Thursday, August 30, 2012

My Pull List - Comic Reviews for 8/29/2012

- Aquaman #12
- Green Lantern Annual #1
- Justice League #12
- Locke & Key: Grindhouse

This is the week of Geoff Johns apparently. The only thing I'm reviewing this week that he DIDN'T write is Locke & Key. Still, Johns typically does good work, so let's jump right in. As always, SPOILERS beyond this point and the review of "Locke & Key: Grindhouse" contains a part that may include triggers for sexual assault/rape, though I have done my best to mark it clearly if you wish to skip over it.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

50th Post: State of the Blog

This is my 50th published post on this blog. I gotta, say, while I'm not surprised that I've been able to write 50 rants about things that matter to me way more than they probably should, I am surprised that this blog has actually grown the way it has, so I thought I'd take a moment to talk a little about how this started, where it's gone since, and what I hope for the future.

Long before I started this blog, I had (and still have) a tendency to get very long-winded with arguments in forums, comments, and social media. The problem is that those places aren't particularly well-suited to arguments in essay length. So one day I decided that it would probably be best to create a blog so that when I felt the need to rant about one thing or another, I could do so on my own terms without having to speak directly to any specific community.

Initially, I just started by making posts and linking them to my direct friends. This resulted in maybe 10 or so visits with each post and usually just shortly after the post was made. This was pretty much the norm. Occasionally I would get one or two StumbleUpons or Google searches, but for the most part, the only people reading my blog were friends.

This was fine, of course. I didn't start this blog to become Internet famous (although I implemented ads in case I did). I just wanted a place to write and express myself.

Then I started posting links to all my new entries through Tumblr, which worked surprisingly well, particularly in regards to my posts about Deadpool. I've found that Deadpool is REALLY popular on Tumblr. Since I've started posting Tumblr links, traffic started becoming more frequent and spread out throughout the day.

Then there was a bit of an... explosion.

A few weeks back, I wrote a post about why I thought Windows 8 would be a massive failure. At first, this post didn't get very many views, even among my friends. Again, this didn't really bother me. Then about a week later, someone posted a link to this post in a comment thread on slashdot and over the course of about 24 hours, traffic exploded resulting in just that post alone getting around 800 views. Granted, it was just a single surge, but since then, traffic has continued to rise.

Before, I would get somewhere between 10-30 views on a day when I posted new material. Now I get about 50 views on a day when I post NO new material and around 100 when I do.

All in all, I've hit a little over 3000 views since I started back in June, about 2/3 of which are just from August.

I know this isn't much in the grand scheme of the Internet, but for a guy who's always been more than a little insecure, this blog has been a great source of pride. I'm very fortunate to have such good friends who have read most of my posts and I'm also fortunate to have a decent number of anonymous followers who check in periodically to see what I have to say.

So I really just wanted to say thank you to everyone who's continued to make me feel welcome in the blogosphere.

I do hope that my blog continues to grow. I intend to get back into doing the Old Who Reviews, since that's one of the earliest ideas I had for a blog and it's something I enjoy doing. I'm also looking forward to the new episodes of "Doctor Who" starting up in a few weeks, so you can bet I'll be reviewing those too, though probably not in the same format as my other Who Reviews.

Anyway... 50 posts! 3000 hits! Woo!

How to Get Me to Play Sports Video Games

As I've said in an earlier post, I'm not really fond of most professional sports. Still, that shouldn't necessarily affect video games.

After all, most of my distaste doesn't come from the sports themselves but rather the way they are organized. This shouldn't really translate to video games since my ability to invest in a particular team is not required.

And for the most part, it's true. I did used to play a fair amount of sports games in my youth. I was pretty addicted to "NBA Jam" and "World Series Baseball" for the Sega Game Gear. I often played various "Wayne Gretsky" games with my cousin, though I can't remember which ones. I didn't play many football games, but mostly because I just didn't understand them. I don't think they really count, but I enjoyed "Mario Tennis" for both the Virtual Boy and the Nintendo 64.

But there was one game that I remember very well. I didn't play it much, mostly because it was a rental and I was kind of starting to lose interest in sports games, but I definitely remember it. "Mutant League Hockey". It was a spin-off of "Mutant League Football", which I never played. It functioned like normal hockey, but the gimmick was that the players were mutants and the game's rules were looser, allowing players to play dirty and kill one another. While I can't remember how good the actual GAME was, the premise definitely amused.

Anyway, over time, all of the sports games just felt like rehashes of the same games. This is a common feeling. The core mechanics of these sports never change, so it's not surprising that the video games don't change much either.

Even so, sports fans love these games for the same reason geeks write fan-fiction. I'm not even kidding. They use these games to play out how they wish a particular season would go (spoiler alert: they're favorite team wins) and many games will allow them to create custom players as well (self-insert). I don't mean to disparage this practice, or fan-fiction for that matter. This is just something geeks do and rabid sports fans are just a socially accepted form of geekdom.

The problem is just that it doesn't leave much for anyone who ISN'T interested in playing the same game with an updated roster. The most notorious is the "Madden" series.

That's why this article from Kotaku was particularly hilarious.

For those of you who can't or won't click on the link, it basically talks about how a posting on Best Buy for the "Madden 13" game which had this somewhat unusual feature listed in the game description:

Confused? Well, basically this strange feature is ACTUALLY a feature for the upcoming "Assassin's Creed III: Liberation". It was just a very, very amusing copy error.

But STILL, this mistake brought memories of "Mutant League Hockey" flooding back to me and all I could think was, "Why aren't they STILL doing that?"

The fact is that the majority of long-time gamers don't bother with the annual official sports titles. Even so, the sports fans are a big enough market that the game publishers don't NEED the long-time gamer demographic to turn a massive profit.

But why don't they TRY? I mean, let's be honest here. The development of any given Madden game is really not all that creatively taxing. Why not create the game as usual and then have a handful of developers make a goofy alternative mode where you can insert random characters from video games and fiction? You have the standard easy-to-replicate core gameplay experience and the Bonus Mode where you can play as Altair and stab players in the back?

Granted, I don't expect the officially licensed games to do anything like this. The NFL would never allow their players to be subject to that kind of digital humiliation. It doesn't jibe well with their image. They want these players to appear as flawless Adonises. Throwing in a sense of humor or fantasy would diminish that in their minds.

But there are plenty of sports titles that aren't officially licensed but still don't try to do more than just emulate the gameplay of other popular series.

