Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Flash Fact: Fans Are Dicks! Or: My Love Letter to the Dudes Who've Kept Me Sane

Whereas a colleague of mine is doing a piece on the film industry, I'm gonna tell you what-for about comics fans.

Now, most fans are pretty normal dudes like myself. I like to go and read my comics and I like to casually discuss it.

I don't like to rip on the men and women and anythings in between who make them if they aren't total assholes.

However you wanna interpret that dude's comment, Dan Slott was treated pretty unfairly by that guy. Was Slott's response too much? I say no. Guy was pissed and thanks to the internet, he could pretty quickly and publicly tell the dude off. Everybody deserves to tell people to shut the hell up!

Next case: James Robinson. His run on Starman is absolutely amazing. I dare you to find someone who didn't love the exploits of Jack Knight. But, "fans" have ripped him apart for Cry for Justice. Admittedly, it's not his strongest work. I'll say that much. But is it the worst thing I've read? Is it really worth all the constant bitching and moaning? Meh, not really.

And, the fact that a lot of fans seem to miss and others seem to focus a lot on, is that Cry for Justice and stories like it are editorially-mandated and often jacked with and messed with by a lot of people who aren't the writer. The same thing happens with film scripts all the time. Is it as terrible as the film industry can occasionally be though? Not a clue.

My point being is that most guys need to chill out. Just because you've got an internet connecting and a semi-anonymous connection to the world, doesn't give you the right to be a massive tool. I'm all for constructive criticism, but constantly nagging and whinging (Typo, but I'm pretty sure this is a real word. It was in X-Factor) is pretty grating.

Remember that tough guy who handed Rob Liefeld a copy of "How to Draw Comics" from Lee and Buscema? That's dick. No two ways about it. Now, Liefeld isn't the world's most amazing artist, but the dude has made leaps and bounds and his style is noticeably nicer-looking than his ultra-popular 90s look.  The fact that he's actually a pretty nice guy makes that kid seem like a pretty big ass.

Once again, if the guys who I would potentially rip apart were assholes, I'd have no qualms. But, a lot of these writers and artists seem really nice and they put up with an ungodly amount of shit from a fanbase that has a pretty bad reputation. Mainly that the general public is pretty sure all comic fans are straight outta the Big Bang Theory, which is just an awful misconception.

But once again, every fanbase has the crazy yahoos that ruin it for everyone. Are all Twilight fans crazed loony girls with a bad case of fucked in the head syndrome? Hardly. Are all Star Trek fans socially inept and painfully sad? Nope. Are all football fans rioting every time their team loses? Nein! Not all fans are crazed dickwads. Most are pretty normal. It's a bunch of outspoken douches who ruin the image for a lot of the rest of us.

As my fellow blogger Ranka knows, the crazy Kingdom Hearts fans make it unbearable to even be considered a casual fan of that series.

Damn, I got a little off topic. I think that little tirade was supposed to show you... something. Can't remember what though. It's late, I'm tired and I'm having some very pleasantly confusing thoughts.

Any and all writers, artists and all around people who are more famous than I: Not all fans are rabid, vicious douchnozzles. Even if I don't like a particular story you've put out, or a lot of people don't like it. Don't take it as a sign that everyone's complaining or that everyone hates you. That's my biggest fear, as a reader, that all my favorite writers and artists think all think all their fans are dicks.

So, as a fan who has literally been saved from boredom by comics, detective novels and all around awesome things: Thanks. Seriously. Thank. YOU. If I had no comics, no novels, no anime, no cartoons, no nothing. I would be bored as fuck. Or I might be a jock or something.

PS. Funny story. About a month ago on campus, I saw honest-to-God nerds. Like, with pocket protectors, nutty haircuts and huge glasses. It was after Halloween too, so I'm sure they weren't costumes. It took every fiber of my being not to steal a letterman jacket and scream "NERDS!!".

Okay, I'm actually done now. I'm so damn tired.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

TRON: Legacy Derezzed My Pants

Tron: Legacy was a pretty schway film. I have a few gripes, but they're pretty minor in the grand scheme of things.

VFX: The original Tron still looks pretty good for its age. With the improvements in CG, this really does look like fantastic. This whole damn movie looks fantastic.

Fights: Really well-choreographed fight scenes. This and Scott Pilgrim had some of the best fight scenes from an American movie that I'd seen this entire year.

Soundtrack: Daft Punk. They did the whole score, but only about half the tracks really sound like Daft Punk songs. That's one of the gripes right there. Half the tracks are awesome techo songs and the rest are kind of bland.

Cast: Garret Hedlund plays Sam Flynn, our protagonist. He certainly did a good job, but he was kind of overshadowed by Jeff Bridges and Olivia Wilde. I was surprised with Wilde's performance. She was just adorable, which I was expecting an "action girl" type. And Jeff Bridges didn't reprise his role of Kevin Flynn, he was the Dude. The Dude in a damn Jedi robe. Too cool. Cillian Murphy's cameo was pretty surprising and welcome. Bruce Boxleitner is always good too. Always kind of wondered why he never had a bigger career, he's actually a really good actor.

Reverence: There were a lot of scenes that were shot in the same style as one's from the original TRON. Like when Sam broke into EMCOM Tower through the "big door", the escape from the Game Grid, and the ending itself to name a few.

Syd Mead: He contributed a new lightcycle design that was briefly used in the film. I like him so much he gets his own positive category. His art and designs are just so pretty.

Tron: Like in the last film, Tron's not really the main character. At best, he's a plot device in this one. He doesn't really have much of a presence. I mean, yes he's in it. But I was kind of hoping he would be swayed back to the side of good before the last five minutes.

Setup: It was sort of obvious that someone was hoping this would lead to a Tron 3. Cillian Murphy's cameo, Tron's fate, the ending in general, it was kind of obvious that more is hopefully coming. These were just loose ends.

Blackness: The fact that everything was black except for those white/red lines on things made things a little disorienting when things started moving fast. Maybe it was just the 3D or the IMAX screen, I don't know. It wasn't bad, it was just slightly disorienting.

At the end of the day, this movie's pretty accessible for folks who haven't seen the original Tron, but it's definitely made for the fans of the original.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I've Been Busy (Well, Lazy) - But No More.

That's right faithful followers (All 3 of you)! It's time for another exciting installment of Der Raging Panzer! When we last left our hero, the insufferable ZeroBuster, he was making all kinds of outrageous claims about actually doing something here. For months, there was nothing. Now? He's here to make good on those seemingly-outlandish claims!

Also! He's got a Twitter now! The Twitter account will henceforth be devoted to serving the needs of Der Panzer. Or at least attempting to.

But now, our feature presentation...

Since I don't quite have a definite amount of time at the moment to do what I want to do (Post a short story or two) You'll have to settle for a scintillating tale from the vault. The Mind Vault.

Let's discuss what I've been reading lately. I've been on a total Superman/Legion trip lately. Good God have I been reading Superman. I've also been on an all-around Warren Ellis/Grant Morrison ride too. Also Sandman. Sand Hawkins needs his own miniseries or something. Seriously.

So, yeah. That's some fascinating stuff. A true "cool story", eh trusty readers?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

NEW Kingdom Hearts ~ Initial Impressions

Gonna be a quick one folks, since I am tired as hell.

- Amazing graphics for the PSP. Looks just as nice, if not nicer in some respects, than Kingdom Hearts II.
- Pretty good voice cast
- Bibbity Bobbitty boo or whatever is the worst choice for background music ever
- Combat is amazingly fun
- Leonard Nemoy and Mark Hammil. Shit's beyond cash.
- Most of the worlds feel short (I know that's cause of the whole three character deal, but it seems like you don't get to do enough sometimes)

Also, my initial impressions of the re: CODED stuff.
- Why didn't the graphics get a better update? 358/2 Days looked better than this.

And that's my initial impression.

TGS had some neat stuff this year, I guess. Not-Devil May Cry, Square making shooters, new Steel Battalion (For kinect, so no awesome controller? Why remove the coolest aspect of the game?). I still haven't heard anything about Kojima's supposed big reveal he had planned.

