Archive for the 'Pop Culture' Category


Hey Look! Plagiarism!

On Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs, this cover for Avengers #12 was posted. I thought it looked familiar…


The comments confirmed my suspicion: the Therizinosaurus design and the Protoceratops in the background are clones of Henriette and Bix from James Gurney’s Dinotopia books. Which are like my favorite books from my childhood.

This is some bullshit. How come there’s so many talented artists creating original designs, yet professionals working in the industry like Dustin Weaver feel they can get away with this?

EDIT: Apparently Dustin Weaver has a blog, and basically admits to it. He calls it “homage”. I can appreciate wanting to do that, but I don’t think he pulled it off here.


Nobody’s Taking Your N-Word Away

So! I heard there’s this new version of Huck Finn that says “slave” instead of “nigger”. I have heard this several godzillion times. As have you. This story seems to sting America more than a congresswoman getting a bullet in the brain.

Disclaimer: I, too, think it’s stupid. So do the vast majority of people, including most non-stupid people.

How do you differentiate between the stupid and non-stupid? Easy. The stupid ones bring up rap music.

Facebook! Help me out!

Not depicted: Jello puddin' pops

Or, they think that all future copies of the book will be edited, and current copies burned en masse by order of the Ministry of Literature.

Also, rap!

Or…I don’t even know what the hell this is.

I censored this lady's name. You will never know the historical context and your education will suffer as a result. Political correctness gone wild!

Either this woman is perpetrating the most slapdash retcon ever, or she’s somehow thinking of the word “raptor.” Your knowledge of Latin is only impressive if you get your terms right, hun.

Ah, remember the time when the Globe’s Facebook page was a lot less insufferable than comments on the Globe site itself? I blame you, intelligent tech-savvy youth, for teaching your dumb relatives how to set up Facebook accounts.

Anyway! Let’s tackle the censorship angle, shall we? It’s true, censoring the word is stupid and prudish. However, only one publisher is doing this. If you want the uncensored version, your limited options are every other publisher of the book. The one world government isn’t pulling a George Lucas and annihilating the original version. It’s an option for people who can’t handle “nigger” in a historical context. Stop making up stories about PC Police. In fact, the only calls for one version being banned completely seems to be coming from our side, from those who don’t understand that our version is not being completely replaced by the other version.

Now to the rap music part…why am I even dignifying this with a rebuttal? I could bring up privilege, reclamation, intent, all that to the white people who just have a bug up their arse about black people and wouldn’t want to hear the facts anyway. That’s all unnecessary, however.

We have established that the new Huck Finn is merely a censored alternative to the original, correct? So for this to be a double standard, it would have to be impossible for record companies to release censored versions of songs that normally have objectionable language. If you’re like me and have been burned by purchasing a “clean” CD at Wal-Mart (or worse, was exposed to Kidz Bop), you know this is not the case.

Sorry folks, but your demands for the scary black music to be neutered in retaliation are completely toothless. Tipper Gore already gave you Parental Advisory stickers, what more do you want?


A Thor Spot for White Supremacists

Heimdall as a fierce manly white man! FIERCE!

I haven’t read any of the Thor comics, so I wasn’t planning on seeing the upcoming movie. But goshdarnit, someone’s decided to boycott it. Now the wafting fumes of controversy strangely compel me to pay attention to a pop cultural phenomenon I would have otherwise ignored.

O Hollywood! Whose wrath have you provoked with your unwitting meddling?

Turns out its our very own Council of Conservative Christians. They’re mad because their second favorite religion (next to the cult of their wounded pride) is getting peeceeified with the casting of (I assume) a socialist Kenyan secret Muslim as Heimdall.

The Missouri-based Council of Conservative Citizens, labeled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, writes that Marvel has “[declared] war on Norse mythology” by giving the pantheon “an insulting multi-cultural make-over” in the form of Idris Elba, the English actor known for his roles in The Wire, The Losers and The Office.

Hold up! A SCANDINAVIAN god is being played by an ENGLISH actor? What is Hollywood THINKING?!?

Normally I’m not a fan of racebending, but I’m more willing to let it slide if A. It’s the privileged actors who get the shaft, and B. It annoys white supremacists. Who wants to go see Thor with me?


Nuke Hollywood

Ready for some nightmare fuel?

Some studio thought this movie was a good idea, some director thought it would be a good idea to waste millions of dollars on replicating a cheap furry cosplay in CGI, and some ad gency thought this ad wouldn’t drive people away in screaming throngs.

We don’t deserve this world.


Hollywood, Racism and Trophy Hunting Aliens

My movie review protocol is hindered when it comes to monster movies, as my critical mind is temporarily overwhelmed by my reptilian hindbrain that loves to watch monsters tear various living things apart. For example, here’s my review, in its entirety, of 2005’s King Kong remake from my old Xanga blog:

OMG dinosaurs and giant gorillas and giant bugs and bats and they’re all fighting OMG so cool but then the gorilla died and I was sad.

Yesterday I saw Predators with a friend. I enjoyed the movie, don’t get me wrong, but somehow other things besides awesome monster fights leaked through. My slightly above kindergarten-level review is such:

There are aliens that hunt stuff called Predators. They dropped Adrian Brody on a planet, then he found other dudes and a chick and they all spazzed out and tried to kill each other. Then they all were obnoxious stereotypes. The Yakuza guy walked barefoot and was quiet because he was an exotic Japanese guy. The Mexican guy was a drug runner and he died first because he was old and not white. They walked around until they went like “oh hey we’re in space”. Then some alien dogs show up and they fought and then the dudes found the Predators and fought them and they killed the black guy. Then Laurence Fishburne was nutzoid and then the Predators made him explode and then the Predators chased the people some more. A Predator shot a Russian, but then he blew up the Predator so it was ok. A Predator ripped out a guy’s spine and that was cool. The Yakuza guy knew how to swordfight because he was Japanese and they all know martial arts. He fought a Predator and died. There was also a little Predator that was picked on by the big Predators and then Adrian Brody let it go. The little Predator and the big Predator fought and the little Predator lost. Then Topher Grace was nutzoid. Then Adrian Brody fights the Predator and it loses and I was sad. Then there was weird political subtext when the only survivors were the white Israeli chick and the white American dude. Then Little Richard started playing for some reason. The end. I like monsters.

You know you’re going to have trouble enjoying things when sociology bubbles around in your id. But I can’t help it really. Every day I see more evidence that Hollywood is really really freaking racist (along with sexist). You may have seen it too. The most blatant and newsworthy recent example is The Last Airbender.

If you haven’t heard about it: Avatar: The Last Airbender was a cartoon on Nickelodeon about this fantasy world of element themed nations. It managed to be insanely popular with critics and audiences despite having little to no white people in the cast (disclaimer: I haven’t watched the show). The show was such a hit that Hollywood decided to make a life action movie with M. Night Shyamalan directing. Airbender fans were happy (assuming they weren’t familiar with Shyamalan’s horrible work) until the casting info was released.

Turns out nearly all of the main characters, who were based on several Inuit and Asian cultures, were made white for the movie. Non-white roles were reserved for extras and bad guys. Post-racial society, you guys.

Hollywood seems to have bitten off more than it can chew in this case. Due to the efforts of the fanbase, nearly every critic was made aware of the casting choices and added it to the adaptation’s many offenses, such as being an M. Night Shyamalan movie. It’s at 8% at, which is simply embarrassing.

Something tells me this won’t make studio execs think that making movies with white leads is too risky. Funny that.

Even if Paramount learns its lesson from this, it has a long way to go. On this series of posts, the stats on race at Paramount pictures are stark:

This is probably similar to most Hollywood studios. Predators was made by Troublemaker Studios, which is certainly making better movies then Paramount. I need to see more Troublemaker movies and see if they fare worse or better in the Non-white dude rates.

Knock it off, Hollywood. We all equally deserve to zone out and  enjoy monster-on-monster violence.


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,

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.


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

…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.

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