I really think they're missing a huge opportunity to have their cake and eat it too. I mean, so long as the core gameplay is still available and up to the standards of the sports fans, then they can pretty much do whatever they want and the sports fans will still buy it. Why not throw in something extra to try and attract people who wouldn't normally play that sort of game? Do things you can't normally do in the real world. Have the ability to add superheroes or video game characters or long-dead zombified sports legends to your rosters. Give them the ability to break into fights, assassinate each other, or use supernatural powers to add a new level of complexity to the game. Like I said, this can just be an optional gameplay mode, it doesn't have to be the only way to play.

These are video games, people. We should treat them like video games and not sports simulators.

Sure, EA can just keep releasing the same games every year and make a ton of money, but why not put in the extra effort and potentially make even MORE money by hitting two demographics at once like the Halo series does?

Just a thought.

Friday, August 24, 2012

"Glee" Fills Me With Dread

I have a tendency to fall in love with shows that end up going down in flames either in terms of quality or in terms of gathering an audience.

Most recently, I decided to finally watch "Community" to see what all the fuss was about and literally JUST after I finished watching the last episode of the most recent season, it was officially announced that the show-runner wasn't returning for the next season, effectively dooming it. I just have the worst luck with TV.

Of course, it's better for a show to be given a premature death than for it to grow into something despicable. I'd much rather have "Sym-Bionic Titan" or "Firefly" over the mess that became "Heroes" or "The Simpsons".

Still, it's usually nice to see a show that tries something different succeed with mainstream audiences. It feels good knowing that a genuinely good TV show is getting the attention in deserves because then it suggests that they won't feel the need to pander in order to get ratings.

This is partially why I really don't get "Glee" anymore.

Let me back up for a minute and make something clear so that I can immediately incinerate any lingering respect my readers might have for my taste.

I like "Glee".

"Glee" reminds me of a part of my life that I've largely been disconnected from since high school. I used to be REALLY involved in theater and music during high school, but after graduating I mostly stopped it altogether with the exception of being a Assistant Technical Director for a derivative production of "Company" and directing "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" two years in a row, which I don't think counts. Anyway, my point is, I like "Glee" because at its best, it offers a much more genuine portrayal of high school than you usually get on TV. Notice I said "genuine", not "realistic". Occasionally characters break through and remind me of my own struggles in high school and they might also make me care about a character I probably would have hated if I went to high school with them. The show is usually entertaining, but more than that, it often actually gets me personally invested in the fate of its characters.

Still, it's hard to deny that "Glee" has been going the route of "Heroes" after the first 13 episodes. Characters have become muddled, plot points get repeated ad nauseum, the song choices have largely been reduced to "whatever is on the radio this week", and most episodes are either a "tribute" episode, a "guest star" episode, or a "very special" episode.

I still watch the show, even though the most recent season was, at times, REALLY tough to sit through. Pretty much everything that involved Quinn was a train wreck. The Christmas special was the worst episode since "The Rocky Horror Glee Show". The writers kept second-guessing their trajectory every few episodes. It was largely a mess.

Even so, I wouldn't keep watching it if I didn't like it. The thing about "Glee" is that it's very extreme. When it succeeds, it REALLY succeeds, and when it fails, it REALLY fails. A word I would rarely use to describe the show is "boring". The best word I can think to describe it is "frustrating".

That being said, when I found myself wondering why I'm still watching the show, I just kept telling myself, "Finn, Rachel, and Quinn are graduating." Pretty much all of my problems with the show can be pinned on these three characters, and knowing that they wouldn't be around as much next season (at least in theory) gave me a lot of hope.

You see, when it came to the similarly troubled "Heroes", I was convinced that show would have worked if they just dumped the cast every season, or at least drastically changed the approach of each season. One of its biggest weaknesses was that the characters were clearly not designed to last longer than a season (except maybe Hiro) so they struggled to give the characters things to do and arcs to develop in. "Glee" is suffering a similar fate.

When "Glee" first started, you could tell that the creators didn't expect the show to last. They probably thought it would be another "Firefly" and so they put all of their effort into the first 13 episodes. Then they became a huge phenomenon and they needed to reset character development in order to manufacture more drama and story. That's why Finn, Rachel, and Quinn have basically gone through the same character arcs in pretty much every half-season.

Fortunately, the show had a saving grace. Time was not standing still. Characters would inevitably graduate. So long as the story focuses on the high school, they will be forced to turn some of the lesser explored characters into the primary characters. So while Quinn was, once again, obsessed with restoring her "perfect" life, or while Finn and Rachel were, once again, unsure about the future of their relationship, I just kept telling myself that next season would HAVE to be different.

At least, that's what I hoped.

While the new season is still a few weeks away, and while I'm not following it as obsessively as I once was, I have learned that the first episode is going to be called "The New Rachel".

Strike one.

Look, it's not so much that I DISLIKE Rachel as a character concept. The sort of brutally honest, egotistical perfectionist who is obsessed with Broadway and is irritatingly talented is an archetype that I'm pretty familiar with. I enjoy that part of her character. I DON'T enjoy her story arcs where she sends potential rivals to crackhouses or does pathetically transparent manipulations to improve her personal life, and sadly, that's mostly what she's been doing since the end of the first season.

I'm not so much against the idea of bringing Rachel back into the show in some fashion, but what I absolutely don't want is for the bulk of her story to be about whether or not her relationship with Finn will work. I am TIRED of that story. I don't CARE. Yet, that's what they seem to KEEP DOING.

The problem is, the producers of "Glee" seem to think that they need to pander. They forgot that they massively succeeded with their first season not because of stupid love triangles or pointless drama, but because it tried to be different. It knew what it wanted to be and it didn't care if people liked it or not. In fact, it probably expected people NOT to like it. But now they're trying to have some sort of strange mass appeal that I think is actually self-defeating. It even seems like they will often rewrite the direction of their show based on the reaction of their audience, which sometimes works when mitigating huge missteps, but also tends to create rather large plot-holes. They try WAY too hard to be popular, which really makes no sense since they already ARE popular. It's pathetic.

Of course, I'm HOPING that the next season will in fact be a breath of fresh air. I'm hoping that we'll finally get to focus on some new and underused characters and give the show a chance to evolve somewhat. But they're making it very hard for me to keep hoping.

