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Why Did Richie Tenenbaum Attempt Suicide?

Video review of a scene in The Royal Tenenbaums film.  Contains spoilers and a third act reveal for Moonrise Kingdom.

Like don't be a dick Scoob

tylersvathings:

ron't rive a ruck

I ron’t rive a ruck…

Art by scoobandshagtalk

Thesis: Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli

How to Play the Sax Solo Hot Patootie from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Sheet Music: http://i.imgur.com/nLlYMPS.jpg

Improvised sheet music for the saxophone bits in Hat Patootie (Bless My Soul)

Improvised sheet music for the saxophone bits in Hat Patootie (Bless My Soul)

Beyond Disbelief: A Critique of New Atheism

(Source: youtube.com)

A Matter of Life Review.  Written and illustrated by Jeffrey Brown

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My own Graphic Novel Series, Druid City, Two Volumes Out

Written essays on my website.

1st Scott Pilgrim Essay: Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Diegesis

2nd Essay: Scott Pilgrim VS The World: Panel Composition and Transitions

4th: Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together: Subspace as Metaphor

5th: Anticlimax in Scott Pilgrim VS The Universe

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pumpkinonline:

Sooo we met our goal yesterday!However it’s still not over till it’s over. We’re really excited but, this was the easy part. Now the hard part is afterwards.  Thank you everyone so much for getting us this far. Once it’s all over I can thank everyone properly. Last 52 hours incase you still haven’t donated yet.Pumpkin-Online is a Harvest-Moon / Animal Crossing inspired mmo currently in development by indie game company, Pumpkin Interactive, we need a lot of support to make this happen so please follow, and spread the word about usPLEASE SUPPORT OUR KICKSTARTER! IT ENDS SEPTEMBER 18th.

pumpkinonline:

Sooo we met our goal yesterday!
However it’s still not over till it’s over. We’re really excited but, this was the easy part. Now the hard part is afterwards.  
Thank you everyone so much for getting us this far.
Once it’s all over I can thank everyone properly. 

Last 52 hours incase you still haven’t donated yet.

image

Pumpkin-Online is a Harvest-Moon / Animal Crossing inspired mmo currently in development by indie game company, Pumpkin Interactive, we need a lot of support to make this happen so please follow, and spread the word about us
PLEASE SUPPORT OUR KICKSTARTER! IT ENDS SEPTEMBER 18th.

Highly Combustible Graphic Novels - A Matter of Life

matter-of-life-1

Great, I’m reviewing a Jeffrey Brown graphic novel again. He has so many books released that it would have to happen eventually, so I decided to take the hit and see what his latest release was like. A Matter of Life was released by Top Shelf Productions in July 2013.

Plot Summary

The book features a series of vignettes featuring Jeff Brown’s family life, with a focus on his father and son, both of whom the book is dedicated to. Jeff Brown’s father was a minister, and Jeff Brown spent a lot of his time in church. The early portion of the book focuses on some experiences he had there, and then evolves into him researching religions and books on science. The only good laugh in the novel comes from his expectations when he picks up a book on Scientology, expecting it to be religion based on scientific concepts, but comes away from the reading disappointed and angry at the ridiculous claims of the faith. His son is born, and he shows some of the challenges he and his wife have had raising the child. Not much else happens.

Why It Sucks

Ugggh. So Brown’s ability to write simple dialogue has improved since his failed attempts from Unlikely. Much like Julia Wertz, who did the graphic novel Drinking at the Movies, the vignettes he showcases often have little to do with each other and mostly just end on a punchline of some kind, or as is the case in this book, a good few anti-jokes, some of which I think were unintentional. Wertz’s experiences were a lot funnier and more relatable to me because her situations are more similar to my own. I can’t say that I’ve experienced being married or raising a child, so perhaps his anecdotes would be more interesting to me if I had some similarities with him, but I can’t say that I do. One thing that I do like about Brown is that he writes and illustrates in a style that is commonly associated with children’s literature, but many times the topics of sex get brought up, even though Brown’s past self had a very limited scope of experiences in that realm until his late twenties presumably. But I can’t really say that these lived experiences of Jeff are interesting to me, and I may very well buy another one of his books that isn’t autobiographical in the slightest, because ol’ dude’s life is just boring to me.

