Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

A New Contender Steps Forward From The Shadows…


While this cover is nowhere near the standard of epic shittiness set by Time Ninja, it’s hard to deny that this one is a piece of crap in it’s own right.

The figure is poorly blended to the equally poorly rendered background.

The transparent text is more than a little confusing and hard to read.

The color scheme, in particular the juxtaposition between the RAINBOW FUCKING SKY and the DREARY AS FUCK BEACH is sloppy and completely lacking in organization and structure.

Worst of all though, is the fact that the figure, the dude with the Jew-fro wearing the busted-ass wife-beater just looks fucking lame.

Seriously man, when I first saw this dude standing in the wasteland, my mind first went to Jack Tenrec from Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, which in itself; is not a bad thing:

Cadillacs and Dinosaurs was, in a word: AWESOME.

Despite this, upon closer inspection, my mind came to a different, far nastier conclusion as to who our curly haired cover model might be.

I’m of course talking about Stingray from the previously unheard of, but now thanks to THE INTERNET; ironically famous action film, Undefeatable:

Pictured: Stingray's "I see boobies" face.

If you still don’t know who this is, congratulations, you have yet to have your world crushed and ruined by the horrors of internet meme-dom.

Should you be one of those fortunate to have avoided Undefeatable all this time, please allow me to assist you in your mental degeneration:

You’re Welcome!

Filed under: Comics, Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Committed To Reading The Annihilation Saga

I’m starting to realize that I am somewhat of a completist when it comes to comic books.

I routinely show up late to the party when it comes to the newest and most popular story arcs, largely because I get hung up trying to play catch up.

In most cases, it’s simply not enough for me to hit up Wikipedia to find out what I missed.

When I “get into” a character or storyline, I prefer to start from the “beginning,” which is typically represented by the work of a signature author or storyline; and work my way through the trades until I get up to date.

Unsurprisingly, this has resulted in me purchasing and reading some pretty bad books every now and again.

It’s just the nature of the superhero comics industry, with writers and illustrators jumping from project to project all the time; it’s only natural that various books have dips in quality every now and again.

Some examples of purchases I kind of regret, are Secret Invasion, and every single Punisher MAX trade following the departure of Garth Ennis.

Pictured: One of many reasons Garth Ennis owns The Punisher.

It’s funny, I actually remember saying, on this very blog; stating that I would probably never pick up a copy of Secret Invasion.

I heard it wasn’t very good, and was hoping to avoid it, but eventually I got so immersed in the Marvel Universe as a whole, (I don’t know about you, but Dark Reign really “did it” for me) that I reached a point in which most of the characters I was reading had a big fat hole in their continuity left by me not having read Secret Invasion or any of it’s copious tie-ins.

Secret Invasion was indeed kind of a crappy, (not Messiah Complex crappy, mind you) but for whatever reason, it’s comforting to me to have those plot holes filled.

The Punisher stuff kind of speaks for itself.

Garth Ennis was the best thing that ever happened to the character, so his departure from the series pretty much resulted in the bar being set far too high for anyone to possibly measure up to.

UN. TOUCHABLE.

‘Nuff said.

Anyway, as you might have guess from the title of this post, I’ve recently committed myself to reading all of the Annihilation Saga trades, up through the recent Thanos Imperative.

For your information, that’s about 5 years worth of storylines, told across 5 major arcs, as well as possibly a tie-in book or 2; most of which were written by the dynamic duo of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning.

That’s a lot of fuckin’ comics.

Curiously enough, my association with this sprawling story came in the form of jumping right smack in the middle of it a few years ago.

The first book in the series I read was War of Kings, which turned out to be a surprisingly enjoyable read despite my general unfamiliarity with most of the characters.

Over the course of the story, I developed a newfound respect for Black Bolt, as well as an unexpected degree of interest in the cosmic Marvel Universe.

Admittedly, Black Bolt was also kind of badass in World War Hulk...

Though I went on to pick up the War of Kings: Warriors trade that collected a number of tie-in issues associated with the core story, for whatever reason I never went any further than that until just last week.

Last week I finished reading the first book of Annihilation, the initial story arc of the Annihilation saga; and boy was I impressed.

As with War of Kings, I found myself becoming attached to characters that were largely on the periphery of the core Marvel canon, but not only that, I found myself being sucked into the story itself; regardless of it’s place in Marvel lore.

In short, the first book; while little more than build up to the meat of the story, was a damn good read.

That being said, while I know I’ve got my work cut out for me, I’m actually looking forward to cutting a swathe through Annihilation and seeing how everything pans out.

Typically, when I’m faced with diving into a story this big, I tend to feel pensive about the emotional and monetary investment it represents, but in this case; I’m actually kind of jazzed.

Now, all I have to do is find a comic shop that actually carries a copy of Annihilation: Book Two, and then I can actually get started…

Do I really need a reason to post this image? Didn't think so...

Filed under: Comics, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One Of The Worst Book Covers I’ve Ever Seen


I’ve done bad book cover posts before, but this one might just take the cake.

Many times, when a book has a truly horrendous cover, there’s ussually at least some aspect of it’s design that’s commendable/acceptable.

For instance, many fantasy novels have laughable character designs and titles; but in many cases the artistry of the cover is commendable, at least from a technical standpoint.

Other times covers are simply generic, bringing nothing unique to the table; but still doing enough to qualify as a commissioned piece of artwork.

The cover above, for the sci-fi/fantasy novel “Time Ninja,” has none of these things going for it.

The font is bland.

The title is retardedly unoriginal.

The colors are faded and washed out.

The figures on display are poorly rendered at best, coming across like poorly photoshopped drawings with a plain ‘ole smudge filter slapped onto them.

The layout has no sense of rhyme or reason, with most of the figures and details being strewn about at random.

I’ve seen bad covers before, but when I, a (mostly) humble Azn boy with a non-descript Bachelor’s degree that may or may not have something to do with “art,” can look at a book cover and honestly feel that I could do better; then you know you’re dealing with something that is… Well, I think Ian Malcolm said it best:

“For those that care to know, here is the back-of-the-book description for “Time Ninja”:
Andy Schoepp’s Definitive Sci-Fi, Action/Adventure, Ninja Epic has arrived! The year is 2101, global warming and a depleted ozone layer are destroying the Earth. The human race lies on the brink of extinction with its only hope being a planet in another galaxy. A raging civil war reigns supreme over the technology to transport people to that planet which can save the human race. It is in this future that Master Ninja Ryu Kendo must obtain a special sword that can help him save his village from annihilation. But the raging civil war may consume Ryu’s mind, body, soul and indeed his very being. Will Ryu sacrifice his village for his friends, the woman he loves and for the future of humankind? In Time Ninja, Andy Schoepp paints a vivid tapestry of an ancient, Japanese village in modern times and a future fraught with civil war, high-tech weaponry and characters fighting to stay alive with the Earth in peril of obliteration. And, when Andy Schoepp combines the ancient techniques of Ninjutsu with the high-tech weaponry of the future, it will be a battle none will soon forget! Time Ninja is a must-read epic you won’t want to miss!”

Congratulations Andy Schoep and illustrator Ron Heinsman, not only did you compose a “must-read epic,” you also gave us one of the worst covers of all time.

That being said, there’s no denying that Space Bobcat still reigns supreme:

STILL, THE BEST COVER EVER.

Filed under: Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

SOUL of the Tiger

“Soul of the Tiger: Searching for Nature’s Answers in Southeast Asia.”

I have never read this book, nor do I see myself ever being inclined to do so; however there’s one aspect of it’s cover that managed to catch my eye as I passed by it earlier today.

It wasn’t the tiger at the bottom, nor the subject matter highlighted by the title of the book; rather it was the face of the mustachioed macho-man the top half of the cover that peaked my interest.

You see, while the average book shopper may not have noticed, my trained eyes; the eyes of an Attitude Era wrestling fan, took heed of the Magic Eye-esque image embedded in the cover of “Soul of the Tiger.”

Still can’t see it?

Here, let me help you out:

Ladies and Gentleman - The Rock.

The resemblance is uncanny…

 

Filed under: Movies, Uncategorized, Wrestling, , , , , , , , , , ,

Shadowland Review

Maximum Carnage.

That oft derided blood soaked comic book story arc of the early 90’s was what ultimately came to mind as I was reading through Marvel’s Shadowland.

Fortunately, I happen to be of the rare breed that, despite it’s flawed storytelling and absurd length; actually kind of liked Maximum Carnage.

Make no mistake though, Shadowland is by no means a well-liked crossover by most comic fan standards.

At least it's not universally hated like Onslaught... Onslaught sucked balls.

Written by Daredevil author Andy Diggle, and pencilled by former X-23 artist Billy Tan; Shadowland takes us into the dark territory it’s title suggest in the form of casting prolific crime-fighter and man without fear, Daredevil; as it’s central villain.

While this controversial storytelling decision has perturbed many a Daredevil fan since it’s publication, thankfully there is indeed a logical, though somewhat hokey explanation as to why Matt Murdock would suddenly turn heel overnight.

 

I don't know about you, but bad chili always puts me in a foul mood...

