Ultron seems delightfully evil

All right, folks. Confession time. My comics knowledge is pretty limited, and my Marvel comics knowledge is especially limited (my DC comics knowledge is largely based around Batman with a particular focus on Joker-related graphic novels). I came to appreciate different characters as they were portrayed in the Marvel Comics Universe movies, but I’m that guy when it comes to really having any clue about how those characters were before they made their way to the big screen.

The point I’m dancing around here is I had no idea who the Hell Ultron was, much less why there would be an entire age dedicated to him/her/it. I’d heard of Thanos before, somehow, and Loki…Well, let’s just say I’ve had my fill of Loki for the next century or so. Sorry, fan-people; Tom Hiddleston seems charming enough, and he’s certainly easy on the eyes, but I am thoroughly bored of seeing super-damaged Asgardian antics and I’m especially tired of people trying to justify Loki being a great big bag of dicks by saying how he just needs to be loved/get a hug/whatever. No. He’s just really twisted. But that’s also not the point.

One of the big selling points of comics-turned-movies for me is the villain. The bigger, the badder, and the more insurmountable an obstacle for the heroes a villain is, as far as I’m concerned, the better they are for the movie. I could have quite easily looked up Ultron, but for a baddie who was sandwiched between Loki in the first Avengers movie and the promise of Thanos in Avengers 3, which I’ve heard may be two movies (DAMN YOU, HOLLYWOOD)…Well, this villain I’d never heard of just didn’t seem to matter much. A palate-cleanser between one major nutcase and the next. And then I saw the Avengers: Age of Ultron teaser trailer and found out Ultron is voiced by James Spader. I’m simultaneously ready and not ready for May of 2015. Before I continue, for those of you haven’t seen this yet, here’s the trailer in question.

Aside from being extremely creepy, this teaser trailer made me wish I had a time machine all while making me grateful I don’t have such a device as I wouldn’t be able to really talk about how amazing (or bad, but I hope that the former is the way this will go) this movie is. Ultron seems like the kind of villain I can really get into, if only because I have strong biases 1) in favor of James Spader ever since I started watching The Blacklist and 2) in favor of sinister, self-aware artificial intelligences.

What are you folks looking forward to most in Avengers: Age of Ultron?

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What’s in a title: villain versus antagonist

Today I learned the lawn at my new apartment is a real behemoth. Everything is actually quite sore. Fortunately for everyone, however, I will not be talking about that in this post. I also make no apologies for any typos that sneak through as my hands really hurt. God damn it.

There’s something about having a degree in English/Writing, being a writer, and a tremendous fondness of language that makes for me being picky about words. I focus on that before diving into this topic for a reason. I’ve heard two perspectives on this topic. One says that villains and antagonists are not the same thing, while others say those are two words for the same thing. Perhaps it’s a matter of perspective and how the writer, artist, director, or other creative-type is choosing to use the titles and their respective roles in the story? You could argue that, yes, and I’m sure it could be argued pretty well. This part, by the way, is a bit painful to admit.

They aren’t, at their core, the same thing. Both may spend portions of a story appearing to twirl their mustaches (lady villains and lady-antagonists don’t waste time with such frivolous appearance-based activities), but there are crucial differences that prevent the words from being interchangeable.  Continue reading

The trouble-side of fandom

Yes, this is a One Hundred Days of Blogging post. I’m trying to not tack that onto all of the titles (a little late into the game for that, I know). It may spark some rage towards me, but I’m willing to take that risk in this case.

The good: I had an excellent time seeing Guardians of the Galaxy for a second time, but this time with Jason at Hollywood Blvd. What an awesome theater/restaurant/whatever. Such a great movie, paired with terrific food, made for an excellent time all around. Oh, and there’s the good company I had, too, I guess. I should probably mention that as well.

