Archive for May, 2013


CHIKARA’s Aniversario: Never Compromise: This Sunday on iPPV

May 31st, 2013 Posted by Gavok

This Sunday at 4:00 (with a free pre-show at 3:30), my favorite indy wrestling promotion CHIKARA is doing their next big internet pay-per-view in the form of Aniversario: Never Compromise, celebrating the 11th anniversary of the company’s existence. While it’s their fourth run at iPPV, it’ll be the first time you’ll see me there, as I’ve got my tickets to the Trocadero in Philadelphia.

You can order the show here, while on the Saturday before it, they’re going to be doing a free hype show called Countdown to Aniversario: Never Compromise.

If you’re even a slight fan of wrestling and don’t know anything about CHIKARA, I’ve written up a much-enjoyed primer a year ago. It can probably use an update, but here’s what you need to know: this is a wrestling show where the last event’s title match ended due to TIME TRAVEL PARADOX. CHIKARA, baby.

Since it’s been a year, who’s who and what’s what? A lot of this, the 12th season, revolves around this man, Wink Vavasseur.

Since the beginning of 2011, Wink has been the Director of Fun of CHIKARA, the guy who makes the matches. He got the job due to his father’s company Worldwide Media Development Corporation. At first, Wink was a welcome sight to the fans, as he replaced corrupt previous Director of Fun Dieter VonSteigerwalt, who was more dictator than director. While Wink came off as an egotistical corporate stooge with little knowledge on how wrestling works, he was harmless enough and stumbled upon a couple good ideas, such as the creation of CHIKARA’s Grand Championship and the season-long tournament to crown it. At worst, he was gullible and susceptible to the swaying of the unpopular members of the roster, leading to some decisions that gave them the upper hand.

One constant is that Wink isn’t too keen on champion Eddie Kingston and wants the title off of him. It started out as kind of a passive aggressive thing, but over time, it’s become more overt. He’s become more blunt in his corporate activities, which has painted him as an enemy to the eyes of the CHIKARA fans. After a couple things got out of his control, his father spoke down to him and warned him, “No more screw-ups.” Since then, Wink’s thirst for respect has driven various wrestlers out of the company via quitting and firing. Time will tell if his power trip will bring him higher or if his house of cards will crumble. Perhaps we’ll find out at Never Compromise.

(click to enlarge)

Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

Now let’s look at the scheduled matches and the wrestlers involved.

Read the rest of this entry �

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


Happy birthday, Gavin!

May 30th, 2013 Posted by david brothers

I’ve known Gavin Jasper for what, twelve years now? Since 2001, when we were both in the trenches doing fanfiction and talking about fighting games on the internet. Somebody else can do that math for me, but I’m pretty sure that means he’s one of my oldest friends. He’s one of the funniest and most genuinely enthusiastic cats I know.

It’s his birthday today, and what did I get one of my oldest friends?

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


monday mixtape justice

May 27th, 2013 Posted by david brothers

monday mixtape justice from brothers on 8tracks Radio.

Eight songs, random order, you know the dealz.
-Statik Selektah – Mr Popularity feat. Consequence – Mr. Popularity CDS
-Glasses Malone – Respect Mah Gangsta – Drive-By Muzik (mixtape)
-Mobb Deep – Eye for a Eye (Your Beef Is Mines) – The Infamous
-Quando Nara Ri – Kassin+2 – Futurismo
-Nas – Fast Life feat. Kool G Rap
-NERD – Rock Star – In Search Of…
-Masta Ace – Dear Diary – Disposable Arts
-Gang Starr – You Know My Steez (Three Men and a Lady Remix) feat. The Lady of Rage and Kurupt – Full Clip: A Decade Of Gang Starr

Semi-random selection here. I chose songs that caught my eye on a fast flick-through of a random playlist. But it’s a holiday, so let me make this quick:

-Glasses Malone has an ill voice for a rapper. It’s perfect for gangsta rap, which Malone definitely makes. He’s like a west coast Trae tha Truth, in terms of being recognizable.
-Nas should be considered the greatest rapper of all time just for having the guts to follow G Rap on “Fast Life.” He should be knighted and sainted, because he ran a real risk of being martyred on that joint.
-“Full Clip” is the GOAT compilation album. I forget how ill Gang Starr was sometimes. I only started buying my own music around when Moment of Truth dropped (though Premo’s production never went away) so I think they were a little before my time, but every time I bump this album, man. It’s something else.
-“Mr Popularity” is one of my most favorite beats ever.
-Listen to The +2s. Trust me.

