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Justin Bailey Samus Costume in SSBB
So Nintendo released this today: www.facebook.com/permalink.php…

In case you didn’t go check it out, it’s a screenshot of a costume option for Zero Suit Samus which has her dressed in basically a sports-bra outfit. An obvious nod to the “Justin Bailey” code from the original Metroid (or Zero Suit Mission but honestly who cares?).

I honestly wish I could get mad over this, but I’m frankly just sick and tired of this kinda crap. I already apparently “offended” people with my rants about her ugly ass high-heel-boots several months ago, and I don’t wish to go through with that again. Not to mention there does come a point where complaining about “fanservice” in a game ALL ABOUT FANSERVICE becomes kinda... gauche.

Just for the record though, I am not against this outfit per say. There is nothing wrong with wearing sports gear, and it shouldn't be demonized as such, but I also kinda wish more of the male characters were getting the same treatment. If anything it's actually an improvement over the hyper-sexualized Zero Suit costume by having clothing that actually makes sense for a change. But at the same time, his skin-tight outfit DOES kinda exemplify how AWFUL her anatomy is being treated for this game as nearly ALL of her poses look like she's got broken limbs now. So no, please don't take this journal as a "this outfit is awful and you should feel awful for like it" sort of message.

However... I will point out that the WAY in which Nintendo is unveiling this seems a little... strange. I find it kinda odd they had to stress that the person who finished these outfits on time was a “determined female designer.” As if that some how makes it ok? Because if a woman does it, it doesn’t mean it’s sexist or something, right? I dunno, maybe I’m reading too much into it but it did come across as kinda trying to defuse a bomb before it went off.

Zoe Quinn
I hesitate to even talk about this subject because I fear how quickly people are going to ignore my points and instead just regurgitate the bile and baggage that goes with talking about this person... kinda like how you can’t mention Anita Sarkeesian without getting into insane discussions and unpacking large amounts of baggage and biases.

Zoe Quinn is a female game designer. She made the game “Depression Quest,” a game designed to help show people who don’t understand depression how hard living with depression can actually be. And, because she’s a woman working on video games, she’s been the target of massive amounts of hate and harassment simply because her game got green-lit for Steam.

Recently a “games journalist” (i use the term loosely) posted a massive rant about how he use to date her and she cheated on him. If you manage to find the rant (I’m not linking because I refuse to give the scumbag any more attention than he deserves) it’s pretty nuts. It’s almost kinda sad how pathetic he comes across.

And this is the part I wanted to talk about... I don’t care how angry or hurt you are over being cheated on. No matter how high your emotions might run or how vindictive you might feel, posting personal information and slandering their name across the internet by using your journalistic connections and position is a SHITTY thing to do.

It is my opinion that all that stuff should be kept private, and that by posting it publicly you are one of the worse human beings on the planet. And while Zoe isn’t completely innocent in all this, I find it odd that everyone’s focusing on her and not the other guys she apparently cheated on the journalist with. Kinda like how when Kristen Stewart was caught cheating with director Rupert Sanders, no one seemed to give a crap about Rupert Sanders’ involvement in the cheating and instead just used it as an excuse to hate on Kristen Stewart. It takes two to tango, guys.

So yeah... Zoe shouldn’t have cheated, but that doesn’t give this “games journalist” license to post crap like that on the internet because he feels “used.” Part of being a grown up and being mature is NOT doing immature childish things like that. And honestly, all this has really done is just show how unprofessional “games journalists” are compared to ACTUAL journalists. Which is not something the games industry needed.

I also kinda find it a little sick that people are all “aww I’m so sorry depression made Robin Williams kill himself” while simultaneously saying “Zoe Quinn is a monster for cheating on him” without realizing that depression can make people defy their own ethics through self destruction.

Incidentally, in the wake of Robin Williams’s death at the hand of severe depression, Zoe Quinn decided to release Depression Quest for free. You can, if you want, pay a small amount of money as a donation, but you are not obligated to. If you’d like to try the game out, you can do so here: www.depressionquest.com/

Phil Fish Again
One last thing. This isn’t a “women in gaming” thing, but it does sorta relate to the previous story of Zoe Quinn.

Phil Fish (the creator of Fez and who recently quit the games industry after years of being bullied) recently took to twitter again. While he has been talking about video games and still voicing his opinion in his usual blunt unapologetic manner, it’s the way the news media was attracted to him that kinda pisses me off.

Seems to me like the news media cherry pick the tweets he makes to create story out of nothing. While Fish hasn’t really changed in voicing his opinions, it’s curious that all his POSITIVE tweets and opinions are being completely ignored in favor of writing many news articles about the one or two which aren’t.

Case in point, all last week Phil Fish has been EXTREMELY active in raising awareness about Ferguson and in retweeting news, stories, timetables, and whatever along with adding his two cents about government and racism issues in America. So what’s the news story about him this same week? “Phil Fish is at it again hating on gamers! lulz!”

Hmm...

I’m not here trying to defend Phil Fish or anything. I’m just saying that the way in which the news sites treat Phil Fish isn’t really as a person. They only seem to report on news articles which back up their already established vision of “this guy is an asshole.” And the same could be said of what Zoe Quinn is going through. It seems like cherry picking.

We are all human beings and we don’t really know one another. It’s at times like this I’m reminded of that quote from John Green: “What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.”
  • Mood: Sympathy
  • Watching: Muppets: Most Wanted
  • Playing: The Legend of Zelda (NES)
  • Eating: Pizza
  • Drinking: Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
I finally got to watch Amazing Spiderman 2 on DVD. Bad news is that it was so boring and full of tripe that I got bored with it. The good news is that I decided to live-tweet my experience watching it. I’ve compiled the event into this journal below, but you should be warned: there are spoilers. Though to be fair... the spoiler is from a comic written back in the 1970's so it really shouldn't be a "shock" or anything. ENJOY!

