Archive for June, 2010

24
Jun
10

Kaje’s Komic Kreviews!: Jurassic Park: Redemption #1

There is a meme that goes on in comics classes that you don’t have to be a good drawer to be a comic artist. This is false and misleading. It’s true that you don’t have to have Katsuhiro Otomo level skillz, but if your artwork is both poorly rendered and boring, it’s probably best that you stick with poetry jams. Or in this case, fanfiction.net.

Yesterday I saw the first issue of Jurassic Park: Redemption and, being the classy connoisseur of the franchise, squealed like a ecstatic guinea pig while fishing for change to buy it.

Here is the cover art by Frank Miller. Cool, eh?

Alas, Frank Miller just did the cover, while the actual comic is penciled by Nate Van Dyke. They ought to make up some sort of platitude about how book covers can potentially mislead you as to the quality of the book.  This is what you find inside JP:R.

I’m not complaining about scientific accuracy, this is Jurassic Park after all. I’m complaining about oh my god that’s the most awful splash page I’ve ever seen in my life. Was Nate Van Dyke shanghaied into doing this project and did the worst job he could do on purpose? Did he ask a friend if he could borrow a Jurassic Park DVD and somehow ended up with a 50’s man-in-a-rubber-suit dinosaur flick? You’d think if you were doing a Jurassic Park comic, the first thing you’d ask a potential artist is “can you draw dinosaurs competently?” That’s kind of the whole reason for JP’s existence. I’ve seen harlequin babies that were easier on the eye.

It doesn’t get much better, and it’s not just the dinosaurs that suffer. Everything is just so freaking ugly. The human characters have no life to them whatsoever. Sometimes the art doesn’t fit the text or isn’t continuous with the panels proceeding it. For example, one panel shows a truck driver leaving to take a whizz in the bushes; the next panel he’s being hurled from the top of his trailer.

Mr. Van Dyke is of the school of scratchy dry brush artwork style that is typical of the grungy horror comic, the kind that usually feature zombies and middle-of-nowhere truckstops and people wearing flannel. I’m not a big fan of that style even in those kind of comics. The Jurassic Park series isn’t grungy. It’s sleek and adventurous. It’s both the Lost World and the World of Tomorrow. Jurassic Park is a John Williams score, this comic is a crappy hellbilly band. I don’t care if this comic takes place in rural Texas, it just doesn’t fit.

The artwork’s pretty much ruined this for me, but let’s hash the plot anyway. It’s 13 years after the events of the first movie. Lexx Murphy is the CEO of Lexxcrops (hee!) and is anti-Jurassic Park. Tim Murphy is in charge of grandpa’s company and also seems to want to get JP running again. Meanwhile, there’s a secret corral of dinosaurs being kept in Glen Rose Texas.Which is being run by a guy who was eaten by a T-Rex in the second movie. Even though this takes place after the third. I guess he was bitten by a mosquito which was fossilized in amber and they cloned him back. Or maybe Lexx and Tim were DEAD THE WHOLE TIME!!!

Speaking of Glen Rose and speaking of redemption, this comic would’ve totally redeemed itself if it took a dig at Glen Rose’s creationist infestation. Alas! Maybe they’re saving it for a later issue.

The first issue ends with a stupid-looking shape-shifting Carnotaurus breaking loose and eating various large mammals. I wish you well on your mammal eating adventures, Fake-notaurus. I’m afraid I can’t bring myself to accompany you.

21
Jun
10

Break Out the Sham-Paggin

Little toy Zapp Brannigan

Oooga chaka.

You’re all familiar with the biological clock. Supposedly there’s a little alarm clock in a woman’s body (situated betwixt the soul gland and the good smell bladder, if I recall) that goes off when she reaches her late thirties, triggering auditory and visual hallucinations of dancing CGI babies. So says my source for all my medical information, Dr. Dumpyfat Sitcomman.

I’m going through something similar right now. Except I’m 24, and instead of babies I can’t stop thinking about Futurama.

Seriously, I find myself correcting people by yelling “[insert plural noun here] DO NOT WORK THAT WAY!”   The word “Jurassic,” a word which usually fills my heart with joy, reminds me of that stupid episode with the dog and makes me sad. I’m tempted to do my feminist whinging in truncated Amazon speak- we no can dunk, but good fundamentals! At night my dreams are haunted by a shadowy figure, accompanied by the aura of legend and the overpowering stink of velour. All this is reaching a crescendo as the brand new season rapidly approaches.

You did know Comedy Central was making new episodes, right?

Anyway! Let’s all wallow in our sick hallucinations together until Thursday finally arrives! How about we share our favorite Futurama quotes?

