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To Be Named Later Episode 001 – Contrast Wrestling

Culture, Videos, Webseries

July 22, 2015

Aaron Golden and Bre Fultz compare and contrast the best in wrestling, namely WWE NXT, and the utter lunacy that is Lucha Underground. We’re thinking this should be a regular thing.

You can follow Aaron Golden on twitter @lastswann

You can follow Bre Fultz on twitter @breinpictures

Aaron hosts and talks. Bre directs, edits, does camera work, and talks. This is because Bre is awesome.

 

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Nerdcouver Episode 009

Reviews, Videos, Webseries

July 1, 2015

It’s our ninth episode! Sadly, Reva couldn’t make it, but we’ll try to get a Reva’s picks video up soon!

As for the others? Well, Nathan, Jenna and Aaron had a lot to talk about. SO MANY good comics this week!

Here’s what we talked about: Sons of the Devil, Fight Club, Wayward, Jem and the Holograms, UFOlogy, Batgirl, We are Robin, Superman, Grayson, The Flash, Daredevil, Scarlett Couture, Black Widow, Ninjak, Hellbreak, Loki: Agent of Asgard, Thief of Thieves, and Justice League 3001.

The Nerdcouverites are gathering tomorrow morning to discuss new things to try out for the vlog. We tried some new stuff already, but there are still kinks to work out. Thanks so much for sticking with us so far and hopefully you guys like what we bring in the next few weeks!

Nerdcouver is and can be found at:

Aaron Golden @lastswann

Nathan Rayes @natemayes

Reva Dawn @maplebunnie

Jenna Táralóm @novavandorwolf

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Nerdcouver Episode 008

Videos, Webseries

June 19, 2015

They’ve made it through two months, those nifty Nerdcouver kids. Today’s episodes begins with thugs and ninjas and traffic jams, but quickly moves into comics because, well, that’s what they’re here for. Nathan talks DC Comics, because for him it’s all about the DCYou. Get ready to discuss Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn & Power Girl, Robin Son of Batman, and JLA, before Reva chimes in and introduces us to Fathom Blue, Giant Days, Prez, Infinite Loop, and Gotham Academy~!

 

From there, Jenna and Aaron keep the fun going. Aaron tries and fails for brevity as he talks Bloodshot, X-O Manowar, Hexed, the Fiction, Southern Bastards, and TMNT Casey and April. Jenna closes things off this week by discussing Lumberjanes, the Runaways, Burning Fields, Mad Max Fury Road: Furiosa, and RunLoveKill.

There’s more coming soon – new videos! New subjects! Nerdcouver continues and will never die~!

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God of (Web) Comics – Sinfest

Culture, God Of Comics, Webseries

June 15, 2015

Sinfest 001

From such humble beginnings comes out of the greatest webcomics of all time.

Sinfest is the personal project of Tatsuya Ishida, who uses a deceptively simple format to discuss a multitude of topics ranging from radical feminism to politics to hetero-normativity. It’s a three panel black-and-white comic with a full color Calvin’n’Hobbes-style splash page on Sunday, and its been updated daily since January 17, 2000, with rare exception.

Starting as a commentary on casual and acceptable corruption in mainstream society, the characters were little more than caricatures at first, used to lampoon the accepted levels of hypocrisy that we all rely on to get through our everyday lives. The interesting point about Sinfest is that it looked at this hypocrisy without judgment, accepting it as a part of societal norms.

We all use stories to move through our lives and to justify our actions. There’s things we do every day, small and selfish things that we don’t think about that make other people’s lives worse, and we tend not to notice or brush it off. Pointing this out is considered rude in polite society, because there’s a fear that we’ll be judged for the small indulgences and terrors that we perpetuate.

Sinfest looked at those moments and their self-obsessed viewpoints, not a means of ridicule, but as a part of a shared experience. It started with a look at the selfish knee-jerk need for more that drives a consumerist society, what that can cost, and how little we consider the consequences. From there it began looking at addiction and cognitive apathy in the same light, while introducing characters to deal with those and ever more complex topics.