Leading up to the events of Shadowland, one of the Daredevil’s arch-nemeses, Bullseye; blew up a city block in Hell’s Kitchen, effectively creating a gigantic smoldering symbol of the hero’s personal failings smack dab in the middle of his backyard.

Having recently been offered the position as head of The Hand, a Japanese cult of ninjas and longtime opponent of Daredevil and Elektra; Daredevil ends up accepting the offer, in hopes of wielding the forces of The Hand to better protect the citizens of New York.

This leads to the purchase of the plot of land that was destroyed by Bullseye, and the erection of a huge Japanese fortress in it’s place; a territory that Daredevil dubs “Shadowland.”

Unfortunately, poor Matt Murdock didn’t count on being possessed by The Beast, a demon under the control of a splinter group within The Hand known as Snakeroot.

Said possession causes Daredevil to lose control of himself and his army, resulting in The Beast using him as a vessel to infect the citizens of New York with feelings of hatred and violence.

While many of the heroes of the Marvel universe tolerate Murdock’s actions, grudgingly; it isn’t until he does the unthinkable, and kills Bullseye; that his close friends begin to suspect that the devil of Hell’s Kitchen might be losing his marbles.

Thus sets the stage for a series of pitched battles between Daredevil and those that care most about him.

I assure it doesn't turn out like this, however it would be kinda' cool if it did...

A “mini-event” staged in the wake of Marvel’s most recent event comic proper, Siege; Shadowland represents the rather rare crossover event wherein the core players consist almost exclusively of  “street level” superheroes.

That is to say, despite a suitably epic storyline involving demonic possession and a mass riot across the Hell’s Kitchen section of Manhattan, the majority of the superheroes involved consist of low-powered, or in many cases; unpowered, individuals such as Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Spider-Man, and The Punisher.

Unlike many event comics, that raise the stakes to cosmic levels and beyond, a strong part of the appeal of Shadowland; at least for me anyway, is the fact that the story remains grounded in Daredevil’s niche in the Marvel universe, that of New York city.

While many of the heroes, such as Cage and Iron Fist; are personal friends of Daredevil, ultimately the one thing tying everyone together in the story is that they all share New York as their field of operations.

Early on in Shadowland we’re shown an overhead splash of the city, with several embedded panels serving to show us many of the New York-based Marvel superheroes as they all glare at Daredevil’s newly erected eyesore of a fortress and ponder on what to do of it.

Pictured: The splash in question.

It’s moments like this that serve to unify the cast of Shadowland in a much more satisfying manner than many other event comics.

With the exception of Ghost Rider and Moon Knight, (and a truly random Wolverine) both of whom have close to nothing to do within the context of the 5 core Shadowland issues, the vast majority of the cast feel appropriately cast.

That being said, what of the actual story?

Well, to be perfectly honest, Shadowland is one of those crossovers that seems to demand an unreasonable level of commitment from it’s readers, such that it feels like many important story beats are found only in tie-in issues.

That being said, questions arise every now and again when one is reading Shadowland, usually pertaining to where certain characters went, or how they knew some of the things they did.

 

...Or in the case of Elektra: "How are you still alive?"

In that sense, the storytelling and plot progression of Shadowland can feel fractured and abbreviated, however in my opinion this does not hurt it’s overall enjoyability.

Put it this way:

Shadowland is not a suspenseful story.

From it’s first pages, the “mystery” of Daredevil’s bloodthirsty nature are laid out for us crystal clear.

While the (surprisingly good) ending serves to shake things up a bit, there’s close to zero character development in Shadowland.

From the moment Bullseye gets shanked, we know exactly who our villains are, making for a story that does most what little “telling” it needs to as fists are flying and blood is spilt.

The real meat of Shadowland is in establishing Daredevil as a character poised to take a fall, and then watching as his closest friends band together to set him straight, not through superpowered might, or even magical exorcism; but through heart… and a shit ton of kung fu.

Martial arts have a way of making any story just that much better.

While it sounds corny, Shadowland is essentially the comic book equivalent of an intervention.

Hal Jordan fell prey to Parallax, Jean Grey turned into Dark Phoenix, every now and again one our most beloved superheroes finds themselves under the control of some malevolent force, ultimately resulting in their friends banding together (unsuccessfully) to stop them, only for them to choose redemption through the only means most superheroes seem to know:

Altruisticly Superpowered Suicide, better known as A.S.S.

Sorry, couldn’t resist…

Despite the frequently used storytelling formula listed above, one should note that I never said that’s how Shadowland ends.

I’m not a fan of spoilers, so I’ll let you read the story yourself to find out just what happens.

*Spoiler Alert!* The Death Star blows up at the end!

