Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fifth talked about how bad the art in Spider-Man is

Wwwwwwwwwwwow, lookit that art. 

I like how Betty's hips apparently can cock at an angle Leifeld would have drawn. Or how Parker's forhead has two separate eyebrows, one set right above the first on his fucking long face. Or how Betty's breast has this line coming out of it from nowhere. Or how Parker's shin apparently has some sort of cancerous growth that makes it jut out. Or how Betty's leg can apparently disconnect from her hips at will to no discomfort. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Oh god nevermind, DMC is going to be awful

Set against a contemporary backdrop, DmC will depict a duplicitous world where nothing is ever as it seems and the line between good and evil is constantly blurred. Spurred into action by the promises of a trusted relation, Dante bursts into this world intent on revenge at any cost.

Wow. That's...impressively terrible. I wonder if by the end the demons like Dante will be the good guys and the humans will be the bad guys (what with the imprisoning and torturing and all).

Thoughts on the new DMC trailer

Capcom I get that grimdark is 'the new thing' and all but you seriously don't need to insert it into everything.

Devil May Cry is a ridiculous over-the-top franchise where a hot dude with silver hair runs around shooting demons in the face in Gothic architecture castles. I'm mostly down with showing Dante as a teenager because I always wondered how he got by after his mom was killed and Vergil took off and seeing him as a street-slum teenager has potential, but I've never been one to tout how great Devil May Cry's story is, least not after #4. Trying to, I dunno, torture him and find out about his half-demon hybrid status is a pretty desperate grasp at legitimacy. 

If you basically gut all that and leave a trailer where Dante's kicking demons in the head and throwing cars and putting out cigarettes in their faces I'm pretty much down, and hey the music was rad, but I'm tentatively disappointed thus far. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

This is why I don't mind Facebook

Friend I haven't talked to in over ten years found me on Facebook and told me that he recently played Lufia II, because he remembered me talking about it back in fourth grade and now he agrees that it is, in fact, totally awesome.

I don't know why but that's just badass to me. Both that he remembered and that I've been a huge fucking dork for my entire life. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

So I'm reading Stan Nicholls's "Orcs"

Why am I reading this terrible fucking book? 

For those who aren't aware, let me set the prefix by explaining what this book is about. Orcs is a trilogy of books set from the perspective of orcs. Except that they're not orcs. They're just Native Americans in 'orcface.'

"Native Americans" you might say? What do you mean?

Well, the orcs and most of the other races are the native inhabitants of their world, and suddenly humans come in, seeking salvation from religious persecution. These new humans being persecuting everyone else for not enjoying their religion, and while doing so round up animals to cage them up for food and hides (one of the orcs says 'the beast's cage should be the entire land!' before another orc calls him a pussy and he shuts up), churning up the soil, bringing industry and ruining Manas Dantia, and - here's the real kicker - they are destroying the magic of the land. Literally. The magic of the land. There's no explanation that I've gotten to either. Is culture and civilization just inherently evil now?

Okay, so...this is Dances with Orcs. Kinda. Obviously there's no human that joins the Orcs because they are good and noble, but instead humans are jackasses from the outset while the orcs are the ones in defense of the purity of nature. Like I said - they're native americans in Orcface. As if Avatar's paper-thin racism wasn't bad enough.

Here's an excerpt from the back. 

There is fear and hatred in your eyes. To you I am a monster, a skulker in the shadows, a fiend to scare your children...... Feel the flow of blood and be thankful. Thankful it was me, not you that bore the sword. Thankful to the orcs; born to fight, destined to win peace for all.

Holy shit yes. The vicious badasses from Lord of the Rings as heroes in their own tale from their own perspective? Sign me the fuck up.

But instead, we get this. None of the characters are at all vicious or savage as you'd expect from Middle-Earth's biggest and baddest villains. I mean I'm barely ten chapters in, and the warband has done nothing to show that they're brutal or cunning. In fact, they're fairly alright; they're an efficient lot of warriors. They're just primary characters, and not even that interesting ones. They're not even that brutal.

In the very beginning they assault on a giant fortress that's a human barricade while they seek the object they desire. They kill the soldiers, run up into the upper room, and find a woman protecting her child. They consider sparing the woman and the child, but then some of the outside archers fire and wound her, and they realize she was an archer for the human side. So they kill her and her husband fighter, take the baby and carry it over to human lands.