Religious hypocrisy and expectation played a big part in the early days of the comic, used as a means of fleshing out absolutist philosophies into something a little more understandable. Those that admired the perception of those absolutes were introduced and shown to have as little understanding of those absolutes as any of the other people within that – and our – world.

Those that follow a faith without an understanding of that faith were shown to live in glass houses, their acceptance of tenants they don’t actually understand making them both laughable and sympathetic. Those that see evil as a natural state of psyche were likewise lampooned, the emptiness of solipsism and nihilism both explored and shown to be fruitless.

Politics were brought in and discussed, the comic directly addressing everything from the Economic Crash of 2008 to the life-ending threat of student debt to good intent sometimes having unexpected consequences, and dealing with those consequences. The difficulty of changing one’s life is addressed, how other people can want to lock you in their understanding of who you are. Likewise, there’s a whole ongoing story about how you can lose people in the effort to become a better person, but also what ambition without ethics can cost.

There’s beauty in this comic.

Simple, heartfelt, and profound beauty.

Lately, the comic has been discussing some of the biggest trends in media, the ideas of toxic masculinity, radical feminism, and casual racism. It does so unblinking, Tatsuya Ishida unwilling to back away from the evils he sees in the world and doing everything he can to address them, and that’s what makes this comic as powerful as it is.

Reading and understanding Sinfest is a life-changing experience. There’s humor enough to balance out the harsh honesty of the strip, which is a good thing given the weight of the subjects discussed. The art varies with the need of the story and has improved mightily over the course of the past fifteen years. The strip above was the first, yes, but this is the page from this past Sunday:

Sinfest 002

Sinfest has been one of my favorite comics for a very long time, and is one of those things that I check daily: wake up, breakfast, Sinfest. For all of these reasons, I cannot recommend it enough. Sinfest can be found by clicking any ‘Sinfest‘ throughout this article.

Art LMM Tree of LifeLMM Tree of Life Half + Story LMM Tree of LifeLMM Tree of Life Half + Gateway LMM Tree of Life = LMM Tree of LifeLMM Tree of LifeLMM Tree of LifeLMM Tree of Life

 

The People Behind Sinfest Are:
Tatsuya Ishida.

Dude does everything.

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756

Nerdcouver Episode 007

Reviews, Webseries

June 15, 2015

Those kooky Nerdcouver kids are back! This week they’ve broken down into three videos, we’re starting with Reva and Aaron’s comic book picks, where they collectively talk about the Four Points, X-O Manowar, Coffin Hill, Kanan the Last Padawan, Catwoman, The Mantle, and Lantern City. Conversation then turns to Final Fantasy VII, Cloud Strife, and the glory that mortals call Kingdom Hearts…  and then ends up with all of them talking about the possibility of a Lantern City TV Show, which, hey, there is an IMDB page.

 

Video the second looks at Jenna and Nathan’s picks, starting with a talk about Batman starring in Bubblegum Crisis, which goes on for ten minutes. Also, there’s talk about other DC Comics and the brand new DCYou – comics like Constantine, Starfire, Gotham Academy, and Red Hood & Arsenal. Plus! Roche Limit Clandestiny.

And – special bonus happy good times! – Reva introduces a brand new rating system based on Unicorns. No, seriously. Will Nerdcouver continue to make use of this rating system? How can they not? You must listen to the madness to believe in the madness. Lil’ Sebastian is also mentioned.

That’s it for this week! The Nerdcouver kids are mostly hanging out at Big Pete’s Comics, so if you want to see them, well, go say hi! None of us bite mostly.

 

 

 

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Nerdcouver 2015-05-27

Reviews, Videos, Webseries

June 1, 2015

This week, those crazy Nerdcouver kids split their picks up into four separate videos~! By our powers combined…

We start with Reva, who may or may not have something from Aspen Comics, and everyone celebrates the end of Convergence~!

Nathan brings up a little comic about some art film that came out, like, more than a decade ago. Fight something? There’s a club? Anyway, the comic is really good. There’s also something about Kaiju in prison:

We move into the wonder what is Jenna, and things take a serious turn as Pisces is discussed, but then everyone loves Wayward. Forever. Because Wayward is awesome.

