I know guys, I really haven't written a fun, comic based blog this week. Sorry... Here's a blog back from Jan 07, right before I threw in the musical towel. It retells most of the music I played and the major bands I was in, in the Chicagoland area from 96-07. Try and enjoy... I'll have some good stuff for you next week. I edited out all the cussing, sorry.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
All of this idiocy started out back in, oh jesus, the spring of 1996 I think. I had always wanted to be in a band and my neighbor behind me was in this ska band and I really wanted to do something like that... So I started writing lyrics to songs, and if you knew me back in the day, much like now, my lyrics were, "unconventional" at best. But around that time, a friend across the street from me knew how to play power chords on his acoustic guitar, so we started the band, "The No-Tones" we recorded a couple of songs onto an 4-track, which I can't seem to remember at all, I believe we were just (inappropriate!) and singing... That didn't go too far though, we played one show, I sang, and I had a buddy playing guitar and another on drums, and that was it, one show, I freestyled some rapping and we sang a green day song or two.
I (swear!) around with that punk (swear!) until 98-99 when I joined a metal band, DnR. I picked up a bass and ran with it. I wrote some of the music, but that's about it. It kinda sucked, I wanted to play punk music and Andrew & Will made fun of me a lot for it. So Andrew, Will & I got together and started practicing, I was drumming, Andrew on bass & vocals and will on guitar, at that time I think we were called, The Valkarine Riders or something like that, it was the start of our nerd rock (swear!)...
During this time period Andy (drummer for DnR) and I revamped the band, I was on bass & singing, he was drumming and we went through guitarists like crazy. We were a really (swear!) punk band, like Sex Pistols type (swear!). We actually covered a Fifteen song, my favorite band at the time, I wasn't the best singer back then, but I held my own. Others thought differently, I was picked up by another band to sing for them, the fabled Unauthorized Criticism, with Blair, Nate (R.I.P.) & some other kid I think his name was Jason. We played a few shows and broke up, it was a lot of (swear!)ing fun though. Blair and I worked together with Andy on DnR and I played bass for a little (like a week or two) in TTFN. And that's when I started getting into my "awesome phase"
AWESOME PHASE: Round 2000-01: Team Destiny (the band with Andrew & Will) had just started playing shows, it was a lot of fun and the songs were catchy and poppy. I was singing for a band at the time called Sticker Club, a horror punk band that Justin (big name musician in my area) himself said sounded good. I was a huge fan of the name as well. The Mat Elfring Xperience (MeX) was picking up steam as well. After me being fed up that I sucked at drums and getting kicked out of Team Destiny (partly because of my anger issues, and picking fights at shows), I played with MeX a lot and experimented with weird (swear!) music...... And that's when The Muggles came in. It was Andrew, Will, myself & high school student Tom coming together to create garage rock at it's finest. We played a few high school battle of the bands and begged the judges to pick us, so we could win the prize money & eat that night, sadly this was true at the time. (The best part was, at the time, Andrew, Will & I were between 21-23 playing shows at high schools, priceless) Looking back it was one of the best sounding bands I had ever been in. I just despised our singer T, he was very cocky and way to into himself.... The Muggles died down when T went to College, so Andrew, Will & I brought in Blair & Brian to form Endless Mike, that beast that could not be stopped. It was a lot of fun and I'd do it all over again.... Even the shows in ... But all good things must come to an end... I was spending a lot of time with my hardcore punk band Where It Ends (later known as Flatlined, Kaput!), working with Chicago band, Cealed Kasket and we all wanted to play different styles of music. Will and Dubs (second guitarist in Endless Mike) wanted out, so the band broke up. I had actually booked us to play Otto's one last time, last May, opening for Cealed Kasket, but Will & Dubs decided to go see Ignite that night, scrapping and reunion plans. Andrew hasn't done anything since then, but Will & Dubs joined, The Dallas Motorcade....
