Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Movie Review: Civil War (Captain America)

I finally got around to watching Captain America's 3rd Marvel Movie installment, subtitled "Civil War" after hearing it praised a lot since its release last year. Here's my take:

The bad:

1- Captain America? This is the least "Captain America" if the movies featuring Steve Rogers. It's really much more of an Avengers movie, with a slight focus on Cap. It does a little bit of furthering along of Steve's private life, with the death of Peggy Carter and Steve finally, sort of, getting together with the pretty girl we all knew was Sharon Carter. But even this seemed rushed. The bulk of the character arc for Cap is his unyielding support of childhood friend Bucky Barnes, aka the Winter Soldier.

2- Villain? The villain's plot in this movie is ludicrous! Obviously framing Bucky, leading to harsh controls of the governments over the Avengers, leading to Captain America and Iron Man in a big fight. There's just no way the villain could have known the consequences of his actions, and the final confrontation is way too convenient! Plus, they waste a great comic character name: Zemo. Instead of a great Baron and Nazi leader, he's some ex-military man with no means whatsoever to pull off his plan.

3- Civil War? I didn't read the comics, and though hero-vs-hero conflict has been a Marvel staple, making it into the main conflict of a movie is not a great idea. They'd be better off bringing in the Masters of Evil or some other great villain. The hero conflict in Avengers was about perfect, we don't need more.

The good:

1- Vision and Scarlet Witch!  The development of these characters, their conflict and obvious attraction, is the most interesting sub=plot of the movie. It's far more interesting than anything that happens with the main character (see above).

2- Spider-Man! Though not much of an intro, the reboot Spidey shows a ton of promise. The only bad thing I have to say is the repeated references to how hot his Aunt is (She IS, of course, but I noticed without being told. Marisa Tomei--call me and we can discuss this in-depth!)


3- Black Panther! Just a totally awesome introduction. It's all great, nothing bad here at all!

4- Characters! The character arcs for everyone else were also very well done. even folks like Hawkeye who don't appear much. Gi-Ant-Man is probably my favorite.

I'd rate this a very average Marvel movie, Not as good as the other Captain America movies, Iron Man I, or Avengers I. But definitely worth seeing.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

My Princess

Carrie Fisher has died. I don't think I can come close to eulogizing her as well as those who worked with her and knew her well, but I feel I must say something about her and the impact her work had upon my life.


I learned to draw by drawing Star Wars stuff, and Princess Leia was one of the easiest characters to make look distinctive, with the cool buns and all. Princess Leia is an amazing character, and Carrie Fisher was the perfect person to cast in the role. Here's why: Leia is a proper, beautiful, inspiring leader, but she isn't a dainty princess. She's the type that will grab a blaster and blow away bad guys as easily as she can put a loud-mouthed smuggler in his place. She's the type of girl that boys like me likes the most. Facing down evil and rescuing her rescuers! And yet she was magnificently radiant in ceremonial attire!

Carrie Fisher brought Leia alive and guys like me fell in love before we knew what having a crush even meant. My appreciation and adoration of Carrie never ended, either. I haven't seen all her movies, but I always liked seeing her on screens bog and small. She was a delight when she guested on talk shows and though I never met her the stories people tell are amazing. She wasn't perfect, and she wrestled with her demons very publicly, never making excuses and bringing mental illness into the mainstream conversation as no one else had. I'm sure her problems taxed her physically and contributed to her premature death. But I don't think she ever gave up trying to conquer all her challenges. She'd have conquered the galaxy for real if she could.


Carrie's passing, and her Mother's death shortly following, have really shaken me up. But I know her legacy will never die, as long as dedicated fans like me continue to watch her work, speak of her, write about her, and draw pictures of our favorite princess.

Thanks for reading. May the Force be with you all.

Monday, December 26, 2016

HappyHer

Sometimes things get you down, and you just need a little pick-me-up. Maybe you're depressed about the current state of affairs in the world, or wondering why 2016 seems such a downer, or just not feeling your best. I sometimes feel a bit down, though I consider myself a very positively-minded person, and I got the idea to write a bit here about a webseries that is totally about happiness.


HappyHer is the story of two Canadian women who go all over the world and ask women a simple question: "What makes you happy?". The answers may not be surprising, but I do find them uplifting. I've been trying to take the time to watch an episode or two every day. In fact, I'd say the similarities in the answers by women in different countries and cultures is quite interesting. It really shows that all people, regardless of their background and current living conditions, want pretty much the same things in life. I'm not saying all the answers are alike, just that I find them refreshingly similar.

Now, you  may be wondering why i'm watching a series about what makes women happy. Well, I can explain. First off, I do like women. Well....I mean I appreciate them. I have a wife and two daughters, so I better be interested in what makes women happy!  And I'll admit a couple things here. I came across this series because one of the creator/travelers in Lindsey Middleton. Lindsey is one of the starts of my favorite webseries, Out With Dad (read about it one elsewhere on this blog). And Lindsey was in particular the subject of one of my earliest post here. (I'm still grateful she didn't sue me for that!) Anyway, Lindsey's best friend Cornelia Audrey is the other "star" of the show, and she's just as delightful as Lindsey.