-Um… pass! I’m sure you all wrote very beautiful things last week that I read and enjoyed but apparently I was so preoccupied with real life stuff that I didn’t keep track.

-I did read and enjoy Fist of the Blue Sky, a Fist of the North Star prequel by Tetsuo Hara, Nobu Horie, and Buronson. It’s set in 1935 Shanghai, which is already a dope setting, and stars Kenshiro’s uncle. It’s good. I have two volumes, but the third is OOP and extra expensive. One day…

I wrote about the fact that this week is my last week at the job I’ve had for around eight years, if you count time spent freelancing, and how I’m not as over it as I thought I would be. Cold as ice, ready to sacrifice, etc.

Furious 6, in a word? Fantastic. It was the sequel it needed to be, with a tighter script, impressive economy of storytelling, a few different hooks for entertaining spinoffs… it was a capital M MOVIE, is what I’m saying. Totally worth theater prices and blu-ray prices when it hits home release.

Who knew we’d get six of these?

Open thread. What’re you reading/watching/hearing/enjoying? Enjoy the holiday.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


This Week in Panels: Week 192

May 26th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Welp. Time to retire that Miles pic.

Welcome to This Week in Panels, where me and some other guys take all the comics we’ve read this week and chop them up until we’re left with one panel that best acts as a teaser for the comic in question. We got some Marvel, some DC, some manga and some IDW.

To contrast the poor past couple weeks, I have a strong batch this time around. Joining me are Matlock, Gaijin Dan, Brobe, Space Jawa and Was Taters.

This week brings us to the end of Geoff Johns’ lengthy and successful run on Green Lantern. It’s a fantastic final issue as long as you ignore that Kyle Rayner has done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. 19 issues of setup in New Guardians and he’s relegated to the background while Hal Jordan saves the day.

It’s a moot point, though. The comic isn’t about Kyle or Hal anyway. It’s really just about Sinestro being completely awesome. Johns gets a lot of hate for his Hal worship, but damn was his Sinestro always on point.

All-Star Western #20
Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Moritat and Staz Johnson

Aquaman #20
John Ostrander and Manuel Garcia

Avengers #12
Jonathan Hickman, Nick Spencer and Mike Deodato

Read the rest of this entry �

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


The Top 200 Fighting Game Endings: Part Four

May 25th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

140) Mortal Kombat 9 – CYBER SUB-ZERO

Cyber Sub-Zero is the only character in the Mortal Kombat reboot with no narration in his ending. I’m not sure if this was an error by the developers or if they decided the visual storytelling could speak for itself. If it’s the latter, I can’t really blame them.

Despite destroying Shao Kahn, Cyber Sub-Zero appears to be in peril. Though Kahn’s body is gone, his soul is not. Kahn’s soul overtakes Cyber Sub-Zero. Shortly after, we see his new form.

Cyber Sub-Kahn! Oh shit! And so, Shao Kahn went off to find a death metal album to be on the cover of.


Come on. You knew I had to.

Shaq Fu is the famous piece of crap that came from the idea that Shaquille O’Neal, being such a popular basketball player, deserved to be part of the rise of fighting games. The game isn’t very good, though the utter badness of it is rather overblown. It isn’t the worst game ever made, but it’s just too much fun to make fun of a sub-par game where Shaq goes to Kung Fu Narnia to save a little boy from a mummy overlord.

Defeating Sett and saving young Nezu, Shaq returns to Earth to make it to the latest Orlando Magic game with the old man who set him on this adventure and Nezu joining him. He apologizes to his teammates for being late and is ready to hit the court when something stops him in his tracks.


Beast, one of Sett’s soldiers, wants a piece of Shaq… on the court! I’m not sure what part of this corn I like the most. The homicidal, savage monster wanting to play basketball? The fact that nobody else seems to be alarmed by this? Shaq playing basketball in a jersey that says, “SHAQ” on the front?

