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This is normally a comic-book related site.  Not right now, though.

I decided to build a house.  That doesn’t mean I’m shopping around for real estate.  I’m going to design, contract, and build a house all on my own.  This means I have to study building codes and learn about permits and do a lot of research on furnace efficiency and r-value and carpet fiber and refrigerators and wind direction and toilet height and backsplashes… I simply won’t have time for Tiny Life any time soon.

So, probably through 2015, the majority of these posts will be about building a house.  And possibly about living with the In-Laws while the house is built.

The Angry Birds Movie


“Behind Blue Eyes” by Limp Bizkit is featured prominently in this 2016 release. 

End of review

If I Were You

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Everyone I talk to envies this current generation of teens . They say, “Can you imagine being 16 nowadays?  You’re never bored because of the phone.  There’s a hookup culture where anyone humps anyone.  Everyone’s fat now, so the hottest hottie will get with the fattest fattie.  There’s good TV.  You have access to every song ever made for free.  Everyone is accepting of everyone else.  Plus the porn!  Porn everywhere!”  On the surface, I agree.  But that’s from my point of view, growing up in the 90s.  I can’t imagine growing up with that now.  I can’t imagine how that would change me.

I can’t imagine how I’d be affected believing that on-line life is just as (or more) important than actual life.

I can’t imagine how I’d be affected going through the hormones of adolescence with a masturbation machine in my pocket.

I can’t imagine how I’d be affected having 24-hour access to an unlimited number of friends, only to have no one get a hold of me.

I can’t imagine how I’d be affected knowing I could listen to any song at any time, but never listening to an entire album by anyone.

I can’t imagine how I’d be affected knowing that everyone I know eats fast food on a daily basis.

I can’t imagine how I’d be affected knowing that if I made fun of anyone, it’d be considered a hate crime.

I can’t imagine how I’d be affected knowing that I could learn anything I wanted without going to a class.

I can’t imagine how I’d be affected having 24-hour access to an unlimited number of girls, only to have no one get a hold of me.

I can’t imagine how I’d be affected having never known a “normal” winter or a “normal” summer.

I can’t imagine how I’d be affects by having a continual and constant distraction in my life.

 

 

 

 

I Finally Read Preacher

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14-year-old me: “What if you only had a superpower when you humped a girl?”

I quit comics around the time the now-famous writers started working: Mark Waid, Brian Azzarello, Ed Brubaker, Brian Vaughn, Matt Fraction… People say I should read this guy’s Batman or this other guy’s Superman is something I’ve never seen before.  I’m not interested.  Even when my Assistant to the Traveling Secretary (we have the same taste) recommended an X-Men arc (who I normally love) written by Joss Whedon (who is – by all accounts – a terrific writer), I didn’t spend more than about 10 seconds before I said, “They really needed an ‘Astonishing X-Men’?”

I then heard that Garth Ennis has the same viewpoint. The best of the genre (practically-naked men looking angry) has been written.  So I decided to give Preacher a shot.

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I gotta say, I think if I had read this when it came out, I might have stuck with comics a little longer. It’s a fun amalgamation of comic genres – western, sci-fi, horror, humor, romance – without being too much noir (I’ve never understood how “noir” is a genre; it’s code for a writer bad enough to use clichés but good enough to know they’re clichés).  I like the good guys, I like the bad guys, I like how there’s a history to the characters and I like how there’s a history to the mythology; when the reader stumbles across them, they didn’t suddenly come into existence.

However, with all the hype it’s gotten over the years, I think I expected a bit more from Preacher. All the characters speak with exactly the same cadence – black, white, gay, straight, men, women, good guys, bay guys, southerner, mid-westerner, New Yorker, German, Irish, guys from the 19th century, angels in heaven – they all say “Shite” and “Arshole” and “Boyo”.

Also, almost every situation the main characters find themselves in is because of circumstance. Tulip just happens to run into Cassidy, Jesse just happens to run into Tulip, they all just happen to run into DeSade… I know it’s part of the western genre as a “troubled town of the week”, but it gets pretty old pretty fast.

There’s also a few character flaws:

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    Not quite as good as Spiderman’s black costume, but close.

    Why is Jesse able to kick everyone’s ass? Yes, he had a shitty childhood, but he’s shown literally throwing people through walls.  Doesn’t this just make a low-grade superhero (with a preacher costume)?

  • Why is Tulip able to shoot everyone? Yes, her dad took her hunting when she was little but she botched her first paying gig as a hitman and she’s shown literally killing an entire platoon.  Doesn’t this just make her a low-grade superhero?
  • Why is Cassidy a vampire? Yes, I know he was bitten by one 100 years ago, but what purpose does it serve to the story that he can only be killed by prolonged exposure to sunlight?  Doesn’t this just make him a low-grade superhero?

Finally, one major plot hole in the conclusion of the series: God takes the baby/ghost/more-powerful-than-God-and-therefore-the-only-thing-God-is-afraid-of thing away from Jesse at the end of the series somehow and returns to heaven only to find the Saint of Killers ready to shoot Him, even though the Saint’s powers do not rival God’s.

Overall, a terrific series. I love Steve Dillon’s art – a classic UK style with a little mix of Art Adams and Barry Windsor-Smith thrown in.

Hopefully the TV show can fix some of the drawbacks of the comic (maybe Tulip is a successful hitman, Jesse has a long history of ass-kickin and Cassidy’s vampirism somehow fits into the plans of The Grail).