Since I REALLY like to punish myself (and because I have a strange addiction to offbeat reality TV) I decided to watch the latest season of "The Glee Project", where they put a bunch of kids through the ringer in order to find one that will be a new character on "Glee". In the last episode, we were left with three kids. A really talented American Muslim girl with a great personality and a lot of sass, a really talented girl in a wheelchair who was ACTUALLY disabled and had a really bubbly, fun personality, and a really talented and attractive bland white guy.

Personally, I thought this was a no-brainer. In fact, one of the other kids stated it pretty perfectly. While she may not have been the most talented actress, the Muslim girl would take the established perception of Islam in America and burn it to the ground, offering inspiration to thousands of girls who are grossly underrepresented and widely misunderstood. The positive impact of including a character like that in a mainstream television show on Fox would be admirable and inspirational and that's kind of what "Glee" is all about. If not her, then the girl in the wheelchair would have been the next logical choice since one of the biggest complaints from the disabled community about the show is how the actor who plays Artie (the kid in the wheelchair) is not actually disabled, and this girl would offer a more genuine perspective. Plus, she's adorable. Anyway, either of the girls would have been great, in my opinion.

So who did they pick?

The bland white guy.

Strike two.

OK, don't get me wrong, the kid is talented. He probably was the most talented person in the competition. But the show isn't really about talent.

As they said in the last episode of "The Glee Project", the main inspiration for the competition was Chris Colfer, the actor who plays Kurt. Originally, he auditioned to play Artie and wasn't right for the character, but because they really liked him and they felt like the show needed a character like him, they wrote a new character for him. And while he certainly improved a lot over the course of the show, Chris Colfer was probably the least talented actor in the show for the first season. He had trouble staying in tune, his voice was very wispy, and he very clearly struggled through a lot of his solos. Next to Cory Monteith, he was probably the most frequently auto-tuned character. But in a way, that's what made him so popular. He came off as a genuine portrayal of a gay theater kid in high school because that's basically exactly what he was and about where his talent level was. And exposing a character like Kurt to mainstream audiences was unquestionably a good thing.

The thing is, I feel like if Chris Colfer had tried out for "The Glee Project", they would have picked the bland white guy over him because he was more talented or professional or "a star".

You know what, "Glee"? You ALREADY cast a "star". Sam Evans, the character played by Chord Overstreet. He's talented, good-looking, and has a Beiber-cut. And you know what? Most viewers don't give a shit about him! Granted, he's improved since the last season now that we know what kind of character he's supposed to be (the "poor kid"), but he's largely really boring. He doesn't come off as genuine or interesting. Sure he's a good singer and a good actor, but I really don't think he'll ever make me give a crap about him.

So what do you plan to accomplish by casting ANOTHER bland white guy? I'm not saying he can't be an interesting character, but he certainly can't be a groundbreaking character and he certainly can't be a character that real kids can relate to.

The bland white guy was the safe choice, and that is the attitude that bothers me the most about "Glee". They seem more interested in playing it "safe" then actually making a good show. They seem to just want to maintain their ratings in order to keep selling their covers of pop songs.

I'm sorry, but I'm at my wits end with this show. If the first episode of the next season just seems to be a retread of the same old shit but now we have to contrive reasons to involve the alumni as well, I'm officially out. I've probably been way too patient with the show as it is.

"Glee", you're on notice.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

My Pull List - Comic Reviews for 8/22/2012

- Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe #4
- Justice League Dark #12
- Teen Titans #12

SPOILERS beyond this point. Also, a new addition I call Panel of the Week.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Data in the Cloud: Tut Tut, It Looks Like Rain

This post is going to be long and drawn out, so I'm not going to beat around the bush like I often do at the start of these things.

This post is about the cloud, how Jesus Diaz is an idiot, and how Aquaman could destroy the Internet.

OK, maybe I should beat around the bush a little first.

"The cloud" is a term for the Internet, or more specifically, for using the Internet as a means of storage. Storing something "in the cloud" is basically saving a file of some kind on the Internet. Now that we all know what I'm talking about, here's the part that pissed me off enough to write this.

I recently came across this article written by Dave Winer but re-posted on Gizmodo by Jesus Diaz. This article pisses me off.

Well, OK, not the original article written by Dave Winer. I have problems with that article, but I'll get into that later and I generally see his point and more or less agree. I'm really just pissed off at Jesus.

Man, I wish his parents named him something different. Out of context, a lot of this article is going to sound pretty awful.

I've been following Gizmodo for years and Jesus has always been my least favorite writer on the site. He often gives his articles hit-baiting titles that can sometimes be misleading. I like that he's a huge proponent for NASA, but he never leaves his subjectivity at the door. I mean, even in this article where he's just posting what someone else said, he can't help but put in his own two cents at the very beginning.

Jesus is a very opinionated man, is what I'm saying. And a lot of the time, Jesus comes off as a reactionary nutcase wearing a tin-foil hat.

What I'm getting at is that I find it very depressing that Gizmodo, a news site dedicated to TECHNOLOGY, has no problems putting up an article saying:

"And yet, we're all flying to the cloud because it's so convenient. This has to change, because things can get a lot worse..."

OK, seriously, Jesus? Are you fucking kidding me?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

My Pull List - Comic Reviews for 8/15/2012

- Avengers Vs. X-Men #10
- Captain Marvel #2
- Deadpool #59
- Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe #3
- Green Lantern #12

SPOILERS beyond this point.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Posehn for Deadpool

It was revealed a few months back that Daniel Way's "Deadpool" series would be ending. Most Deadpool fans consider this a good thing, but I personally have enjoyed the majority of his run. Even so, it's clear that he's winding down and new blood is always welcome.

Then this week, it was revealed that Deadpool would be getting a new series during the "Marvel NOW!" marketing push and that it would be written by Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan (Posehn's frequent collaborator).

In case you don't know who Posehn is, you might recognize his face:

He's a fairly prominent comedic actor/stand-up comedian/voice actor/writer/nerd. My personal favorite role of his was Octus from the tragically short-lived show "Sym-Bionic Titan" (still waiting on that DVD release, Cartoon Network).

While he's by no means an inexperienced writer, he and Duggan have only done one other published comic book title, "The Last Christmas", which I haven't read, but it's supposedly about a post-apocalyptic Santa Claus. I might have to check that out.

Regardless, I'm reasonably certain that the hiring of Posehn and Duggan was what prompted Liefeld's comments from last week. He probably sees this as Marvel hiring a couple of no-names because they don't care about Deadpool.

Personally, I think Marvel hired them because they figured that comedians would be the best choice for a character like Deadpool, who is supposed to be very funny.