And, finally, Aaron is forced to summarize comics quickly because the battery to the camera is dying, and somehow manages to do it. Also, shockingly, Valiant comics are discussed~! No one saw that coming…

 

 

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Carmilla the Webseries Season One Review

Culture, Reviews, Webseries, Why Aren't You Watching This?

May 26, 2015

A while back, we were lucky enough to come across the first season of Carmilla.

We were enchanted by it and decided to spread the word. We’re good like that. We got in about halfway through the first season and we became addicted, loving every frame of it. And why wouldn’t we? Clever script, excellent casting, a clever way of storytelling that focused on relationships more than action, picking and choosing what physical conflicts to show on screen and highlighting the aftermath of each.

But you know all this. You’ve seen the first season, right? If not, you can watch the whole of it right here:

The second season kicks off a week today, and you better be sure we’ll be watching it. The first season is something we frequently rewatch because there’s always something new to notice, and their online presence hosts one of the greatest cultures presently online. So buckle up, creampuffs, and let’s get into the guts of this thing and figure out why it works.

Carmilla was the original vampire novel. It was published about thirty years before Dracula and told pretty much the same story, but was largely ignored for featuring female leads, a strong lesbian text, and being published in the Victorian Era. Thankfully, we’ve come aways since then, and the book has found a modern cult following. You can download a free copy of it here.

The modern retelling takes place in the modern era at a placed called Silas University that sounds like a place I’d like to attend. Between the Alchemy Club, the Summer Society, and the Library, this sounds like the greatest school this side of Miskatonic U. The entirety of the first season takes place in the dorm of the main character, Laura, where we see the planning and aftermath of most major events, and a handful of those events as they play out.

It’s a clever storytelling device that allows them to highlight the emotional impact of every conflict, and becomes a part of how the story unfolds. There’s a cleverness to this script that is matched only by the cruelty of the forces of play, and it becomes a gutwrenching experience as every single character has their conflict, their change and growth.

No one on this show is static. Everyone evolves. Everything falls apart. It’s one of the things that makes the show so rewatchable, going back and just following a single character go through their particular journey. From the horrible trauma of the title character to the weighty heroism of the lead, from the slow acceptance of reality of Perry to the heartbreaking courage of LaFontaine. Each character is perfectly cast and given moments to which to shine.

Thematically, the show is just as strong. Different characters explore different concepts, from loyalty and betrayal to unrequited love and the thin veneer of normalcy we use to keep our sanity intact in a largely chaotic universe. It builds to a satisfying non-ending that ties into that same chaos, all while walking a fine line between horror and comedy.

And, again, that line is possible largely because of the stellar cast. Everybody nails their parts, and it’s worth going back and watching each character go through this strange tale. There’s subtlety and nuance in each performance, layers that stand up to multiple rewatchings. It’s one of those rare shows that you really can pick apart and gets better with each subsequent viewing – something that their fanbase will be happy to talk to you about. At length.

Carmilla has one of the most fanatical online followings of the modern era. They’ve cultivated this fanbase, making them as much a part of the experience of watching the show by engaging them on every possible level. The fanbase has responded to this ongoing conversation by investing more of their time into the culture surrounding the show, and it has become an evolving culture that explores every aspect of theme and character. It’s one of the most fascinating things to be a part of, and it’s impressive as hell considering that it’s been around for less than a year.

The fanbase has produced parodies, fanfic, art, university posters, inside jokes, and the makers of Carmilla have fed the fire with role reversals featuring the leads and interviews that go into the depth and making of the show itself. The official twitters of the characters and actors are an absolute joy and have continued the special brand of madness that Carmilla offers in the off-season.

Go ahead. Watch this show. Join the rest of us creampuffs in counting down the days til the second season. In Queen Elsie we trust.

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Carmilla the Webseries Reviewed

Reviews, Webseries

November 4, 2014

Daylight Savings Time. (more…)

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Welcome to Night Vale

Webseries

July 18, 2014

The walls have ears. The walls have eyes. The posters have eyes. The cosplayers’ foreheads have eyes. We do not know what they want, but sometimes we can hear them speaking in whispers we cannot quite understand. Welcome to Night Vale. (more…)

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