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Alternative Abstaining and Metaphor

Posted on November 3rd, 2017

Dave!I am going to do something I rarely do here at Blogography.

Post a comic created by somebody other than myself.

But I just can't help myself. This is such a brilliant, fully-realized piece of work that it must be posted here. Hat-tip to Levni Yilmaz for his genius. If you want to support his work, visit his website here or sponsor his animation project over at Patreon.

Apple New Emoji!

I've always pictured our current situation in this country as more of a train wreck, but... pretty much nailed it, yeah.

   

Bullet Sunday 470

Posted on April 10th, 2016

Dave!Taco Tuesday let you down? No worries, because it's now Sunday, and Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Peanuts! The Peanuts Movie was pretty amazing. Very faithful to the source material and lots of hidden gems for Peanuts fans to find. And it was just beautiful. It LOOKED like "Peanuts" and had plenty of nods to the classic Schultz style that was the hallmark of both the strip and the animation.

Guest Room Remodel Project

Loved the film. Kind of disheartening to hear that there's no plan for a sequel.

   
• Hunger. We're all in this together, people...

One person can always make a difference.

   
• SATAN! Lucifer renewed for a second season?!? But... but... but... One Million Moms boycotted the show! Because: Satan! How can it possibly survive?

Guest Room Remodel Project

Oh... that's right... people can just change the channel if they don't like a show. And, in this case, people decided a fictitious interpretation of Satan was something they wanted to watch. NOTE TO ONE MILLION DUMBASSES: THIS IS NOT A SHOW GLORIFYING SATAN! IT'S A FICTIONAL CHARACTER... NOT ACTUALLY SATAN!

   
• SATAN? Ann Coulter is saying that Donald Trump is the only one who can protect us from "Latin Rape Culture!" Really? WHO IS GOING TO PROTECT US FROM THE SYSTEMIC RAPE CULTURE ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES? Oh... that's right... college campus rape is committed mostly by white men, so that's perfectly okay. Not at all scary. Not even worth talking about. And what the fuck is "Latin Rape Culture" anyway? Some new scare tactic designed to frighten women into voting for a misogynistic asshole who will make things even harder for them? I'm just dumbfounded that people are buying into this crap. Maybe I shouldn't be. Drumpf is on his way towards being a presidential candidate. Anything is possible.

   
• #RealMenLoveHearts. Amazing people can't like what they like and not be hassled for it in this day and age...

Guest Room Remodel Project

   
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

   

Panther

Posted on September 23rd, 2015

Dave!The explosion of diversity in comic books lately has been amazing, but it's only been half-hearted. While there have been CHARACTERS coming along that are non-White, non-straight, non-Christian... the writers and artists BEHIND the characters haven't necessarily followed suit. But that's starting to change, and it's a great time for comic book fans because of it. By embracing diversity behind the scenes, there's going to be an even better mix of stories to read instead of the same old take over and over again.

DC Comics' Batman is my favorite comic book character. His equivalent on the Marvel side is Black Panther, also a favorite. In some ways, Black Panther is even MORE interesting than Bruce Wayne, as T'Challa is the ruler of the entire country of Wakanda, one of the wealthiest and most technologically advanced nations on earth, and the sole producer of the rare metal vibranium...

Marvel Comics Black Panther!

And now Black Panther is going to be written by Ta-Nehisi Coates! I cannot wait to see where he takes the character, and am hopeful that it will be something new, different, authentic, and exciting!

All this and a movie too. A good time to be a Black Panther fan!

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Categories: Books, Movies 2015Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

iPad3

Posted on April 5th, 2012

Dave!I've been so busy that I haven't had time to play with the new iPad (third generation) much. That's a darn shame, because it's kind of expensive to just have sitting around on my nightstand. I had to get one for the apps I help develop, so what can I do but sink even more money into Apple's ample coffers? The latest iPad has an all-new hi-res screen, and I have to be sure that stuff I design looks good on it. Otherwise, the iPad3 didn't look to bee much different than the iPad2, so I probably wouldn't have bought one otherwise.