As for how I feel about it... well, since I haven't read "The Last Christmas", I can't say whether or not Posehn and Duggan have a good sense of comic book writing. It is a very different animal from writing for stand-up, TV, or film. The last time I saw a comic book written by a nerdy comedian was the Serenity tie-in "Float Out" written by Patton Oswalt and it was... pretty dull.

Even so, I'm a little optimistic about this choice primarily because if anyone can get Deadpool, it's probably a stand-up comic.

The thing a lot of writers miss about Deadpool's humor is that he's not funny for the sake of being funny or because he's immature or because he's crazy. Humor is, more often than not, a defense mechanism. The funniest person you know is probably surprisingly insecure. They feel like they have a lot of personal shortcomings so they try to overcompensate through humor. Deadpool is the same way.

Deadpool's life SUCKS. No one likes to work with him, he's hideous, he has a lot of physical and psychological trauma, he can't die, and nothing ever really works out for him. Humor is about all he has left. Humor is his greatest weapon, causing his opponents to underestimate him or get annoyed with him. Humor is his greatest defense, allowing him to play off like nothing matters to him so that he can avoid making any moral commitments. Humor helps him maintain his grip on reality, giving him a way to justify all of the horrible things that have happened to him.

Humor is Deadpool's mask.

If you've ever seen biographies on stand-up comedians, you'll find that a great deal of them are dealing with some kind of depression or anxiety. In a way, a lot of them use their stand-up as a way of handling their personal issues.

Then we have Posehn. Not only is he a stand-up comedian, he's an overweight, middle-aged nerd. You can bet your ass he understands the use of humor as a defense mechanism.

So I'm going to give Posehn and Duggan a little bit of faith here. They may not have the most experience in the world, but I'm reasonably confident that they'll be able to at least understand the character better than most writers do.

Also, I'm pretty inclined to support any writers that Liefeld probably isn't happy with.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

My Pull List - Comic Reviews for 8/8/2012

- Batgirl #12
- Batman #12
- Batman and Robin #12
- Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe #2
- Demon Knights #12

SPOILERS beyond this point.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Marvel Cinematic Universe: The Bottle-Neck

As I had mentioned in a previous post, there's a good chance that Fox doesn't have enough time to make their "Daredevil" reboot before the rights revert back to Marvel Studios/Disney.

However, yesterday there was a moment where it appeared that Marvel had done something unexpected and rather brilliant. They supposedly offered Fox an extension on "Daredevil" in exchange for some of the cosmic characters from "Fantastic Four". Unfortunately, it appears that Fox isn't biting, but in this moment, something that had been nagging at me for quite a while regarding the Marvel Cinematic Universe came to the forefront.

After the massive success of "The Avengers", a lot of people expressed concern regarding whether or not Marvel Studios had anywhere to go but down. I'm not in that camp. I thought "The Avengers" was a great movie that provided everything we were expecting, but it certainly wasn't an insurmountable success. I loved it, but it was by no means a perfect movie. Much like "The Dark Knight Rises", nothing really reached me deep down on a visceral level and kept me thinking after I left the theater. Unlike TDKR, however, it didn't need to. "The Avengers" did something unprecedented and it did it very competently and with its own unique style. It succeeded because it is greater than the sum of its parts and it exists as a proof of concept for a new age of superhero movies. As much as I enjoy it, I won't be surprised if the next Avengers film surpasses it. Perhaps not in a financial sense, but definitely in terms of quality. Now that we've established that this sort of film is possible, they can start raising the bar in terms of plot and character.

That being said, there was one major concern I had regarding the Marvel Cinematic Universe and with this recent "Daredevil" debacle, I think it's actually a pretty serious problem.

Marvel Studios is only going to be putting out one or two movies a year, but they have more characters than they know what to do with.

I mean, let's look at what we've got down the pipeline. We've got "Iron Man 3", "Captain America: The Winter Soldier", "Thor: The Dark World", "Ant-Man", "Guardians of the Galaxy", and "Avengers 2". This would presumably carry us through 2016. That's four years from now. Unless they start dabbling in other forms of media as well, this is all we're getting for the next half-decade.

Meanwhile fans are clamoring for movies about Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Punisher, Iron Fist, etc. as well as asking for solo films for Black Widow, Hawkeye, Nick Fury, and Ruffalo's Hulk.

The hard truth of the matter is that Marvel Studios can only make so many movies, they definitely don't want to saturate the market by releasing too many movies in any given year, and they also want to focus on their established characters (Iron Man, Thor, Cap) so the majority of these characters will probably only show up as supporting characters if at all.

This is not really a BAD problem to have. It's good that Marvel Studios has so many options in terms of which characters to explore and can take their time to make their choices carefully without flooding the universe much like they do with their comic universe. The problem is just that while it would be great for Marvel to get the rights to Daredevil back, it would likely mean we wouldn't get another Daredevil solo film for a long, long time, if ever. He could theoretically show up in some capacity in other films, but that would be about it.

So frankly, Marvel made the smartest possible move when they tried to trade Daredevil in for Galactus and Silver Surfer. Those characters are really handy to have around, especially now that they're getting into the cosmic stuff. And now that Fox has apparently turned down the offer, even though I know that Daredevil is 90% sure to be returning to Marvel now, I can't help but feel a little disappointed.

Maybe things will change after "Avengers 2". Maybe Marvel Studios will have started making enough money that they can afford to produce three movies each year and the bottle-neck will be less inconvenient. Maybe they'll start licensing their properties out again but with stipulations that the characters have to remain in-continuity (though I'm not sure how many studios would agree to that). Maybe they will start making television shows that tie into the universe and give us a chance to explore more of the lesser-known characters and act as a sort of spring-board for the feature films. They are still looking to make a Hulk TV show with Guillermo Del Toro, but it sounds like it probably wouldn't be in-continuity. They looked at maybe doing a show about Jessica Jones which would have been in-continuity, but it didn't get picked up.

Right now, I think the biggest problem the Marvel Cinematic Universe has to face is the fact that they can only expand the universe at a rate of about 4-5 hours per year, and I think that will get pretty frustrating. Maybe not right now, but if SDCC 2016 rolls around and Marvel doesn't announce a solo film for Doctor Strange in Phase 3, I'm going to be pissed.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Initial Impressions of The Oculus Rift

Yup, I'm gonna talk about a Kickstarter again.

The Oculus Rift. A 3D VR headset. I gotta tell you, when I was a kid, this was the dream. This was the pinnacle of video gaming technology. The holy grail.

