Archive for June, 2013


monday mixtape lazy

June 10th, 2013 Posted by david brothers

No mixtape or fast essay this time. I just wanted to say how much I like this video for Buraka Som Sistema’s “Up All Night,” which is probably mildly nsfw for having the sexiest people in the entire world in it. It’s erotic without being a real bore about it like most videos like to be. I like the gimmick of this video, the live webcam dance party. It’s very fun, and it reminds me of Vines, the little six second videos that you can record and post to Twitter now. I know a few people who do vines, and I’m always impressed when they manage to get across a whole idea or mood in that short period of time. I love dance videos anyway, and this is one of my favorites.

I like this video, too. Description:

Cho Cho Cho is the first song and music video produced and written by the youth of Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo. Created in a Beat Making Lab, the song was inspired by a popular call-and-response chant in Goma, and the video was filmed during Yole!Africa’s SKIFF Festival dance competition.

I read and enjoyed this excerpt on the subject of Magical Girls and the influence of Sailor Moon. The full piece is over here. I like reading about paradigm shifts in genres and mediums, things that forever alter the landscape. It makes me wonder how much of it is bandwagoning and how much is someone realizing that a door they thought was closed or didn’t exist is actually wide open. A lot of the post-1986 stuff in comics is like that, I feel like. People out there read those books and realized that they could actually push the envelope and evolve in new directions and there was a market for it and worth in it.

I read and enjoyed this piece on a Latina teen “coming out” as black. One thing that gets lost in the conversation a little is how internally diverse each race is, and how the lines between them are often blurred thanks to… basically everything, really. I’m interested in how other people view the fine lines and subtle gradations that go hand-in-hand with race as a concept.

Jim Rugg’s Flickr is must-viewing.

-I got a new job! I’m Content Manager at Image. Sort of a Flo Steinberg, quality assurance type of situation, with a little more besides. Someone asked me why Image and I talked about that some. Last week was my first week, and it was pretty interesting. BUT I’m basically gonna stop writing about comics for a bit, especially industry nonsense or recent books. I still owe people reviews for a few comics, but I’m gonna put those off for a few weeks while I get settled and figure out the best way to do that while distantly or implicitly representing the company. I’ll probably do more stuff like this parallel I noticed between a couple books I like and this question about the current best cape comic, but definitely no news and nothing that would make me drown in conflict of interest. I’m still figuring this out—bear with me.

-If I ever become one of those braggy “Oh look what I just read that you can’t see yet” types of dudes (outside of like, a legitimate critical context, I mean) feel free to smash me into a thousand pieces. I don’t want to be that guy. I’ll still be enthusiastic about stuff I dig, but I hope it’ll never come from that place.

I wrote about a family friend who passed away some time back, and my reaction/lack thereof.

I caught up on Arrested Development over the past week or so. I didn’t want to binge on it, but I did find myself wanting to watch it, so I did a couple episodes a day after work. I’m surprised by what impressed me. I thought it was pretty funny, but much, much better-written than it was belly-laugh funny. It was still plenty funny, especially anything involving Maeby, Ann, or the Michael/George-Michael stuff, but the writing was what grabbed me more than the laughs. A few of the parallels only hit me as time went on, from the various walls to how much of the series was about people explicitly trying to get something from someone else without tipping their hand or giving up anything valuable. I appreciated it more than I laughed at it. I’m really interested in how it was made now, too. They successfully nailed an incredible juggling act, editing scenes down to equally significant slices of time and then organizing those slices into a greater whole. Everything had to work when it was obscured, partially revealed, fully revealed, and integrated. There’s something really impressive about that. I like complicated or intricately constructed shows, but I don’t think any of them have managed to walk that line half as well as Arrested Development. I’ll have to wait a few months and check it out again to see what reveals itself.

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

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This Week in Panels: Week 194

June 9th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Hey, dudes! Welcome to This Week in Panels, home of Lion-Mane, the character find of 2013! Seriously, Batwing has gotten extra fun now that Palmiotti and Gray are in charge and the mantle’s been switched up.

I’m joined by Gaijin Dan, Space Jawa, Was Taters and Jody.

Astro City #1
Kurt Busiek and Brent Eric Anderson

Avengers #13
Jonathan Hickman, Nick Spencer and Mike Deodato

Batwing #21
Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Eduardo Pansica

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The Top 200 Fighting Game Endings: Part Five

June 8th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

120) Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection – LILI

Lili makes her debut in Tekken 5’s update. She’s the prim and proper daughter of a French businessman and has a personality that’s both charmingly ditsy and annoyingly egotistical. Her narrow scope leads to her understanding that the Mishima Zaibatsu is a thorn in the side of her father’s oil-drilling corporation. She enters the King of Iron Fist Tournament to do away with the Zaibatsu’s threat once and for all.