Night fellas.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Spandex Fetish: The Transforming Face of Der Panzer

I dunno about you, but I've always imagined Raging Panzer less as a traditional tank, and more of the sort that Treasure, Takara or Smart Brain would think up to thwart the hero of the piece, one with many different strengths, weapons, abilities and crippling construction errors; and for the sake of argument, let's assume it had faces. While Zero would form the main face, the big boss, el jefe, sempai and whatnot, HBK would be the one that retreated in to the main body to occasionally fire off a particularly powerful attack. And me? Well, I'd be the non-functioning decorative face only there to add detail.

But not for much longer! Now with renewed intent, Rankarana is setting off on yet another quest: to bring an almighty ‘HENSHIN!’ to the overly embellished metaphorical tank! Our new line of articles, Spandex Fetish, will explore... well, mostly Kamen Rider, but also some other toku and transforming heroes, for your delight and delectation, especially with the big lineup ahead of us.

OOO is starting very, very soon (expect to see some opinions and discussion on that, especially if we can finally do some roundtabling) while Goseiger is... continuing on its' way. Den-O's three-movie trilogy has yet to see DVDs or subs, we've still got the curious Saban buy-back of Power Rangers, and what's stopping us discussing, umm... Zebraman? Not to mention reflections on some of the classics, as well as mockery/adoration of Toshiki Inoue, looks at toku-influenced anime, and maybe even hot Rider x Rider fanfiction.

...One of those won't be happening.

Anyway, Spandex Fetish might actually motivate me to work for more than five seconds, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled for the first henshin of a new legend, when I'll be taking a look at the first episode (presuming it's subbed in a timely manner and not by a certain group of kisamas) of Kamen Rider OOO and hopefully enjoying it, while convincing those around me that Ankh is indeed a man. Probably.

Until next time, ends just stay alive the ride the mean!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Scott Pilgrim VS My High Standards.

So, I saw Scott Pilgrim VS The World at the midnight showing. All in all, I enjoyed the movie. Even if I was up to my balls in hipsters in the theater. First off, I'd just like to say that I may or may not have missed out on ten or so minutes of the movie. There was a skip and no one could really tell if it was intentional or not, so.... My knowledge may be incomplete. As usual, stuff I like comes first.

The cast in this is amazing. This movie had one of the best casts I've seen in a long time. Everyone not only looked the part, but they acted the part too. Even Michael Cera... Most of the time at least. He kept alternating between Scott and Michael Cera. Kieran Culkin stole the show as Wallace Wells. Seriously, I could not imagine him as Wallace at all until he spoke. Allison Pill made a a hilarious and sexy Kim Pine, and Ellen Wong might just be the cutest thing to ever go on a movie screen. It was also nice to see Brandon Routh again. I love that guy and he cracked me up in this one. All of the Evil Exes were great though. Like I said, fantastic cast.

There's a rad cameo by Thomas Jane as well. Seriously, this movie has Superman, The Punisher and Captain America/Human Torch. Nearly as impressive as how many action stars are in The Expendables, no?

Next is the soundtrack. All I really need to say, for me at least, is that it has exclusive songs by Beck. I'm such a massive fan of his it's not even funny. The score was perfect for the tone of the film though. Lots of classic rock, indie rock, and some pretty cool techno stuff too. The soundtrack is definitely a winner in my book.

Visually, the movie is one of the best I've seen in a long time. The flashback scenes are all told using panels from the comic, and they kept Scott's ratings for everyone. Stuff from the comics like the sound effects, the pee meter, and the coins were all kept. The fight scenes were also very nice-looking. Unlike some other big blockbuster that also featured a high-profile director, Edgar Wright knows how to do a great action scene.

And it's very faithful to the comic. Even the stuff that wasn't in the comic would've felt right at home in the comic. In my opinion, the fights with Lucas Lee and the Katayanagi twins were better in the movie than they were in the comic. The fight with Roxie even had stuff from the Free Comic Day issue. There was also a Battle of the Bands plot added that I dug too. Didn't really affect the story too much, but it set up the fight with Ken and Kyle.