Over time, though, I became sort of jaded about it. I went to Epcot and Six Flags and they had these demos with VR headsets and they were both really underwhelming. Also, let's not forget the VirtualBoy, which I actually OWNED. Don't get me wrong, I actually kind of enjoyed the VirtualBoy, but at that point, I sort of realized that any VR headset that would actually do the cool things you'd want it to do would have to be so sophisticated that it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. And for the most part that was true.

So when I initially started looking at this Kickstarter page, I was VERY VERY skeptical about the whole thing. But after seeing the video and seeing the kind of support they have and getting the impression that the consumer version of this could potentially cost around $300, I was more than a little intrigued.

First of all, this headset potentially fixes the main problems with 3D. The first problem is that in most commercial 3D situations, you are looking at a screen that in some way has been designed to trick your eyes. With a VR headset, no sort of mindhackery is afoot. Additionally, when you're looking at 3D on a screen, the 3D effect is destroyed when something falls out of frame, which is why 3D usually works much better in IMAX. With the increased field of vision, the 3D would be fully immersive and it would theoretically appear just as 3D as the real world. Very cool.

Second of all, it seems like this headset actually has a lot of developer support, which is something most other VR headsets don't have usually due to their ridiculous price point.

Finally, I feel like the advances we've made in terms of displays and 3D have brought us to a point where this sort of device is feasible in a commercial environment. I think the technology is there.

That being said, I still have some major reservations regarding this project. Major enough that I'm not giving them any money.

Power Source

What powers this headset? Does it run on rechargeable batteries? How long do they last? Can they be charged via USB or do they require a dedicated AC adapter? Or does the headset need to be connected to a power source at all times? Depending on the nature of this device's power source, players may be very limited in terms of where they can use it.

Weight and Prolonged Use

Gamers play games for hours and hours on end. While the headset only weighs .6 kg (about 1.3 lbs), the fact that the weight is primarily on your face could lead to some unpleasant neck pain after a few hours.

Shutting Out the Rest of the World

This is probably my biggest concern about the Oculus Rift. While I'm sure the device is cool in a tech demo sense, if I owned one right now, I might not actually play with it all that much. We live in an age of constant multitasking. While I play "Crusader Kings II", I'm also watching the Olympics and eating dinner and chatting with my roommate and checking my e-mail on my phone or tablet. But if I were to play "Minecraft" with the Oculus Rift, as cool as that would be, I still would not be able to do ANYTHING else except talk. "Minecraft" would require my full undivided attention. That's not to say I'm never in the mood to focus entirely on one specific task, just that it's not a common thing, mainly because when I DO hole myself up and play a video game for an entire weekend, when I emerge from my media saturation, I find that the world kept moving on without me and I'm left trying to play catch-up. On top of that, I like to play games with an audience and the Oculus Rift might prevent that.

I'm not so much concerned that the Oculus Rift won't be popular for this reason, I'm more concerned that if it DOES become popular, gamers might start interacting even less than they already are. Video games have made a lot of recent strides at becoming a more social medium. We play online with our friends, we chat in-game, we integrate games in our daily lives so they're more casual. A VR headset is a step in the opposite direction. Gaming with the Oculus Rift could be the most antisocial gaming experience possible.

Let me put it a different way. Do you have a friend who's obsessed with "Minecraft"? OK, you know how hard it is to get them to do anything else while they play "Minecraft"? Now imagine that "Minecraft" is a fully-immersive 3D world. Suddenly your friend is playing "Minecraft" just as much, but now they can't look at anything else or hear anything while they play (assuming they play with headphones to aid the immersion). Congratulations, you just lost a friend.

Don't get me wrong. If the Oculus Rift delivers on its promises, it will be a huge technological achievement that could also probably affect other media as well. Imagine a film shot with a 3D panoramic camera that you can view with this device. Eat your heart out, "Avatar". If this is actually released commercially for an affordable price, I will likely buy one. But as cool as this is, I'm not sure if it should completely replace the current model of console and PC gaming, at least until they develop ways to better integrate it with the user's surroundings (perhaps finding a way to switch between VR and AR?) and social aspects (multiplayer with these could be fun if done right).

In any case, it's certainly pretty cool-looking.

This Movie Sucks

"The Dark Knight Rises", in my opinion, was not a very good movie. Of course, I am not the only person in the world with an opinion, and many others feel that this is not only an excellent movie, but perhaps the greatest movie of the year, and yes, even better than "The Dark Knight".

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, which is of course a backhanded way of saying, "Your opinion is wrong, but I don't care enough to try and convince you otherwise."

All joking aside, though, it really doesn't bother me that so many people really enjoyed this movie. As I said in my review, the movie is definitely at least worth your time and while I may envy some people who were able to sit through to movie and thoroughly enjoy it without that nagging feeling in the back of their mind whispering all of the movie's huge flaws, I'm content with the idea that two people can see the same movie and take away different experiences.

What does bother me is the notion that my experiences are different because of invalid reasons. I've been hearing this a lot from people on the Internet who disagree with people who weren't fond of TDKR. "You're just a Marvel-ite," or, "You're just nitpicking to find flaws! You should just enjoy the movie!"

This implies that I didn't like TDKR because there was something wrong with me. Obviously I take issue with this, but this is understandable. After all, I am somewhat guilty of this myself. Even so, when I defended the Star Wars prequels, I wasn't doing it in order to convince anyone that they should enjoy the movies, I was simply trying to defend the fact that I like them and that my enjoyment of them isn't purely out of nostalgia or my own idiocy. I wasn't trying to say, "There's something wrong with you if you didn't like the Star Wars prequels," I was trying to say, "There's nothing wrong with me if I like the Star Wars prequels."

In my mind, there's nothing wrong with trying to defend your own opinion, but there is something questionable about attacking someone else's opinion just because they disagree with yours.

When it comes to TDKR, it feels like all the people who loved it are upset with anyone who didn't love it, as though they have some personal stake in its success or failure. I can understand this sense of fanboyism... we all have it with something. But if you want to defend TDKR, you shouldn't do it by suggesting that those of us who didn't much care for it are just trying too hard to find the flaws in the movie, the implication being that we overlooked all of the good parts because we were spending all of that time looking for problems in the movie, like it was some sort of treasure hunt.