House Complete Final

In January I made a bunch of posts about my brand-new kick-ass house.  I had a post about the bedrooms and another about the kitchen and even one about closets and storage spaces.

Then I forgot to show the outside of it.

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The deck is where bees fight spiders

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I put a double-sliding door in the basement because I’m under the delusion that someone will come over, we’ll head out back to “get away from the wives” and they’ll say, “Hey!  a double-sliding door!”

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It looks like a tall house, but that’s just because you’re so short.

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Yes, that’s beige.  I always wanted a house that reminds me of a Tandy computer.

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The garage door has windows so people can see that my garage is full of tools from other people’s garage sales. 

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Why Flash?

I have a few friends who won’t shut up about The Flash being the best superhero show ever.  Every time I watch one I’m disappointed on a number of levels (everything from the acting, to the plot, to the names of the villains).  When I tell them this, they always say, “Oh, you just saw a bad one.  Last week’s was phenomenal.”

I purposefully missed the season finale here’s what I saw on my newsfeed today regarding a “shocking revelation”:

In Barry’s (Grant Gustin) bid to prevent Zoom (Teddy Sears) from destroying the multi-verse, the scarlet speedster created a time remnant of himself, which had the bonus of attracting Time Wraiths, who appeared to transform Zoom into the Black Flash, potentially adapting DC Comics’ seminal Flashpoint in season 3.

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That sounds awful.  Awful, awful, awful.

So, my question is – and this is coming from someone who watched the entirety of Buffy the Vampire Slayer because he saw three good episodes (there are probably 15 good episodes of the entire series) – what episodes of The Flash should I watch?

Etiquette 

  
What good can come from knocking on a bathroom stall door?

New 52 and Agents of Shield

When you ask people why they root for a certain team, the answer is usually either:

  1. I’m from that town
  2. My dad was a big fan
  3. I’m an awful person; that team is winning right now and I only align myself with winners

I used to think I had the same allegiance with comic books.  My dad loved Marvel, so he got me into Marvel.  DC was for pinkos.  As I got a little older I started to see that DC was actually inferior.  They had worse characters, worse stories, and less talented people.  As I got into the history of comics, I started to see that DC often stole Marvel’s ideas.  It wasn’t outright thievery (as Starlin did with Thanos / Darkseid or Liefeld did with Deadpool / Deathstroke), it was more along the lines of “can I borrow a feeling”.

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X-ray vision in the front, party in the back.

The X-Men got big while Claremont was writing so DC tried a dozen different superhero teams.  Dudes with guns dominated Marvel at one point so DC tried it out.  Brown trench coats and lots of pockets were big at Marvel in 1989, so DC did it five years later.  Pseudo-mullets were big in the mid-nineties at Marvel, so DC did it after The Death of Superman.  DC has never been an innovator (as much as one can innovate mostly-naked dudes wrestling each other over possession of something that probably glows).  They only copy.

Check out their recent three attempt-at-a-franchise movies: Green Lantern (the plot is Ryan Reynolds has to be “not scared”), Man of Steel (it’s dark and gritty) and Batman v Superman (it’s darker and grittier and tells you the plot in the title).  Each one is just trying to be more Marvel than Marvel: “You like realistic movies about superheroes?  We’ll give you a movie so realistic you won’t believe it!”

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Even their costumes look second-rate.  Who’s the guy with an “L” on his shirt?

After 1940, the only thing DC ever did that was original was Crisis on Infinite Earths.  If you don’t know, it was DC’s way of trying to put some coherent continuity in an otherwise incongruous fictional universe.  They had 50 years of Superman flying and not flying and shooting laser beams and being psychic and being racist and being magic and duplicating himself and being a dandy and time traveling and killing people and hypnotizing people … they figured they had to put it all together somehow so DC said that many of these things happened on different Earths.  This way, anything that doesn’t fit with current trends – like if hippy-killing comes back in style – they can just say, “Oh, that happened on another, more sexist Earth where men are judged solely on cock-girth.”

It was a good idea if they just left it alone.  No one cares that The Simpsons don’t age.  No one cares that Bugs Bunny was racist during WWII, but now is just a lovable scamp who tricks ducks into shooting themselves in the face.  If they would’ve left Crisis as it was, DC could’ve beat Marvel.  They could’ve used their exclusive contracts with industry giants to create some really interesting, really imaginative, really memorable stories.  Instead they just rehashed old stories and had at least three more reboots.

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If there’s no continuity in a fictional universe, it’s just not enjoyable.

And now Marvel is trying it.

Although I never read much of The Ultimates, it was a terrific idea: “Let’s create another universe where we can retell the best stories of the last 75 years and create some of our own without mucking up the current characters.”  This way you can have SpiderMan and Amazing SpiderMan and Spectacular SpiderMan and Web of Spiderman and Sensational SpiderMan and Superior SpiderMan and Jaw-Dropping Spiderman and the less popular Mean/Median/Mode Spiderman and The Hyphenated Spider-Man and then an alternate universe version of each one.  With that many monthly titles, something has to hit.  The Wife and I used the same strategy when we were trying to conceive.

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Even their costumes look second-rate.  Why are there stars on everyone’s costume?

But now Marvel is pulling a Crisis.  They’re collapsing all continuities into one. They’re copying DC.   And not just in the comics.

They’re trying to turn Agents of Shield into The Flash.  They’re trying to turn an already good show about regular people trying to fight super-powered bad guys and evil organizations into a “who can shoot bright shit out of our hands the hardest while showing our distractingly white teeth”.

It never worked for DC.  I don’t know why Marvel is trying it.

 

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