Um. Wow. Some brutal antiheroes. They spare women and children. I don't even recall them being that bloodthirsty other than in the middle of a fight, other than the occasional mention. They're not war-hungry. None of them have real tempers that isn't quelled by their commander Stryke (haha I see what you did there Nicholls) telling them to shut the fuck up. They're not vicious. They're not even cannibals. 

Like, seriously, you could get away with just making them humans. Stryke is an otherwise normal orc warband leader, Jup is a trained scout, Cielle is a knife-fighter, Augray is a medic who's getting 'too old for this shit,' etc etc etc. I'm wondering where the mage is. They're just native-americans who are called orcs. The only thing you'd miss by changing it is the big, badass tagline. ORCS. GIANT LETTERS. BLOOD AND THUNDER. A BOOK ABOUT THE ANTIHEROES IN FANTASY. 

Except that's not what it is. It is a generic fantasy book with generic fantasy heroes leading a generic fantasy quest to recover five generic fantasy MacGuffins, called 'Instrumentalities' that aren't even spoken of what they do. I'm totally okay with all of those as individual cliches but good fucking god please stop with the bland fucking characters. Goodkind was able to put together a better, much darker universe in which generic fantasy took place, and I fucking hate Goodkind (primarily because he mashes the "rape" button whenever he needs a Horrible Tragedy to fill the time). Oh and speaking of which.

There's Jenesta, the queen bitch villainess. It's not uncommon whenever you have anti-heroes to have a villain that's even more unlikable than they are, but good lord Stan Nicholls seriously dialed it all the way up to eleven. I am not even close to joking when I say that she murderapes someone not even five chapters in. She feeds him aphrodisiac, rides him like a Singapore hooker, then when he orgasms she rams a knife into his stomach, cracks his chest open, then eats his heart while it's still beating. 

I wish I was kidding.


He half cried, half sobbed, "No!"

"But you want this," she soothed. "Why else make yourself ready for me?"

You know I probably can downplay this as "oh well she's just messing with him, obviously," but it reminds me too much of the 'Men don't mind getting raped because they get hard' excuse. Plus, would it have made it any less awful if a male sorcerer was raping women and men? I get the feeling ol' Stan says it would be.

Apparently it's a rite to restore her magic sorceress power. Well, okay, I suppose, maybe it'll just be an occasional thing. Nope - end of the next chapter, she bitches about being low on magic, and decides to go do the same thing on her new elf servant. Well, at least it cut away this time. Will this awful, stupid, offensive, ridiculous fucking idea go away now?

I get through another chapter of Stryke and his band of typical heroes arguing about stuff, then I cut back. Two paragraphs in, the following quote.

She climbed down from the altar and unstrapped the bloodied unicorn horn she used as a dildo.

Aaaaaaaand I'm done. That's about the worst fucking thing ever.

Bonus Stage: The religious humans are basically Puritanical Christians. Awesome!


From my Twitter friend @buffdrinklots

"god fucking damn this and the description. "IT." FFFFFFFFFFFFFF YOU STUPID DICK"

I can't agree more. It's utterly tragic and depressingly frustrating to see the entire scope of genderqueer politics being downplayed and battered around for humor by ignorant douchebags. This comic is a perfect example of said battering. 

From the description: 

Just when he thinks he's seen it all, Scott Pilgrim must confront the lethal ANDROGYNOUS PAT. It's hair is perfect for a male with long hair--or a short-haired female. It's clothes are the ultimate nuetral color-YELLOW. And it's necklace helps nothing. Even it's voice is questionable. Can Scott look to it's name for help? No. It's name is Pat. Androgynous Pat. AND IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DEFEAT, FOR NO ONE CAN DEFEAT WHAT THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND.

"It" and "the thing" hahaha cause it's not a "she" or "he" and "they" isn't as funny. They are 'the unknown.' 'You can't defeat what you don't understand.' Hah. Hah. Oh, my sides.

I mean this is an interesting idea as far as a Scott Pilgrim fan-concept goes. But the baseless and immature way the creator just makes being androgynous their entire character is both offensive and stupid.

To put it into context, if I were to make a girl character that Ramona dated, if I made her a short-haired unshaved DiFranko-loving bra-burning no-makeup man-hating lesbian I can guess that people might get a little offended by a portrayal of lesbianism. 