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My own Graphic Novel Series, Druid City, Two Volumes Out

Written essays on my website.

1st Scott Pilgrim Essay: Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Diegesis

2nd Essay: Scott Pilgrim VS The World: Panel Composition and Transitions

4th: Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together: Subspace as Metaphor

5th: Anticlimax in Scott Pilgrim VS The Universe

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Upcoming stuff - update on Volume 3

The next few reviews I’ll be doing are on Jeffrey Brown’s (yeah, him again) A Matter of Life and David Mazzucchelli’s Asterios Polyp. 

I’ve also started the first draft for Volume 3.  The original script was scrapped back last year when I was still working on Volume 2, and I started making a new outline.

pumpkinonline:

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——- > KICKSTARTER PAGE HERE <—-

AND NOW THE FUNDRAISING BEGINS. 

We prepared for 8 months for this moment, to pitch this game to the public and see if we can drum up enough interest to help us get the budget we need to get the project rolling. More info about the Kickstarter soon. 


SIGNAL BOOST THIS FOR US IF YOU CAN THANKS :3

image

Pumpkin-Online is a Harvest-Moon / Animal Crossing inspired mmo currently in development by indie game company, Pumpkin Interactive, we need a lot of support to make this happen so please follow, and spread the word about us
PLEASE SUPPORT OUR KICKSTARTER! IT ENDS SEPTEMBER 18th.

Sep 8

Video Review for Gene Luen Yang’s Saints

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My own Graphic Novel Series, Druid City, Two Volumes Out

Written essays on my website.

1st Scott Pilgrim Essay: Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Diegesis

2nd Essay: Scott Pilgrim VS The World: Panel Composition and Transitions

4th: Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together: Subspace as Metaphor

5th: Anticlimax in Scott Pilgrim VS The Universe

Facebook Twitter/ YouTube

Sep 6

Highly Suggested Graphic Novels - Saints

saints

Saints is the second section of Gene Luen Yang’s Boxers and Saints.  It was colored by Lark Pien and published by First Second Books in 2013.

Summary

In a story that intertwines with Boxers, a girl is the fourth born in her family, and due to Chinese superstition, she is ostracized by much of her family, and isn’t given a proper name.  She meets a family and priest that introduce her to Christianity, and she begins having visionary encounters with Joan of Arc.  She converts and is given a named, Vibiana.  After facing the full wrath of her family’s intolerance, she moves with the priest to a new monastery and begins to have fantasies of becoming a new Joan of Arc.  With the Society of the Harmonious and Righteous Fists gaining notoriety, she sees an opportunity to practically do so.

Visuals

Lark Pien worked on the colors for this book too, but the direction is notably different.  The color scheme is far less saturated and the only exceptions are seen in Joan of Arc, who is illuminated by comparison, and her flashback scenes are tinted yellow.  This plays into Christianity’s dissonant world view in comparison to eastern religions, as balance isn’t a key element so much as being lifted from a world doused in sin.  It also adds to the bleaker tone of this book, which has some excellent jokes that break through the mood.

Themes

Humor arising from cultural differences is more prevalent in this book, and one of the jokes will stick with me for life.  Divinity is explored in a slightly more positive light in this book, but it’s offset by the lead character’s self-interest and cynicism.  In an odd and entertaining twist, Vibiana seeks Christianity because her peers refer to adherents of Christianity as “devils”, and since she identifies as an outcast devil herself, she wants to be like them.  Once Vibiana performs an act she is guilty about, she converts to seek absolution, but the absolution is self-serving as she still doesn’t fully understand the theology.  The negative traits that draw people to religion are more prominent in Vibiana than they are in Bao, but she is a more sympathetic character overall becomes she doesn’t succumb to extremism and violence.

Overall

Saints gets a one up on Boxers for managing a more complex tone and having a more interesting protagonist.  The hero’s journey isn’t present and the plot structure construction has sort of this reverse bell curve going on, so I can appreciate that as well.  If you’re going to be buying one of these, you’ll likely be going after the other as well, so I don’t think the individual reviews would sway a purchasing decision, but it does allow me to go into detail about both.  Expect an essay comparing the two books when I find the time.