Lili makes her way to her limo, beaming with pride over what she’s done for her father and how proud he’ll be. Her elderly butler Sebastian is moved to tears by Lili’s actions, which in turn makes Lili happier about her victory. The real star, though? Lili’s limo driver.

As that guy waits for them, he turns on the TV and sees some unfortunate news. Lili’s father’s company, Rochefort Enterprises has filed for bankruptcy. What Lili never realized was that her father’s company, regardless of any other issues, was extremely dependent on the Mishima Zaibatsu. With the Zaibatsu destroyed, Rochefort Enterprises is destabilized.

Isn’t that guy on LazyTown?

As Lili laughs about how great she is, the limo driver gets while the getting is good and cheeses it with all his might.

119) Soul Calibur III – ASTAROTH

In this game, Astaroth is a servant of Ares, God of War. Ares’ power is waning here and being represented as nothing more than a ball of light, he’s very low on the Ares depiction totem, far below the likes of Marvel Ares, DC Ares and God of War Ares. His story is pretty predictable. Ares wants Astaroth to get him the Soul Edge and in his “good ending” that comes from pressing the right button at the right time, Astaroth simply takes the Soul Edge as his own. Because that’s like 90% of what all the bad guys do in this game series. Take the Soul Edge and be evil and godly.

It’s the “bad ending” that I think is way better. Ares asks Astaroth to offer Soul Edge to him and Astaroth just laughs at him. As far as he’s concerned, it’s a worthless piece of junk and he proves it with this.

Ares flies off, as not only is Soul Edge destroyed, but he no longer has any hold on Astaroth. Astaroth boasts about how he’s the ultimate being as he’s strong enough to destroy even Soul Edge with his bare hands.

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Guide to the Injustice Roster: DLC Appendix 3

June 3rd, 2013 Posted by Gavok

I was going to work on the next update of the Top 200 Fighting Game Endings, but then it was revealed that the next downloadable character for Injustice: Gods Among Us is none other than Scorpion from Mortal Kombat. Not just any Scorpion, but Scorpion as designed by Jim Lee. Which essentially means he’s wearing overly-elaborate armor and he doesn’t have any underwear over his pants. Not that he did already, but now he DEFINITELY won’t.

Talking about Scorpion is still on-topic, so waiting a little longer for the next countdown update isn’t so bad, right?

Alias: Hanzo Hasashi
First appearance: Mortal Kombat (1992)
Powers: Pyrokinesis, resurrection, teleportation, enhanced strength
Other media: Appeared in movies, comics, the Mortal Kombat animated series, live-action web series, a novel and an episode of Drawn Together

Time to explain Scorpion to people who… don’t… know comics? Well, this is awkward.

Scorpion first appeared in the first Mortal Kombat game as a palette swap of Sub-Zero, originally played by Daniel Pesina. In his profile, little info was given on him. Just that he was a mysterious ninja who didn’t seem to like Sub-Zero, which suggested they’re from rival clans. Through his Fatality, it revealed that he wasn’t human due to his skull head under the mask and his ending revealed his origin: Sub-Zero killed him and he was reborn as a spectre, bent on revenge. He also left a wife and son behind, but could never see them again because why not just rip off all of Spawn while you’re at it?

Wait, they came out the same year? Huh. Snark retracted.

Scorpion succeeded in killing Sub-Zero and returned to Hell. Then he popped back up for some unknown reason and figured it had something to do with Sub-Zero being seen walking around. He entered the second tournament to take care of Sub-Zero once and for all, but then got weirded out when he saw Sub-Zero defeat an enemy and spare their life. He figured out that this was the younger brother of Sub-Zero, who had taken up the mantle and was a bit on the pure-hearted side. Scorpion let Sub-Zero live and decided that he’d make amends by becoming something of a guardian angel to him.

Despite being the most popular character in the franchise, Scorpion was nowhere to be seen in Mortal Kombat 3. It still bewilders me. When they upgraded it with Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, Scorpion was brought back into the fold, as well as a myriad of other ninja characters who were all just the same actor in different colored sprites. Joining him were Reptile, Classic Sub-Zero, Ermac, Noob Saibot and in the next follow-up, Mortal Kombat Trilogy, Rain and Chameleon. Scorpion’s deal was that Shao Kahn recruited him for his siege on Earthrealm, but Scorpion realized that Sub-Zero was one of his targets, so he turned on him. Then he went back to Hell, because that’s where he keeps his stuff.

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monday mixtape kingpin

June 3rd, 2013 Posted by david brothers

monday mixtape kingpin from brothers on 8tracks Radio.