Also in before "But haha it's just a joke!" or "But everything should be made fun of!" or other such non-arguments that don't really refute the point as much as let you jerk off to your own opinion. 


also: i think a better example of offensive portrayals would be like... making all women petty and shallow, or all men pigs

and then constantly referring to their gender by going HOW WILL SCOTT DEFEAT THE WOMAN HE JUST CAN'T UNDERSTAND LOLOL etc whatever

Oooh, yes, in fact I'd make a girl character and she'd be emotional and testy and irrational! He'd try to defend Ramona but she'd just get more upset! HOW CAN SCOTT PILGRIM DEFEAT WHAT HE DOESN'T UNDERSTAND lolz

UPDATE: Dox commented on it and, surprisingly, the artist changed it in the description. Not entirely awful! 

Talking about comics

We were going over how One More Day and now One Moment In Time are the stupidest Goddamn things to ever happen to Spider-Man, and how the comics have been kinda ass lately, and we got onto the Ultimates universe. He was talking about how in Ultimates X-Men Cyclops joined Magneto because Professor Xavier tried to mind-control Scott into doing what he wanted, so he quit. 

I was kind of shocked that Professor X would do such a thing. I said that I couldn't get into Ultimates anything because everyone in Ultimates was an asshole, including the X-Men apparently. 

He said, wait, no, not everyone's an asshole!

Oh, really? Like who? Hawkeye the psychopath? Cyclops? Professor X the psuedo-objectivist? Captain America the racist/bigot? Tony Stark the alcoholic?

We eventually got off the subject and started talking about other stuff, and a few minutes later he's all, "Spider-Man!"

Huh? Spider-Man what?

He said Spider-Man isn't an asshole in Ultimates!

I was like, it took you ten minutes to think of one person in Ultimates who isn't an asshole? Kind of a telling of the whole problem isn't it? 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Was thinking about religiousness in fiction

I have to admit, some times some things are so incredibly focused on religious roots that it's hard to believe that it can be presented without putting any religious seeds in a kid's head.

My favorite example is Hunchback of Notre Dame. I mean hey it's a terrific movie, let me make that perfectly clear, but just think about it. There's an entire song from Esmerelda named "God Save the Outcasts." The church of Notre Dame is the centerpiece of the whole thing, and it's, well, a church. Frollo's sworn to chastity and has an entire song where he praises God without actually using the word "God" itself, under the name "Maria." I mean, when I saw it the first time I thought he was talking to like, an ex-wife or something. And his entire song is about how much he wants to fuck Esmerelda, and instead they use evocative symbolism and creative twists to keep it safer and more kid-friendly.

I won't do a full-on review of Hunchback just because that's not why I'm making this post - I'm posting this because I'm astonished that, throughout the entire movie, I never once thought about God or religion. The church itself was a safe haven due to a set of rules - it never struck me that those rules were religiously bolted down through the Catholic Church's presence. 

This isn't even some sort of atheistic indignation post either. It didn't promote or smear religion. Instead you had people interacting with other people with varying goals and differing sets of ideologies and morals to achieve those goals. Frollo's desire for Esmerelda was a personal conflict, and because he was a villain and obsessed with her he would step on anyone and anything to get to her and offer her a choice; be his, or die. Meanwhile Phoebus is a surprisingly heroic and noble character, Quasimodo is your traditional gentle-inside troll, and the way the characters interact with the villain and the church itself keeps the drama going...but God is never part of it.

God was never bashed for promoting Frollo's behavior, nor was he praised for seeing the heroes through to the end or offering sanctuary to the heroes. It was kept out of it. And I love Hunchback all the more for it.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Mortal Kombat

I'm really glad WB was able to acquire the Mortal Kombat franchise, because you have a kinda cool world with really weirdass characters with cool powers. For the last decade and a half the only people with this franchise have basically sat around and balanced pencils on their noses instead of producing decent products. 

What I'm liking is that it's showing a lot of the same growth and understanding of Mortal Kombat in this video. It's gory but in a way that's hilarious and awesome and ridiculous rather than just MORE BLOOD AND FEMURS!!! and focuses on combos and fluid combat mechanics. I've been saying for eons that if they want their game to be taken seriously they need to stop with the useless shit like Konquest mode or Motor Kombat and all the other token-ass side missions to make the game more sellable and instead focus on having a good game. I really think that this is what they're doing, and Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe was a great show of them learning that process.

I like Mortal Kombat. The character concepts are just cool by themselves, and I want them to try and use it carefully. I'm glad that, finally, they seem to be doing that.