****

-Watching Amazing Spider-Man 2 for the first time. It's... Pretty bad so far and I'm only 20 mins in...
-Can we have ONE defining character trait for Peter? He seems to keep flip flopping between snarky badass and whiny angsty teen.
-"Subtle" is not a word I would use to describe this movie. It's like they think you're an idiot and can't comprehend simple storytelling.
-You can tell Jamie Foxx a nerd cuz he's clumsy and awkward and has big glasses and a pocket protector. This 2014 or 1954?
-How did you go from doing a documentary of Ray Charles to this? You're so much better than this film. You too Rhino dude.
-Gwen talks about how "life is fleeting" and uses the word "falling" in her speech. Gee... Could that be foreshadowing something?????????????
-What the hell? Is that a tv showing local news in the elevator? I thought it was a floor prompt? Does it show Dorra when the news isn't on?
-Death bed exposition time.
-Ah ok. So he becomes the green goblin because it's genetic with a disease that looks like no other disease ever recorded in human history.
-Wouldn't you hate to work somewhere that announced in detail exactly what your job was every time you walked through the doors?
-Note to self: being electrocuted fixes your teeth.
-"We had history, though we've never indicated we ever did before." Harry and Peter -a love story.
-"Hey! Remember how you dumped me? I don't think you meant it! Haha!" -Peter
-Have you figured out this is the "amazing" Spider-Man yet? It's not like they haven't dropped the word "amazing" a million times yet...
-Really? Why is stalking someone always portrayed as romantic in teen dramas? I don't get it.. Why isn't she creeped out?
-At least it makes sense no one noticed a bright blue guy walking through time square. Blue Man Group has a show in NYC.
-Who's commandeering all the advertisements in time square? Is that something any news station can just DO?
-Well that's not accurate at all. Why are all the news stories on tv so clean and free of tickers tweets and inane chatter at the bottom?
-Haha. No "bing!" Sponsorship this time!
-"He can do everything else a spider can" .... Except shoot webs. For that he has to make his own web shooters cuz... Logic?
-"I need his blood" plotline again? Wasn't that the first movie? And TMNT?
-At least I'll give the characters this: They tell each other what's wrong. I hate when character withhold vital info to further plot. Kudos!
-Really? I wonder how many scientists really work while the Blue Danube plays in the background. This movie is like a live action TVtropes.
-Peter's dad's research is really... Boring... As a plot device.
-Not sure what happened. The movie was going at a nice clip but then it just died...
-How and when did his father have time to build this secret lab? How is the computer still on the download screen? Was it on this whole time?
-"we discovered you have discovered our secrets. But we're not gonna tell any of our staff you're basically a liability now." Walks right in!
-I like this movie. Makes me feel smart. I knew peter's blood was important from the first movie. Did it really take this long to reveal it?
-Huh. I didn't know when you stop recording a digital file it adds a second of analogue static to show it ended. It's the little details.
-Harry and Electro's deal is actually very believable and good motivation. Props where props are due.
-How does Electro's suit and clothing work? Is it part of him? Is he making it up? Where did it done from?
-Injecting serum into someone's blood stream like that takes a LOT of skill, especially with such shaky hands. He must've been a nurse.
-So the doors open if you crawl towards them? That's neat. What would've happened if he had choses the doc-oc claws instead?
-Ok wait. They set up that the suit "heals" people earlier... So.. Why didn't he make THAT a priority?
-Yeah... Putting the ENTIRE city on a single grid was a STUPID idea.
-Wow is this movie really gonna go this route? Airplane headed towards NYC and they're flying blind and could crash?
-Earlier fights looked better. This fight looks like a cheap PS3 cut scene.
-Itsy bitsy spider? Really? What's with all the musical cues all of a sudden? He's not music based, he's electrical.
-Poor Gwen... If only she listened to her "man" and wasn't so "independent" maybe she wouldn't have died! Nice message to send eh?
-No! Don't kill Dennis Leary again!!!
-So why can't the 2 airplanes see each other? As far as I can tell the skies were clear and the planes still had lights on them...
-Also Spider-man doesn't know anything about those planes. So that's kinda a pointless trick to raise tension. He's under no time constraint.
-Lol. In case you were too stupid to follow the dialogue that said "batteries overload" the villain has a gauge to show he'll overload. Wow.
-Hey look at that! A villain who can put two and two together and figures out Spider-man's identity using logic! Ok props to that too!
-In case you didn't get the "time runs out" metaphor... Random clock tower in the middle of a power grid for no reason!
-Heh. He's got a Swiss Army knife.
-Time runs out. Life hanging by a thread. Cutting life's string. Clocks! Time! Inevitability! You can't stop it! ARE WE CLEVER YET?
-Oh come on. Web shooter fingers? Also they sure are going slow compared to when he could hook buildings thousands of feet away in a flash...
-I should feel sad. But mostly I'm just bored. Oh! Well ok then. Enough of that scene. That was quick.
-Soooooooooo what about the goblin? He in jail? I mean, Spider-Man knew to lock him up right? Right?
-Wait. Why is Spider-Man gone? When did that happen? We didn't see that happen...
-What? 5 months have passed? It's barely been a minute since Gwen died. Who locked up Harry? Why are people listening to him?
-Isn't it great they killed Gwen just so Spider-Man can flirt unattached to kinky cat women criminals? Can't wait to see THAT in Spider-Man 3
-Who was recording that speech? I don't remember there being a cameraman directly in front of her...
-Spider-Man 2 did the "I can't be Spider-Man arc over the course of an entire film. Amazing Spider-Man 2 did it in under 5 minutes. Just to be clear: that's not a compliment...
-New York is weird. Someone's shooting up the place and rather than run away, people line up on the sidelines to watch.
-What the hell Rhino? SHOOT HIM! He's right there! Out in the open just STANDING there! You have guns! SHOOT!
-What? We don't even get to see the fight with Paul Giamatti!? Lame.
-So AS2 is marginally better than AS1. But yeah.. Not a good sign when I'd rather tweet my experience watching than actually watch it vanilla
-It had some good moments. Will grant it that. But mostly I was just trying to figure out why there were so many gaps and plot contrivances.
-Sorry guys. In my opinion the first Spider-Man trilogy is still the best. And yes I'm including 3 on that list too.
-Gwen was WAY better than Mary Jane but... Well... Can't really DO anything with her character now... Cuz she dead.
-And how wonderful that her death affected Spider-Man for all of 5 minutes of screen time. That REALLY built character development alright...
-Should've ended when she died. But nah! Gotta lay groundwork for Sinister 6 and Amazing Spider-Man 3! Franchise building is more important!
  • Mood: Stumped
  • Listening to: Prince Ali
  • Watching: Amazing Spider-Man 2
  • Playing: The Legend of Zelda (NES)
  • Eating: Pizza
  • Drinking: Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
First off, I wanna state that I am not a journalist. This whole ordeal has been extremely messy and filled with a lot of conflicting information, so chances are what I write here might not be 100% accurate or be based on slightly incorrect information. I’ll do my best to explain it simply, but if you really want to know what’s going on it’s probably best to just google it yourself because... really... this is a mess. I'm sure plenty of other people will add info in the comments below or links to appropriate videos/tweets.

What happened here in Missouri
It all started when a cop shot an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown for “jaywalking” in Ferguson, Missouri. Witnesses say Michael Brown, 18, had raised his hands to surrender when the shots were fired. Police have not confirmed that information.

Shortly afterwards a group of people approached the police department in peaceful protest and demanded answers and information, a lot of which the police were withholding (such as the shooter’s name). The protesters were met with force. Monday night, officers in riot gear lobbed tear gas at the angry crowds.

People began protesting during the day, but at night cops would walk through the city and shoot tear gas at people and fire on them with rubber bullets and used sonar crowd controlling tactics. It’s been rumored that a lot of the looting was actually being done by neighboring cities who would come in and ransack Ferguson, and that THAT is why the police were patrolling with such force... but it’s not been confirmed to my knowledge.

Due to the craziness of the events, Ferguson was shut down and a “no fly zone” was erected over the town. Because no one could get in or out, or even go to school, there were donation drives designed to help the people who couldn’t get access to food.

Thursday a new police chief took charge of the department and immediately went about trying to calm things down by ordering the officers to forgo gas masks and riot gear. Since then things have calmed down a lot, but there’s still a lot of unanswered questions.

Today they’ve released the name of the officer that killed Michael Brown: Darren Wilson. They’ve also released a security tape which implicates Brown in potentially being part of a robbery at a convenience store... although you should note that Darren Wilson was not aware of any robbery when he gunned down Michael Brown for “walking in the middle of the street.” There are also conflicting information, including the time of the robbery and the location of the shooting, which do not match well at all.

This is, unfortunately, not new to America. Nearly every week a minority is gunned down or killed by police, usually unarmed. What happened here was just the latest explosion from a simmering boiling pot. Peaceful protesters were met with riot gear and fired upon unprovoked, and it’s REALLY hard not to see this as anything other than outright racism/hate-crime on the part of the police.

Like I said. Some of my information might be wrong, and I frankly don’t want to play “journalist” and have to try and keep this info up to date or accurate. Please, if you’re interested in helping or just want to know what’s going on, do a google search.

I’ll provide a few links to help get y’all started:
www.nytimes.com/2014/08/16/us/…
www.usatoday.com/story/news/us…
www.usatoday.com/story/news/na…

Petition to sign for “Mike Brown” Law: Requiring all police officers to wear cameras: petitions.whitehouse.gov/petit…

Social Media
It’s pretty clear that the cops are trying to put their best face forward, despite the mounting evidence that they were clearly in the wrong for a LOT of the injustice that happened this past week. Thanks to social media outlets such as twitter, tumblr, and Facebook, a lot of the things they want to cover up are now being spread across the internet. This is one of the few times where I think social media plays a VERY important roll in uncovering the truth.
  • Mood: Anger
  • Listening to: Prince Ali
  • Watching: Dead Poets Society
  • Playing: The Legend of Zelda (NES)
  • Eating: Pizza
  • Drinking: Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
I honestly didn’t mean to come back so suddenly, but the news from earlier today just hit home very hard and I felt the need to say something to y’all.

Robin Williams Passes Away
Robin Williams passes away today at the relatively young age of 63. The earliest reports so far seem to confirm that it was a suicide by asphyxiation. He had been battling severe depression for quite some time now, and it seems that it ultimately did him in. Robin Williams was one of the first actors who’s career I began to follow as a kid, owing largely to his involvement in Disney’s Aladdin as the Genie.