So let me start my rant proper by making this abundantly clear: I did not WANT to dislike "The Dark Knight Rises". I WANTED to sit back and enjoy the movie. I wanted to be thrilled, engaged, provoked, and to take something away from the experience. You know, like I have with EVERY OTHER CHRISTOPHER NOLAN MOVIE. But that didn't happen for me, and not because I was actively trying to stop it. No one goes into a movie wanting to be bored. You find anybody with a strong bias against something and every once in a while you will find that they will find an exception to the rule. This exception exists because even if they generally don't like a certain type of thing, some movies are just so good that it doesn't matter to them.

Let me put it another way. A lot of people liked "Captain America: The First Avenger" not only because it was a good movie, but because it was a superhero movie. It had a lot of fun action and clever dialogue and cool characters. For some people, that stuff is enough. Sure, the fact that it was a really good movie made them love the movie even more, but even if the movie was mediocre, they still would have enjoyed it for those things they tend to enjoy. But not everyone likes those standard ingredients in a movie. Some people just really don't care for superheroes. But even some of THOSE people really liked "Captain America", and that's because it was still a good movie beneath those simple features and they connected with that. Maybe they went into the movie with a bias against it, but that didn't STOP them from enjoying the movie, it just meant that the movie had to offer something different to really work for them.

My point is that you can't discredit someone's opinion because they were biased against it. You can certainly IGNORE that opinion, but you can't discredit it. If a critic didn't like a movie you enjoyed and you believe that their reasons for disliking it are frivolous, then that just means that they're bothered by things that don't bother you. You like sweet foods, they like sour foods. It's about personal taste. That's all bias is. And sometimes, a movie can be so good that bias is trumped.

So when it came to "The Dark Knight Rises", I can understand why a lot of people loved it. The movie has a lot of really great INGREDIENTS. Really good actors, really good action, a really good premise, it tries to have a lot of depth, and it has Batman in it. Some people love those ingredients so much that it doesn't matter if they're assembled well or not. Just the movie HAVING those things is good enough for them. And there's really nothing wrong with that.

My problem with TDKR was that those ingredients were not assembled properly. I wanted so badly for the movie to suck me in the same way "The Dark Knight" did, but no matter what, I just wasn't enjoying myself. With "The Dark Knight", I felt like the Nolan brothers really knew what they wanted to say about crime and the nature of humanity and they managed to say something that really stuck with me. That scene with the two boats is still one of my favorite scenes in any movie ever because it was a culmination of all of the movies themes and plot points. It was perfect. "The Dark Knight Rises" never hit that moment for me. I wasn't feeling engrossed the way I typically am with Nolan movies. He usually has TOO MUCH to say, but it this movie I felt like he had far too little to say. Nothing drew me in, nothing enthralled me for more than a few moments, and there were long stretches of time where I was just plain not enjoying myself.

And when I'm not enjoying myself, I start doing something. This is something we ALL do when we see a movie that doesn't work for us. It's not a matter of shutting your brain off or whatever. The dumbest person on the planet, when he's placed in front of a movie that he doesn't like, will also do this exact same thing, I guarantee it.

When I'm not enjoying myself, I start to try and figure out WHY I don't like it. Some people are more surface level than others and they just point out the tangible elements of the movie. "I don't like this movie because that Jar Jar character is really annoying," or, "I don't like this movie because I find it offensive to my personal beliefs." We have that moment where a part of us says, "This movie sucks," and then we try to finish the sentence with a "because." But those of us who have spent a lot of time overanalyzing media and its production tend to reach a lot deeper. We try to find the root of the problem and it often seems to be a deceptively small thing.

That's why it's much harder to find fault with movies like "The Amazing Spider-Man" or "The Dark Knight Rises". Generally, these two movies don't HAVE a lot of tangible problems. The majority of people, even if they don't really like the movie, will be at a loss to point to a particular reason WHY they don't like it, so they'll just shrug and say, "It wasn't bad." And then when the rest of us point to problems in the script or the story or the pacing, the people who enjoyed the ingredients of the movie and were having a good enough time that they didn't stop and try to analyze the flaws in the movie will say that we're just nit-picking. That we're reaching for reasons to dislike the movie out of some sort of denial or misplaced aggression.

Like I said, this reaction is understandable. To them, the movie ranges anywhere from great to perfect. They had such a good time that they didn't for one second stop to try and find flaws in the movie. Like I said, you only stop to find flaws when you aren't enjoying the movie. So for them, those flaws might as well not exist. They're trivial. They didn't bother them, so why should they bother me?

But just because this reaction is understandable doesn't make it appropriate or sensible. You can go ahead and defend against the arguments. In fact I encourage it. I might say that Bane wasn't an effective villain, and you might say, "No, he was amazing and his motivation made total sense to me and THIS IS WHY." I would really love to hear that argument. But what I DON'T want to hear is, "Shut up, Bane was great, you're just too picky." THAT is just denial. That is you seeing a flaw with the movie that you didn't see before that you can't bring yourself to actually refute. You probably don't have any problem with overlooking that flaw, but knowing that it's there bothers you. Suddenly the movie isn't objectively perfect, so you get defensive. You want to prove the person's opinion invalid because you want to go back to thinking that the movie is perfect.

I know that this was how I felt about the Matrix sequels for the longest time. To me, they were excellent. I maybe noticed one or two flaws, but I still thoroughly loved them. But those movies are RIDDLED with flaws, as I'm sure anyone can tell you. And whenever someone would bring them up, I would contort my reasoning to try and justify them or derail the argument to suggest that the flaws didn't matter. But eventually I realized that yes, those flaws absolutely exist, but I can still enjoy the movies just as much in spite of them. In fact, some of those flaws I absolutely enjoy. I'm OK with the fact that I'm the only person alive who likes those movies. I don't need the world to agree with me.

Since I'm a fan of analogies, let me give you one. Say you fall in love with someone and, to you, they are perfect in every way. One day you overhear someone saying that that person is ugly. You confront that person and understandably get defensive. "Ugly!? How can you call this beautiful creature ugly!?" And then that person proceeds to rattle off a list of physical traits that, to them, are ugly. Generally, all of those traits are factual. They exist. This person is accurately describing your loved one's physical appearance, just in a negative light. You might find their negative reaction to those traits silly, but denying the existence of those physical traits is equally silly. To you, your loved one is perfect in spite of or perhaps because of those features that the other person pointed out. They say your loved one is too short, but you like the fact that they are short. They say your loved one has hideous curly hair, but you don't really care about hair. The opinion of this other person is not WRONG, it just doesn't MATTER to you. Don't argue with them over it because there's nothing to argue about. Like I said, there's no need to discredit their opinion, just feel free to ignore it. It doesn't apply to you.