Read the rest of this entry �

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


Mystery of Chess Boxing: Flippin & Trippin

May 24th, 2013 Posted by david brothers

Memory lane: my grandfather has been going to the video store every Tuesday after work for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, I could make requests or beg him to come home before going to the store. Sometimes we’d go a couple times a week. When I was older, I could drive myself over there, but the bulk of my video store memories are of the two of us walking into the video store and splitting at the twin metal detectors.

He broke to the left to check out the new releases. At $2.50 for three days/overnight, that was a little rich for my blood. I broke right, because that’s where the trash was. $1.50 got you a five day rental of the finest — or maybe just “readily available,” my taste as a kid was and remains suspect — low budget no budget exploitation flicks. I tore through the Carnosaurs, ate up the Roger Cormans, and pretty much anything that might have had some blood or part of a boob in it.

The crown jewel of the video shop’s collection, at least for me, were the kung fu flicks. They came in garish boxes, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle green and sickly yellows. You can see a lot of the cases in this photobucket account. I don’t recognize each and every one of them, since tearing through two or three movies a week for a few years isn’t really conducive to making lasting memories, but I love them nonetheless. I’d buy the Wu-Tang Collection on DVD if I could, and every other flick I rented back then.

As a general rule, I really enjoyed every one of these as a kid. I’ve rewatched a few and I still like a lot of them, though some are utterly bottom of the barrel. Chinese Super Ninjas 2 is trash, sure, but Hell’s Wind Staff is great fun. Sometimes they’re outrageous enough to be entertaining despite their flaws, as in the case of Super Ninjas, but the good ones are genuinely good, like Drunken Master.

My favorite flick from this era is easily Mystery of Chess-Boxing, aka Ninja Checkmate. Joseph Kuo directed it, Ping Han Chiang wrote it, and Mark Long stars in it as Ghost Face Killer. He’s the villain, not the hero. It’s hard to put my finger on why, because I don’t think I’ve ever tried to explain why it’s so good. It just clicks for me, from the stunts to the jokes to the choreo. It’s funny, it’s plenty charming, and the fights aren’t the best, but they are great to watch.

Amazingly, it’s streaming for free on youtube. The video is marked with “official,” so I assume it’s legal. You can watch it here:

It’s well worth the 90 minutes. It’s overdramatic, full of musical stings, and a bunch of familiar characters. It’s got my favorite kung fu kitchen fight, too. You want spectacle? Watch Ghost Face Killer and his Five Elements kung fu tear a swath through the countryside. The joke with the table that’s about ten minutes in is great, too.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


The Top 200 Fighting Game Endings: Part Three

May 23rd, 2013 Posted by Gavok

160) X-Men vs. Street Fighter – JUGGERNAUT

Apocalypse sure owes a lot to the X-Men cartoon from the 90’s because for the longest time, he was considered THE top level threat of the franchise. You’d use Magneto as your go-to personal villain, but when you wanted to make things look extra dire, you’d toss in the seemingly-invincible guy who could turn himself into a giant. That last part made him a perfect boss for X-Men vs. Street Fighter.

Luckily, there’s one guy out there who’s just as unbeatable.

Juggernaut spends the entirety of his ending lecturing Apocalypse over underestimating him, especially in the brains department. He even brings up the time he outsmarted the Hulk. Granted, he’s talking about when Hulk had Banner’s intelligence and Juggernaut’s plan was actually pretty clever. On the other hand, you aren’t doing yourself any favors by saying you’re smarter than a monster everyone knows as “the really dumb, green guy.” Especially when you’re telling this story to a mutant who isn’t even conscious.

159) Samurai Showdown – HAOHMARU/GEN-AN

These two endings complement each other, so I’m putting them together.

Haohmaru is the main hero of the Samurai Showdown series. After defeating the mad wizard Amakusa, he berates him for being a conceited fool. Oshizu, a woman who appears to be in love with Haohmaru, runs to him, but Haohmaru immediately tells her it’s not to be. Despite the Engrish that appears throughout the series, Haohmaru says one of the cooler lines.

“I’m a samurai, a rebel guy.”

So, having given his girlfriend the Pee-Wee Herman speech about being a loner, Haohmaru runs off to the next adventure. We see him raring for another fight.

Where… he’s… fighting Mai Shiranui? What in the Hell? It’s weird enough that Eiji Kisaragi was professing his love for her in the 1970’s, but what is she doing in feudal Japan? Is she immortal and SNK never brought it up? Regardless, the two banter and attack at the same time, ending on a Rocky III non-cliffhanger. Cool enough.