Except, now that I've had a chance to read my comic books on it, I would totally have spent the money on it. I've read a few reviews in the press bitching about how iPad3 wasn't enough of an improvement over iPad2 for Apple to have bothered... which I now know is a huge load of bullshit. If you do any reading on iPad, this is a complete game-changer. Four-times the pixels make for a hundred times better screen, and I am loving it more than I ever thought possible.

The screen is so crisp and clear that I can now read ComiXology "CMX-HD enhanced" pages full-screen without having to zoom in on the individual panels...

ComiXology Panel

Now, when looked at on a "regular resolution" computer screen, the change may appear subtle. But when reduced four-fold, the "SD" panel on the bottom becomes a blurry mess that's a bit difficult to read. The "CMX-HD" panel on the top, however, is razor sharp on iPad3.

So now the iPad is a real option for reading comics. Yes, the screen size is smaller than a "regular" comic book, but it's bigger than a digest, which is perfectly acceptable. And, unlike a digest, you can zoom in and see details if you want without having to find a magnifying glass.

So, my hat is once again off to Apple for once again making an awesome product even more amazing. iPad2 was already leagues above any of the competing "tablets" I've had a chance to play with, but this is entering a whole new dimension, as this snapshot from Apple's website demonstrates...

IPad Retina Display

A few things...

  • I may have major criticism of Apple's iCloud when it comes to streaming music and using email, but for setting up a new iPad, it's glorious. Just sync with the cloud, and everything will be set up exactly like your previous iPad was... right down to the position of your apps.
  • There have been reports of the new iPad having trouble staying connected to wireless networks and having poorer reception. I haven't experienced any of this.
  • If you are a ComiXology customer for comic books and switching to an iPad3, be sure you login with your ComiXology account when restoring your purchases... not your Apple ID. Otherwise, any purchase you made on the ComiXology website won't show up. You'll then have to delete the app and start all over.
  • The dictation feature is superb, and rarely makes mistakes... even when I use wacky words. Still think it's stupid that Siri wasn't included though... hopefully it will be added with a future update.
  • The rear camera is ridiculously good. Not that I plan on taking a lot of photos with my iPad, but it's nice to know I'll get good results if I do. I was a little bummed that the FaceTime camera wasn't upgraded, however. I guess they gotta save something for iPad4? But that's pretty lame.
  • The display, while stunning, seems to run darker than my previous iPad2. I have the brightness cranked way up, which is undoubtedly chewing up my battery faster. The good news is that even at a higher brightness setting, the screen doesn't have that hideous technicolor glow that plagues Samsung tablets I've seen.
  • It's not just comic book reading that benefits from the iPad3's new screen... some other apps I use that have been upgraded for the "Retina Display" are now eye-popping as well. Most notably... "Numbers," Apple's spreadsheet app. Previously, I had to zoom in so far to read the numbers that I couldn't fit many cells on the screen. This was hugely frustrating as I had to scroll back and forth to work. But now I can zoom way out and have a much easier time of it. Productivity and work apps are usable now.
  • As for the battery... it seems to run about the same length of time with a full charge as my last iPad. It does, however, seem to take longer to charge. But I've read something about the battery display not indicating a full charge properly, so maybe that's not the case. In any event, you'll want to use the wall charger that came with iPad to charge the thing... plugging into the USB port on my MacBook barely charges iPad3 at all.
  • I didn't notice the slightly thicker size of iPad3 vs. iPad2 until I read about it. Now that I know about it, I admit that it is noticeable... if only a little bit. The faster chip and better display have to get their extra power from somewhere, so I guess they needed that tiny height/weight bump for more battery.
  • There's been a big brouhaha over the iPad3 running a lot hotter than iPad2. I haven't noticed it. But, then again, I use my SmartCover to prop it up when using it, so I'm never coming into contact with it to feel anything. I purposely ran some processor-intensive apps for an hour, but still didn't notice it running hotter than before when I put my hand directly on the back, so I dunno what the problem is other people are having.
  • Lastly... I usually buy the lowest-memory configuration on iPads and iPhones (16 GB) because I just don't store a lot of stuff. If I'm not using an app, I delete it. If I'm not reading a book, I delete it. Since I can always re-load purchases at a later time, I don't waste memory keeping them if I'm not using them. But this time I went for the 32 GB model thinking that the new higher-res comics and movies might take more space. I'm glad I did, because indeed they do. The CMX-HD comics are around double the size. Also, the apps are bigger since they have the larger graphics in them. Apple really should think about increasing the memory in their lineup next time around to help out, because 16 GB is quickly getting too small.

Otherwise, for the most part, iPad3 is pretty much the same as iPad2. Which is not a bad thing at all, because iPad2 was so kick-ass. Indeed, when it comes to comparing it with all the tablets I've seen, Apple has the only game in town. Sure iPad is a bit pricey, but you get what you pay for, and what you get is pretty darn amazing.

It's products like iPad3 that make it so dang easy to be an Apple Whore.

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Categories: Apple Stuff 2012Click To It: Permalink  5 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Captain!

Posted on October 28th, 2010

Dave!Comic book super-hero movies are a mixed bag. For every great film (like Superman, Iron Man, Dark Knight, and Spider-Man 2), there's a crapfest unleashed (like Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Elektra, Batman & Robin, Spider-Man 3 and any of the boring X-Men films).

But the latest round of Christopher Nolan Batman flicks and Jon Favreau Iron Man flicks are leading the charge in a new era of comic book super-hero awesomeness. Filmmakers are getting serious about making good films that are true to the source material because they realize there's a reason the originals are such enduring characters.

And there's every indication that even more great stuff is coming down the pipe.

I'm fairly certain that Thor is in capable hands with director Kenneth Branagh and acting talent like Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman onboard. I loved the comic during the Walt Simonson era, so hopefully Thor won't disappoint. Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern sounds almost too good to be true. The upcoming Batman film, The Dark Night Rises, is certain to be awesome. And I'm sure Iron Man 3 will be fantastic. I'm not so sure about the Spider-Man reboot, but surely it can't suck more than Spider-Man 3.

But it's Captain America that I'm holding my breath over. He's easily one of my favorite Marvel heroes, and I've followed his exploits for decades. The movie is set during World War II, (before Cap was frozen in an iceberg and awoke in modern times), which is true to his origin. Chris Evans seemed like perfect casting, and leaked concept art for the contemporary costume looked promising...

Captain America Suit

   
And today Entertainment Weekly unveiled the World War II period costume on its cover...

Captain America Cover

Yep, that's Captain America alright.

This means there's only one of the "big guns" left who has yet to get their major motion picture...

Wonder Woman

I'll be really disappointed if Wonder Woman gets screwed out of a movie because she's a girl. Her origin and mythology are amongst the most interesting of any comic book super-hero, and she deserves a shot.

   

Bullet Sunday 196

Posted on August 22nd, 2010

Dave!It's a boring day for Bullet Sunday, but here it comes...

   
• Read. It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of the Curious George. It was George who ignited my life-long love of monkeys, and his books remain some of my favorites of all time (the best being Curious George Goes to the Hospital. For this reason, I was happy to see that the Library of Congress was using him to promote reading with a series of cool ads...

Curious George Reads

Curious George Reads

Books come and go, but the classics are forever.

   
• Digital. As a long-time fan of comic books, there's something... wrong... with the idea of reading them digitally on an iPad or computer screen instead of the wonderful tactile experience of flipping through the pages of a book. But, after downloading a bunch of freebies on my mom's iPad using the Comixology app, I have to say... I'm almost convinced. I'm growing to love the effortless navigation, brilliant colors, and distraction-free panel-by-panel "Guide View" that leads you through the stories. As if that weren't enough, you can store a lot of comics on a digital device, which beats having to lug around stacks of books and finding room to store them all...

Comixology iPad App

However... pricing and availability sucks ass.

Take for example the acclaimed Vertigo series Y: The Last Man. I've never read the series, but have always wanted to. The first issue was FREE on Comixology so I snapped it up and was immediately hooked. I wanted more. So I click on the "Full Series" button only to find this...

Comixology iPad App

WTF?!? They have just THREE issues of a SIXTY issue series... FOR A DOLLAR-NINETY-NINE EACH!! Even if the entire series was available, who is going to pay $120 when you can get PHYSICAL COPIES of all ten trade paperback volumes for $90? Heck, you can get all the OVERSIZED DELUXE HARDCOVER volumes for $100. This is insanity. Nobody wants to pay more for less. No printing. No shipping costs. No distribution. No retailer markup. No resale value. Nothing extra or special. Except the price, which just sucks. I would gladly pay $60 for the entire digital series, I may even pay $90, which is what the trade paperbacks would cost me. But $120? Screw that. Especially since there's no guarantee they'll ever release all the issues for digital sale in the first place. If this is the future of publishing, count me out. EPIC FAIL!

   
• Emmy. To the surprise of absolutely nobody, Betty White won an Emmy for her hilarious guest host performance on Saturday Night Live...

Emmy Statue

It's Betty White!!

To this day, I remain astounded at how she cut no corners... she appeared in every sketch, plus an SNL Short, plus all the MacGruber interludes plus Weekend Update. Truly one of the hardest working people in show business (she just signed on for a TWO-book deal!), this is Betty's fifth Emmy win and she deserved every bit of it. As always, I can't wait to see what she'll do next.

   
• Miyazaki. Good news for fans of Hayao Miyazaki (perhaps the greatest animator in history). Despite saying he was going to retire years ago, a recent interview revealed that he has no plans to retire. In fact, he's planning two films and is musing over a sequel to his underrated gem, Porco Rosso...

Hayao Miyazaki

When I flew to L.A. and met up with Howard for a rare live appearance of Miyazaki-san discussing his career, I thought it was a kind of "retrospective farewell," and am happier than words could express that this is not the case. Next up, Karigurashi no Arietti (The Borrower Arrietty) based on Mary Norton's 1952 novel The Borrowers...

The Borrower Arrietty

If there's anything you can rely on, it's that this movie will be yet another awesome Miyazaki work of art.

   
• Eggs. My fried egg sandwich was delicious. So far so good... but salmonella can take up to three days to incubate, so I could have a diarrhea explosion any minute now. I'll keep you posted.

   
Annnnd... I'm spent. This is going to be a loooooong week.

   

DAY THREE: San Diego

Posted on July 23rd, 2010

Dave!And so here I am at Comic-Con International 2010 or, as I refer to it, "The Bastion of Cruelty."

Make no mistake, Comic Con is not fun. At least, not the kind of fun you're used to. It's fun in an entirely different way, where the suffering is what makes it fun. Because once you've endured the crowds, the endless lines, the expensive food, and the many opportunities for bitter disappointment... what you have left is fun that you've earned. Which makes it just that much sweeter, of course.

I wrote in-depth about my Comic-Con experience when I was here last time, and this year is more of the same, so I won't bore you with another extensive recap... just a few things I took away from my half-day at the event...

   
As expected, AT&T's service was complete and total shit. A lot of the time I couldn't get even remotely useable bandwidth speeds, which was still better than the many times I couldn't get service at all. Never mind that 3G service was absent more often than not and I was kicked back to EDGE, a huge chunk of my battery was spent just trying to get something... anything I could work with so that I could TXT or make a call...

AT&T FAIL!

Now, granted, 150,000 people all in one spot is bound to overload a cellular network, but I wasn't expecting things to be this bad. I wonder if Verizon and T-Mobile were in the same boat? Probably.

   
Just like last year, Comic-Con was drastically oversold. There's just entirely too many people, which means that even if you stand in a line for hours, you're still not guaranteed that there will be room for you in the venue. I sure wish that the people running this thing would find a way to make this more fair so you don't wait in line for nothing... though I suppose if they eliminated lines and went with tickets or something, then all the people in line would be clogging up the show floor, so maybe that's why they don't.

   
While I am excited about a number of movies being promoted at the Con, including Scott Pilgrim, which is based on a comic I really like, it's TRON: Legacy that has me freaking out. I loved the original film, and the sequel looks like it will absolutely amazing. If nothing else, the new LightBikes are cool...

Tron Legacy LightBike

   
Just like two years ago, I had three comics people I wanted to see on the dealer floor. Eric Shanower, Sergio Aragonés, and Brandon Peterson. Shanower was easy to find, still promoting Age of Bronze, his epic retelling of the Trojan War in comic book form. Aragonés, whose work in MAD Magazine I've loved since I was a kid, was signing his latest Groo The Wanderer collection...

Sergio Aragones Signs at ComicCon

Peterson I COULD NOT FIND! Not from the booth number he gave at his website (which, so far as I could tell), didn't exist. Nor from his description of the area he'd be at. He had a new artbook I wanted to get too. Bummer.

   
Speaking of comic books... it truly shocks me when I walk by the booth of some titan of the industry and see that nobody is there to see them. They've long since been replaced by some hot new talent, and now they've been forgotten as if their work doesn't matter. I guess it's just a facet of the industry, like all industries, but it just doesn't seem right.

   
WHEATOOOOOOOOOOOOON!!!

Wil Wheaton at Comic Con

   
The costumes this year were better than ever, though I'm ashamed to admit that my favorite costume I saw wasn't super-hero related. It was Dr. Rockzo from Metalocalypse! "MY NAME IS DR. ROCKZO! I DO COCAINE!!

Comic Con Dr. Rockzo

It's more fun to see people dressed up outside the convention. Like your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, walking down the street...

Comic Con Spider-Man

   
After four hours, I had as much as I could take, and decided to get as far away from the crowds as possible. I hadn't been to the San Diego Zoo in decades, so that seemed like a good place. It's a remarkable zoo... probably the best I have ever seen... and it just keeps improving. The sheer volume of animals you can see it pretty impressive...

San Diego Zoo Animals

And lest we forget... they have THE BUCKETS OF DEATH available...

San Diego Zoo DEATH BUCKETS!

   
And that's pretty much it. I met up with quite a few friends and bloggers along the way, which was truly the highlight of my Comic-Con experience. I'd take that over meeting movie stars and comic book heroes any day.

All that's left is a redeye flight across the country, and my day is done...

   

Sleepy

Posted on July 16th, 2010

Dave!Tonight while watching television I fell asleep on the couch. Thinking that my body was finally willing to catch up on some much-needed sleep, I went and laid down in my bedroom around 8:30.

And promptly woke up at 10:17.

So now, on top of still being woefully behind in sleep, my internal clock is going to be messed up because I'm wide awake, and probably won't be getting any more sleep tonight. This is resoundingly bad news, because I start a series of back-to-back-to-back-to-back trips next week, and sleep even worse when I'm traveling. But no worries... I'm sure everything will be back to normal again by the end of August.

Just before I head to Europe and get all screwed up again.

Oh well. Insomnia is a great excuse to read through the incredible Wednesday Comics hardcover collection... again...

Wednesday Comics Collection Hardcover

I sure hope that DC Comics does another series of Wednesday Comics... it's the most entertainment I've had with their characters in years. Many of the creators got really creative and experimental with their strips, and the payoff is a massive bucket of pure WIN! But even better than the uniqueness of it all is the FUN. So many of the stories are just plain fun which is exceedingly rare. I'd purchase every broadsheet edition plus the hardcover collection all over again just for Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner's Supergirl strip, where every panel is beautifully rendered... and funny...

Supergirl Wednesday Comics

If you love comics... or even if you used to love comics but haven't read them in years... here's your book. It originally ran for 12 consecutive Wednesdays with one page of each strip per issue (Batman, Deadman, Demon/Catwoman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Kamandi, Metal Men, Metamorpho, Sgt. Rock, Strange Adventures, Supergirl, Superman, Teen Titans, and Wonder Woman) all written and drawn by top industry talents. Amazon has it for $32, which is an absolute steal when you consider it's an over-sized 11x17" volume that runs 200 pages! Recommended!

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Categories: BooksClick To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

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