Done With Star Wars
November 3rd, 2019 by Proprietor
In a previous post, I explained I was done with comics. After forty years enjoying comic books, my heart was no longer into the whole hobby. Sadly the same goes for a hobby I had invested more time and effort. Star Wars is over for me. After nearly fifty years of being a fan, I cannot go to the movie theater and see a Star Wars movie. The new “Star Wars Holiday Special”, i.e. “The Last Jedi” almost killed the love for the brand. It would not have been as hard or bad, I could forgive Disney for making a bad Star Wars movie, except, reaction to the angst by fans really killed things for me.
Calling Star Wars fans racist, misogynistic, and all sorts of nasty things for not appreciating what had been done to the beloved franchise was bad karma. Lando Calrissian was black. Star Wars fans loved him. Princess Leia was a strong woman, fans adored her. Throughout the entire four decades of Star Wars lore, there was plenty of none white, human characters fans loved. Now suddenly, the new Star Wars movies were introducing black and female characters, people not liking the story were doing so because of race or sex? Did a “Back To The Future” time travel happen, and all the past movies were not valid. Actually, that is how Disney does view the past movies. When a company spends 4.2 Billion to acquire a built in fan base, and franchise, that company will want to take control and start making the money back. Look at the ambitious plans to have two Star Wars movies a year? At least one a year.
When I saw “Force Awakens”, I was excited and happy. Star Wars has returned! Yes, the movie was a deviation, some say rip off, of “A New Hope”. New Empire, the First Order. New Rebels, The Resistance. New Death Star, Star Killer Base. Essentially the “Force Awakens” was sort of like the New Coke of Star Wars. I did not care. The original cast was coming back, how would the original cast fit into the movie?
I had a new hope, Star Wars was going to be revised a bit, new characters added, and the old characters would pass the torch. Luke would train Rey, then become a force ghost. The new villain, Kylo Ren or Ben Solo, would die being redeemed. The New Emperor, Snoke, would die. The First Order would fail, and then a New Star Wars setting would be established. One problem. Star Wars needs bad guys to exist. Rehashing the old tropes would not do after the current rehashing. What new dangers were going to be brought forward from the furthest reaches of the Star Wars galaxy?
In “Force Awakens”, my heart stopped and I wanted to cry, but cheered, when Han Solo entered the Millennium Falcon, and stated “Chewie, We’re Home.” OK. My first thoughts were Han would bring Rey to Luke for training. When the First Order tries to kill or arrest Han, Chewie, Finn and Rey, then the Resistance saves the day. It was great. Everyone knew Leia would be arriving. Leia shows up and hugs Han, and seems to have some affection for Rey. That implied that there might have been familiarity. Rey was rumored to be of possible Skywalker lineage. Maybe Luke’s unknown child. Maybe Leia had met Rey when she was a young child. Leia realized Rey had the same force potential as her son, even more so, understood somehow Ben was being corrupted by Snoke. Leia informs Rey’s mother about her daughter’s potential, and tried to get Rey to be sent to Luke’s Jedi training school. “She needs to be with her father.” Rey’s mother knew what could happen, and did not want her daughter being a Jedi or potential Sith. Rather than take Rey to be trained, Rey is abandoned on Jakuu.
When Han was killed, I was fine with the situation. Harrison Ford made it one hundred percent clear, he was not going to do another Star Wars movie after “Force Awakens”. Killing Han set up several potential plot points. Ben Solo killed his father, and thus became Kylo Ren. Anakin die to save his son. Han died hoping to save his son. Which made the movie somewhat antithesis to the other Star Wars movies.
There were several valid points made by YouTube channels revolving around Star Wars. With Han dead, why did Rey get the Falcon, and not Chewie? This could be a reenforcement of the concept that Rey was Luke’s daughter. Han’s niece get’s the ship.
The disappointment was Luke did not show up until the end of the movie. Mark Hamill talked about how he expected Luke to show up during the battle in the forest. The lightsaber flying into Luke’s hand. Luke faces down Ben, whom flees, to fight another day. Luke sees his daughter, now a young woman. Though the cliff hanger ending of Rey holding out the lightsaber wanting to learn about the force was brilliant.
Then along came “The Last Jedi”. The first moments were the whole foreshadowing of what Disney intended to do with the old Star Wars. Toss it aside. Maybe Han being killed was foreshadowing? Rian Johnson essentially created his own strong female leads, sent the strongest, most developed female lead in science fiction, into space, like trash. Instead of a Poe and Finn team up. Rose Tico went with Finn to Space Vegas, trashed the place with bunny-lama hybrids, then ended up being sold out to the First Order.
Meanwhile Rey had to make her own way and train herself. When Luke finally decided to train Rey, he boiled things down to three steps. Congratulations, Rey is a Jedi. Luke astral projects himself to the planet where the Resistance was hold up, and confronts his nephew. Big lightsaber battle, Luke dies. It sucked. One of the most powerful, well developed characters, Luke Skywalker, turned into a bitter old man who yells at kids to stay off his lawn. Rey saves the day. The handful of Resistance survivors party on the Falcon.
From the trailers put out for “Rise of Skywalker” so far, it is a MUST NOT SEE, until Blu-Ray movie for me. Space Horses? What the fuck? Did the guys from “Game of Thrones” get some early input? Guys on horses with lances charging tanks are not going to win. Then again, a bunch of teddy bears with primitive weapons beat the empire.
Thanks for stopping by.
PS: I went to Walmart before I posted this. It is less than two months before Christmas. Normally the toy aisles would be packed with Star Wars merchandise, especially before a new movie. There was not even a half a dozen pegs full of Star Wars figures. There were the “retro” figures, all of which were Lando as Jabba Palace Guard or whatever. Out of the half dozen black figures, none really tickled my Star Wars fancy. The glee is gone. Apparently Hasbro is not putting any effort, nor is Walmart to even push the toys for Christmas. Looks like there is no more Star Wars Holiday Special of sorts.
Grand Theft Auto 5 Advice.
October 20th, 2019 by Proprietor
Today begins the first strip of one of the longest story lines I have written to date. As of this post I am still in the process of writing the story, and working toward the end.
Universe Zero reintroduces 2B-Bot, Death Swimmer, and Calamari from the original Gorilla Fish story lines. They have been absent since the Cigar Man story. Which ended the Gorilla Fish stories, and moved to Kid Spider.
Universe Zero explores the origins of the multiverse, ties story lines together, and will hopefully move things forward. The ending, will be a surprise. I know how this story line ends, just working toward that goal.
Please stick with me through the journey. Tell a friend, tell an enemy, thanks for stopping by.
Drive Thru Compromise
October 13th, 2019 by Proprietor
Several months ago, I wrote a post about how a certain fast food franchise, McDonald’s, had driven me to break a nearly 15 year boycott of their competitor, Burger King. The reason being service or should I say, lack of service.
When I go through a zipper merge drive thru, which is the type the McDonald’s I went to regularly has, it is a very annoying even angering experience. People do not know how to properly merge or are just total jerks. When I make it through the ordering part, and then reach the pay window, I am now wanting to get my food, and go home to relax. Depending on how the food production is going, sometimes the persons in front of me may be parked.
I do not order anything out of the ordinary or customize anything on the menu. Either I order a Big Mac or a Quarter Pounder value meal, with a bottled water. Maybe I will order a chicken sandwich. Not a very mind blowing things to order.
When I get to the window where I pick up my food, and the person asks me to park, it is annoying. It becomes real annoying when two people are parked ahead of me, and there is no where to go. Since I had been parked three times in a row at a certain McDonald’s, one time waiting ten minutes, and having to go into the restaurant to get my food. Since I was now extremely unhappy, I decided to stop going to McDonald’s. Not indefinitely, but at least not as regularly as I went. I usually went to McDonald’s once a week.
Now the McRib is available for a limited time. Knowing that the likelihood of my being parked was great. I prepared to stand my ground, and refuse to move if I was asked to park. I thought it might be a great YouTube video to record. Then I thought, why invite conflict?
If I was going to wait for my food, I would simply go into the restaurant, order, and wait. Ten minutes later, after putting up with other annoying customers waiting for their food, I received my order. McDonald’s has the ordering kiosks as well. The kiosks suck. Does not really aid in any form of efficiency.
Sadly, the thing that made the McRib special to me, the combination of lots of onions and sauce mixed with the taste of the meat, was stolen from me. There was plenty of sauce, only a sprinkling of onions. The taste was not there. It was poorly constructed, and bland. A special sandwich, that I always look forward to ordering, and until now, not disappointing, became disappointing.
At this point, I will more than likely go back to McDonald’s, but I will order my food in restaurant, rather than drive thru. That is the compromise.
Thanks for stopping by.
Still Nothing To Watch
September 29th, 2019 by Proprietor
When it comes down to entertainment, not everything is good. Some shows appeal to some people, yet are unappealing to others. With the availability to watch almost anything we want at anytime, people have become jaded or compartmentalized. Relying on suggestions from an algorithm to find something different to watch.
My viewership harkens back to the primitive days of pre-cable, when ironically, we used antennas. People are now going back to broadcast to save money. Where I lived as a child, we had the option to watch Milwaukee or Chicago broadcast stations. Those stations were not very synched up on time, so I could watch Wonder Woman on a channel, if I missed something at the end, I could flip quickly to Chicago channel and catch what I missed. Sort of a primitive rewind.
Broadcast, and scheduled television watching caused people to be selective in what was watched. Shows could be good one week, bad another, but loyalists watched the show. When cable came, it was viewed as awesome, because there were options beyond the broadcast channels. Cable channels stayed within the niche of choice. HBO and Showtime did not offer original content, but a person could watch movies that were no longer in theaters. MTV played music videos.
As cable expanded and channels became more interested in producing original content, broad cast television began falling by the wayside. There were good shows, but not enough to overcome competition.
Eventually, my own viewing became focused on three channels at most. When I cut cable, I was viewing Animal Planet, Discovery, and TLC. For a while VH1 was in that group. Why was I paying so much money for very little content I enjoyed. Then I discovered Netflix streaming service, and I could watch shows from my past I enjoyed. Netflix created new content and the entire season was put up for viewers to watch at their leisure. Binge watching became a thing.
HBO and Showtime began producing original content that was superior to other channels. Shows, not reality shows, but actual shows with a plot line that had seasons. DVD sets allowed access to those shows. Granted, I was behind the times, but I could watch the shows at my leisure or binge watch.
Then Netflix began to become somewhat choppy, and the original content was becoming dilute. Shows I wanted to watch disappeared and were substituted with similar shows from off-brand networks. I jumped to Hulu. Though the original content was not as good as Netflix, the choice of back catalog was better.
Currently I debate about Amazon Prime. The original content seems interesting enough, but do I want to spend the money? There are shows on Hulu I have watched, and I am enjoying watching, but at my pace.
I know in the next few months DVD or Blu-Ray sets of some shows from other networks will be coming out. Game of Thrones, season 8, regardless of all the stuff I read about it, and even wrote about, has interest for me. Because, I read about it, I have yet to see how it all unfolds. Sometimes that gives greater insight into certain things other’s found lacking. Stranger Things, season 3, will also come out. I have read little about the show, so it will be more fresh for me.
Then there are the shows I watched a lot in the past, and after taking a break from watching them, have renewed interest. Rewatching shows allows for more critical and analytical eyes. I see why this decision was made versus another decision. Which leads back to being compartmentalized in what I watched. This is the irony of entertainment, so much to watch, yet nothing really worth watching.
Thanks for stopping by.
PS: Since I post the comic every Sunday, I have decided to do my best and write a blog post on Sunday as well as post to YouTube.
Done With Comics & More
September 22nd, 2019 by Proprietor
I have been collecting comics for over 40 years. The last couple of years, my collecting dwindled to a few titles. As those titles were cancelled, attrition took course, and eventually I was down to two titles. Walking Dead and Uber.
The Walking Dead ended. Uber, was a series produced by an independent publisher, and now on hiatus. Probably permanent hiatus. Which is a shame, it is a good series. So I had nothing on my pull list at Collector’s Edge.
After several months of just going into Collector’s Edge, with nothing to be pulled, and skimming through the comics to find something, anything, worth reading, I just gave up. With the exception of Doomsday Clock #11, I did not pick up any comics.
I had contemplated cancelling my pull list. Though I did not have the heart, my main reason, I wanted to get the invite to the New Years sale Collector’s Edge always had. As a subscriber, I get in an hour early. Though the last few years, I have found nothing to purchase, and went for secondary items.
Then I get a phone call from Collector’s Edge, stating that there is nothing on my pull list, and I have not had anything on it for several months, so my list was being cancelled. I am still a customer in good standing, if I want to add something to my pull list in the future, Collector’s Edge is fine with that.
So, in essentially doing nothing, I am no longer a comic book buyer. This does not upset me in the least. I am actually happy. Comics are becoming worse and worse, major companies are infected with the whole “must show diversity”, “orange man bad”, whatever Woke-ness, and it is dragging down quality. People do not mind a certain amount of politics or diversity in comics, yet, when it is shoved in their faces or becoming preachy, people are turned off. People read comics to escape the real world. People want idealized concepts, and idealized heroes, with good stories. Not the same stuff they see on television day in and day out or on the streets.
Comics used to be a form of escapism. When I went to major comic book shows, there were cos players, yet none of them fit the idealized images of the character. Which was fine. You looked at the costume, how well it was created, and wondered what the person saw in that character. A cos player obviously sees something in a character to a point where the person wants to physically idolize the character by wearing the costume. Women might see the sexiness of the woman or the femininity of the woman or the strength of the character. Men see the ideal male, strength, and ruggedness.
Comics are getting expensive, averaging $4-$5 a title, and even two comics costs over $10, with tax. Think about this. When I was first into comic books, I could buy everything Marvel produced in a month for about $20. Now if I were a Marvel fan, I might get four or five comics for the same amount. To get everything Marvel produced in a month… DC is producing 52 titles a month, Marvel a little higher, but keep it at 52 titles. 52 x $4 (low end of per comic book price) = $208 before tax. $208 is a lot of money. I pay a lot less for four months of water and sewer.
Why would I want to spend that type of money for something that is preachy, and poor quality in regards to story? Sometimes even the art is terrible. Why would I purchase something that sometimes insults me as a person?
Walking Dead for the most part was politically neutral. Though that did change when different groups or towns of people began interacting. Each town had its own system of ruling or doing things. Sometimes people from one town disagreed. People were free to leave and go live somewhere that was more agreeable to them. Sort of like America is today. Unfortunately, there is less and less good out there in comics. Even with independent publishers.
When it comes to reflection, there was an old journal I found, I had recorded my thoughts and feelings from time to time. In this journal there was an entry in regards to comic books. That day I had sold the vast majority of my collection for pennies on the dollar at a local comic book show. I had eight long boxes of comics. For $20 a person could grab a grocery bag, fill it with comics from the boxes, and that was all. I had several hundred dollars after the sale, and even sold the empty boxes to another dealer. With the entry, I had made a list of all the series contained within the boxes. Even some series I knew I had collected, but sold off or gave away years before. It was over 100 different titles, I am sure I could add more.
My comic book collecting days are now ended. As is the story of my life I am confronted with “Now What”. I will answer that whenever.
Thanks for stopping by.
YouTube video of Southfringe Sanctum posted on my channel.