The next thing I'll admit is that the reason I decided I had to watch this show was that the duo made a trip to Thailand!  I have told many people that Thailand is my favorite country I've ever visited*. They just have a combination of an exotic locale, beautiful beaches and scenery, and wonderfully kind people that is unmatched anywhere else I've been outside of my home country (USA). I know there's been much political unrest there since I visited, and I worry for the people there a lot. Maybe there's a lesson for those of us worried about our political climate, too. Thailand has had REAL problems with factions literally fighting over power, we've really got it easy with our situation, despite the alleged divisions lately.

And I think I'll add here what makes me happy (though I'm not a woman): My aforementioned family, drawing, reading, playing a good board game, my students' artwork, and watching great webseries!!


Anyway, I decided once I got through the Thailand video, I would post something. And even then it took me a week or so. What can I say? Writing is hard! I'd rather be drawing...but more on that soon enough.

So...I hope people check out some HappyHer episodes


! Whether you're a man or woman, they're bound to make you feel a bit...happier!


*I was in Thailand in 1988 on WestPAC when I was in the US Navy...before Lindsey and Cornelia were born...gosh am I old??

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Why keep comics?

Something on my mind:

Someone asked me back in the late 80s why I keep comics after I read them instead of just throwing them away. I answered that there is a chance they could be valuable some day, but the main reason I keep them is in case I want to read them again.

I do have a few that are worth decent money, and I sold one fairly valuable comic a few years back just because I didn't like it.  I culled a dozen or so comics from my vast collection, and that was the only valuable one. I used the money to buy new comics, of course!

I do put them in bags, but this is mostly so they are in good enough shape to read again. I find I can comfortably fit 3 regular sized comics in one regular comic bag. I have a stack of boards, but I don't use them. And I have a large enough collection now that I'll probably never re-read them all again. But you never know...

Okay, I've said my piece. Now I need to get ahead on my art so I can post more here. Bye for now!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

More Painting!

I'm really enjoying creating these! All the paintings here are still in my possession, so if you're interested in purchasing one, please e-mail me. They cost from $25-$100 each depending on size and number of characters (how long it took to complete). And I, of course, take requests!




Monday, October 24, 2016

Review: Out With Dad 4.16 “Reconciling with Claire"

I was just about to get back to talking about my favorite webseries, and the newest episode was just released for general viewing also.  So here goes!

This episode is the one everyone has been waiting for. Well, except "team Vanessa". That group is waiting for something else. But it is a huge episode for all fans.

The episode begins with Rose reluctantly visiting Claire, the "ex". The encounter goes along about as I predicted and hoped it would, at least at first. Claire is more than friendly towards Rose, and their past relationship is downplayed for being a "teen thing". I like this because it fits Claire's personality to not be hung up on the past. Though viewers of the series get obsessed with the relationships of the characters, people in real life have relationships and they end. Sometimes we never talk to these people who we thought were so important again. But we shouldn't dwell on such things and we should be forgiving. Claire's "we were just kids" attitude is very fitting.


Rose's fear and regret fits her personality also. But she does put too much pressure on herself, and, in a way, she gives herself too much power to affect others. Also, shame on her for not knowing how to play chess.

I like the conversation about true love and the complicated relationship Claire is currently in. It's also interesting that Claire considers Rose/Vanessa "true love". Is she being uncharacteristically deep, or is she rationalizing? It certainly seems to have made her feel better to believe that she was left behind for a "true love" to come together. Rose is less sure. We shall see what happens in the future.

Oh, and "I forgive you Rose Miller" may be the most powerful line of the series!

As I said, the episode went along as I expected. Then there's the ending. Didn't see that coming!!  Whoa!!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Upcoming: Halloween Comic Con

This post is my update as to why I've been so busy and haven't posted anything lately. I've been preparing for a new Comic Convention. Halloween Comic Con is a comic and gaming convention coming up on Saturday, October 22nd in Sandusky, Ohio. The hours are 10-6 and I'll be there all day!

I've been doing some painting, and have some new comic-oriented pieces that will be for sale at the con. I've also been busy keeping up with my webcomics, "Mutant Elf" and "Mutant Animals vs Zombies vs Machines vs Humans". Check them out by clicking links to the right of my blog posts.

I'm also getting close to finished with a strip for "OH, Comics", the anthology that will be available at the SPACE convention this Spring.  "OH, Comics" is always fun and I'm proud to be a part of the publication every year.

Finally, I updated this page with links and updated my biography. I have a new position this year (same place, different area of instruction), and I'm loving it but adjusting, so preparation takes more time than in the past.

Hopefully, I'll post again soon. I guess I'll end with some artwork: