Comics, Anime, Alien, SJWs, & More

Chris Van Deelen

For those of you who are reading this, I hope you realize this is an actual video blog as well! Just click on the image in the header of this blog and you can listen to the blog instead of taking the time to read it.

Much to my surprise I have something to talk about this blog. So much so, this blog is nearly three times as long as my average blog tends to be.

So you have the choice… read it, or watch / listen to the blog!

Choice is always a good thing.

The past couple of months have seen me posting blogs sporadically, at best. In fact, I do believe I went an entire month without posting once.

A lot has to do with what I said with my last blog. I just did not have anything to say. And I lost most of my creativity as well.

Right now, I still have almost no desire to be creative. It is starting to trickle back in, but for the most part I’m not interested in doing anything.

I’m seriously hoping it will change though.

I’ll get right to the point, starting with a little rant.

I understand how people like to stand up for causes. I really do. I have done so myself on more than a few times over the years.

However – and this is something a lot of SJW’s, or Social Justice Warriors seem to comprehend, is that there is a time and a place for standing up.

Twice last week a certain individual has gone all SJW for no good reason what-so-ever on Facebook. The first was when an author I happen to be friends with posted about Romphims.

You have probably heard about these – they are the rompers made for grown men.

Anyhow, the post was essentially the author stating she didn’t like them, and I agreed. There was nothing about shaming people who would like them, bashing them, body shaming or anything. Just a simple statement they were not the kind of thing we would like.

So one particular SJW decided he would bash her and the post. I tried in vain to find the post and copy what was said, but I’m guessing the author decided she did not want it any longer and ended up deleting it.

The nameless SJW bashed the post and even went as far as stating body shaming.

Yeah.

None of the things said SJW was bitching about were actually brought up in the post!

The second time was when I made a comment on my own timeline about being very underwhelmed by the prospect of a Big Bang Theory spin-off series about a young Sheldon Cooper.

The very same SJW decided to comment on it.

Here is the actual post - I actually liked the first few seasons of Big Bang Theory. I have never once thought, "I want the stories of an obviously undiagnosed autistic child being constantly bullied with a bunch of horrible stereotypes about Texas." The story of a young Sheldon Cooper is NOT a fucking comedy.

I was not impressed.

All I said was essentially not being interested.

My reply was pretty straight forward - You know - I get it. You like to stand up for things. There is a time and a place for it however, and when I make a simple statement about something I'm not interested in seeing, unless I get really damned offensive - which is rare... Refrain from posting like you did here.

Especially if you decide you want to swear on my page. I do so, it's true. Then again it is my page.

That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. Unless I am being really fucking offensive about something, you can post your comments, but don’t be a dick about it, and don’t swear on my page.

All that happens is you’re going to piss me off and eventually get yourself unfriended and blocked.

There is a time and a place for being an SJW, and simple little harmless comments and observations are not the time or place.

So, that aside, I’ll talk about comics.

Back when I was in school, I was a very avid comic reader. Back then when comics were still typically .50 cents an issue, I would buy as many as $20 bucks worth a week.

That’s a lot of comics.

I read most of the mainstream Marvel titles, and my main love was for the X-men comics (X-men, New Mutant’s etc.). As the years progressed, I started to move away from Marvel and more specifically Superhero titles and went with the independent and smaller companies.

The reason was I had gotten pretty tired of the silly super-powered soap operas which comics had become.

Then I found a wonderful woman and got married and discovered taking care of her and a family was not cheap.

So I gave up on comics for… damn, nearly 15 years. It wasn’t until around 2007 that I finally realized I had the spare cash to be able to buy several comics a week once again and I started buying them.

Over the past years I have built up quite a collection of issues. Very little, once again, of mainstream titles. Mainly smaller companies. I have seen a large number of titles end and there were typically a few new titles which I ended up picking up.

Currently I read the following… The Walking Dead, Harley Quinn, Batman Beyond, Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Lord, Aliens, Predator, Kamadi challenge and Star Wars. Of these there are several Aliens titles – Dead Orbit, Defiance, Life and Death. Star Wars there are quite a few – Star Wars, Poe Dameron, Doctor Aprha, Darth Maul and any other mini-series they come out with.

Back in the day I followed the Alien series from Dark Horse comics almost religiously. After all I am a huge fan of the franchise (well, thank you captain obvious!) The problem is the stories got stranger and stranger and many outright sucked.

Needless to say I was very hesitant about picking up the new series they were writing and releasing and I have to admit I have been very pleased with the new stories – especially the Defiance series.

The art could have been better here and there, but the stories are actually quite well written and have kept me coming back for more, time and again.

As for the Star Wars titles – I have not been disappointed with a lot of the story arcs, nor have I been disappointed with the majority of the mini-series which have been produced.

I really doubt I’ll ever get back into buying twenty or thirty titles a week, the way I had at my peak in the golden years of my youth, but I am happy with how the comics have evolved.

And now to the main reason I’m talking about comics.

Growing up I absolutely HATED Scooby Doo. Loathed it! Even my son remembers how much I hated the show, although I never, ever stopped him from watching it when he was growing up. I even took him to see the first live-action Scooby Doo movie and will reluctantly admit I actually enjoyed it.

Then last year I heard DC comics was essentially rebooting a lot of these old cartoons as new comics and one of them was Scooby Doo. Of course due to my intense dislike for the cartoon, I wasn’t interested.

About a month ago when I was at my local shop and just out of morbid curiosity I picked up the first issue of Scooby Apocalypse.

Who would have thought I would have become so engrossed in a comic based on a cartoon I hated?

Over the years I have been strongly against change in things I love. I really hated the way one particular author tried to change Outlanders and make it his own by introducing changes into the characters and the overall setting.

This is one of the few times I ever saw changes in a long-running series which appealed to me.

First – all the characters names were introduced. I’m pretty sure they were always available to find, but I never bothered.

Secondly, the characters themselves were changed. For example – Fred Jones is a pretty, buffed, tattooed camera man who comes across as kind of dumb. He’s working for / with Daphne Blake as a cameraman.

Daphne Black is a strong, pushy and mouthy host of a 10th rate mystery show on the knitting channel. She is also something of a weapons expert.

Then there is Velma Dinkley, a brilliant scientist who has contacted Daphne in order to expose a terrible conspiracy to turn the world’s population into docile sheep.

Shaggy’s actual name is Norville Rogers, and he’s a bearded hipster, who is not as stupid as he was portrayed in the cartoons. He’s a big softy with a bigger heart.

Finally Scooby’s ability to talk is explained. He’s a cybernetically enhanced dog who has been given the ability to speak as well as think, thus the intelligence.

All their catch-phrases are there, and it’s made clear that Fred has a serious thing for Daphne.

And as the title suggests, the comic is about the apocalypse. Instead of finding monsters and discovering they are just people in disguise who are trying to scare people away for what was typically momentary gain, they are dealing with honest-to-god monsters.

I purchased the first compilation, and will be getting the second as soon as it is available (which hopefully won’t be too long from now) and then I’ll start buying it on a monthly basis.

So, Michael Varhola asked me to talk about the reasons as to why I didn’t see Guardians Vol. 2 last week, as well as to why I won’t be buying the Celebrity Fast Pass AKA VIP pass in the future from the Expo.

First, Guardians. I really wanted to see it. In fact, I attempted to see it yesterday. See, my wife has quite a few free passes for a chain here in Calgary, and when we tried to use them last week, we were told by the guy running the counter that Disney will not allow anyone to use free passes to see the movie for the first two weeks of its release.

I could have gone to see it at a different theater, but my beautiful wife wanted that particular theater. The main reason is because of the recliner seating! Well, and the drinks, as well as other things are cheaper.

We attempted to see it on the 20th. I figured – okay, it’s now two weeks so we can use the passes.

Nope.

Disney, in all their infinite wisdom, decided to EXTEND this non-use of a pass to encompass the entire long weekend!

In the end, we saw Alien: Covenant instead. I’ll talk about that movie later.

Now for the story behind the VIP pass at the Calgary expo.

For many years I have been buying the passes. They had quite a number of advantages which made the exorbitant cost of the passes worth my hard-won money. First, you got in early each day. It was only an hour, but that was cool!

Secondly, you got to skip the lines to get autographs and photos. This really made it worthwhile. Especially for me, considering I go for the photos, as anyone who has seen my Facebook page can attest.

Third, you got a shit-load of swag from the Expo store.

In the past, you were allowed to bring one or two people with you. So I always took my wife and son in order to get the photos with the famous people.

I guess it was always the police that only VIP pass holders were allowed to do this, but they never, not ever, enforced this policy.

This year they changed that, and of course two of the three people I had taken my wife and son to get photos with were extremely busy, and we had to wait for over an hour for both. If I would have been able to take them as I had in the years past, then we would have been done in a matter of 15 minutes or less.

So the Fast Pass was utterly wasted as I still had to join the regular lines in order to get the photos done.

When it comes down to it, I don’t do autographs – with the exception of the Aliens cast. If you want to know the story of how that started, just ask and I would be more than happy to relate it once again.

I digress.

It is no longer worth the extra cash for me to purchase the VIP or Fast Pass as they are now called. I threw away $300 on it, as the pass was over $400, and I could have purchased the regular weekend pass for $100.

Unless there are a mess of folks I really want to get my photo with in the future, and by myself, I will just use the regular pass instead.

I’d rather save my money.

Lesson learned.

So there you have it.

Another topic I was going to touch on in this blog is anime. Love it, hate it, or simply neutral to it, anime is part of our culture now.

Many years ago, during my youth, I watched some anime. I picked up a few VHS tapes of various anime shows like Dominion: Tank Police and Ranma ½.

Even back then I wasn’t huge into it, but did enjoy it occasionally. For the most part, I ignored it over the ensuing years.

About 18 months ago my son really wanted me to get into watching Attack on Titan. I even went as far as purchasing the first 24 episodes on DVD to watch, but never got around to it.

Much to my son’s disappointment.

What happened next you can blame on Youtube. One of my friends posted a clip from a anime series called Gate. It showed a couple of F4 Phantoms blowing the ever-living hell out of a couple of dragons, and then the grounded reptiles were hit by artillery.

I thought it was some of the coolest shit I had seen in years.

So I spent a few weeks looking around to see if I could purchase the DVD’s, and other than paying a minimum of $110 US on Amazon, my best bet was a streaming service called Crunchyroll.

It’s like $8 a month, so I figured… fuck it.

I watched the entire first two seasons over the week and I loved it! I had issues with it, but I liked the story, and for the most part, the characterization.

And it was pretty cool seeing the Japanese Defense Force kick some serious medieval ass.

However, and I did say I had several issues with the series, so I’ll explain them here. First and foremost – I don’t like the girls looking like they’re children. Especially the one named Rory Mercury. Even the main character Itami’s friend said she was a goth Lolita. As it turns out the character is 961 years old and is only a few decades from becoming a full goddess. One of the other main characters named Lelei is also a young 15 year old girl who is becoming a master mage.

let’s be honest. I prefer female characters to be mature women! Watching girls is seriously creepy to me.

The other issue I had was along this exact line. One of the diplomats in the show shows kindness 12 year old daughter of a noble family, and she falls in love with him and demands he become her husband when she turns 16.

What bothered me is he agreed near the end of the second season. Even went as far as to break rules which could have had serious dire consequences to save her.

Noble ideas, but the whole idea is as creepy as fuck to me.

And finally – even though nothing was really shown, I don’t like watching rape.

Ever.

Still, despite these issues, I really enjoyed this anime and after checking online, discovered it’s 24 episodes were two seasons, with the first season having been released during the Summer of 2015, and I’ll assume season 2 was released around the same time last year.

Oh and I did get a hell of a laugh out of one of the characters who is named, and I shit you not – Pina Co Lada.

Which of course raises the possibility that season 3 will may, hopefully, be released this summer.

I really want to see this series continue, despite my three misgivings.

I guess I’ll finally get around to watching Attack on Titan.

Told you this blog was going to be a long one!

The second to last topic I want to touch upon are several Kickstarters. I mentioned these over a few of my blogs last year, but sort of stopped talking about them.

I never did stop backing various games over the past several months. I’ll touch on the ones I have recently backed, which are still going. Take a gander at them and maybe they’ll tickle your fancy as well.

Dark Obelisk:Artifacts & Artifice Collection (Pathfinder/5E). This is a book covering magic items, artifacts as well as much more.

Diceborn Heroes: a co-op dice adventure game. Typically I don’t bother with these kinds of games, but it is by local Calgary boys!

And finally – Bullets and Teeth, a casual zombie card game where you can seriously fuck over your friends and fellow survivors.

Check them out!

Finally, I watched Alien: Covenant yesterday with my wife. This movie was a little above average for me, and it picks up 10 years after the events of Prometheus.

Lots of gore and a few more questions regarding the entire mythology around the Aliens series were answered, but even more questions remain untouched, and several new questions were brought up.

Already people are bitching and moaning about this movie, but if what I have heard is true, Ridley Scott has more planned. I’m going to make the assumption we will in fact see the ‘space jockey’ and the Engineer’s ship in the original Alien explained at long last in one of these

If you’re a fan of the Alien franchise, go see it.

And that’s it for this week.  This blog is nearly three times the usual length, so I guess I’m kind of making up for not posting in a very long time.

So, until next time, stay happy and hopefully you are all enjoying a great spring!