: I'm now at a point in my musical career where I don't give two (swear!). I write whatever the (swear!) I want and if someone doesn't like it, whatever. I now work with the same guys from Where It Ends, Andy & Tim and now Didy from American Dropouts. We are the devil known as Flatlined, Kaput! We've been a band for over a year now (since Oct 05) and we still haven't played a show, because we're lazy. I also am in the bands, Anne Frank's House Party, Following April's Ghost & Tokyo Blow. It's all the same people working on the music though. Anne Frank has about 12 members in the band. And yes, I still work with Cealed Kasket. Music for me right now is the most creative I have ever been. I'm not held back by genres, musically or lyrically (although most of my songs right now are about (inappropriate!) and I'm free to do whatever. I work with a bunch of really talented guys who also don't give a (swear!)....
Yes I thank everyone before this point that helped me out, everyone that was in any of the 30 some off bands I've been in or anyone that came to see one of the 100 something odd shows I've played over the past 11 years. And I hope to keep doing this as a hobby and not let it ruin the little creativity I have left. "
America supposedly has a huge problem with guns. Now we've all seen Michael Moore's "documentary" (It's in quotes because of all the doctored evidence within the film) Bowling for Columbine, where Moore "tackles" the question "Why are Americans so violent? Why do we have so many guns?" Lets take a look back at history.... How was the country founded? Well, by a bunch of guys with a bunch of guns rebelling against their motherland for placing rules upon them they felt were not only unfair and unjust, but that took away from their basic civil liberties. So, what did they do? They rebelled, and created this country. Wow, AMERICA! How did they do it? Civilians with guns fighting together, rebelling for what they believe in.
Fast forward 220 years to the 90s where the black market has become a huge problem. Criminals are getting their hands on guns, mainly through an illegal trade coming up through Mexico, and into California. In the media, we've been accustomed to report after report of gang shootings ad-nausea, to a point where we almost become desensitized to it. Gangsta rap made the idea of buying a gun and shooting someone you don't like more appealing to youth, so that's what we saw, youth on youth crime.
Today, we're still reeling with a cultural influence now 13 years past, kids bringing guns to school, shooting each other. People are crying out to the government for stricter gun laws, and no guns at all...... But lets think: How do the criminals get their guns? The black market. If you ban guns, you're taking the guns away from a majority of people who follow the laws, know gun safety, and respect for the weapon. "Guns don't kill people. People kill people." It's entirely true. You put an idiot behind the wheel of a car, he's going to hit something. You put someone responsible behind a car, with the right training, no problems. If we get rid of guns, we'll see a rise in stabbings, I promise that. And when guns are "outlawed", they'll still be in the hands of criminals, no doubt.
How do we fix the problem? We don't, there is no way to fix it. Stricter laws on illegal weapons holders, dealers, gun safety classes in children's class rooms, and gun safety classes for adults. There's a good start. But we can't get rid of them in my opinion, this country was founded on the idea of civilians with weapons rising up on a tyrannical government and taking charge. That day may not be coming anytime soon, but what if?
NOTE: 15% of our customers suck. 85% are some of the coolest people in the world. Do not think that I hate most of my customers, in fact, I love the majority. The nice ones don't have great quotes though. Do you frequent your comic book store? How many times a week? If you do, and if you're annoying, the employee has a nickname for you. Nicknames like, "Sonic Girl, GI Joe Guy, Wolverine Guy, Thor Guy, B@stard W/B@stard Kids, and Sh!teater" These aren't nice nicknames. When you get a nickname, it means you're a fanboy, and you've annoyed us to the point that we need a codename when talking about you. The names are self-explanitory, but here's some fun short quotes from the people I hate.
"That's funny because I'm a special case. I've been coming here a long time, 5 years, so I get special treatment." (I've been going to the store I work at for 20. Most regulars have at least a decade under their belt at our store. and no, she doesn't get special treatment)
"Why don't you know how many issues Sonic X has?" (A. Because I could care less about the comic, and B. I'm not going on CV to look for you)
GI Joe Guy:
"I heard a wonderful little rumor that Thor will be in the new X-Men movie" (No, this isn't from three years ago, this is from 3 months ago, he's gullible)
"Is the new Green Lantern series good?" (I quote him on this because If I answer yes to anything, he talks to me for a literal hour about it, so I'm forced to answer, "I don't really read the books" To everything he asks)
"Wolverine is in this issue, right?" (Holding up a JSA comic.... I told him yes)
Boobs! (The Over-Sexualization of Women in Comics)
Today's topic, "BOOBS!" comes from Darkchild and it's actually a topic I feel very strongly about in contemporary comics.
Here's DC's suggestion, "ummmm
BOOBS in comics
How they stay on the womans chest, and or what is her spine made of to keep them up.
Sorry pervy moment ill come up with something good"
Thanks Darkchild. Now, if you know me, you know I'm going to completely flip this around. Women and sexuality sadly go hand in hand when you're a guy. You look at a woman, and unless she's related to you, sex is probably on your mind. Men are sexual beings, we use our eyes more than our brains. This is why comics have had so many scantily clad women in it since essentially, the dawn of comics and the industry. Today, it's ramped. Women in skimpy outfits with impossible breasts and perfect faces invading out everyday issues. Now the portrayal of these women is not only ridiculously unrealistic compared to what women actually look like, but almost all of them are cool personality-wise.
Think about it, how many incredibly attractive women do you know that are sincerely great people? I can count them on one hand, and none of them have the body of any character in a comic. Where's the unattractive women in the comic universe? Well, super-unattractive women are there, but no one that looks normal.... You know, average. Big breasts, tiny waist, flawless face... These aren't real women. Look at the X-Men, almost all the women are really attractive, have cool super-powers, and fight crime... don't feel sorry for them, their lives are awesome...
You want to know the sad thing? It's 4:30pm right now... I started this blog at 10am and this is all I wrote..... I failed for part one..... My brain is fried from a long day of work... Sorry....
All right, so I loved Crank one... Wow, witty, hilarious, action-packed, what more could I want? How about a sequel that picks up RIGHT after the first one? Awesome, I'm in. So, I went to the film, and guess what? It was nothing short of awful. In fact, here's how awful it was..... In my lifetime, I've seen over 4,000 films, yes that many. This is in my top 10 of worst films I've ever seen. Here we go.
Manos The Hands of Fate (Without MST3K) Crank 2 Gothic Knightriders (no, not based off the tv show, this was before that) Gigli
The film was jumpy, stupid, WAY TOO tongue-and-cheek, and kept flashing to things not happening within the storyline. Like Chelios and the villain fighting in a powerplant all Godzilla like. Bai Ling, also in this film, was nothing short of the worst performance I have EVER seen. She is an ugly anime character come to life. The best way to explain this movie is this... Watch the first film... Take out ALL the things you like about it, and refilm those scenes as half-@ssed as possible. That's Crank 2
BUT WHAT WAS GOOD: Here we go. The last scene of the movie, before the credits is a close-up on Chelios, on fire, as he flips off the camera and smiles. A giant F.You to the audience. How fitting... "F#$k you for coming to the film. Hope you enjoyed it you f$%king morons. Thanks for your money."
Rating... 1/2 out of 5.... I'd rather watch that damned Hannah Montana 3 more times than see this again, at least that was moderatly fun.
DC/Vertigo/Wildstorm: 14 NEW Books 1 Variant Cover 0 Reprints
42 vs 15. Why does this matter? Simple. Many people across the country are losing their jobs, and others are holding onto their money and trying to cut back on the non-necessities. One industry that takes a beating during this recession is the comic book industry. Now, we didn't take as hard of a hit as we thought we would this past year, but we are definitely not doing as good as past years. People are weary with what they pick up now. I, myself, was reading 30-50 books a month, now I'm down to 15, just so I make sure I have enough to pay off the bills. Many people complained about DC getting rid of many of their ongoing books. These books had a strong fan base, but in my opinion, they didn't have strong enough numbers to ensure that DC made their money back from the printers, in order to pay off all the talent. In my opinion, it was a smart move. Yes, I was really sad to see books like Blue Beetle, Robin, and Nightwing go, I loved all of those books. But, to ensure DC's future as a company they needed to essentially "trim the fat".
So, lets go back to the numbers... 42 vs. 15. This is where Marvel proves to the American public, they essentially don't give a sh!t about you or your financial stability. They'll toss out any crap book onto the shelves hoping the passer-by Marvel Zombie will pick it up, especially since it has a variant cover of Wolverine. I understand some of these reprints (Wolv:OLM, Dark Avengers, and Deadpool). These are high selling books, and if the demand is still there, why not reprint? But, do we really need 4 variant covers for Rulk? Do we need 6 Wolverine variant covers? Do we need 4 new issues of books with "Wolverine" in the title? No. It is the responsibility of Marvel Comics to assess the financial situation of America, and to decide if putting out 25 new books each week is really worth it? Especially when a handful of those books are just plain bad. And lets not forget the $1 increase they've started on most of their new series.
I'm not saying boycott any of these great companies by no means. I'm not saying write angry letters. I'm saying be financially responsible. Don't encourage a company, who obviously isn't paying attention to what is going on in this country, to put out this many books. Think before you buy. Don't buy four Wolverine books just because you like him. Don't buy all of Battle for the Cowl's tie-ins because you like Batman. Buy what makes sense to you. Look who is writing and drawing the books. Do you like them? Do you like the current story? Do you like the character? If you answered yes to all three, go nuts. But lets not throw our hard earned money down on the table just because of some variant covers....
Later in the week: Marvel vs. DC Part 2: Characters I can't relate to.
I was going through numerous blogs that I had written, since the social networking boom in 2004, I pulled some meatier blogs that delve into some topics that I was passionate about and posted them into a word document. I did this for an hour from my myspace, facebook, and comicvine accounts. single-spaced, I have 53 pages of blog entries. I'm currently going through them, removing some of them and finding out what I should do with it. Any suggestions?
For your amusement.... Here's the first blog I ever wrote:
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
favre would have played with a broken ankle
Grossman, way to f$#k it up for us another year.....
Orton take us to victory!!!! 4th string rules! Hutchinson shall be benched
What is a blog? Well, dictionary.com says a blog (or web-log) is this: "an online diary; a personal chronological log of thoughts published on a Web page"
A pretty good definition if you ask me. Personal thoughts. Good. And here on ComicVine we have the capability of not only writing blogs, but we can also post the blogs into the forums for everyone to see. The thing is, does anyone want to see it? Maybe, maybe not, that's for the masses to decide. Nevertheless, I personally think we have some great blogs here on CV, I'm not going to point any out, just as I'm not going to point bad ones out (we'll get to that part soon), but a lot of people here have different opinions on a variety of topics they like to talk about. Now, I usually don't personally agree with some of the things said in blogs here, but nonetheless, they are still great blogs. To me, a blog is something you're sharing to your audience. Whether it is a video you made, personal thoughts on your life or something in the industry, or thought provoking material you want others to think about. That's all great stuff...
Now, many may be thinking, "What's the point of this IE?" Well, thanks for abreviating my name first of all. Second, the point is this, why bother posting a blog and having it in the forums if it is like this,
WOLVERINE IZ DA HAWT!
That's the whole blog, just the title of the blog. The mispelling was just for my own personal amusement, nothing more. Nothing will come of this blog except for people making fun of you. And we do have some younger viners here, and they may get offended easily, so why bring the discomfort down upon yourself by making this thread? Other not-so-great ideas... Posting a blog in the forums that already exists.
Marvel vs. DC
"Which is better?"
We have threads like this already. Again, why bother? Search for the thread and get the discussion going again.
Maybe I hold blogging to too high of a standard? Maybe I except too much sometimes? Like I said, the majority of the stuff on here is great, but why post something in the forums if it's just going to take up space? (like this will) Sad thing is, the people that are guilty of this, will never read this because they only pay attention to the stuff they post.....
Back to work.... ~Judas, IE, Mat (whatever you want to call me) 14 Comments
Costume changes should happen every 15 years or so, just to stay with the times. Calvin (above) posted a G.A. Superman picture, that look wouldn't work today because it doesn't represent our contemporary culture, which makes it come off a little cheesy.
Lets chat, shall we? I've been becoming increasing annoyed with all the Wolverine: Origins complaints because people's favorite characters aren't exactly the same from book to film. So, lets talk about movies in general.
The film industry is a wonderful thing. They take some of your favorite properties from the literacy world and turn them into great big movies. It's a lot of hard work to do that too! There are two things we need to talk about when it comes to your comics being turned into films, and that is Direct Translation Vs. Adaptation.
Direct Translation is essentially taking a piece, word for word and putting it on the big screen. This DOES NOT exist in Hollywood. However, a few films come close such as, Watchmen, 300, and Sin City. It is an impossibility to take your favorite comic and put it exactly how it is into a film.
Adaptation is taking a great piece of work and finding a way to make it work on the big screen. They are not only trying to stay close to the source material, but they are also adapting it so the mainstream audiences can enjoy it. Remember, Hollywood wants to please you, but they'd like to please the majority of the American (and International) public a lot more. So, if the producer or writer or director wants a character to be black instead of white for whatever reason, it happens. If they want a character to be taller because they think the person they're casting (who is tall) is better suited, so be it. You need to remember these are adaptations of characters.
MOST IMPORTANT POINT! OR think about it this way... Each film is a different dimension, like the Ultimate universe! Therefor, you don't have to be mad because they don't exist in the mainline universe!
So, next time you want to complain about trivial little details from the comic to film adaptation, how about this.... Don't. Your wasting your time, nothing is going to change. In fact, some of these films go back to do re shoots in hopes to please the fanboys, but nothing is ever good enough it seems for some people. Sit back, enjoy the movie, it was made for EVERYONE... not just the comic book fans.
A lot of you didn't know who I was on the vine my first year on here. I kept to the review section and blogged, that was about it. I wrote quite a few blogs and thought I'd reprint some of my favorites, minus the Deaths of Captain America Blog I wrote for the contest, that one is super long. My oldest blogs seemed to have disappear over the almost two years I've been here, no biggie... So here's some stuff from a year ago.
Most of the time, when people first meet me, they have no clue, even if they see my half sleeve tattoo of three giant panels on my left arm. They eventually find out and don't care too much. The real judging comes in when they find out I write comics... Then, they look at me in disgust.... I try again and again to get some of my friends to at least read Green Lantern: Sinestro War.... I always get a sea of blank faces... Yet, these same people are first in line for Batman.... And will refuse to read Long Halloween... The stigma attached to comic book readers right now is ridiculous. Most people that read are in their mid-twenties, full-time job, wives, kids, etc... The whole idea that a comic book reader is a shut-in fat kid, eating ho-hos and dreaming of talking to a girl is a thing of the past.
ADDED BONUS: I find it funny in my group of friends that the one that reads comics is also the toughest guy in the group. I'm also one of two with a "real job". Everyone judges comic readers and to be honest, I just don't care anymore. Many of us are at an age where the whole "you're cool, I'm cool" routine is laughable.
To the younger readers out there... If you ever take crap from some "cool kid" day-in, day-out..... Just remember, that guy will either be serving you dinner, detailing your car, or be your minion in the workplace in 10 years. The "cool kids" in school, for the most part, fail in real life. One of my students was a guy that picked on me in high school, for having a blue mohawk... I thought it was cool... Anyway, the guy had me as is professor.... I treated him like anyone else that walks into my classroom... Fairness is more important than petty grudges..... God, I'm a dork....
You all know what I'm going to say: Writing is the most important aspect of writing today. Don't believe me? Here's two ways to prove it: First, pick up anything from the 90s. It's garbage. Sure, there's a few books out there with good stories, but overall most companies focused on art rather than writing a good story. The best examples are from the mid-late 90s Marvel, when they focused 90% of their efforts on art. Need more proof? Justice by Ross & Krieger. Pretty pictures can't save a tripe, over-used storyline that couldn't make me care less about the characters. "All the villains team up to fight all of the heroes? Haven't I seen this before? Like on every episode of the Super Friends?" More proof you say? Ok, All Star Batman & Robin. Jim Lee's work is amazing on this book, but Miller's writing is that of a 14 year old boy, possibly with tourettes syndrome. Great art does not save bad writing. And if you do think that, you have no clue what good writing is, or you probably don't know what good art looks like. I've seen a few people weigh in on what they think bad art looks like, and the stuff they post isn't bad art, just different stylistically.
I've been a professional writer for a few years now and a comic book writer for about a year, and I've noticed that writers rule the industry right now. Why? Because writing is more important. I've gone through artist alley at the cons and picked up a few books here and there, and there's stuff I really enjoy where the artwork is atrocious. I'm done ranting...