Eight songs, random order, you know the dealz.
-Jay Electronica – Exhibit C – Exhibit C
-Aloe Blacc – I Need A Dollar – Good Things
-Busta Rhymes – Everybody Rise – Extinction Level Event: The Final World Front
-Kid Cudi – We Aite (Wake Your Mind Up) – Man On The Moon II: The Legend Of Mr. Rager
-Emanuel Laskey – A Letter from Vietnam
-Estelle – I Can Be A Freak (Pon Di Floor Remix) – #IAlmostMadeAMixtape
-Dilated Peoples – Right On feat. Tha Alkaholiks – The Platform
-Freebass808 – Rewind feat. Jovi Rockwell – Liquid Love Spacedust

I like the connect-the-dots part of rap a whole lot. It’s a minor little thing to pay attention to, but it’s fun mental exercise and a nice way to discover new things to enjoy.

Like, Aloe Blacc’s “I Need A Dollar.” It’s a catchy song, it sounds real soulful, it’s real cool. I dig it. Jamaal Thomas does, too. The video for “Loving You Is Killing Me” is heat rocks:

So you’re interested in Blacc’s work, and you look him up online. He works with another guy named Exile as part of a group named Emanon. Exile works with another cat named Blu as Blu & Exile. Aloe Blacc sings on Blu joints sometimes, too. Blu and Exile are a good duo, a nice match of beats and rhymes. Somebody named Miguel Jonte sings with them sometimes. He dropped Kaleidoscope Dream a while back and it got a lot of acclaim as part of a new wave of R&B. Back up to Blacc a little — “I Need A Dollar” was the theme song for the (pretty good) HBO show How to Make It In America. That features Kid Cudi in a featured role, and from Cudi you can dip to Chip tha Ripper, Kanye West, and more besides.

Pretty much ever since I was a kid, I discovered new music by looking at liner notes to see who the artists I liked worked with or shouted out. It isn’t foolproof, but when you factor in how easy the internet makes things now, it’s definitely worth trying out. A lotta times you find little gems or weird pathways back to familiar ground, like when mainstream and underground artists collaborate.

It works for pretty much anything. It’s not really different from reading interviews to see who your favorite writer or actor was influenced by, I don’t think. It’s just a little more indirect. Part of the reason I stay so behind on new music in general is that I put albums aside until I can really listen to them and see if I need to google anybody new.

-I like how that Kid Cudi song is barely a song at all, just a… mood or sound. I like to see that sorta thing. Don’t overdo it, but give me something new any day of the week.

-Remember Jay Electronica? Jay Elect-chronically late, am I right or am I right fellas? Eh? Eh?

-I’m not much of a dancer probably, but that FreeBass 808 song really makes me wish I was.

-In “Right On,” J-Ro says “we all up in the house like cocky roaches.” It’s my favorite thing in the entire world at the time of this writing. Just say it aloud and maybe mull it over a little. Let it sink in. I love rap so much.

I read and enjoyed Tucker Stone and Abhay Khosla’s ComicsAlliance tribute. These guys are consistently some of my favorite dudes writing about comics, and this piece is just next-level. I like seeing CotW twist itself into new shapes week after week.

I read and enjoyed Andy Khouri in conversation with Kelly Sue DeConnick, with art commentary by Emma Ríos. I’ve been looking forward to Pretty Deadly. Eager to see what they come up with this year.

I talked to Sean Witzke about movies a few weeks back. I could look it up to see if I linked it already, but trust me: it’s worth listening to again. I really like these chats.

I wrote a story about a mother that kept a secret from her daughters. It’s inspired by a real-life tale that I’ve linked at the bottom of the story. I hope you dig it.

Y’all see that Jason Statham/Jennifer Lopez Parker?

Weird thing about this movie: it’s terrible. Every time Lopez is on-screen, you’re reminded of how good Out of the Past was, is, and will be forever. The cast is astounding, easily an impressive collection of individual talents if you like the stuff I like (you do), but they’re given mush to work with. It’s too nice, too slow, and too weak. I read the book after I saw the movie. It’s exponentially better, but still not great. There are also a lot of really visual action scenes that got left on the cutting room floor.

But I would totally see another. Despite its faults, the casting was genuinely good, certain action scenes were dead-on (the hotel room fight, for instance), and a lot of the tonal stuff wobbled, but tended toward being what I want out of a Parker film. I can see that Parker DNA in there. If it did well enough for a sequel, I’d check that out, no questions asked.

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

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This Week in Panels: Week 193

June 2nd, 2013 Posted by Gavok

Well, I’m exhausted. I spent much of the day driving when I wasn’t watching one weird-ass wrestling show live. CHIKARA’s Never Compromise was a fun show, but that ending sure was a thing that happened.

This week we say goodbye to Jeff Parker’s amazing Thunderbolts/Dark Avengers run as well as Eddie Brock’s supporting role in Venom.

Meanwhile, here are some panels by myself, Gaijin Dan, Jody, Space Jawa, Was Taters and Matlock.

Bleach #538
Tite Kubo

Cross Manage #34

Dark Avengers #190
Jeff Parker and Neil Edwards

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