I remember a story Stephen Spielberg told about when he was filming Schindler’s List. While over in Germany, Robin Williams would call Stephen up every night to tell him a joke because the story of Schindler’s List was so depressing and difficult to film Stephen needed the pick-me-ups.

It’s incredibly sad that Robin ultimately took his own life like this. Depression is, unfortunately, a chemical imbalance in the brain and requires constant treatment and help. The brain, like any other organ in your body, can get sick too, but because it’s not readily visible people often go without treatment for a long time.

Goodbye Robin Williams. You were a talented actor and an amazing comedian. You will be sorely missed.

My Own Battle with Depression
If you remember about 2 years back I took a 6 month hiatus. I mentioned at the time that my health was declining and that I was losing weight at a rapid and unhealthy rate. At the time I was dealing with some very severe mental health issues, which included depression.

Dealing with depression is so frustrating. Sometimes just getting out of bed is an accomplishment. And the stigma associated with it due to people not understanding it’s effects can be even more frustrating. “Just be happy” “Just get up and stop moping!” “You’ve got nothing to be depressed about!” As if it were just that easy...

I, however, was lucky in that I was able to seek out medial help. I eventually got better through medication and therapy. And while occasionally I will have a relapse every now and then, I know that I am ultimately much healthier and happier than I was during that time. I look back on where I was 2 years ago and it’s amazing how different things are now.

Thank You
And one of the things that helped me out were all of the thank you’s from fans. Anonymous people who sent me really sweet messages over the years saying how they were battling depression and that my comics (be it SYAC or brentalfloss or whatever) helped cheer them up and get them through their day. Like I said, sometimes just making it through the day is an amazing accomplishment, and it warms my heart to know that in some small way I was apart of that for some people.

So to any of my fans who either have depression or know someone who does, thank you so much for making it through one more day. Thank you for being here. Thank you for being the awesome and amazingly strong person you are. Depression and other mental health problems are not easy to fight, and they can often make you feel like you’re going it alone. But you are not. You can fight it. And we appreciate the fact that you do and are here with us now. So thank you once again.

If there’s one good thing to come out of Robin Williams’s death, it’s the spreading of awareness of depression and information on how to get help or treatment. Please, please PLEASE, if you have depression or you know someone who does, do whatever you can to seek help. There are a lot of non-profit groups who can assist you if you need help. Speak up to your parents, or your doctor, or your friends. Depression can make it feel like it’s you against the rest of the world, but it really does not have to be that way.
  • Mood: Gloomy
  • Listening to: Friend Like Me
  • Watching: Jumanji
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Eating: Pizza
  • Drinking: Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
I’ve been in a BAD mood this past weekend. My tolerance level for apologists and ignorant statements is at an all time low. None of this was helped by the shitty TMNT movie becoming THE biggest blockbuster of the summer, beating out Guardians of the Galaxy and already spawning a sequel (possibly a trilogy). Got disillusioned when witnessing an industry professional I really respect fall into the DC vs Marvel fanboyism mindset and say some rather unprofessional things. Just finished having a REALLY stupid fight over women’s rights. And getting really sick and tired of people saying I don’t have a right to be upset over the new TMNT movie without giving money to see it myself, despite that being the whole basis of my previous journal which I elaborated on ad nauseam.

Bottom line guys... I need a break from the internet. I don’t know what that’s gonna mean for NSYAC, or SYAC. Maybe there will be new comics, but probably not this week. I’ll probably still reblog stuff on twitter and maybe occasionally make a post on facebook... but for right now I just need to recuperate and get into a better head-space. I don’t want my shitty attitude to drag everyone else down.

No worries. I’ll be back. Probably only gonna take a week or two off. Nothing dramatic or anything, just need to feel better.
  • Mood: Shitty
  • Listening to: Daft Punk - Harder Better Faster Stronger
  • Watching: An Idiot Abroad - Season 2
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Eating: Pizza
  • Drinking: Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
Got a long journal head of you. I tried to break it up a bit so you can skim parts.

It appears some people were a little less than happy with the idea that I’m not going to see the new TMNT movie, yet have already formed a negative opinion about it. Some people, who don’t understand what the word means, are calling this “hypocritical” since I often ask that people try to see both sides of an issue, so taking a definitive stance here with (what appears to be to them) incomplete data is wrongheaded of me. So now I gotta write this journal to explain my actions better. Hope you’re happy ‘bout that...

It’s just a movie! Why does it matter?
Because it’s not JUST a movie. Movies do not exist in a vacuum. How well (or bad) a movie does informs YEARS of upcoming movies and careers. Thousands of people’s jobs are dictated on the whim of what the box office rankings are for opening weekend. A now famous example is Guillermo Del Toro:

Del Toro wanted to make a passion project film called “At the Mountains of Madness.” He was courted by Universal Studios to do the film, got everyone on board, spent years researching and creating the effects... only to have the film NOT be green-lit because Scott Pilgrim failed at the box office. A movie he wasn’t even associated with.

And similarly related.. Michael Bay wanted to do a passion project film called “Pain and Gain,” but studio executives wouldn’t greenlight the project unless he did the Transformers sequels. Despite Bay not really giving a crap about them, he was forced to slog through the 2 sequels before being allowed to make the ONE movie he actually DID care about.

So that’s why “it matters.” Bad movies succeeding can cause potentially good movies to not even make it to the screen.

It’s just for Kids, so of course there are dick jokes!
Fuck you if you think this is a good excuse. The whole “it’s just for kids, so we shouldn’t even bother trying to make something decent.” Fuck that whole mindset. What a load of crap. You know, you can have dumb humor without resorting to immature humor. You can make kids movies without being disrespectful of their intelligence. Just look at pretty much every Disney movie in existence as proof.

You can’t judge a movie you haven’t seen!
I absolutely can. That’s what trailers are for. That’s what critics are for. That’s what clips and interviews are for. They’re all tools studios use to help influence your JUDGEMENT trying to persuade you to put money down on their product. And movies are entirely different from Video Games (where the gameplay affects your judgement) or books (where a single sentence at the end of a good book can completely change the meaning of the whole story). Movies exist in a space where for about 2 hours you sit there and passively absorb thing shown to you.

And it’s not like I’ve come to this conclusion on a whim either. I’ve been following the development of this movie SINCE IT WAS ANNOUNCED. I’ve followed the troubled script, the bizarre casting choices, had to sit through the disturbing character designs, watching as the studio flubs their intentions, etc etc. I’ve actually spent probably more mental attention to this film than nearly everyone combined has going to see it in theaters.

I don’t NEED to see the film to know what I think about this movie, just like I don’t NEED to see Guardians of the Galaxy to know what to think about THAT movie. Movies are one of the rare exceptions where you usually CAN “judge a book by it’s cover.”

BTW: as a side note (because I know someone will bring it up) I would expect the same of people viewing MY content as well. I do not by any stretch of the imagination expect people to read the 300+ comic strips of SYAC to know if they “like” it or not. That would be asinine of me. You should not, nor do I expect you to, have to go through everything I’ve ever produced to get an idea on if you like my work or not. So why should a movie be any different? If I’ve seen enough clips and behind the scenes things to determine “nope, this is not for me,” why is that “not enough” for some of you?

You’re one of those “this movie ruined my childhood memories” people
No I am not.

See, this is the part getting ignored about my criticisms against this film. I do not begrudge it existing. If producer Michael Bay wants to make a TMNT movie, then by all means let him. My problem isn’t that they “butchered my nostalgic memories” of TMNT... my problem is that it’s just a BAD MOVIE IN GENERAL.

The general consensus from critics is that this is the WORSE iteration of the TMNT franchise to date, including TMNT 3: Turtles in Time. I don’t begrudge Michael Bay for making a movie. I begrudge Michael Bay for making a BAD movie.

You just hate Michael Bay
No, actually, I do not. In fact there are a couple movies of his that I ENJOY. I liked “The Rock” and I liked “Armageddon.” I also even enjoyed the first “Transformers” movie to a degree. I think he has a unique and recognizable style and I do not hate the man since he’s usually very passionate about what he DOES like.