Saints on Amazon


Saints (Boxers & Saints)

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My own Graphic Novel Series, Druid City, Two Volumes Out

Written essays on my website.

1st Scott Pilgrim Essay: Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Diegesis

2nd Essay: Scott Pilgrim VS The World: Panel Composition and Transitions

4th: Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together: Subspace as Metaphor

5th: Anticlimax in Scott Pilgrim VS The Universe

Facebook Twitter/ YouTube

Sep 5

Video Review for Gene Luen Yang’s Boxers.

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My own Graphic Novel Series, Druid City, Two Volumes Out

Written essays on my website.

1st Scott Pilgrim Essay: Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Diegesis

2nd Essay: Scott Pilgrim VS The World: Panel Composition and Transitions

4th: Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together: Subspace as Metaphor

5th: Anticlimax in Scott Pilgrim VS The Universe

Facebook Twitter/ YouTube

Sep 4

Moderately Suggested Graphic Novels - Boxers

boxers

Boxers is the first part of a dual graphic novel written and illustrated by Gene Luen Yang and colored by Lark Pien. The same duo worked on Gene Yang’s breakthrough work, American Born Chinese, which was released in 2006. Saints is the name of the companion graphic novel. Boxers and Saints were published by First Second Books in 2013.

Summary

The story starts with a young country bumpkin named Bao soaking in the sights of the theatre shows during an annual festival. He stands next to the effigy of the local harvest god each time he watches the operas, until a foreign Christian missionary comes into town and smashes the idol. Coincidentally, a flood and bad harvest follow, and the villages’ only hope becomes a travelling kung fu master who provides for them and also recruits the village’s young men into an extremist group rising against the foreign Christian protectionism by the Chinese government. The kung-fu master is killed in a small uprising, and Bao, who had been his favorite disciple, learns a mystic technique to increase the strength of he and his companions. Bao and his ever increasing band of young men go on to form the Society of the Harmonious and Righteous Fists. Together, they start the Boxer Rebellion of 1900.

Visuals

Yang conforms to the same general style that is found in American Born Chinese. Thickish ink strokes, no shading in the colors, and this installment of the graphic novel pairing makes quite a vibrant use of those colors. The mystic technique that Bao learns transforms the practitioner into a god or deified historical figure, such as Guan Yu. Once the entire Society learns this technique, panels become awash with the entire spectrum of the color wheel in wide shots. The radiance serves to contrast the low saturation of the companion book, Saints.

Themes

Religious extremism and vengeance are the core topics of the novel. Propaganda, lies and misrepresentations of the other side’s practices serve to fuel the hatred of Christianity that many of the characters have. Bao understands many of the lies he hears to be lies based on their absurdity, but he eventually becomes so consumed with vengeance that he has his confidante repeat these obvious lies as he enacts a violent crusade. Misogyny also rears its head in the religious faith of the Chinese of this story, as characters are very wary of a woman’s Yin overcoming them. The lies told about Christians often have to do with exposure or freedom of women’s bodies and body parts, which both gives the Society a reason to hate them and meet them in battle, as some members are fooled by stories of nude women being strapped to cannons. The sexism present in many religions is criticized in both novels, with more humor added in Saints.

Overall

Gene Luen Yang’s love for Chinese history shines through this book and is reflected in both Bao and his love interest. Yang spent several years studying the Boxer Rebellion and includes his bibliography at the end as suggested reading. The story only gets a medium rating due to the straight forward direction of it and the “no shit” factor involved with the story’s parable.

Boxers over at Amazon

Boxers & Saints Boxed Set

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My own Graphic Novel Series, Druid City, Two Volumes Out

Written essays on my website.

1st Scott Pilgrim Essay: Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Diegesis

2nd Essay: Scott Pilgrim VS The World: Panel Composition and Transitions

4th: Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together: Subspace as Metaphor

5th: Anticlimax in Scott Pilgrim VS The Universe

Facebook Twitter/ YouTube