When a critic goes on and on about the flaws of something you really enjoyed, don't argue with them over the fact that the movie is enjoyable. That's a battle you can't win and it doesn't really matter. No critic's opinion can stop you from liking a movie and no opinion of yours can convince them that they like it. If you must argue, simply talk about the things you love about the movie. Tell them what parts of the movie really reached you. Tell them what parts made you jump up with excitement. Tell them how this movie changed your life. Give an alternate perspective, don't try to mold their perspective into yours.

If they are just plain WRONG about something, like they claim this plot point didn't make sense but in your mind it absolutely did, feel free to bring that up and discuss that. There's no reason to allow someone to carry on their opinion based on false information. Just don't try to CHANGE their opinion.

In all things, let all of the facts be made clear and allow each individual to draw their own conclusions.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Old Who Reviews - Serial 006: "The Aztecs"

"But you can't rewrite history! Not one line!"
~The First Doctor

Let's talk about "The Road to El Dorado".

"El Dorado" was one of DreamWorks' earlier animated films. Though it was ultimately a financial failure in the box office, particularly when compared with Disney's "The Emperor's New Groove", which also took place in an ancient South American civilization, "El Dorado" still holds a decent amount of nostalgic power. I personally remember watching the movie dozens of times with my younger cousins one summer, and I also remember a co-worker at a video store I used to work at whose go-to-movie to watch in the store was "El Dorado" (at least until they started forcing us to play those annoying preview DVDs). It holds up really well.

What I didn't know until just a few years ago was that "The Road to El Dorado" is actually loosely-based on a very old Rudyard Kipling novel, "The Man Who Would Be King", which was also adapted into an excellent movie starring Sean Connery and Michael Caine.

While the settings are different, the overall concept is the same. Two dudes come to a primitive land, they're mistaken for gods, they use their modern knowledge and cleverness to perpetuate the ruse, but they are ultimately discovered as frauds and... well the endings tend to differ from story to story, but it doesn't often end well.

Why do I bring this up?

Well, because when I tell you the synopsis of the "Doctor Who" serial "The Aztecs", I don't want you thinking that "El Dorado" totally ripped them off. This is not the case. "The Aztecs" and "The Road to El Dorado" BOTH ripped off "The Man Who Would Be King". Though, given some of the interesting aesthetic similarities, I concede that it is entirely possible that the writers of "El Dorado" may have looked at "The Aztecs" as an additional influence, particularly when it comes to the South American setting ("The Man Who Would Be King" took place in Afghanistan), the subplot of trying to end barbaric rituals, and the antagonist being a High Priest of Sacrifice that first shows any sign of disbelief. However, the characters of Miguel and Tulio of "El Dorado" are much more similar to the characters Daniel and Peachey of "The Man Who Would Be King" than any of the characters from "Doctor Who", so I'd say that the Kipling novel was likely their primary influence.

Anyway, "The Aztecs" is about the Doctor and his companions getting stuck in the time before the Aztecs were destroyed by the Spaniards because of the whole human sacrifice thing (and also because the Spaniards were kind of dicks like that). Finding themselves in one of their sacred tombs, Barbara, who is an expert on Aztec culture and history, puts on an ancient artifact for the hell of it and is mistaken for a goddess. She hopes to try and use her influence to convince the Aztecs that human sacrifice and barbarism is not necessary to earn the favor of their gods, in order to help them be more civilized so the Spaniards do not wipe them out completely. She is opposed at every turn by Tlotoxl (I apologize if you're reading this aloud), the High Priest of Sacrifice, who immediately suspects that she is a fraud and does everything he can to expose her and kill her "servants".

Starting to see the similarities?

If you've read my previous reviews, you'd know that I've come to develop quite a liking for Barbara Wright. While I concede that by modern standards she isn't anything terribly remarkable, considering how this series was made in the early 60's, I'm impressed that she has as much intelligence and agency as she does. I mean, on the flip side, look at Susan. All she does is get trapped, get in trouble, go insane, and scream and whine. This was commonplace for women in genre fiction at the time. However, Barbara was the first companion to demand and earn the Doctor's respect. She has racked up a larger body count than Ian, who is supposed to be the "physical" character. While the other characters are largely reactive, she seems to be the most proactive. I don't think I'm unjustified in thinking she's awesome.

This serial is, in a way, all about Barbara, so it shouldn't be surprising when I say that this is my favorite serial so far. But it's not my favorite just because Barbara is the main character and because the plot is very similar to a movie that I have a lot of nostalgic fondness for. It's also my favorite because it's the first serial that's actually well-paced. It's only four episodes long, and while I think that it MIGHT have been able to fit into three episodes, none of the episodes feel completely extraneous.

Now, without further ado, let's dig deeper into the story.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Dear Liefeld: Stop Taking Credit for Deadpool

I swear, I'm not doing this on purpose. Deadpool just keeps coming up for some reason. I'm not trying to turn my blog into a one-stop-shop for opinions on Deadpool, though admittedly, I have many. But I could just not let this stand.

OK, so this morning I found this little snippet regarding Rob Liefeld putting his foot in his mouth on Twitter (an event as reliable as the tides). Allow me to share with those of you who don't like to follow links:

As the article points out, these tweets have stirred up quite a controversy. Most people are gravitating around the fact that he's calling a lot of really talented people "D-List". Rob Liefeld. Calling OTHER people "D-List". Rob Liefeld.

Look at that. He can't even draw BART SIMPSON properly.

Rob Liefeld, probably the most overrated comic artist who ever lived has effectively called out a bunch of artists whose worst art still looks better than Liefeld's best.

But that's not what annoys me. Heck, that's not all that annoying. It's mostly just funny.

The part that annoys me is his statement that Deadpool is such a great character that he continues to do well despite the supposed "D-List" talent that's been handling him.

In case you don't know, Deadpool was originally a creation of Rob Liefeld's while he was working on "New Mutants" with Fabian Nicieza near the end of the 80's. At the time, Liefeld's art was considered stylistic and novel. Him, Frank Miller, and Todd McFarlane would largely define the artistic style of the 90's... big muscles, big guns, big tits, horrible anatomy, and lots of scowling. Few remember that time fondly.

