space worms using the Mark 2 or 3 only… can someone explain why his other 40 suits seem so fragile while fighting henchmen? It was like the slaughter of the Iron Men as they just seem to fall apart. The old armor stood up to blows from Thor for Pete’s sake, why are these so fragile?
Speaking of fragile…
Dude when did they make James Rhodes such a wimp? So as a comic fan who keeps up to date (and loved the siege and thunderbolts storylines with him) I was happy to see Iron Patriot’s armor on the big screen (even if it wasn’t really Iron Patriot) what I’m bummed about is that War Machine is so much more cooler already, but I totally get the fact that kids now have two James Rhodes toys to buy instead of one, (plus 42 Iron Man suits, a Pepper, a few Extremis henchmen, and we can get an even 50 toys out of this)
My big dissapointment in this is that we don’t actually get to see Iron Patriot fight at all, he flies around, and basically gets captured, then in the finale, he is denied a suit to fight in, making him the bumbling sidekick. Hell Gwyneth Paltrow sees more action than him.
In The End:
It was different. It felt different. It moved like a reboot, except with the same cast. Don’t get me wrong, it was worth the price of a ticket, but I came home feeling a little bummed. If any Marvel franchise (besides Avengers) let me leave feeling happy, it was the first two Iron Man films.
Still, Pepper looks hot, The Mandiran character was a suprise (but they shouldn’t have made Iron Man’s best villain a joke) and the movie is paced decently with good special effects. But there is a certain tone and feeling that is lacking from this movie versus the first two.
Don’t get me started on the book.
I met Ethan Minsker a few weeks ago at the Victoria TX Independent Film Fest. He was in town to promote his film “The Dolls Of Lisbon” and I was scheduled to interview him, so while doing research prepping for the interview, I discovered that besides being a film maker, Ethan was also an artist, curator, amd writer. While talking with other members of the Antagonist Art Movement a few days before Ethan arrived into town, the discussion of being driven, punk rock, and scenes developed and melded into one topic, to which they said, “You’ll love Ethan.” So when I met Ethan, we sat across from each other in a restaraunt that was way too fancy for me, and we both kind of sat quietly weighing the situation and listening to everyone fill him in on the last few days activities before we actually begin a conversation. It’s a life skill I learned from years of being in a scene filled with volatile and chaotic people. I could tell immediately that Ethan was a lot like me and had learned the same skills by habit. I knew I wanted to read his book.
So I picked up “Rich Boy Cries For Mama” and read it in two days.
RBCFM is a memoir based in Washington D.C. during the 70′s and 80′s punk and hardcore scene. The book follows the main character as he is diagnosed with a learning disablility, finds friends and belonging in a music lifestyle that celebrates the misfits of society, and all the mayhem that goes along with it.
Most people reading this get it. They have been there. Drugs, romance, fights, rivalries, loss, and of course music. It is the stuff that makes or breaks a person involved in any type of subculture. You either let it consume and change you, or it becomes a “fad” and you trade that leather jacket in for a blazer and get on with the rest of them.
That’s what makes this so special. Ethan is not a coke addled rock star with a ghost writer, he is not sharing stories of partying with members of the Go-Gos in a limo or giving pretentious stories of things that we can’t relate to. This is a believable, flawed, sometimes scared, sometimes cocky kid, finding his way in the world.
Punk rock is his mistress even if he doesn’t know it. Like a bad girlfriend, he is seduced, sometimes misled, and often getting into fights with his friends because of her. The book follows the intial high of the discovery of music. It’s something that I remember vividly, as we old school fans (pre-internet) would pour over record stores, go to shows, and read zines or liner notes to try and find our next favorite bands. It talks about meeting new people and finally feeling happy for belonging to something. It is a feeling that creeped back up to me reading this book. I miss it, it comes back now and again, but not nearly enough.
Then comes the disenchantment and the violence… First it is a means to stand up for yourself, to not be bullied or weak, then it slowly becomes mixed with the pack mentality and directed at people who are different, slowly becoming the things we hate. It is a slippery slope, in a subculture bathed in machismo and testosterone. It is hard to be the calm one, who only raises his fists to protect what is theirs while staying true to your friends who will kick in heads at the drop of a pin.
But even through the flaws, the subculture and the music do more good than bad. We come to terms with it. It is flawed like us. But it has made us better. Bigger than what we were. It opens the doors to art, to bands, to music. Years later, someone tells you that you changed someones life just by being who you were. That makes all the difference in the world.
If it seems like this review took a turn for the personal side. It did. That’s what this book does. It’s Ethan’s story. But it could be the story of any kid who doesn’t belong searching for something. When you get close to finding it, you look back and realize that the journey is the best part. This isn’t just Ethan’s story, it’s the inspiration to tell your own, it is the reminder to look through your old records and photo albums and call an old friend before it’s too late.
The book is “Rich Boy Cries For Mama” and it’s a good one.
Interview with Paul Nasty from Pride Kills by Timothy Danger.
Paul and Tim discuss past bands, the Victoria scene then and now, as well as throwing in some Pride Kills news and history.
Listen Now : Interview with Paul Nasty