Monday, October 13, 2014

Review: Out With Dad 3.16: Stressing Out

This week I look at episode 3.16 of Out With Dad, my favorite webseries if which I’ve discussed here in depth a lot in previous posts. “Stressing Out” involves mostly Rose’s school. This episode hits me rather hard because I am a teacher in real life, though I work in a public school that is not subject to some of the prejudices as Rose’s school environment.  Granted, some of the views in this story do crop up in all schools, but not in the particular area where I work.

The episode begins with a conversation between Rose and her dad.  He knows something is bothering her and tries to figure out what.  Rise attempts to skirt the issues, but reveals a bit too much in the process.  The first thing Rose talks about is the dance tickets Claire tried to buy for them.  Rose insists things between her and Claire are fine, though the attempt to buy the tickets does bring up a thought to me.  Rose and Claire make such a nice couple, in part, because of how the complement each other.  Claire is more vocal and out, while Rose is quiet and shy.  However, this has caused some friction already, and could signal trouble in the long term.  It depends on how much Rose can come out of her shell.

Anyway, Nathan wants desperately to help Rose, but she doesn’t want to be the center of attention at school, so she’d rather put up with the discrimination hoping people will eventually forget about it.  At school, we find Rose is afraid to enter the changing room before gym, and would rather be late for class than face the homophobia of Brittney.

Then Nathan gets THE PHONE CALL.  The gym teacher is calling concerning parents not wanting their daughters changing in front of Rose.  The teacher’s idiotic solution is for her to use the staff change room.  Nathan is understandably incensed.  The solution hits me this way: in order to have equal access to the education of heterosexuals, it is necessary to have homosexuals separated.  You know, because separate but equal works so well. Nathan demands action, but wants to keep things from Rose.  Certainly so as not to upset her and so that she won’t be getting the extra attention she doesn’t want.

The final scene includes the wonderful return of Alicia.  Okay, she hasn’t really been gone, but she hasn’t done much this season…so far.  But I like the interaction between her and Rose.  Rose had mentioned in a video diary that she thought Alicia was a bit stuck up and kept Rose from spending time with Kenny.  At first, Rose seems rather cold towards Alicia here, but when Alicia asks about Vanessa and offers to put up posters about her, Rose sees to thaw. Then, when Claire arrives and the Fall Formal comes up in conversation, Alicia offers to boycott as a sign of solidarity.  Finally, Alicia asks about PFLAG.  She really is quite a sweet girl, that Alicia.

By the way, Rose tries to get Claire to go to the dance without her, but Claire will have none of it.  Kenny is all for skipping the dance also.  These people really care about Rose, but I don’t think she’s reacting well. In fact, Alicia, Kenny, Claire, and Nathan all seem to have the right ideas throughout the episode. Rose, however, has not responded to her difficulties well.  Ignoring a problem and hoping it will go away, plus refusing the help of others?  Not very good, Rose.  I know it may be hard to be in the spotlight, but I think you have to do better.  Would you want the next girl to come out to be treated like you have been?


Finally, the episode ends with Claire giving Alicia her MOST ADORABLE LOOK YET!  I love this show!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Review: Out With Dad 3.15 "Vanessa's Calm"

I’m going to talk about the final third of the third season of my favorite webseries, Out With Dad.  I’ve been viewing and re-viewing the episodes, so I guess it’s time I review them. First, I think I’ll make some general comments about the series. I really do think season 3 is the best Out With Dad yet.  I say “yet” because I really hope there will be more. Mostly because I really love these characters, and I just hate sating “goodbye” to them.  But also, Out With dad isn’t just about these great characters, but how they deal with issues that beset people who are LGBT and their families and friends.  The situations challenge the characters and make the viewers care about them.

Season 3.3 begins with episode 3.15, “Vanessa’s Calm”, in which Vanessa and her brother Matthew discuss her problems over a breakfast of dry “crap” cereal.  Vanessa explains what has happened between her and Rose, and is shocked at how well her brother handles the news.  She speaks of her envy for Rose, because Rose has support from her dad despite being out, while Vanessa gets no support at home despite having 2 parents plus. The most interesting point in the conversation for me is Vanessa talking about Johnny. She states how Johnny being openly gay always made her feel uncomfortable.  I guess this shouldn’t surprise me so, knowing the views Vanessa’s parents have and that she’s certainly been taught that since she was small, but seeing Vanessa being such a victim lately, I haven’t thought about her prejudices.

Speaking of prejudices, Matthew is introduced to the idea that gay people can be Bi-Phobic, which is one of those things Out With Dad has brought to my attention that I never thought of before.  The episode winds down with the setup for Vanessa to meet Sera, a character from another webseries with an LGBT theme.



I’ll discuss that episode later, but I’m going to get back to Rose’s story next.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Reviews: Gotham and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The new television season has begun, and comic-book geeks like me have two shows we are currently watching…and discussing.  I speak of the second season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the beginning of Gotham.