Anyway, it’s a safe bet to say that Shadowland represents a story that has been recycled in the world of comics more than a few times already, however the new coat of paint it throws into the mix, in the form of it’s cast and setting, make for a fun experience for those who, like myself; are somewhat invested in things from the get go.

In other words, Shadowland is hardly a jumping on point for those who don’t read any of the characters involved in the core storyline, but for those that frequently read tales from the streets of Marvel New York; it’s hard not to have fun with Shadowland.

...I mentioned there was fighting, right?

Coming into Shadowland, I honestly didn’t know what to expect from artist Billy Tan.

Normally, I am keen on looking up the work of artists for comics I’m about purchase, largely because I put a great deal of stock in an artist’s abilities when it comes to gauging my overall enjoyment of a book.

Most reviews I read of Shadowland prior to purchasing it were mostly negative, however nearly all of them made mention of the art being “typically outstanding” in reference to Tan’s body of work.

Don’t ask me why, but for some reason I came into Shadowland wanting to be surprised by something, given that most of the story can be spoiled by reading even the most vague of reviews.

Anyway, I was indeed surprised by Billy Tan’s art in Shadowland, but more importantly; I was impressed.

Impressive... Most impressive...

Like many of my favorite comic artists, Tan excels at drawing his characters with somewhat more realistically proportioned bodies.

Many of his figures appear lithe and flexible, which is a very important factor to consider when dealing with a cast of characters consisting largely of martial artists and acrobats.

Speaking of which, while his face work can seem a little off at times, Tan displays a penchant for illustrating figures in motion.

There are moments in Shadowland, particularly in the battle with Bullseye; where the action of the panels felt more like viewing an animation than reading a comic.

For your viewing pleasure, a full page of awesome.

Needless to say, Billy Tan’s artwork and easily deciphered layouts in Shadowland meet my approval, and quite handily at that.

I won’t be reading X-23 anytime soon, out of my general disdain for the character; but nevertheless, I look forward to more Tan projects in the near future.

Anyway, that’s about all I’ve got to say about Shadowland.

As mentioned earlier, it seems like Marvel expects us to read a lot of the tie-ins in order to get the whole story, but I myself can’t justify such an investment.

I will however be picking up the Moon Knight tie-in, as it genuinely looked pretty good to me, and besides; Moon Knight’s my boy.

Other than that though, I’m mostly happy with what I got from Shadowland on it’s own.

Hope this was helpful to some of you, thanks for reading!

Filed under: Comics, Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Moon Knight’s Shot At The Big Time

Awhile back, I wrote a loving tribute to the delightfully insane D-list Marvel comics hero, Moon Knight.

As a minor member of Marvel’s “street level” crimefighting fraternity, Moon Knight spent most of his career viewed as a Batman rip-off with tonal discrepancies in his various incarnations, as well as some palpable identity issues.

It probably doesn’t help that the character of Moon Knight has often been written as possessing multiple personality disorder.

The point is, Moon Knight has never really been a major player in the Marvel universe.

 

Not like Puck. Puck's a fuckin' baller...

As a New York based crimefighter, he shares turf with Spider-Man, Daredevil, Iron Fist, The Punisher, and a host of other, more powerful and better known characters.

Sadly, team-ups involving Moon Knight having his book “invaded” by the aforementioned A-listers, have been kind of the norm in the world of Moon Knight, a plot device that, in my opinion; basically means that Marvel has never had enough confidence in the character to allow him to succeed on his own.

That being said, Moon Knight has not been without his moments, particularly within the past decade.

I know I used it before, but this was just so fuckin' awesome...

About 5-6 years ago, author Charlie Huston and artist David Finch managed to breath new life into the Moon Knight character by boosting the R-rated content of his story arcs, and playing on the character’s innumerable inner conflicts by having him struggle with his subconscious in a fashion aping the brilliance of John Landis’ An American Werewolf in London.

It represented a major high-point for the character, (or low, if you’re going by the actual content of the storyline) and one that would serve as my formal jumping on point to the Moon Knight bandwagon.

Following Huston’s departure though, Moon Knight would once again fade into relative obscurity, sitting out of most of the major event comics for several years to come; and playing host to storylines that were good, but nowhere near the level of quality that Huston established with his first few stories.

Once the Moon Knight series of the early 2000’s came to a close though, with the “death” of one of Moon Knight’s multiple personalities; things picked up again for another high.

 

Towards the close of the Dark Reign era of Marvel comics, Moon Knight was thrown back onto the shelves with a brand new, more PG-13 image, and a new series entitled Vengeance of the Moon Knight.

 

Motorcycles make anyone look cool...

Said “Vengeance” referred to Moon Knight supposedly seeking to avenge his previous “death” as ordered by Norman Osborn.