But Bay can be lazy at times. Like mentioned before, he didn’t really want to do the other two Transformers sequels. He only did them because the studios pretty much forced him to do them... and it shows. Go watch “Pain and Gain” and compare it to the transformers sequels and tell me which one has more passion put behind it.

(Also it should be noted that Michael Bay didn’t even MAKE this movie. He only produced it, which means he funded the film. He wasn’t directing it. So I don’t even really “hate him” for doing TMNT since he didn’t really have much to do with it.)

If you want to make fun of it, go see it.
Uh.. No.

I’ve asked people to not see the movie this opening weekend because I want the movie to suffer as a result. I am NOT asking for a boycott, because I know people WILL see the movie anyway. I am only asking that people not see it for opening weekend because that is where the most money will be made and determine if the movie is a hit or a flop. If you want to spend money to see the film, by all means do so. That’s your choice.

However, it’s also MY choice to not spend money on it. I do not want my money going to the studios. I do not want to support this film in any way. So no, I will not be seeing the movie until it comes out on DVD when the damage is pretty much over.

This is the same reason I won’t watch movies like “Enders Game.” The writer of that particular film is big into the anti-gay agenda, and I can’t support him for it. Voting with my wallet is pretty much the ONLY choice I have in Hollywood.

I just wanna turn my brain off and watch explosions
First off, why the hell are there explosions in a TMNT movie? There should be kung-fu fighting with swords and weapons and lots of martial arts movies akin to a Jackie Chan movie. That aside, I still hate this mentality: The idea that a shitty movie becomes good if you turn off your brain. Fuck that.

Like I’ve mentioned before, pretty much all of the Marvel movies so far are popcorn mindless entertainment. You can watch practically every single one by shutting off your brain and having fun. You don’t have to think about deep meanings. Nobody working on them is gonna win an oscar for best “performance.” And there are a lot of explosions and crazy set pieces to keep everyone entertained.

They’re also just... well.. BETTER MOVIES.

Ya know... movies like Independence Day, 2012, and White house Down are dumb movies. But they're dumb movies that are WELL MADE. 2012 has some amazing set pieces and knows just how to wrangle the special effects to give you everything you could hope to see in a disaster movie. White house down is die-hard in the white house with obama. Independence Day set the precedent of the summer blockbuster experience. They're all stupid stupid movies... but they're WONDERFULLY executed. The people making them ENJOYED making them. They had FUN with what they produced... and it SHOWS!

That’s pretty much my issue here. I reject the notion that action films can’t be competently well made. I reject the belief that if an explosion goes off it automatically makes the movie “bearable” to watch. I reject the idea that we should settle for less when MILLIONS OF DOLLARS are being spent on these films. I reject the idea that bad acting should be given a free pass because “it’s for kids.” All of those things are toxic poisonous mindsets that only go to lessen the movie watching experience for everyone.

to borrow a quote from user NWolfman:
The "turn your brain off" mentality implies that the creators of something strictly entertaining can't take their project any more seriously than the audience. And it perpetuates the belief that making something truly great is too difficult or is too complicated for someone of average intelligence.

In the end, tho, the ones to blame for movies like Ninja Turtles are the people who go to see them, because all they do is prove the studio moguls right that they will be entertained by anything they're told to. When expectations are lowered, standards are lowered and effort become weaker and eventually it gets so bad that we hit rock bottom.


The Bottom Line
I am not saying you are stupid for liking the new TMNT.
I am not saying you can’t enjoy the new TMNT.
I am not saying Michael Bay shouldn’t be allowed to make a TMNT movie if he wants to.
I am not saying this movie ruined TMNT.

What I am saying is that it severely depresses me to see people bend over backwards and be apologetic towards a movie that insults your intelligence, wastes the talents of all the people involved, and ultimately produces an inferior version of things we’ve already got. I can see the ripple effect this movie is going to have on upcoming films, and it annoys the crap out of me. I don’t want this movie to succeed because I know what it means for future projects, and what it says about us collectively as a people.

This TMNT film is the movie equivalent of Rob Liefield and comics from the 90’s. Pumped up on testosterone to look “bad ass,” filled with vapid and stupid characters, women who are only there for attractiveness, and designed to play up the notion that this is a “mature” film when it’s actually grossly “immature.” Violence, muscles, adult speak, and sexual innuendoes are not inherently “mature.” Often times movies (and video games for that matter) add these elements because it makes it LOOK more mature than it actually is. This is not to say that a violent, sex filled, adventure movie can’t be good or mature... but that the way it’s often done is grossly immature.

It’s kinda like how The Dark Night and Watchmen were trying to make a point through their violence and adult themes... but comic artists at the time didn’t understand this so they just added violence to THEIR books in an attempt to emulate the same thing... losing all the context and substance that makes The Dark Night and Watchmen staples of comic book history today.

It depresses me that in the year 2014... this same mentality (that ultimately brought down the comic book industry in the 90’s) is STILL in effect today in mainstream movies. It depresses me that we can just throw money at special effects, ignore acting and editing and competent film making, and still make a “hit movie.”

THAT is why this movie offends me so much. THAT is why I won’t be seeing it. THAT is why I’m encouraging people to wait at least a week before seeing it. When shit like this does well... we’re only encouraging more of the same. Why bother making a Lord of the Rings or a Captain America 2: Winter Solider when dredge like THIS makes millions?

And by the way... something like this has happened before. Disney in the 70’s and early 80’s was failing with their films. Their movie The Dark Cauldron got killed at the box office by... The Carebears Movie. Seriously. And from that bad experience, Disney was thinking about closing their department and quitting doing 2-D films entirely. After all.. why bother putting money into something that can be beaten by a film that cheap and poorly produced?

So yeah... I’m not against this movie being made. I think we should have a new live action TMNT movie. I’m against a movie being put together this badly. With obvious script issues, bad acting, bad special effects, contrived plots, and shallow boring pointless moviegoing experiences. I WANT there to be EFFORT put into this type of movie. I want the actors to CARE about what they’re doing. When Megan Fox says “fans need to fuck off complaining because they’ll see it anyway”... she’s right. And that depresses me to my core.
  • Mood: Frustrated
  • Listening to: Daft Punk - Harder Better Faster Stronger
  • Watching: An Idiot Abroad - Season 2
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Eating: Pizza
  • Drinking: Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
One of the things that irritates the crap out of me is when people say “sometimes I just like to turn my brain off and enjoy a good explosion.” This has been cropping up a lot lately in the wake of the new Michael Bay produced TMNT movie, and I can’t tell you how pissed it makes me.

Here’s the thing... turning your brain off doesn’t mean having to give up on competent filmmaking. I would argue that pretty much ALL of the Marvel movies so far have been mindless popcorn entertainment. None of the plots are “challenging,” they general don’t tackle “big existential themes,” and they’re littered with amazing set pieces and action sequences. The reason the Marvel movies succeed is because they’re competently put together.

It’s the difference between a McDonalds burger and one at a real restaurant. Both are probably bad for you health wise, but the one at a real restaurant is gonna look and taste so much better. And in this hypothetical you’re essentially paying the same price for both of them so... why would you choose the inferior quality?

Transformers 4 was as cookie-cutter summer action as you could get... and it put me to sleep. I literally fell asleep while watching it because it was so boring. Not because there weren’t explosions or chases or fancy CGI graphics. But because they were put together in such a way that I just got tired of looking at it. That’s not competent filmmaking. A competent filmmaker should never bore you during an action scene.

And that’s ultimately what this new TMNT movie is... it’s the lazies, stupidest, blandest, most boring piece of crap to come out this summer... and it’s gonna make millions and probably spawn 2-3 more sequels as a result. It’s times like this I get severely depressed for humanity. We like to think that we’re smarter and more intelligent than we collectively really are.

Inappropriate Dialogue Needed
Alright, to anyone who DOES go see the new TMNT movie... can y'all do me a favor? Can you just try to remember the dialogue Michelangelo says to April throughout the film? Apparently one of the "gags" of the movie is they made Michelangelo incredibly horny, so he keeps making inappropriate comments whenever he's around April O'Neil.