Both shows have lot in common.  Mostly, they are both about super-hero universes but do not star any super-heroes.  The main characters are just regular folks.  Be they super-spies or incorruptible cops, the good guys are always going to be challenged by the villains, especially if the villains have super powers!  Also, both of these series spun off of popular movie series, though Gotham has no need to be true to the recent Batman trilogy, since there are no more movies set to tie in with that particular Batman continuity (at least as far as I understand). Finally, I think the success of these shows lie in strong characters and strong acting.
Gordon by legendary Jim Aparo

Gotham varies greatly from AOS in that it is a prequel, and event within do not run concurrently with any movies.  This frees up the writers to develop the characters present, but also means we know in the long run no major characters will die.  Still, that leaves a lot of room for drama as Detective Gordon tries to clean up the Gotham PD while keeping his friends and loved ones safe.  I like the actor portraying Gordon, and that’s why I think the show will prove successful. They just have to keep Gordon incorruptible.  It may seem very unrealistic and cartoony, but that’s the biggest character trait I think of when I think of Jim Gordon.

AOS had a great first season.  Though I’ve read many opinions that it started slow, I have liked the characters all along.  With S.H.I.E.L.D. currently operating underground, and clashing with the US government as well as Hydra, they have a lot of difficulties ahead of them that should lead to a lot of drama! My favorite characters from season 1 were Fitz-Simmons, and they look to be in bad shape, with the best surprise I didn’t see coming in a long time!  It looks like it will be agonizing to wait each week for the next episode of AOS.

The first ever S.H.I.E.L.D. story by Lee and Kirby!


Well, that’s all I have to say about TV for now. I’ll try to come back and comment on how things are going around mid-season!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Review: The Signifiers #2

I am making an effort to put  a dent in my reading list, and the most recent comic I managed to check off my list is Michael Neno’s The Signifiers #2. 



Michael introduced the psychedelic world of the Signifiers with a quite interesting and visually interesting premiere issue.  He moves things along in issue 2 with some details of the life of Splash, who is pretty much the lead character, and who gains a Ypytlic in order to protect himself from the Voyst.  Yep, I typed that correctly!  The question is: what is the Voyst and is it good or bad?  There are some hints among the prisoners in a castle perhaps and a visit to Splash’s Aunt. It’s an intriguing story and I look forward to reading more!  There’s also an episode of Landlark, the Heat-Seeking Dwarf, which involves a trippy and perhaps dangerous tapping into the Voyst.  Plus, there’s Thelma, the best dog-woman ever!  Really!  Go check out Michael’s work on his site and enjoy!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Superman--icon

Superman made his debut in Action Comics #1, lifting a car over his head on the cover.  The scene is not, I’ve been told, repeated in the comic, but remains an iconic image after all these years.  I thought I’d do my own take on the idea, and this sketch is the result.  I plan to add colors eventually.




Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Out After Dark--on Comic Fury

This week marks the debut of the Out With Dad webcomic being posted on Comic Fury, the site where I post my weekly webcomic, Mutant Elf.  I wanted to post the Out With Dad comic on Comic Fury to hopefully attract the attention of some readers who have not seen the webseries.  However, I also want to give people who have already read the OWD comic a reason to click over to Comic Fury.  Therefore I am beginning the series with a new drawing, which is kind of a “cover” for the comic.  Also, I will be writing new comments for each page as I post them.  I don’t have an exact timeline for posting pages, except that I plan on a page every couple of days or so.



This is also is way to get in the mood for Out With Dad before the debut of the final section of season 3!  Seems rather awesomesauce to me!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Movie review: Guardians of the Galaxy

I recently had the pleasure of seeing Marvel’s most recent cinematic release, Guardians of the Galaxy. I must say, this is one excellent movie!  It’s a certified hit for Marvel, and there’s a good reason: it’s a wonderfully fun movie!  The action, the characters, the effect, and everything else is best described as FUN!
I’m not sure where to start to review this movie without spoiling everything, but I’ll try to be light on the details since I want everyone to enjoy the fun surprises the first time they see the movie, and yet still be able to enjoy my write-up, and maybe my opinion will convince some people on the fence to go to the theater to see Guardians. So, I think I’ll discuss the main characters:

Peter Quill/Star Lord is the only human member of the Guardians.  He was kidnapped by aliens as a child and grew up in space, becoming a sort of pirate, operating a little outside interstellar law to make a living, yet not being a bloodthirsty hardened criminal. He also has a tape of Earth music he loves to listen to in his spacecraft.  Peter lets us human viewers identify with someone quickly and appreciate the challenges he faces and his successes.

Movie poster-note the cool shadows!
Gamora is the only female member of the Guardians, but she is genetically modified to be far superior to our human lead.  She is tough and dedicated, and provides a love interest for our lead.  She also has a tragic past she’s trying to overcome.  But so do the rest of the gang. She’s interesting, but not as much as the others.

Drax is the big, tough guy.  This guy is a killer, and not a very smart one.  He’s probably the most one-dimensional of the Guardians, but it works wonderfully for him.

Rocket is a genetically constructed and cybernetic enhanced raccoon-like creature. He’s got a lot of attitude, and he’s an electronics whiz.  From what I’ve read online, he’s a standout favorite among the group.  I admit he’s really fun, and much deeper in character than he first appears.  I think he shows the most character growth over the course of the movie.

Groot is a living tree who only says “I am Groot.” And he’s the most lovable of the characters, as you can easily sense his feelings.

Long ago Star Lord was drawn by my favorite comic artist, John Byrne!



And there are lots of other characters who are very well written and portrayed. But you’ll have to see the movie yourself to find out about them!  Then you can write your own Bloggy or comment about them below!