Being as Norman Osborn was and always will be a top-tier supervillain, with God knows how many nemeses; the chances of Moon Knight successfully taking him out were approximately 3,720 to 1, however that didn’t stop me from reading the story and loving it.

Featuring a host of some of the better villains in Moon Knight’s rogues gallery, including a newly resurrected Bushman AKA Moonies’ arch nemesis; the story was exceptionally well written by Gregg Hurwitz, as well as brilliantly illustrated by the uber talented Jerome Opena.

 

Not the most relevant of pics, but hey; I don't need a reason to showcase an instance of scarecrow punching.

As seems to be the norm for the ‘ole white knight though, the second arc in the series could barely hold a candle to the first.

Hurwitz remained on board as writer, but Opena jumped ship; and with good reason.

The initial outburst of energy brought on by the new direction of the series faded away, replaced by tedium and, you guessed it; guest appearances from characters like Deadpool.

 

That's right, get your own comic! No wait, he's already got like 6...

While I like Deadpool as much as the next 20-something year old comic fan, (provided he’s got a good writer backing him) his appearance in other character’s books is often a good indication of them having lost their way.

While that series petered out and was cancelled, most likely for the best; Marvel would end up giving Moonie another chance in the form of a spot on the newly formed Secret Avengers team as headed by Steve Rogers AKA Captain America.

From what I’ve heard, that series has been going strong since it’s inception last year, however both Moon Knight and Nova (another hero that doesn’t get enough spotlight) have reportedly served as little more than window dressing.

While Moon Knight has served time on Avengers teams before, this marks the first official team-up I can recall the character engaging in within my lifetime.

It’s bold moves like this that remind me Marvel has yet to lose faith in their crazy white knight.

Given that Mike Deodato is illustrating Secret Avengers, you can bet I’ll be picking it up as soon as it comes out in trade form.

I suppose it’s worth mentioning that Moon Knight also played minor role in the street level superhero crossover, Shadowland; however I’ve heard nothing but bad about that series, so I’m just going to plead ignorance and gloss over that particularly nasty bit of history…

 

Aw... Sleepy kitty!

Now that the history lesson’s over, we can finally get to the new business of Moon Knight.

Just a few days ago, it was announced that famed comic writer Brian Michael Bendis, as well as the terrific penciller Alex Maleev; would be taking the reigns on a new Moon Knight series beginning this May.

While his writing style can often be immature, and his stories don’t always come together all that cleanly, few can argue that Bendis is one of the best dialogue writers in the business, with an ability to capture character’s voices that is nigh unmatched.

Maleev is not slouch either, with a sharp, moody, and wholly dynamic art style, as well as a host of credits on various Avengers comics and an extended run on Bendis’ critically acclaimed Daredevil series.

 

Yeah, I'd say Mr. Maleev knows what he's doing...

From what I’ve read, the premise that the team is working from, is one that once again plays off of Moon Knight’s multiple personality disorder.

Taking into account Moon Knight’s current status as a Secret Avengers member, Bendis plans on having the character’s personality issues manifest in the form of taking on the behavior and personalities of his teammates.

In essence, the idea is that Moon Knight’s inherent insanity and unpredictably will be turned up to 11 in this series, with him assuming the characteristics of heroes like Wolverine, Spider-Man, and presumably Captain America based on the promotional image at the beginning of this article.

While this sounds a little tongue-in-cheek for my tastes, I can’t deny that the idea of a man running around thinking he’s indestructible, or thinking that he comes from the mythical kingdom of Asgard; will probably make for a fun read.

Assigning Bendis to write a Moon Knight series will grant the character unparalleled exposure and presence among casual comic book fans, a luxury that few D-list heroes ever get to experience, regardless of the breadth of publishing history they may possess.

Given the character’s questionable track record thus far, I don’t doubt that the series could indeed flop; however with such big names attached, I’m nothing if not hopeful for it’s success.

Filed under: Comics, Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Minecraft: Survival Multiplayer (Guest Post)

Hello everyone, and welcome to the first (well technically second…) guest post on the Azn Badger’s blog!

After months of not-so-subtly prodding at my friends to give me a hand/break in posting on this blog EVERY FUCKING DAY, one of my closest of pal’s has finally stepped up to the plate and allowed me to post a comic of his!

Anyway, the author of said comic is listed as “red13,” however because I’m a dick, and like to treat my friend’s like shit, I will henceforth be referring to the contributor of this comic as “Mencius.”

That being said, the comic in question is an homage/parody/play on the online PC game, Minecraft.

I myself have not played Minecraft, nor know anything about it, but I can definitely fake it by throwing Wikipedia quotes at you!:

“Minecraft is a sandbox building[1][2] game which allows players to build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3D world. It is currently in development by Markus “Notch” Persson on the Java platform. The gameplay is inspired by Dwarf Fortress, RollerCoaster Tycoon, Dungeon Keeper, and especially Infiniminer.[3][4] Minecraft was developed for about a week before its public release on May 17, 2009 on the TIGSource forums, where it gained a considerable level of popularity. It has been continually updated since then, and while still an alpha release, it has garnered hundreds of thousands of sales and critical notice and acclaim from many reviewers.”

There, you now know just as much as I do about Minecraft!

Anyway, my buddy Mencius made this comic (for fun, not posterity) based around the basic premise tha- Oh, fuck it, I’ll just let him explain it:

“Minecraft will see updates to its multiplayer where players can take damage – leading to the inevitable creation of servers which give players a bit more of a challenge than they’re used to. This comic is about what I imagine a part of Minecraft’s future will look like.”
… I don’t get it.
Enough jibber-jabbin’ and talkin’ wise an’ otherwise though, let’s get to the comic, shall we?:
(Please open the image in another window or download it.  The comic is too large for the post width of my blog, so it has been condensed somewhat.)
Hope you all enjoyed it, please remember to thank my buddy Mencius for his contribution to the blog!
Seriously man, thanks a lot, I just snagged Demon’s Souls tonight, so I definitely don’t need the extra stress of having to pound out a blog post for tonight…

Filed under: Games, Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

In Memoriam: Robert Muldoon

"JP: Jurassic Park! Something, has survived!"

I fucking love Jurassic Park.

As a child raised with the perception that dinosaurs were absolutely the coolest shit ever, Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park was, and still is, the perfect film to appeal to my young dinosaur loving self.

Pictured: My young, dinosaur loving self.

I suppose it also helped that the movie was legitimately good too.

Anyway, this post isn’t about Jurassic Park as a whole, if it were you’d have to pack your sleeping bag just to read it.

Seriously, this is one movie that I really can talk about FOR-EV-ER.

No, today, we’re going to be talking about a man among men.

A man so manly, even the biggest and most clever of Velociraptor pride leaders wouldn’t dare challenge him without the aid of a comrade.

That's right bitch. Shake in 'dem fossilized bones a' yours...

A man so manly, every hat he owns, even his baseball caps; flip up on one side like a slouch hat.

Pictured: Australia in hat form.

A man so manly, even the mighty Samuel L. Jackson dare not challenge his authority when told to be “quiet.”

"'The fuck told ME to shut up?..."

A man so manly, he can drive stick.

"Get off the stick! Bloody move!"

That’s right ladies and gentleman, today we pay tribute to the manliest of manly men, the paragon of pimp, the head game warden and “great white hunter” of John Hammond’s (Richard Attenborough) Jurassic Park:

Robert Muldoon.

In short, Muldoon is THE SHIT.

You thought Donnie Yen was badass?

Next to Muldoon he’s a fucking choir boy.

A CHOIR BOY.

Though he was only in handful of scenes, Muldoon nevertheless made a huge impression on me, even as a child.

Personally, I think most of that had to do with the fact that he wore a slouch/Aussie hat, which was something I just happened to think was really fuckin’ cool back in the day.

Still kinda’ do, now that you mention it…

Anyway, Muldoon is a hard-ass throughout most of Jurassic Park, but he’s a loveable hard-ass.

Y’know, he’s that kind of asshole where you’re all like:

"Man, what a dick..."

But after a few seconds you’re all like:

"But goddamnit, he's AWESOME!"

He was the rock of the major players in Jurassic Park.

While everyone else panicked, he just kind of gritted his teeth and toughed it out.

Oh yeah, and then licked his lips, involuntarily twitched his eye, and seemingly intentionally tried his best to scare the ever loving shit out of everyone around him.

"I've got her..."

Y’know, hero stuff.

Anyway, as we all know, Robert Muldoon met his demise at the hands of yet another blatant case of a Spielberg-ian spite killing.

That is, he tracked a Velociraptor in the jungle, only to be flanked by a second raptor much in the same way that Alan Grant (Sam Neill) flat out TOLD US this would happen to someone at some point in the movie:

Poo poo on Muldoon for missing Grant’s informative and decidedly not kid-friendly paleontological spiel at the beginning of the movie.

I suppose it didn’t help either that he decided to wait until the absolute last moment to set up the stock to his SPAS 12.

In retrospect, he probably should’ve done that before he even set foot in the jungle, or failing that, he probably could’ve at least tried to fire it sawed-off style.

Either way, shoulda’ woulda’ coulda’ doesn’t mean a whole lot when you’re gettin’ mauled by one seriously pissed off raptor.

Actually, for all I know that might be his "Can I have a cookie?" face...

Oh well, at least he got to kill the Tyrannosaur and a shit ton of raptors WITH A FUCKIN’ GRENADE LAUNCHER in the book.

FUCK YEAH.

Oh yeah, and then there was that whole part where, y’know, he lived at the end of the book.

Thanks for that Michael Crichton (R.I.P.).

Anyway, the real reason for this post, is to honor the memory of the actor who portrayed Robert Muldoon, Bob Peck.

Good God he's badass...

I was informed today by a co-worker (the same one that inspired me to take on the Top 100 Goriest Films) that Mr. Peck had died of cancer on the 4th of April, 1999.

I may be 11 years or so late, but this post is my way of honoring his memory.

Sadly, I can’t say I’ve ever seen Mr. Peck in any other film’s or TV series, as most of his roles were in British exclusive productions.

Even so, I don’t think I’m alone when I say that, his performance as Muldoon was pretty much all I needed to see of him to forever believe he was THE SHIT.

That being said, Bob Peck, Robert Muldoon, you shall henceforth be forever remembered as one in the same, a shining example of what it means to be the manliest of manly men.

With that, I shall close with Mr. Peck’s, and therefore Robert Muldoon’s; official theme song:

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Crappy Book Covers Are Crappy!

Say what you will, it's still THE BEST COVER EVER.

Yesterday’s post was an example of intentionally bad cover art for a book.

Today I figured I would take a moment to show you a few examples of published book covers that are potentially worse from a design standpoint than the juggernaut that was “Dr. Vladimir’s Space Virus.”

Shitty book covers aren’t hard to find, one has only to venture down to the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section of any book store or library to find them.

Or don't. That would be my suggestion anyway.

All of the images that follow were taken at the University of Washington Book Store.

It should be noted that most of these covers were far from the worst I’ve seen.

I blame myself for this, as Barnes & Noble seems to stock a larger quantity of rubbish books with shitty covers.

Good job UW, way to keep the crappy book cover population to a minimum.

Anyway, let’s begin our journey through the world of shitty cover art with the book that prompted me to start this whole day of adventure in the first place:

Werewolf Smackdown by Mario Acevedo.

The moment I saw this on the shelf, I found myself stupefied, gawking in horror at the masterpiece of ass-itude that lay before me.

Now, first thing’s first, Werewolf Smackdown is a truly awful title.

Unless of course THIS was the subject of the story.

In my opinion, the most frustrating part of this cover isn’t the horrendous graphic of the werewolf character, but rather the typography of the title.

The “Down” part of the word “Smackdown” is on a slightly lower plane than the “Smack” resulting in a rather confusing appearance.

I guess one could theorize that this was done intentionally as a visual metaphor to put emphasis on the fact that werewolves are in fact smacked down in this book, but I seriously doubt most would come to that conclusion on first glance.

Hell, it took me like 20 minutes to even come up with that half-assed explanation.

Werewolf Smackdown, definitely playing second fiddle to Werewolf RAW is WAR.

Next up is Eric Flint Time Spike by Marilyn Kosmatka… Or is it Time Spike by Eric Flint and Marilyn Kosmatka?

Here we have our basic Tyrannosaur eating a Spanish Conquistador cover.

Other than my confusion over what’s the title and who’s the author (thank you very much, shitty typography), this is a pretty crazy-awesome/retardly-awesome/shitty cover that I honestly don’t have problem with.

That doesn’t make anything more than a shitty cover though.

Just ask any of my friends, I have a tendency to find reasons to like truly awful things.

Pretty sure I'm the person I know that actually liked this movie...

Moving right along, next we have Pyramid Power by our homeboy Eric Flint, or wait maybe it’s by that son of a bitch Dave Freer, I honestly can’t tell:

Like the previous cover, this one isn’t overtly bad, it’s just really fucking stupid.

I mean come on, it’s a fuckin’ dragon holding a viking with it’s tail.

On paper that sounds pretty cool, but I would’ve preferred to see a less static representation of this most epic of encounters, you know, something a little more action oriented or dynamic.

Goddamn you Monster Hunter, lookin' all cool n'shit...

Conceptually speaking, this is like looking at a heavy metal album cover.

You aren’t allowed to ask “why,” you just sort of accept it in all it’s insanity and excess and get on with your life.

Either that, or you briefly question the band's sexuality for a moment, then rock until you just don't care.

Pyramid Power loses points for it’s shitty title, however, like the previous cover; the cover isn’t all that bad, just uninspired.

Finally, I’d like to take a minute to look over a couple of covers from an author that seems to have a knack for generating crappy novels deserving of crappy covers, Mr. John Ringo.

Holy shit! He looks like Muldoon!

First up is The Road to Damascus:

In case you couldn’t tell, that is in fact a child in red pajamas, holding a teddy bear in one hand while holding a laser gun in the other.

Oh yeah, he also appears to be facing down a tank.

Based on the color palette and (shitty) fonts, my first instinct upon viewing this cover was to compare it to one of those choose-your-own-adventure novels.

I know they look nothing alike, but I just felt like using this image 'cause I acutally own this one.

Though silly in nature, The Road to Damascus, once again, doesn’t have all that bad a cover.

The image is provocative, with some definite time and effort put into the illustration, with some very straightforward and easily distinguished focal points to the layout.

The fonts are pretty boring, but not clip art bad.

I will say this though, the cover seems a little too busy in places, particularly at the top, where the tag line is inappropriately large given it’s close proximity to the author’s name/names.

Our last cover is another John Ringo book, called Gust Front; and this time it actually is shitty, not just bad like most of the others.

I apologize about my leniency towards these shitty book covers.

Many of them probably deserve harsher words than I’ve given them, but I guess it’s just not in my nature to gripe about and be unnecessarily or overly critical of things, no matter how shitty they may be.

Oh well, here’s Gust Front:

Holy fucking shit that’s bad.

Pretty much everything bad that can be said about cover art can be applied to Gust Front.

The title is ass.

The fonts are ridiculously over-the-top, oversized, and horrendously colored.

Oh yeah, and the composition is off-balance, somehow managing to be both cluttered and sparse, with truly awful original Starcraft quality CG renderings for all the figures present in the image.

Hmm, I don't remember the old Starcraft looking like this. Sadly, no trace remains of it ever since the announcement of #2.

It’s kind of funny actually, the dude in the power armor reminds me of the Starship Troopers CG cartoon, Roughnecks.

Yup, these guys and the Extreme Ghostbusters were my best buddies after school...

Man, that was a good show…

Hang on, now that I think of it, the title font seems to bear a certain resemblance to the Starship Troopers one, at least in terms of it’s alignment.

I'm proud to say that the DVD I own of this film has a MUCH better cover.

I see, so we’re to buy this no doubt shitty novel based on the associations it brings on in our minds in relation to Starship Troopers?

Clever girl Mr. Ringo… Clever girl indeed…

I feel it is worth noting that John Ringo’s section at the UW bookstore was pretty much a shelf unto itself.

That’s a lot of shit novels.

Huh, guess I really can be an asshole when I put my mind to it.

Go figure.

Anyway, this has been a truly half-assed post.

Things will pick up a little bit more tomorrow, promise.

Praise be to Space Bobcat.

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Dr. Vladimir’s Space Virus

Doctor Vladimir’s Space Virus

by Eric Burmill

Doctor Maximus Vladimir is the top scientist of the United Star Systems and he believes he’s developed a revolutionary new medicine to reduce the body’s physical deterioration in old age. He delivers his serum to a trusted colleague, Colonel Henry Mortok, without the knowledge that the colonel is member of K.I.L.L., a secret order bent on destroying all life in the universe. Mortok modifies the serum into a biological weapon and distributes it across all of the space colonies. Too late Dr. Vladimir realizes that his friend has used his discovery to unleash a deadly plague across the galaxy. Now it’s up to our hero to battle the secret order, confront his former friend, find a cure to save the billions of lives at stake, and clear his good name before he and the rest of the human race are erased from existence.

(Story Concept and Image used with the consent of Jeffrey Dong)

The above is part of an art exchange project between myself and a good friend of mine, Jeff Dong.

The idea came up while we were at Barnes & Noble rooting through the Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel section, intentionally looking for the dumbest and most ridiculous cover arts we could find.

And the winner for most awesome book cover EVER goes to...

Jeff Dong came up with the neat idea of challenging ourselves to come up with fake concepts for books that would go well with retarded cover art.

Basically, we were to exchange intentionally retarded Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel ideas, and then produce Photoshop renditions of the cover art for said stories.

The above example is my interpretation of Jeff Dong’s story idea.

Even though it took me more than a month to actually sit down and do this project, (largely on account of me having to write this damn blog!) I have to admit that I genuinely had fun with it.

Even though it’s cheesy, and definitely retarded, I also have to say that I am also somewhat proud of my work on this image.

Anyway, needed a break from writing, so instead I decided to treat myself to a day of flexing my artistic creativity.

Pictured: My "Artistic Creativity"

Hope you enjoyed, be on the lookout for Jeff Dong’s cover image for my story, it’s a hoot!

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