I'd like to take those quotes and dialogue exchanges and transpose them into a comic using the 1980's cartoon character models and style to show how terribly inappropriate and offensive this all is. I think the juxtaposition would be hilarious.

So to anyone in my watch-list who does go see, please do me this one little favor and report back to me so I can make this comic come alive? Please?
  • Mood: Tired
  • Listening to: I'm Blue - Eiffel 65
  • Watching: An Idiot Abroad - Season 2
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Drinking: Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
Warner Bros Caves To Peer Pressure
Hey, remember how cool it was going to be that “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” was going to premiere on the same day as “Captain America 3” in 2016? Remember how Marvel/Disney said “we’re not gonna budge or be bullied into changing our schedule?” Remember how we effectively would’ve had a Marvel vs DC movie stand off? Yeah well that’s no more. Warner Bros/DC changed their release date for “Batman v Superman” to March 25th 2016 instead.

On the surface this looks like good news for the consumer. After all, this way we can pay for BOTH movies instead of having to choose one, right? However, the optics of this move look VERY BAD for Warner Bros/DC. After “Guardians of the Galaxy” just made a KILLING at the box office this past weekend, being one of the highest grossing Marvel movie releases EVER... having Warner Bros suddenly swap out this movie’s release date makes it look like they’re not at all confident in their property.

Standing their ground, in this instant, would’ve sent home the message “yes, we really believe in our property so much that we’re willing to put it up against Captain America 3. We really do have the balls to go through with that.” But now? Now it sends the uncomfortable message that they DON’T think this new “Batman v Superman” movie is strong enough to withstand Captain America 3’s opening.

Source: www.escapistmagazine.com/news/…

Avengers 2: Age of Ultron Wrapped Up
Joss Whedon tweeted the other day that Age of Ultron has finished filming (ie: wrapped up). Of course this means that the movie now goes into the tedious editing and post-production process where all the cool special effects and stuff come to life, so we still have quite a ways to go before the movie comes out next year, (and there of course might be pick-up shooting needed to be done) but still! Anyone excited for Avengers 2 yet?
  • Mood: Approval
  • Listening to: I'm Blue - Eiffel 65
  • Watching: An Idiot Abroad - Season 2
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Drinking: Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
Thankfully, Randy Queen has seen the error of his ways and has retracted his threats of legal action against tumblr blog EscherGirls. Today he made a blog post detailing that he wasn’t really in the best frame of mind when he began the process, owing largely to his deteriorating mental stability due to the loss of his mother and his marriage. Which is perfectly understandable, and I sincerely hope that he’s able to work through that and get better.

And I’m also sincerely happy that he was able to see that things were not on his side and to be the better man and admit his mistake too. It really gives me hope going forward, both for myself and for any other artist out there who might find themselves in similar situations.

You can read about the apology here: www.themarysue.com/randy-queen…
  • Mood: Approval
  • Listening to: I'm Blue - Eiffel 65
  • Watching: An Idiot Abroad - Season 2
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Drinking: Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
As of this moment, the reputation of comic artist Randy Queen is being quickly eroded away to almost nothing within a matter of hours. The inciting incident of him issuing take down notices for a tumblr blog posting “corrections” of his artwork is doing more harm to him than if he just left it alone. But in the comments to the journal where I went into more detail about this whole debacle (link here if you’re interested: tompreston.deviantart.com/jour… ), I noticed a couple people wondering aloud why anyone really gives a crap about “reputations” in the first place.

So I thought that might be an interesting point of discussion here. Do you think reputations are important?

There’s a lot of evidence, in my opinion, that yes they are. If you (either as a person or a company) have good reputation, people are more willing to forgive you little mistakes or promote you when you do something right. But if you have a bad reputation, it can be neigh impossible to get any good will on your side even if you do everything right.

I know that I personally deal a lot with my bad reputation. The hate blogs and ED articles are usually the first thing found on google if you search for my name, so their take on who I am becomes the one more people are familiar with. That has often had disastrous consequences whenever I meet/interact with new people, as their preconceived notion is to treat everything I say or do as being suspect. That makes it really hard to get a good dialogue going when people already assume from the start that you’re trying to pull the wool over their eyes.

And then of course there are some people who’s reputation is so bad, you don’t even need to say anything about them. Just say their name and you can get thousands of people voicing their righteous indignation that they share the same planet with them. People like Justing Bieber. Megan Fox. Michael Bay. Miley Cyrus. Obama. Etc, etc.

I ultimately think reputations ARE important and you really SHOULD care about yours. But at the same time, I think trying to manage your reputation can have severe consequences, such as how I tried to hide my fetish work out of fear it would negatively taint my reputation... which resulted in myself tainting my own reputation.

So what do you guys think? Are reputations important? Can you self manage them? Should you self manage them? Should people care about them? What’re your opinions on the matter, because I honestly think this is a topic not often discussed and I am genuinely curious.
  • Mood: Questionable
  • Listening to: I'm Blue - Eiffel 65
  • Watching: An Idiot Abroad
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Drinking: Earl Grey Tea, Hot
I’ve covered this topic before in a previous journal, but since this is big news now I thought it best to reiterate it: Filing copyright take-down claims for the vast majority of outlets on the internet is frivolous, futile, and usually results in the exact opposite happening of what you intend.

Randy Vs tumblr
Eschergirls, in case you weren't aware, is a hilarious blog where bad female anatomy (and especially the boobs + butt poses women often are contorted into) are put on display to be made fun of, but also for artists to show how simple fixes can completely change a drawing. It's a great website and I strongly recommend you watch their stuff.

For those who don’t know the story, Randy Queen (comic artist and creator of Darkchylde) has filed DMCA take down notices with the tumblr blog eschergirls: eschergirls.tumblr.com/ The reason, it seems, is that he didn’t like the idea of people critiquing his questionable anatomy of female characters and attempted to “delete” these posts from the internet.

But, as we all know, trying to delete things from the internet usually has the exact OPPOSITE effect. And right now, Randy Queen is THE biggest story about professional artists being “unable to handle criticism” and getting savaged by everyone who comes across the story. The more Randy protests about his working being critiques, the more it’s going to eventually come back to bite him in the ass. And I know this because I’ve been there/done that.

I did it too
When I quit making fetish art around 2006-2007ish, I did so by taking it all down from all the places I posted it online. I was being harassed by some pretty loud people, and I was young and stupid. I thought that if I took it down, no one could trace it back to me. And I was VERY wrong. It quickly came back to bite me, as did all my ignorant comments to the trolls reposting my old art in my face.

Similarly, a wiki page for me was created over on icanhascheeseburger, using the exact copy/paste from the Encyclopedia Dramatica article about me. When I found out I tried to report it and get it removed, not because I was trying to stifle criticism, but because the info provided there wasn’t about me being a meme (which is the whole purpose of the website). My attempts to remove the page were noticed by the posters, and as a result I still get brandished to this day for trying to “stifle criticism of my work” despite all I was really trying to do was make the page more accurate to it’s purpose.

Not Worth The Time
See, that’s the thing about criticism. No matter how much you might hate getting it... it’s gonna exist. I personally don’t like a lot of the criticism that I get (though to be fair the levels of criticism i generally get are astronomical compared to many of my peers), but I also have the whereabouts to know that trying to get criticism taken down is a bad idea. As of this moment, there are at least a dozen fake Tom Preston/ Andrew Dobson/ CattyN accounts on DeviantArt. And I’m not gonna do a damn thing to get them removed because it’s not worth the effort.

And when people reblog my stuff or repost it without my permission... I don’t really care about that anymore either. As long as I am credited for the work, that’s all I care about. I’m not gonna try to get people to remove my work from various websites, because it’s a losing battle. You spend weeks on end trying to get something taken down, only for another post to go right up a day after you succeed. Not worth the hassle. Especially when “fair use” comes into play. And the more you protest, the more popular it's going to become as a story.

Free Speech
And that’s what bugs me about this whole Randy Queen issue. Eschergirls CLEARLY had the right to “fair use” when posting his work in their blog for criticism. He may not have liked what they said, but it doesn’t matter. They were legally in the right here. He was not. And, from the reports that have been floating around, he may have filed a fake DMCA notice... to which tumblr just accepted it blindly and deleted the posts without even bothering to check it’s validity. It’s that level of vindictiveness that turns people against you, and the past 24 hours is going to be a defining moment in Randy Queen’s career.

