Monday, March 31, 2008

Something's Wrong With My World View

A plushophile, or plushie can oftentimes be described, according to the Urban Dictionary as:
noun: One who makes sexual and masturbatory use of stuffed animals, dolls, and puppets. Plushophiles are often involved with the "furry" community.

So what the heck is this game about?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Marvel Zombies Vs Walking Dead

As you already know two of my favorite things are superheroes and zombies which is why I got so excited when Marvel Zombies as created by Mark Millar and Greg Land first appeared in the Ultimate Fantastic Four 21-23 way back in 05, and again in 06 issues 30-32.

Now while I’d love to see a Marvel Zombie movie, especially if this scene was reshot with Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst as directed by Sam Raimi, I’ve lost my taste (pun?) for the books. I really enjoyed the first mini-series as written by Robert Kirkman and illustrated by Sean Phillips, but after that it became a parody of what made it kinda cool in the first place. Hell, they even fought Ash J Williams in Marvel Zombies Vs The Army of Darkness last year.

Unfortunately I only have one person to blame for my loss of love for the spandex clad flesh eaters.

That person is Robert Kirkman.

Now before you start shouting, wait a minute Charlie, Kirkman’s awesome. He created Battle Pope and Invincible. The man’s brilliant.

I know he is, and that’s the problem.

Kirkman created The Walking Dead.

The Walking Dead is probably my favorite comic on the market now. It is easily the greatest zombie apocalypse tale to date. If anything, Kirkman has raised the bar so high for zombie fiction that other stuff he’s written, like Marvel Zombies, pales in comparison.

No other comic has ever given me a WTF moment as last months issue 46 has. Kirkman shows a great affection for Romeros world and makes it his own. He understands that zombies are an obstacle and it’s the human relationships and dynamics that are far deadlier than the 100 or so lurking ghouls camping on your doorstep. He’s intelligent enough to realize that no one, and I mean no one is safe. He pulls the reader along toying with your affections for the characters and filling you with dread at every page turn.

The Walking Dead is a zombie tale for the Lost fans, and if any zombie tale were ever adapted for television (c’mon Showtime, get on it) it should be this one. It almost screams to be filmed.

Without giving too much away, The Walking Dead follows Officer Rick Grimes a police officer from Kentucky who wakes up in a hospital after being shot to a very different world decimated by zombies. Now Kirkman got a lot of complaints about his opening being too similar to Danny Boyles 28 Days Later, but Boyle wasn’t the first either. That honor goes to John Wyndhams Day of the Triffids. (highly recommended)

Rick does miraculously reunite with his wife Lori and his son Carl who are with a group of survivors that includes his partner Shane.

It’s at about this point that those deadly human relationships come into play, and you realize this aint just a zombie story.

People die in this book, some of them you love and others not so much, but the cast has changed dramatically from that first issue and I wouldn’t be surprised if Kirkman decides to change the focal point of the book leaving us loyal readers to lash out in the letter pages about our emotional investments.

Nearly the full run of The Walking Dead can be found in 7 soft cover collections, with the eighth soon to follow. The collections are also modestly priced, normally at 13 bucks a book containing 6 full issues. You can find them online or at your local comic shop, I recommend ordering from Velocity Comics here in Richmond, cause Patrick’s alright.

Now I know I haven’t shown any love for the talented artists on this book. Tony Moore did art for the first 6 issues and Charlie Adlard has expertly handled the interiors since. The interior art is black and white, and I really don’t see the need to add color. If anything the colors I see are probably more gruesome than anything they can actually print. There have been times earlier on where it’s been difficult to distinguish characters, but Adlard has really grown on this book and he’s looking much more polished.

The Walking Dead is fast approaching the 50th issue which Kirkman has hinted at big changes for. This might be a good jumping on point for anyone wanting to follow this book, even Tere is hooked, and she doesn’t read comics. (philistine)

If anything do yourself a favor and grab some of the collected books. We’ll just sit by and wait for you to start searching the bins for back issues.

The Walking Dead is published by Image Comics.

What's The Dilly-O?

I’ve been called out and humbled, and rightly so, trappedinnorthcountry a regular visitor here laid it on the line with a “what’s the deal”, and I started thinking, what is the deal?

First let me say, it’s not all laziness. Researching stuff to write about takes time, and I’ve gotten more than a bit overwhelmed with evil (ok, not so evil) work stuff. I’ve also taken on a new/old project with my good friend Noah Scalin of the now famous Skull A Day blog. I don’t know how much he would want me to say about it at this point, but you should start seeing the fruits of our labor by years end.

I’ve also started training again for endurance running after taking nearly a year off, which means I’m starting from scratch. My wife Tere wants to run her first marathon and beat me by a year. (I ran my first for my 40th birthday in New York) She’s asked me to coach her (I’m on probation) so my lunch time is spent on the treadmill doing fast runs for me, and some of my evenings are spent doing slower strength building miles outside for her. Needless to say, I’m exhausted most of the time, but that’s just an excuse, and you don’t need excuses. You need curmudgeonly ranting, and I need to rant and/or gush geekgasms as the case may be. I’m not promising daily content, but I’m gonna try hard for 3 days a week which should give me time to research and write. Feel free to call me out when and if I stray.

One more thing, trappedinnorthcountry, thanks for the push. I needed it.

Monday, March 10, 2008

So, Who's Watching??

Wow, I missed you guys. Work this past week has been butt-kicking, but now we're in spring break (wooo) so I get a bit of a breather.
I don't know if this is new news or not, but it's new to me. The Warner Bros. Watchmen site has posted these pictures of the main cast, and even thought the movies a year away I am definitely getting more excited about it.
Go check the site out, read the synopsis, and if you've never read The Watchmen, do yourself a favor and pick it up. It is by far one of the greatest graphic novels (to quote a Simpsons character) ever. If these pictures don't whet your appetite, nothing will.
The Watchmen was originally published in comics form by DC in 1986/87. It is written by the great Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons. It is the only graphic novel to win a Hugo Award.
Watchmen the movie is directed by Zack Snyder who also did 300 and the Dawn of the Dead reimagining.