Zapp: You want the rest of the shampaggin?

Leela: No. And it’s pronounced ‘champagne

Zapp: OH GOD NOOOOOO!
…Comedy Central, you had better not drop the ball on this. My various glands and bladders and meat clocks won’t be able to handle it.
17
Jun
10

Joplin Globe Madness: Introduce Your Child to Dying Puppies Today!

Haven’t done a JGM in a while. They all start to blend into each other after a while, like a wall of static. Stupid, inane static.

Who would’ve thought that a simple spay-and-neuter letter would stand out from the white noise? Ah, but this is no ordinary spay-and-neuter letter. This is Don Adams’ spay-and-neuter letter. Any doofus can regulate puppy mills and raise awareness with sissy pamphlets. But Adams has a more…extreme approach, with a Clockwork Orange-type aversion program starting with 3rd grade trips to dog pounds.

Later when these children reach, say, the 11th grade, we should bus them to see the unwanted pets euthanized. This has to be one of the saddest things they could ever see. We euthanize behind closed doors like it never happens. Let’s get this out in the open for all to see.

This I believe would convert the kids forever to saving pets by neutering.

Still, I don’t think Don’s plan goes quite far enough.The trips are too far apart, and 11th grade is too late for the euthanasia trip. By then they will all be detached teenage wiseasses who will be more likely to brush it off.

My amendment to this plan: Do it all during that third grade trip, including the euthanasia. For that matter, don’t make it a “field trip”. Instead, cart each student off individually to the pound to view the atrocity without support from their peers. Strap them into a little cart, like a haunted house ride. Maybe pry their eyes open, or shock them occasionally. Once the experience is over, tell them that this little trip will be the ultimate punishment for misbehaving in class. Now you have raised awareness, and cracked down on bad student behavior! Two birds, meet one stone.

If we implement Don’s plans, we will have an entire populace of traumatized citizens keenly aware of the horrors of overpopulation and a cynical outlook on life. Plus, less stray animals! I say go for it!

17
Jun
10

Funny Out of Context Paragraph of the Moment

In 1981 he was attacked and stabbed, receiving severe life threatening internal injuries. He underwent major surgery and recovered surprisingly quickly. Three weeks later he ate a robot.

–1988 article on Monsieur Mangetout, a performer famous for eating inedible stuff like airplanes. From Reader’s Digest Facts and Fallacies.

I’m glad at least one man took the initiative against the metallic menace in our midst.

…cripes, I’m going crazy waiting for new Futurama episodes.

13
Jun
10

A Game for the Bored Alcoholic Audiophile in You

Introducing the Songmeanings.net Drinking Game for your amusement!

You Will Need:

-Internet access

-An MP3 player with a shuffle setting.

- Drinks!

How to Play

Set your player to “shuffle”. Look up the song that comes up on songmeanings.net and read the comments. For the duration of the song, take a drink if:

Someone thinks the song is about drugs.

Someone thinks the song is about bisexuality.

Someone thinks it’s about the Bush administration. Take two drinks if the song predates the Bush era.

Someone doesn’t even bother to provide a theory as to the song’s meaning but just gushes about the artist or song.

Someone doesn’t even bother to provide a theory as to the song’s meaning but just flames the artist and the fans.

Someone thinks a lyric is about abortion, miscarriage, or stillbirth.

Someone manages to misinterpret straightforward lyrics.

Someone weaves a web of convoluted postmodern analysis when it obviously has nothing to do with the song. Take two if they invent allusions to Shakespeare, Dante or the Bible.

You spot a misspelling of the word “hypocrisy.”

You spot an obviously false urban legend touted as the truth. (Hotel California is not about Satanism, you dolts!)

Someone mentions how they play this song when they’re engaged in carnal naughtiness. Take two if you genuinely fear for the person’s future.

You find a mondegreen, either in the comments or the lyrics.

You find a commenter with a username referencing Nickelback, My Chemical Romance or Pink Floyd.

You find some old dork reminiscing about his/her past life (or that of a friend) as a roadie/groupie/disc jockey/dealer that knew the artist.

You find a conspiracy theorist rabbiting on about something that’s either only tangentially related to the song, or not at all. Take two if the guy is somebody other than a white power Neo-Nazi.

The thread evolves into a massive flame war over the artist or song at hand.

The thread is mostly comprised of comments correcting the schmuck that couldn’t type the right lyrics.

———————————–

You now have liver disease! Enjoy!

07
Jun
10

See? See?!

In our last thrilling installment, we uncovered the shocking, arousing truth behind backpedaling racist apologists. Turns out they aren’t arguing in good faith, and don’t actually have a problem with racism! If that’s not shocking enough, then hold on to your hats– in today’s episode, we find a walking demonstration of this principle in action!

Via Pandagon, let us present Exhibit A: Robert Stacy McCain, conservative blogger and evidence of vast McCainian conspiracy.

The backstory: South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley is deemed by certain other Republicans as being too OMG MOOSLOOM to be a true Republican, or a true American for that matter. Case in point, Senator Jake Knotts sez:

“We’ve already got a raghead in the White House, we don’t need another raghead in the governor’s mansion.”

Shhh. Don’t tell him that she’s actually of Sikh descent, which is verily not Muslim, and besides she herself is Christian anyway. His doctor has apparently forbidden him from acknowledging other categories of brown people other than “illegal” and “Taliban”, lest he have an aneurysm. How sad, to be held in bondage by the mind made fragile flesh!

Which brings us back to the Other McCain. Take notes, as this is the behavior I alluded to yesterday.

First, comes the disclaimer that yes, Knotts calling Haley a raghead was a bad thing. HOWEVER! And here come the caveats.

Certainly, I’m the last person on the planet to be screaming “raaaaacist” at other people, but it’s shocking enough that a Republican would use such language to describe President Obama.

Caveat 1: People who point out racism are oversensitive wieners.

It’s unfathomably ignorant. Sikhs are not Muslim and they’re not Hindu.

Caveat 2: It’s only wrong if the technical aspects are wrong. If she were of, say, Pakistani descent, go nuts!

Now let’s move on to the meat and potatoes of plain ol’ apologism.

One of the first controversies I ever became involved in as a blogger was when Ann Coulter used “raghead” in her 2006 CPAC speech. At a time when even Ace of Spades (!) signed a petition condemning her, I defended Coulter because (a) I love Coulter, and (b) the person to whom she applied that term was Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, for whom no slur is sufficiently derogatory.

It’s OK to tar all people of that race if you don’t like a certain individual! That’s not being racist! Oh wait, judging and tarring the entire race based on individuals– that may be tangentially related to racism. It may be the freakin’ definition. I’ll have to get out my  dictionary.

We would like to thank the Other McCain, for showing us how to be racist the right way. McCain’s an Irish name, right? He’s truly a credit to his drunken, potato-eating race.*

*Before anyone says anything, I’m Irish too. Besides, for some people no slur is sufficiently derogatory!
05
Jun
10

Arizona: the 50th State in Terms of Non-Suckiness

You know all the mewling from pro-Arizona folks? How they insist that they’re not racist, they are just cracking down on illegal immigration and it just so happens that all illegal immigrants are brown people?

It was BS when they passed that stupid law. It was BS when they started campaigning against teachers with Hispanic accents (because we gotta teach grammatically correct English with no distracting accents, ain’t that right y’all?), it was BS when they banned ethnic studies classes in schools.

And, to further cement the fact that their whole “we’re not racist” facade is pure runny pants-ruining BS, now we got this:

Arizona School Demands Black and Latino Faces in Mural Be Changed to White:

A group of artists has been asked to lighten the faces of children depicted in a giant public mural at a Prescott school. The project’s leader says he was ordered to lighten the skin tone after complaints about the children’s ethnicity ….

R.E. Wall, director of Prescott’s Downtown Mural Project, said he and other artists were subjected to slurs from motorists as they worked on the painting at one of the town’s most prominent intersections.

“We consistently, for two months, had people shouting racial slander from their cars,” Wall said. “We had children painting with us, and here come these yells of (epithet for Blacks) and (epithet for Hispanics).”

Every time an exceptionally racist act breaks the news, you always have apologists saying that this is just people being sensitive, it’s not REALLY racism. They imply that there is such a thing as racism, and gee whiz of course theyd be against real racism, but this isn’t it.

Here’s a little secret though; that’s a lie. They aren’t against racism. Because seriously, this painting snafu is some Jim Crow era stuff. It’s almost cartoonishly racist. You could take a photo of this and put it in the wikipedia entry for racism. Yet they still insist it’s not racist. Are they blind? Are they stupid?

Maybe. But most know exactly what it is they’re defending. They just know that racism is shameful enough that they have to avoid that word to be taken seriously. Try it. Ask one of them what they think would be a racist act. Chances are good their idea of racism is that “blacks can say the N-word, but I can’t!”

I had been torn as which state in the union was the absolute worst. I think you can rest easy now, Oklahoma.

(EDIT: I just noticed the rather grievious typo in the URL. AZ is so bad, it beat out nine non-existent states in terms of suckiness.)




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