Deadpool was originally brought in as a random super-mercenary who was hired to take down the New Mutants. In his first appearance, he basically lacked any real personality or the aspects of his character that he is well-known for today. He was pretty much just a really good mercenary who wore a two-tone mask and liked to use a variety of weapons. Who does that remind us of?

In case you're wondering, no, this is not just a coincidence. Liefeld is actually really well-known for ripping off characters from other comic book universes and yes, Deadpool was originally just a rip-off of Deathstroke.

Now, I'm not faulting Liefeld for this. This has been going on for decades. Marvel had Namor so DC made Aquaman. DC had Flash so Marvel had Quicksilver. Marvel had Asgard so DC had New Genesis. The Atom/Ant-Man, Green Arrow/Hawkeye, Black Canary/Siryn, Bumblebee/Wasp,. This is just the way the business is and there's really no reason to single out Liefeld for doing it.

But anyone who knows both Deadpool and Deathstroke knows that they are decidedly very different. Deadpool is younger, has a healing factor, he has a very different origin, and most notably, he has a sense of humor. So if he was intended to just be a Deathstroke clone, what happened?

Well, when writer Fabian Nicieza saw Liefeld's design and ideas for Deadpool, he pretty much instantly recognized that it was just a Deathstroke knock-off, so he decided to own up to it as a sort of joke. He even went so far as to give him the real name Wade Wilson (Deathstroke's real name is Slade Wilson). Most other writers probably would have just told Liefeld to make a character that WASN'T a blatant rip-off, but Nicieza decided to embrace it instead. Instead of a knock-off, Deadpool became a parody.

While Deadpool's first few appearances were very straight-forward, what made him stick out was that Nicieza gave him a sense of humor, even though he wasn't really MEANT to be a humorous character. I like to think it's because Nicieza was kind of making fun of both Deathstroke and Liefeld's original intent. Eventually, Nicieza (and readers) liked the character enough to give him his own mini-series, Circle Chase. From there, Joe Kelly took over the character and the rest is history.

So what's my point? My point is that in Liefeld's flurry of tweets, he's not just implying that the "D-List" (in his mind anyway) talent currently handling Deadpool is a testament to how good a character Deadpool is, he's implying that Deadpool is a testament to how awesome he is. He's gloating. He's pointing out how awesome Deadpool is because he created him and Liefeld is a well-known egomaniac.

Now that I've laid all that out, I'd like to talk to Rob Liefeld directly.

Rob... as far as I'm concerned, you didn't create Deadpool. You DREW him, sure, but you basically just copied a character design from George Perez, made it look more like Spider-Man, and then added on a lot of pouches. Nicieza gave him a sense of humor and made him popular. Joe Kelly gave him depth, a unique history, and his signature style. You just gave him a body and a costume.

All you did was basically create a character so bland and blatantly derivative that Nicieza couldn't help but have fun with him. He couldn't possibly be taken seriously, so Nicieza didn't.

And don't even TRY to claim that you had always intended to make him a funny character. You NEVER make funny characters. Every single character you ever created and wrote yourself is enormous, oversexed, ultra-violent  never smiles, and barely knows how to communicate without grunts and bullets. Without Nicieza, Deadpool would have just been a Deathstroke rip-off. He would have just been a mercenary sent to take out the New Mutants.

Don't get me wrong, Liefeld. I do acknowledge that if it weren't for you, Deadpool wouldn't exist, but you have no right to be PROUD of Deadpool. You're the deadbeat dad who spent his son's childhood in a crack-house in L.A. and then comes back twenty years later to find his son became successful and then says, "That's my boy!" before asking for a loan. Yeah. You're basically the dad from Adam Sandler's "The Waterboy".

Deadpool TRANSCENDED your initial vision and design. He OVERCAME the fact that you had no imagination. He became popular IN SPITE of you. If anything, THAT is the TRUE testament to the strength of his character.

Oh, and for the record, I'm really glad that you've given up drawing superhero comics. Have a lovely retirement.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Many Problems of Windows 8

When I first heard about Microsoft's intention to move ahead on Windows 8 in 2012, I was more than a little bit surprised. Windows 7 had only come out in 2009 and given the ubiquity of Windows XP, it didn't really become the dominant OS until 2010-2011. Sure Apple can get away with pushing out a new OS every year, but that's because it's essentially the same OS with new features. Windows is never that simple. Each OS upgrade requires a certain amount of commitment, and it seemed foolish to ask consumers to move on just as they finally embraced Windows 7.

I can understand WHY Microsoft wants Windows 8 to be the new focus. Their mobile OS, while nice, lacks developer support both in terms of hardware and software. By shifting their primary OS to focus on touch interfaces and requiring a specific standard for Metro-style apps, they're hoping to bolster their mobile OS and finally seriously compete with Apple and Google.

On paper, this is a good idea. Windows is the quintessential desktop OS. It has the best developer support of any OS. Ideally, moving Windows into a position where the same OS was used for both mobile and desktop hardware would be a good thing. The massive developer support that Windows has would finally be carried over to the mobile scene and perhaps turn mobile OS into a viable primary OS for everyone.

Here's why I think Windows 8 is doomed to fail.

Microsoft's plan for the future only works if everyone is on board. Their massive developer support has to also support Windows 8. Metro UI has to be well-received and commonly used. Consumers will have to want to upgrade and they'll have to want their apps to work in a Metro UI environment. If any one of these things falls out of place, then Windows 8 cannot succeed. And in my opinion, each one of those things has a large probability of failure.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chick-Fil-A and Elected Officials

So for those of you living in a cave, Chick-Fil-A's owner has recently vocally stated his opposition against homosexuality and his massive financial support of groups that also oppose homosexuality. Bigoted morons declared today "Chick-Fil-A Day" to go eat there in order to show their support and the rest of us have reasonably refused to go there. Some have made a point to go to competitors instead.

Since the nearest Chick-Fil-A in relation to me is in Scranton, PA, it's not really hard for me to not eat there, but now I'm definitely never going to eat there even if the opportunity arises.

I am 100% in support of the boycott of the chain since money that goes to the company will go to organizations that seek to continue discrimination against gay people. I hope this sends a message to the company and causes it to either stop using its money to fund hateful shit or just fold entirely.

That's why it took me a while to realize that I wasn't really OK with elected public officials publicly telling Chick-Fil-A that they're not welcome in their cities and trying to revoke their permits.

My Pull List - Comic Reviews for 8/1/2012

- Animal Man #12
- Avengers Vs. X-Men #9
- Batwing #12
- Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe #1
- Earth 2 #4
- Swamp Thing #12