The bad (which I will keep brief so I don’t get scolded for letting this roll around in my brain): Some ass-jackal swiped my debit card info and treated themselves to about $150 in purchases at Target. I hope, in some special kind of karmic justice, those purchases maim the person/people who made them. You pieces of shit.

Fortunately for everyone, this post has nothing to do with the volume of food I had tonight, nor does it have to do with the shit-eating troll-pukes who took some of my money (I’m sorry, folks, but my blood is molten lava right now and I am trying to suppress my inner rage-monster by using all the hyphenated phrases). This is about fandom, and it’s a tricky topic to say the least. Continue reading

Shameless shilling, because comics and whatnot

Point of clarity: I have no affiliation with, nor any hand in the creation of, Zoophobia, so this is really just shameless shilling of the highest order, and I’m not even a little sorry. Also, I feel a bit disappointed I’ve skipped sub-titling my last couple posts, but can’t justify doing so for them. This ended up being a sort of sub-title anyway, so I guess the joke’s on me. Moving along…

I’m a sucker for fun comics. Something that has a lighter story, while still engaging the reader. Strong characters. Really, I could list different qualities for the duration of the post, but I think just saying “fun comics” gets the point across well enough.

Maybe it’s because I can’t draw to save my life (hello, inconsistent stick figures; I see you’re all looking very, er, something that isn’t really human), but I’m also hugely fond of almost every drawing style ever. I honestly just phrased it that way because I couldn’t deal with the fact I almost said “fun drawing styles”; this is why I’m not actually doing any serious business, sit-down-at-MS-Word-and-focus writing tonight, by the way (my brain’s too soupy).

The short of this is as follows: I just binge-read all of Zoophobia. That’s a link, obviously, and it merits visiting. So much visiting. It’s probably the reason I’m using the word “fun” so damn much, actually, because that’s precisely what it is. Page one onward is a beautifully drawn, highly entertaining adventure for the eyes. I can honestly say I had to set my laptop aside and walk away in frustration upon reaching the last page currently available, because I was genuinely disappointed I’d run out of comics to read (for now, anyway). There are some grammatical issues here and there (and if anyone involved in this magnificent comic sees this, I’m sorry but I had to at least nit-pick a little or I’d have ended up saying Zoophobia is perfect).

I don’t really think I could do this comic justice, description-wise, in my mush-brain state, so I strongly suggest checking it out. The art is beautiful, and the story is both engaging and entertaining. It’s like the comic equivalent of Netflix binging your favorite show; it’s amazing, and suddenly there’s that feeling of emptiness once you’ve run out of episodes.

PS: I’m so sorry I’m so bad at tags. Good god. Anyway, go check out Zoophobia! I even linked a second time so there’s no excuse to not give it a chance, obviously. Read it, enjoy it, and then spread the addiction, because it is brilliant, fun, fantastic stuff.

Some dreary day shameless shilling

The quick and easy version: today’s been lousy, and no writing is to happen on such a day.  Yuck.

On the plus side of things, because there invariably is a plus side (even if I have to take the day, look at it in its big, negative eyes, and club it violently with Medieval weapons until the good falls out), I got to enjoy a truly amazing thunderstorm.

Ah, right.  And there’s a Kickstarter to fund a graphic novel based off of some of Jonathan Coulton’s music, which can be checked out (and supported) here.  If you’ve not ever gotten the chance to check out the amazing, brilliant music Jonathan Coulton has produced in the past, there’s no time like the present.  It’s actually a bit difficult to describe JoCo’s music.  He’s got a talent for the quirky and humorous, but he’s also got amazing music that will really tug on the heartstrings.  Really, all I can say is to not listen to even a little of his music would be to miss out terribly, and I’m not about to let that be the case for anyone I know (or who makes the mistake of regularly checking my blog).

I also very strongly encourage supporting this endeavor because it’s always a good idea to help out a fellow creative-type, because you never know when you’ll need to ask for similar help.  Right?

There’s also the added benefit of very awesome incentives for making this happen.