So Randy Queen? Take it from someone who’s been there and screwed up already. Let it go. Just let it go and keep making your comics and your books and whatever. Let this be a lesson on what NOT to do on the internet. You’re making the rest of us comic artists look bad. Please... just drop it and let it go. Maybe apologize for causing drama, but I don’t really expect that at all. Just... drop it.

Sources:
eschergirls.tumblr.com/post/93…
www.i4u.com/2014/08/80705/rand…
philsandifer.tumblr.com/post/9…
www.popehat.com/2014/08/05/ran…
  • Mood: Frustrated
  • Listening to: I'm Blue - Eiffel 65
  • Watching: An Idiot Abroad
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Drinking: Earl Grey Tea, Hot
Reviews from critics are already coming in for the upcoming Michael Bay produced TMNT movie and... lo-and-behold... they’re pretty shit. Over on Rotten Tomatoes it’s already got a score of 38%.

One of the prevailing themes of the new movie, apparently, is that everything is predestined. April was predestined to meet the turtles, and the turtles were predestined to become mutants. Everyone is connected to everyone else in ways that are flabbergastingly stupid. So much for random chance creating the turtles... Another theme is that this is more or less April O’ Neil’s movie. Not the ninja turtles. April is the main character. April is the focus of the film. The turtles are there, but they’re side characters in the same way the Autobots were side characters in the Transformers films.

The reason I’m bringing this up here now before the film is even out is because... well... I want it to fail. That’s a little selfish, I know, but I honestly don’t think we can trust that audiences will NOT go see it. Look at the Transformers films for crying out loud. 4 films. All of them awful. Yet people KEEP going to see them. They keep making money. No matter what critics say about the films... the studios don’t hear that. All they hear is the cash-register sound as money keeps flowing in, so they keep greenlighting these shitty movies because people keep watching them.

So I kinda hope that if any of you love the TMNT series/franchise... you’ll skip the movie. At least for the opening weekend. See, the opening weekend is THE most important time for a new film, because those opening box office receipts dictate what the studios will do next. Studios wait for the feedback from opening weekend, then plan out the future of many movies to come, green-lighting sequels or canceling other productions. So it’s imperative that if we want this to fail, opening weekend has to look bad.

I wanna be clear here, I’m not calling for a boycott. Just wait a week or two before you see it. I’d preferably wait till it’s on DVD, or at the Red Box... someplace cheap like that, but I know that a lot of you probably want to see if it’s really as bad as it seems. So that’s all I’m asking... just wait a week or two before ya see it. Let that damage it’s weekend gross so that the studios realize “hey, this isn’t working like we thought.”

I mean, take a look at SONY. They had a whole lineup of Spiderman movies in the works... but because Amazing Spiderman 2 did so poorly, there’s talk and rumors now that they’ve scaled back, afraid to spend so much money on a wasted effort. So please... let the new TMNT follow in Amazing Spiderman 2’s footsteps. It’s our only line of defense in determining what movies get made and what ones don’t.
  • Mood: Annoyed
  • Listening to: I'm Blue - Eiffel 65
  • Watching: Captain America: The First Avenger
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Drinking: Earl Grey Tea, Hot
One of the things I hate about the internet is how quickly news spreads... often incorrect news. Earlier today rumors were flying around that Studio Ghibli was closing. Then they were confirmed by a TV interview. However it seems that TV interview was slightly mistranslated resulting in people freaking out WAY more than was necessary. And, unfortunately, a lot of reputable websites are now running incorrect information.

It’s a dodgy business reporting on news as it happens on the internet. On the one hand, if you get it right away it makes you look like you’re really on top of things. Helps build you clout so-to-speak. But on the other hand, before all the information is known, it can result in really incorrect information being parroted around quickly. And that’s just bad. And I blame myself for that too. I TRY to keep on top of things, but as I’ve gotten older I’m noticing it’s just better to wait a few hours before you post because new info is likely to elaborate and calm people down from hysteria.

That said... I tried waiting around till more details were confirmed for the Studio Ghibli thing before I posted about it... only to have updated info come almost as soon as my last journal went up. So that makes me look bad for giving false information.

As it is right now, Ghibli isn’t shutting down completely. It’s more or less restructuring as some of the big head artists (like Miyazaki) step down and the company recuperates their recent losses. The animation department is closing down, but it seems more or less as a temporary thing until the company makes back enough to begin producing work once more. There’s a chance that Ghibli will license their work out to other animation teams in Japan to continue to produce content, helping them earn revenue, and securing their trademarks and intellectual properties.

So Studio Ghibli is closing... but not really? Or at least, is going into sleep mode for a bit before coming back. I totally get how the vagueness has caused a lot of confusion. Still makes me wonder what’s gonna happen to all those animators getting laid off... And I’m sure things like the Ghibli Museum will stick around too. So things aren’t nearly as dire as they were originally predicted.

Sorry guys. I tried to stay informed but I guess I jumped the gun like everyone else.
  • Mood: Annoyed
  • Listening to: I'm Blue - Eiffel 65
  • Watching: Captain America: The First Avenger
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Drinking: Earl Grey Tea, Hot
I haven’t seen Guardians of the Galaxy yet (so please no spoilers if you comment), but that’s not gonna stop me from talking about how well the film is doing and what it might mean in the future.

Box Office Smash
Analysts originally projected that GOTG was gonna make around $36 million at the box office this weekend. But with ticket sales flying like crazy, analysts are now projecting around $96 million just for the opening weekend alone. WOW. I guess congratulations are in order for Marvel/Disney for making such a good movie. However, with the sales just increasing every single time a new Marvel movie comes out, I have to wonder and play “devil’s advocate” here for a minute...

Is Marvel’s reputation deserved?

Devils Advocate
Ok, hear me out. This isn’t me getting on the hate bandwagon or anything, i’m just curious. Coming from an objective standpoint are Marvel movies actually better than, say, DC’s attempts to make superhero movies? Is it at all possible that the love/hate that goes on between fans of Marvel/DC is also the reason why Marvel movies are doing better and DC ones fail?

I saw the Green Lantern director’s cut version, it’s not that bad. Man of Steel, if nothing else, looks pretty. And it seems like ALL of the news about the new Batman v Superman prequel to the inevitable Justice League movie are constantly being met with nothing but derision, scorn, and lulz. So much hate goes into... well... hating DC/Warner Bros attempts at making Superhero movies I do have to wonder if there’s some sort of nerd bias or geek war going on under the surface.

Personally, I don’t know if I believe that’s true or not. I haven’t, so far, enjoyed the DC attempts as much as all the Marvel movies, so I’m inclined to fall back on the belief that the Marvel movies are just better... well.... movies... in their own right. What do you all think? Is there a bias in play? Have we given Marvel more credit than they deserve? Or are the Marvel movies just better movies in general?

Squirrel-Girl
It’s quite possible that now that GOTG is doing so well, Marvel is pretty much free to do ANYTHING they want. One of the weird things they’re doing is applying for a trademark for Squirrel-Girl. www.escapistmagazine.com/news/…

In case you don’t know, Squirrel-Girl is an unusual side character. She’s technically defeated Thanos by herself AND defeated both Deadpool and Wolverine in hand-to-hand combat. She sometimes fills the roll of “babysitter” for some of the Avengers’ kids.


It’s quite possible that the trademark thing is being done to secure her appearance in an upcoming movie, but it’s more likely she’s being secured for the upcoming Netflix series staring Luke Cage. In either case... could we be seeing a Squirrel-Girl appearance sometime soon? What does this mean for other slightly-obscure characters?
  • Mood: Hungry
  • Listening to: I'm Blue - Eiffel 65
  • Watching: A Bugs Life
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Drinking: Earl Grey Tea, Hot
This is a realization I had after getting the chance to watch some old school Pixar films in HD recently. While the story of Toy Story holds up well, the actual graphics and presentation look downright archaic in HD. Sometimes characters appear to “float” on the ground, while other times their feet intersect into the floor. Bump mapping textures are grossly pixelated. And I could literally see the wireframe corners of Buzz Lightyear’s mouth clipping into itself.