And there was a ton of stuff cut, but it wasn't anything that hampered the film. There were side characters cut, but they kept nearly all of them. The only really big omissions were Knives' dad and Lisa Miller, and those would have been a bit too much in a film that already had a big cast. Unlike The Last Airbender, they kept characters who weren't in the main four or so.

Now I gotta deal with what I didn't like.... mutter mumble mutter gripe.

The pacing was just a bit much. It wasn't as condensed as I thought it'd be, but there was a lot of stuff in this movie. I mean, the movie adapts the whole damn series. So some of the stuff (Namely a lot of the non-fight stuff) seems a bit rushed sometimes. I kinda wish they did it as a series of animated films instead. Or at least two live action films.

And that's really my only beef with the movie really. Does a shitty, bandwagon-jumper fanbase count as a gripe?

But I digress, Edgar Wright's got a winner here. I don't think it's his best film (That's Hot Fuzz), but it's a hell of a film. I'm giving it an 8/10.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Best Comic-Based Shows That Don't Exist Yet.

The following post was inspired by a late night conversation on an IRC chat.

But first, I'd like to think Jeff Parker for the free, signed copy of the Incredible Hercules VS Amazing Spider-Man: Assault on New Olympus issue. That and my latest issue of The Onion are the two best things to find in my mailbox.

And now to the point: Here are my ideas for some awesome series based on comics.

1. The Elongated Man: A slick detective series in the same vein as Psych or Monk, but slightly less humorous. Or Murder She Wrote, but he stretches? Focus on Ralph's detective aspect and maybe not his superheroics. He'd still be dealing with super-crime though. Not mundane cases or anything like that. As long as they avoid any mentioning of Sue's rape, then this'd be an awesome show. Also, don't make Ralph a tool like he was on JLU.

2. Gotham Central: Show how regular cops deal with things in a world full of super-beings. A straight-up adaptation would be awesome, but you could deal with members of other police forces on occasion, I think. Like, say someone winds up dead in Metropolis or Opal City or something, but the M.O. fits one of Batman's foes, so GCPD dispatches Montoya and Allen to aid in the investigation.

3. Nextwave: Agents of Hate: I'm not going to lie. I've thought about this one a lot. Give it a high animation budget and put it on adult swim, HBO or Comedy Central. Make it look very true to Immonen's art and get Ellis onboard. Let Ellis write original episodes to extend it, because twelve issues isn't a lot to go on for a series.

4. JLI/Blue and Gold Power Hour: Either give me a cartoon about the JLI, or a cartoon where Booster and Ted go around fighting crime. There'd be PSAs at the end of either of these.

5. X-Factor Investigations/Madrox: I'd love to see Madrox as he is now portrayed on the small screen. Keep the roster small if you it's X-Factor; Don't bog it down with tons of obscure characters. Just focus on say, Madrox, Banshee, Strong Guy and Rahne. Once again, focus on the detective aspect and not the superhero part.


Here's a few ideas that are presented in jest. They are only here for my, and presumably your, amusement.

1. Like Madmen, but it's about all the billionaires and CEOs in the DCU. Lex Luthor, Max Lord, Bruce Wayne, Ted Kord and such. Absolutely nothing exciting, it's just them talking business.

2. Make a show about that fat white dude with the power to turn into a buff black guy for an hour. You know, the dude that called that hour "C.P.T."?

3. This one is half-joking/half serious, but Gundam Sousei. Seriously, the highly-dramatized story of the making of the original Gundam anime. I'd watch the hell out of this show.

4. Make a Doctor Fate series, but base it on the 90s version, "Fate".

5. Silver Age Batman/Silver Age Superman (But only the bad parts). Batman: The Brave and the Bold showed off all of the fun of the Silver Age of comics, with none of the awful parts (Racism, incredibly inconsistent characterization, Superman being a massive tool, Batman just doing batshit insane things all the time, etc.), so this would be all those bad parts. It would be sure to offend everyone.