Gen-An is the game’s freak character. A green monster with a giant Freddy Krueger claw. His ending is just like Haohmaru’s, only not quite. He destroys Amakusa and boasts about it. Then a woman named Azami runs out to him. She’s wearing tattered clothes like a cavewoman, with a bone in her hair. Gen-An leaves her and goes on to fight elsewhere.

Like Haohmaru, Gen-An gets in a scrap with a time-displaced Mai. The same dialogue plays out and they attack at the same time. Only here, they show the results. Mai lands a hit and Gen-An screams out for Azami.

Oh. Welp. Sorry, Gen-An.

Read the rest of this entry �

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


monday mixtape intocable

May 20th, 2013 Posted by david brothers

monday mixtape intocable from brothers on 8tracks Radio.

What the blood clot you niggas dealing? You crash dummies! Cash rules, still don’t nothing move but the money!

-Killer Mike – 10 G’s – I Pledge Allegiance to the Grind II
-Fabolous – BITE – The Soul Tape II
-Junior MAFIA – Get Money feat. The Notorious B.I.G. – Conspiracy
-Gucci Mane – Get Money Nigga feat. Meek Mill – Trap God
-Re-Up Gang – 20k Money Making Brothers on the Corner – We Got It For Cheap 3
-Jay-Z – 1-900-Hustler feat. Beanie Sigel, Memphis Bleek, Freeway – The Dynasty
-Ice Cube – Get Money, Spend Money, No Money – Raw Footage
-Royce da 5’9″ – Get Money Freestyle

Eight songs about one thing. Four of them have basically the same title. I thought about doing eight tracks named “Get Money,” but I figure four is cool. I left off 50’s “I Get Money” because apparently I don’t have that mp3 and just watch it on youtube all the time. Here’s the video for that one:

It’s corny how much I like this song.

Anyway, the love of money in rap is directly related to the love of money in America. The American Dream is to make a bunch of money so that the people who screw with you can’t screw with you any more. It’s reflected in rap to a large degree.

I think it’s easy to look at the commercialism in rap and see poison, but that’s just a surface reading. You can look at how these people rap about wealth and examine the subtext of what they’re saying. Nothing is ever just surface-level deep, you know? Everything means something.

I think my favorite joint in this mix is “1-900-Hustler,” featuring Jay-Z, Memphis Bleek, Freeway, and Beanie Sigel as the secretary. It’s a fun hustle song with plenty of jokes, but the rhymes and scenarios are on point. Freeway steals the song, but Young Memphis’s “Listen shorty, you wanna roll just give me the word/ I ain’t got time for a sentence, all that shit is absurd” is fantastic.

I was thinking the other day about storytelling in rap. I was listening to Killer Mike and El-P’s “Jojo’s Chillin'” and just marveling at how he paints this entire story with a series of phrases that feel like they’re just four or five words long. It’s like an ultra-compressed story. Memphis’s line is like that. Just hearing him say that sparks something in your head. “I ain’t got time for a sentence, all that shit is absurd” is a nice double entendre. I like taking it at face value, though. Memphis is a busy dude, so keep it simple, stupid.

As a great man once said, “They say money ain’t everything — you fuckin’ right, nigga, it’s the only thing; in God we trust, the Holy thing.”

Get money y’all. Pledge allegiance to the grind.

I read and enjoyed Michael Peterson talking about Papa & Yo. There are some spoilers, but screw it. Go and read.

I read and enjoyed Liz Barker typing about Kanye and stuff. His new songs are ill, her thoughts are interesting, and I left a too-long comment in her comment section! I’m definitely going to be revisiting Kanye’s stuff on this site once I get my hands on that album. Kanye is cool in part because he’s such an easy person to view through whichever lens you prefer. He’s such a big personality, I guess is the best phrase, that everyone finds something else to latch onto. For me, it’s the work ethic and craft. For you, it’s something else. For Liz, it’s the myth of Kanye… I dig it. Let’s all talk about Kanye to the West.

I read and enjoyed Ghostface talking about his favorite songs. I quoted this one the other day, in that big rap piece.

I read some other stuff between this post and the last one, but I forgot to keep track of them. Rest assured that they were life-changing and life-enriching.