That being said, one of the positive things I noticed was when I was watching A Bugs Life. The movie just POPPED with so much clarity and crispness. It was so beautiful to look at in HD. And then it hit me... the reason 3D movies don’t look this good, is because they’re not crisp anymore.

See, as technology got better, we learned how to round the edges of characters better. Objects that are square are still slightly rounded on the corners to make them more believable. And we learned to add in rack focus techniques to blur backgrounds or create a depth of field. All these things make the movies look more like a live action film... but they come at the cost of crispness.

Aside from a couple choice scenes in A Bugs Life, foreground and background objects are crystal clear. The colors seem more vibrant and bright and clean and they help things pop out better. It’s like playing Wind Waker in HD, or Viva Pinata. It’s amazing what just a little bit of contrasting color can do to make things really sizzle.

I dunno. I’m not saying I WANT all CG movies to lose all the technological advances we’ve made so far. But at the same time, I kinda feel bad that we’re not getting as much vibrancy and crisp clean lines as we could out of them appearing in HD.
  • Mood: Hungry
  • Listening to: I'm Blue - Eiffel 65
  • Watching: A Bugs Life
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Drinking: Earl Grey Tea, Hot
Wow, that last journal was DARK, wasn’t it? Let’s do something more fun. How about a AMA (ask me anything) journal? Kinda like my “absolutely not stolen from Vlog Brothers” Question Tuesday journals. So go-ahead. Ask me anything and I will try to answer your questions as best I can, with the caveat that I might skip a couple if I’ve already answered one previously. Ok? Ok!
  • Mood: Sympathy
  • Listening to: I'm Blue - Eiffel 65
  • Watching: White House Down
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Drinking: Earl Grey Tea, Hot
In my last journal I apparently touched a few people off by saying that I didn’t like rape jokes in Family Guy, and that I was upset that a digital mutant lizard was killed in the trailer for Mad Max. There were a number of people who didn’t find those things to be offensive and couldn’t seem to understand why I personally would get so upset. “Family Guy has ALWAYS had rape jokes” or “It’s not even a real animal” being the typical response. So let’s try to address this stuff...

Family Guy and Rape Culture
Before we begin we need to set some definitions so that we’re all on the same page.

Rape culture is a phrase used to describe a culture in which rape is pervasive and normalized due to societal attitudes about gender, sex, and sexuality. Examples of behaviors commonly associated with rape culture include victim blaming, sexual objectification, trivializing rape, denial of widespread rape, or refusing to acknowledge the harm of certain forms of sexual violence that do not conform to certain stereotypes of stranger or violent rape.

Unlike the idea that violent video games make people violent, there are actually a lot of scientific studies that show making jokes about rape DOES, in fact, result in society at large trivializing rape and can result in victim blaming and dismissing how harmful rape actually is.

A couple links to some scientific studies for you to peruse if you want:
www.uiowa.edu/~grpproc/crisp/c…
rajsivaraman.wordpress.com/201…

If you don’t think rape culture exists, think about how often rape is brought up as a casual synonym for “defeat” in video game competitions. For Example: When 10 year old kids are shouting “I raped you/your team” over X-Box Live, that’s normalizing/trivializing rape. Studies have shown that people who make light of rape, are more likely to dismiss rape claims and are also less likely to enforce harsh punishments on convicted rapists.

Family Guy relies a lot on shock/satirical humor. But if there’s one thing I think Family Guy often gets wrong, it’s how to pull off satire well. I personally do not think that Family Guy is a funny show. Often the jokes fall flat, or are just so extreme and shocking that they’re more of a turn-off for me. And rape humor, sadly, is an integral part of the show since one of the main characters has been known to (or implied to) force sex on women on numerous occasions.

Now I am not trying to make you feel bad, or “prove” to you that Family Guy is awful. If you find the show funny, by all means continue to watch it. However, the issue was that people didn’t understand why I personally had a problem with rape jokes, and this is my explanation. I’ve grown up knowing a lot of people who have been raped. It’s a terrible disgusting act that leaves long-standing psychological trauma to the victim. I do not personally feel that rape jokes should be made at all. I’m not saying they can’t be made, because of course all humor is subjective and open for anyone to tackle. But I am saying that if given the choice I don’t think they should be made. In my opinion they’re not funny, and in the long run they breed social acceptance of rape culture. And there are so many other jokes you could make, falling back on rape humor is just really low, unoriginal, and shows a severe lack of imagination.

SIDE NOTE ON CENSORSHIP AND VIOLENCE
I know a lot of people out there seem to think that rape jokes are like violence in video games. IE: violence in video games don't cause people to become more violent, therefor rape jokes don't make people actually rape. And in a certain sense they're right. However, rape jokes DO trivialize rape, and that can have longstanding damages on our culture. I don't think rape jokes cause people to rape more often, but I do think it causes people to look at rape as less of an issue. Likewise, pointing this out is NOT like the violence censorship problems video games have gone through. No one is trying to "censor" rape jokes through legal recourse. No one is advocating for LAWS to be written to regulate comedy or video games or movies involving rape jokes. There is a HUGE difference between trying to outright CENSOR something legally because you find it offensive, and actively asking that people be EMPATHETIC to those around them and not purposefully do things that might trigger or harm those around us out of consideration. Please bear that in mind while reading this.

Digital Animal Abuse
Now this one I can understand a lot of people not getting. I will admit that I am more sensitive than others when it comes to animal abuse in movies. OBVIOUSLY the animals aren’t really getting hurt. We have ethical programs and animal groups put in place to ensure that they aren’t harmed during the filming of a movie. And films are all abut make-believe.

But that’s just it... movies are DESIGNED to make you feel something towards characters and situations. Their whole purpose is to manipulate you through visuals and sound to feel happy or sad or angry at whatever is going on the screen. Growing up around animals all my life, I’ve become very empathetic towards them and it pains me when I see animals in movies getting hurt, abused, or killed off simply for “the sake of the plot.”

Remember Independence Day? There was a scene where a family was running away from the alien’s fire wall and left their dog in the car. In the original cut, the dog died. Test audiences were so upset about this that the filmmakers went back and added a heroic scene of the dog jumping over cars and escaping.

The thing is... animals don’t have our intelligence. Animals aren’t born vicious and malicious, they become that way due to external forces. Pit Bulls and Rottweilers are not vicious by nature, they’re vicious because we (humans) make them vicious. Dogs and other animals don’t have the higher level critical thinking to understand WHY something is happening to them. They operate pretty much on a purely emotional level. And that’s why it bothers me when animals are abused or hurt in movies. I’m empathetic enough that I can put myself in their situation. They’re innocent. They don’t know WHY they’re being hurt. All they know is that they ARE being hurt. And often times, there’s no real good reason TO hurt an animal in a movie.

And I know that I am not alone in this. There’s even a website out there called “Does the Dog Die?” doesthedogdie.com/ and the whole point of the site is to say YES or NO, without spoiling the movie, if an animal in the film is portrayed as being hurt or killed. I cannot stand when filmmakers resort to hurting an animal in films. It’s a cheap emotional crutch.

Am I personally more sensitive than other people? ABSOLUTELY. I know that I am. I’ve seen enough movies and witnessed enough actual animal death that I do not want to see any more of it, even if it’s fake. It doesn’t matter if it’s the digital dog from Vin Diesel’s 3rd Riddick film, or the 2 headed lizard from the Mad Max trailer. I don’t care if it shows that the T-1000 is cold-hearted, there’s no need to kill the dog in Terminator 2. Heck, even the troll from The Fellowship of the Ring is given that one suddenly humanizing moment when Legolas shoots an arrow through his throat and he realizes he’s going to die... there’s that low painful wail that is gut wrenching to listen to.

I understand that not everyone shares my views on these things. Some people can take stuff better than others. I freely acknowledge that I am more sensitive about animals in films than other people. But I hope at least this explains WHY I’m more sensitive.
  • Mood: Sympathy
  • Listening to: I Need Your Love (feat. Ellie Goulding)
  • Watching: Various Pixar Films
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Drinking: Earl Grey Tea, Hot
The Industry taking notice of Women
“Lucy,” the new Scarlett Johansson R-rated action movie, is beating out The Rock’s “Hercules” reboot. Since we all know box-office statistics gained over a single weekend dictate how Hollywood organizes their films for the upcoming years, this seems to be once again another blow to the idea that women can’t be big picture draws.

This whole year movies have been coming out featuring strong female characters and lead actresses, and there CLEARLY is a market for that as all of those films have been box office blowouts. And that just makes me happy because it proves the industry WRONG on so many levels. Even the fact that some of the movies were reviewed pretty badly (such as “Maleficent”), the fact that the films are huge box office draws shows that there was a market ACHING for some new content just sitting there.

Here’s hoping they finally green light a “Black Widow” movie, as so many are expecting Marvel to do, now that “Lucy” proves Scarlett Johansson’s action movie chops minus the burly male sidekicks.

SDCC News
There’s a lot of news coming out of SDCC this year, and since I don’t wanna be here all day, I’m just gonna reduce them all to bullet points to get through it quicker. If ya wanna know more, google them.

Guardians of the Galaxy is already getting a sequel scheduled for 2017 and an animated TV show.

Ant-Man is going to be a heist film. Superhero heist film? Sounds awesome!

Wonder Woman’s new outfit shown here: oyster.ignimgs.com/wordpress/s…

During a Zombie Walk, the hoards of zombie cosplayers inadvertently frightened kids in a car they were swarming around, resulting in the father driving his car through the crowd and hitting a 64 year old woman who is now hospitalized for a broken arm.

Howard the Duck might be in Guardians of the Galaxy as a cameo.

Geeks for CONsent gathered 2,600 signatures for a petition to get SDCC to train workers in how to deal with sexual harassment complaints to make the convention safer for everyone: celebrity.yahoo.com/news/sexua…

The Shield spin-off series “Agent Carter” is being green lit as a 1 shot 8 episode season. If it does well, the show will then continue as vignettes into the growth of Shield through Agent Carter’s eyes.

Female comic fan representation was up in force this SDCC with many panels talking about the importance of strong female representation in comics, about which female writers are doing good jobs, companies are clearly starting to gear their attention towards attracting female members more. All in all, all the “whining” we’ve all been doing seems to be paying off in many positive ways for everyone! variety.com/2014/film/news/com…

About 5 minutes of the The Simpsons/Family Guy crossover was shown, one part depicting Stewie making rape jokes as a prank to Moe the bartender. Lovely...

New Mad Max trailer starts off by having the lead character step on a tiny mutated lizard... um... “manly?” Thanks but no thanks. If you gotta feature animal abuse in your trailer, i’m definitely not watching your shitty movie.

Godzilla 2 in production, will be featuring Rodan, Mothra and Ghidorah.

Footage from Age of Ultron was shown to a closed room of attendees. In addition there was a massive poster for the movie released one character at a time. Expect a worldwide trailer release on YouTube soon.

Same goes for The Hobbit: The Battle of 5 Armies. New poster showcased and a new trailer will be going up tomorrow.

My Thoughts
On the one hand, it’s been pretty standard. Very little has stood out to me as being exceptional this year. A lot of the stuff announced was stuff we knew they were going to show anyway. And while there was a lot of progress, especially with the “women in comics” panels, it’s still frighteningly disappointing to see shows like Family Guy and Simpsons playing up rape jokes. Ha. Ha. Ha.

I dunno... I guess I was expecting more to come from the convention? More concrete release info from Marvel. Some big new movie we didn’t hear about being announced. Thus far it’s just been pretty standard. Oh, and to all those people saying “DC WON SDCC” can I just say that until DC/Warner Bros actually succeeds in fulfilling their many promises, announcements mean shit coming from them. The reason we give so many praises and passes to Marvel is because they’ve spent the greater half of a decade breeding good will and consumer loyalty through great products and entertainment. DC/Warner Bros, on the other hand, has failed again and again and again. So I’m sorry, but I can’t be an optimist yet. They haven’t earned any respect.... yet.

Sorry guys. Not all that excited about this years SDCC I guess. Sorry for being such a buzz-kill.
  • Mood: Lazy
  • Listening to: I Need Your Love (feat. Ellie Goulding)
  • Watching: Various Pixar Films
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Drinking: Earl Grey Tea, Hot
SDCC is finally here and as a result there’s probably gonna be a lot of amazing news dropped over this weekend. As such I just wanted to get some preliminary things out of the way before the bombs drop and obscure everything else.

Twitter
I have a twitter. I’ve actually managed to keep up with it at a fairly reasonable pace, I think. Primarily I’m using it now to comment on things that are too small to make it into my main journals, but too important to pass up. Most of the times it’s just me musing about stuff. You can see the twitter feed above my journal on my DA frontpage (I always list the last 5 posts there), or you can follow me here: twitter.com/ADobsonComics

Korra is all digital now
I don’t know why Nickelodeon decided to do this, but they’ve yanked Legend of Korra off the air and are going to be broadcasting the remaining episodes of Season 3 and all of Season 4 on their online streaming service instead. That’s a head scratcher to me, because it seems like it would be seen by LESS people if you interrupt the release schedule like that, but whatever. The series hasn’t been canceled and so far Season 3 has been a “breath of fresh air.”

New SYAC, SYAC, and Pirates
How’re you all enjoying NSYAC so far? I’ve been trying to maintain a set release schedule of every Tuesday and Thursday, and so far I’ve been able to maintain it. Releasing only 2 comics a week doesn’t give me much opportunities to tell longer stories, but it does give me the chance to showcase little vignettes of their lives. I’m hoping to branch out with the characters and go a little deeper into their lives soon.

Would anyone object if I posted comics with the bear character in-between the Tuesday and Thursday NSYAC release schedule? Would that confuse people too much? I do have both series separated in the gallery on my website so... it shouldn’t be too confusing... right?

Speaking of updates though, Alex Ze Pirate is still continuing her story of how everyone met over on alexzepirate.com/ Check it out!
  • Mood: Uneasy
  • Listening to: I Need Your Love (feat. Ellie Goulding)
  • Watching: Various Pixar Films
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Drinking: Earl Grey Tea, Hot
One of the many complaints lobbed at me is that I have enormous influence on a younger generation and therefor it is incumbent upon me to shape up and fly right so these young tikes get the best artistic advice possible. IE: People worried that my “bad art and methods” are corrupting the next generation of artists and therefor I should stop making art altogether to prevent this.

Setting aside the ignorant and harmful messages that this sends to young artists (such as the ignorant concept that all young artists only ever follow ONE artistic influence their entire life and aren’t influenced by ALL the art around them at all times), I decided to see how much credibility this “fear” actually had... using MATH.

So I have about 57,790 watchers on DA. I’m not counting other sites like Facebook or my website because there’s obviously some overlap, and some of the people who hate me will fill in that gap. So roughly 57,790 people on the planet watch me. There are estimated 7,046,000,000 people on Earth. Therefor at BEST I can influence roughly 0.00082% of the ENTIRE world population.

By comparison, James Cameron’s Avatar (the highest grossing movie of all time) had around 97,255,300 tickets sold, thus influencing around 1.38% of the entire world population.

I think it’s pretty safe to say that the validity of my “bad influence” is pretty weak. And besides, even IF I really DID have a huge influence on younger artists, I am not cynical or mean-spirited enough to believe that I would be the ONLY influence they ever had artistically growing up. I dunno about the rest of you, but I had a LOT of artistic influences, many of which had conflicting artistic advice and goals.

So yeah. I might not have the best artistic habits, but the artistic community and especially those here on DA are not in danger of my bad influence “corrupting” the art world and ruining anything.



PS: If someone would like to do better math calculations and figure out a much more accurate number, by all means do so. I have no idea how you'd do that, but if you can, more power to ya!
  • Mood: Humor
  • Listening to: I Need Your Love (feat. Ellie Goulding)
  • Watching: Count Duckula
  • Playing: Marvel Puzzle Quest
  • Drinking: Earl Grey Tea, Hot