TRUE STORY! Two or three months ago, my PS3 and main hard drive died in the same week. Last week, my new HD died Monday morning before work when I usually put these posts together. So I called it on account of equipment failure.

I got my uzi back, though, and now we’re back at it. So:

I wrote a story about Monkey. I like the legend of Sun Wukong a lot, more than I really expected, so I wrote an homage piece.

I wrote a piece about how stressful flying is. I dunno if it’s funny or not, but I hope you dig it.

I saw Star Trek Into Darkness. I thought it was really silly in parts and I got more of the fanservicey jokes than I expected to, but it was pretty fun. The fight scenes needed better direction, but the spectacle was on point. I’ll probably never watch it again, but it was a nice way to spend two hours with a friend. It’s a warm movie with a lot of weird choices, but it’s never boring, which I appreciate more and more in my dotage.

How amazingly good was that Elementary finale, tho? That’s how you do TV. More like that.

I’ve been ultra-stressed and trying to dodge an emotional downswing (well… more of one) lately, but I’m looking at the light at the end of the tunnel. I have a hard time sometimes, when things go south and my mood turns cloudy. I was talking to a friend about it recently, and I told her that it feels like my head is full of angry bees that are all saying the same thing. It’s like thinking through a filter, in a way? I know what’s up, but I have to pass through this fog before I’m okay with it.

One thing that helps me is that I made a rule for myself. I wake up early enough that I can dedicate an hour or two in the morning to writing for myself (meaning 4l!, freelance, fiction, whatever). I go to work and do it 9-5. When I get home, usually around six? I do nothing. I’ll sit on my lawn chair on my balcony and read in the sun, or until it gets too windy to be comfortable. I’ll chill on the couch and play video games. I’ll cook. I’ll do anything but work.

Keeping that time sacred hasn’t worked wonders, but it gives me an escape hatch when I need it. I’m a fast enough writer that this works for me. It may not for you. But give it some thought. I know how it feels to grind and grind and grind, but I realized I was just wearing myself out. Carve out some space for you if you haven’t already. That other stuff will happen or it won’t, and it has a better chance of happening if you can re-center yourself when you need to.

Open thread. What’re you reading/watching/hearing/enjoying? what it dew

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


This Week in Panels: Week 191

May 19th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Thank God Gaijin Dan is back because without him, this would be the shortest ThWiP update since the time Marvel and DC only released one comic each. I’m also helped out by Space Jawa and Matlock.

Of the few comics I read this week, I was genuinely surprised by Supergirl. It was right about to get chopped off my list, but this issue was rather charming and fun. Plus it transforms the AI that controls Supergirl’s home into the New 52 version of one of my favorite DC characters, so that’s a plus.

Wow, three manga images above the cut. That’s never happened.

Bleach #536
Tite Kubo

Blue Exorcist #46
Kazue Kato

Cross Manage #32

Read the rest of this entry �

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon


The Top 200 Fighting Game Endings: Part Two

May 19th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

180) Last Blade/Last Blade 2 – HYO AMANO
1997, 1998

Amongst all the serious swordsman characters in the Last Blade series, you have Hyo Amano, a dopey playboy with a love for cherry blossoms and sake. His endings are unique in that they’re multiple choice. He meets up with you the player (except in the second game, where he has his friend track you down for him) and uses you as a drinking companion. His actions vary based on whether you say you’re a man, woman or don’t answer at all. Either way, he’s friendly and insists you drink with him.

The second game branches out some more and he breaks the fourth wall a bit by giving you info and hints about the game. Such as this.

No, I don’t know the internet! This is the early 19th century!

179) Street Fighter III – ORO

Oro is a senin, an ancient, top-level martial artist who has spent many years living as a hermit. Considered to be possibly the most powerful character in Street Fighter lore, Oro makes things fair by fighting only with one arm. His ending shows him from the neck up, rubbing his chin with the clouds behind him. He wonders about finding someone to pass his knowledge on to and the only fighter he sees any promise in is Ryu. It’s about here where it pans out to show just where Oro happens to be at the time of this introspection.

Luckily, William Shatner can’t see this.

Oro decides that whether Ryu wants it or not, he’s going to make him into his new apprentice and the plane flies off into the horizon.

Read the rest of this entry �

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon