Best things on streaming HULU this month : Donald Glover’s ATLANTA leads the pack

It took me a while to get aboard the ATLANTA hype train, but catching the whole 1st season of the series courtesy of HULU, it lives up to the hype,

The multi-talanted Donald Glover crafting an ethnic focused drama, with echoes of Twin Peaks (the first interesting season, not the 2nd horrendously boring 2nd season of twin Peaks) mixed with a wonderful filmic vibe of WHAT’S HAPPENING meets HAPPY DAYS meets MENANCE TO SOCIETY.

I binged the entire ten episode 1st season, and look forward to season 2 breaking on HULU or Blu-ray/DVD.

Extra Large Movie Poster Image for Atlanta (#9 of 9)

Other recommends or items of interest this week from the VOD/Streaming service are:

GAME SHOWS or LIFESTYLE PROGRAMMING (I’m not a fan of the term Reality TV)

  • CHOPPED
  • BEAT BOBBY FLAY
  • IRON CHEF
  • HOUSE HUNTERS
  • COUNTING CARS
  • FORGED IN FIRE
  • AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR

Forged in Fire (2015)

DRAMA SHOWS

  • THE HANDMAIDS TALE
  • LETHAL WEAPON
  • TAKEN
  • THE CROSSING
  • FARGO -Just SEASON 2, Season 1 is okay, Season 3 is pretty unwatchable, Season 2 is great.
  • POWER
  • STAN AGAINST EVIL – Horror/Comedy/Drama…. it is great’
  • THE ORVILLE
  • THE STRAIN
  • SPOOKS
  • THE MUSKETEERS- These two BBC shows, SPOOKS and THE MUSKETEERS are two of my favorite shows of all time. I’m buying the BLU-RAY of both against the day they get pulled from streaming. Or one of the actors in the future gets villified and they call for all the shows to be burned/removed. That’s right mofos I still have all my ISPY, FAT ALBERT and COSBY shows. As well as the Grammy winning albums. So sit on it and spin. 🙂 (I really don’t know what that means. 🙂 ) And if you don’t know what I’m referring to, go check out my earlier post.

Taken Movie Poster

CARTOONS

  • TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES

 

CLASSIC SHOWS

  • THE BIG VALLEY
  • THE SAINT
  • THE ROCKFORD FILES

Lee Majors, Barbara Stanwyck, Linda Evans, Peter Breck, and Richard Long in The Big Valley (1965)

MOVIES

  • AMERICAN GANSTER
  • ROCKY V – A lot of people hate on this fifth entry in the series starring real life Boxer Tommy Morrison (who gives a really good performance), but I love this movie, and its generational overtones. It is a nice, at the time, capper to the series. Rating the movies I would have to go the first two ROCKY films, CREED, than my next favorite one by far, is this film. ROCKY V. ‘I didn’t hear no bell, Tommy. I didn’t hear no bell.’  I Love this movie.
  • AWAKEN THE SHADOWMAN
  • RYDE
  • STARSHIP TROOPERS: TRAITORS OF MARS
  • COLOSSAL
  • 78/52:HITCHCOCK ‘S SHOWER SCENE
  • THE HANGMAN

American Gangster Movie Poster

Still waiting on Season 2 of LEGION and RUNAWAYS to drop on HULU.

That’s it for this installment.  Come  back for more, or feel free to suggest a VOD channel you want me to do an installement on. Till then be well, be kind, and don’t let big media decide your Gods or your Demons.

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VOD/STREAMING Winner or Loser : DELIRIUM (2018) courtesy Amazon Prime

 

 

DELIRIUM (2018) -Contrary to the blurb on the poster this is not ‘One Hell of a Wild Ride’. It is actually more of a waste of time.. DELIRIUM Is a film so weighted down with its own mediocrity and annoying paper thin characters,  that it is not worth spending more than 15 minutes of your time on. That is more than enough time to determine if this film is worth continuing with. It is not.

However part of that 15 minutes is given over to the credit sequence, which is everything the film is not, innovative, interesting, compelling, concise. In scant minutes the credit sequence does not only a thankless job well, but tells a complete story. Watch and enjoy the credit sequence and burn the film.

This film with the exeception of the credit sequence is most definitely a loser. I looked for the company behind the credits, but unfortunately that info is nowhere to be found.

GRADE : FAIL the film, pass the credits!

CONAN THE BARBARIAN (1982) -Revisited and Amazon Prime CONAN series in the works?

 

Mongol General: Hao! Dai ye! We won again! This is good, but what is best in life?

Mongol: The open steppe, fleet horse, falcons at your wrist, and the wind in your hair.

Mongol General: Wrong! Conan! What is best in life?

Conan: To crush your enemies. See them driven before you. And to hear the lamentations of their women.

Mongol General: That is good! That is good.

—Conan The Barbarian

36 Years later, and the best version of Robert E Howard’s pulp adventure series set at the beginning of the Hyborian age of man, the best live action version of his CONAN, is John Milius’ absolutely thrillingly written CONAN THE BARBARIAN (1982).

Conan the Barbarian Movie Poster

 

Starring the great James Earl Jones, and just dripping with great lines, the movie holds up. And no one who has seen it, can leave it without the lines of a plain, unapologetic, patriarchal time, following you, like war drums in your heart.  Man, Millius got what was best in Howard’s Conan, dialing down the ‘of its time’ weaknesses of Howard’s stories, and instead dialing up the strengths to 11.

Seeing the movie as a boy, it was a boy’s adventure writ large, like STAR WARS or INDIANA JONES or SUPERMAN. And John Millius’ CONAN THE BARBARIAN were the lines and the myth, that many boys grew to manhood on.

The only weakness of the first film is its titular star, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger at the time, coming off devastating bodybuilding wins, was while physically the absolutely right person, did not have the acting chops. I mean he pulls it off for the most part, but some scenes cause you to wince, even as a kid, However with an actor with more gravitas, the movie could be a solid recommend, rather than  a qualified one.

I think you could take this same Movie, with the brilliant John Millius script, shoot it almost line for line, and shot for shot, and add a protagonist with more acting skill, and have a great movie.

The 2011 Momoa movie unfortunately, while it got a dynamic actor, surrounded him with a sub par script and story, and had nothing iconic or memorable to it, ala Millius’ CONAN THE BARBARIAN.

And the less said about the CONAN  THE DESTROYER the better.

However there is talk of an Amazon Streaming TV series of Conan to be put together by Colony co-creator Ryan Condal, Thrones director Miguel Sapochnik and The Handmaid’s Tale executive producer Warren Littlefield.

But until that sees the light of day, I would say revisit Millius; CONAN THE BARBARIAN, and enjoy what is best in life.

Thulsa Doom: I wish to speak to you now. Where is the Eye of the Serpent? Rexor says that you gave to a girl, probably for a mere night’s pleasure, hmm? What a loss. People have no grasp of what they do. You broke into my house, stole my property, murdered my servants, and my PETS! And that is what grieves me the most! You killed my snake. Thorgrim is beside himself with grief! He raised that snake from the time it was born.

Conan: You killed my mother! You killed my father, you killed my people! You took my father’s sword… ah –

[Rexor twists his arm]

Thulsa Doom: Ah. It must have been when I was younger. There was a time, boy, when I searched for steel, when steel meant more to me than gold or jewels.

Conan: The riddle… of steel.

Thulsa Doom: Yes! You know what it is, don’t you boy? Shall I tell you? It’s the least I can do. Steel isn’t strong, boy, flesh is stronger! Look around you. There, on the rocks; a beautiful girl. Come to me, my child…

[coaxes the girl to jump to her death]

Thulsa Doom: That is strength, boy! That is power! What is steel compared to the hand that wields it? Look at the strength in your body, the desire in your heart, I gave you this! Such a waste. Contemplate this on the tree of woe. Crucify him!

—James Earl Jones having six years earlier defined one of the great cinematic villains of all time in Darth Vader, does so here in front of the camera, with his brilliant performance of Thulsa Doom. Like all great villains, there is something alluring, and of the misplaced hero, in the best of villians. Something almost correct, something of the man they were, or could have been, that resonates in who they are. Something in their fervor and their madness, that seems at times… almost sane.

 Not currently available (free) on streaming, this is the reason to always have your Blu-Ray Player and Blu-ray copy of great movies like this! Get your copy at the link below! 🙂

https://amzn.to/2r4R28h

 

Conan the Barbarian [Blu-ray]

Today’s best and worst Comic Book related Youtube Channels

First Point, Youtube via your laptop or computer I find annoying and not worth your time.

Youtube via Roku, on my big screen TV, and absent all stupid comments I find incredibly useful and watchable.

Here without further ado, my additional points, Youtube Winners and  Losers for First Quarter 2018.

BEST

I like buying artbooks, and graphic novels, and collected editions, so I find some of these channels very helpful in helping me decide if  an item is worth buying. Especially when you are dealing with something like artist editions that can run hundreds of dollars.

So here are channels that helped me make great purchase decisions.

GABE INFINITY WATCH

GEM MINT COLLECTIBLES

NEAR MINT CONDITION

WALT’S COMIC BOOK CHANNEL

EARL GREY

OMNIBROS  LIVE

GORE VIDAL

WALLACE RYAN

 

WORST

Anyone who uses acronym’s such as SJW in their headlines, or as a snarky insult (I’m looking at DIVERSITY & COMICS channel, which is not about Diversity and is not about comics, but is about click baiting and laziness) is generally not a channel you should support or be subscribed to. The thing with acronyms is you end up blindly lumping things together that have nothing to do with each other. And instead of dealing with a specific argument, you tend to become the very caricature you are arguing against. You become as misinformed, in your ‘lumping together and your stigmatizing’ as those you accuse of lumping together and stigmatizing others.

Here’s the thing, we are all of us (if not idiots) more than the party line.

Let me say that again, we are all of us more than the party line.

Whatever party you choose to support this day or that. We are conservative when it comes to some things, liberal when it comes to some things. And biased when it comes to some things.

Take me.

I’m not a fan of witch-hunts. Whether that is the Salem Witch trials, or the McCarthy Witch Trials. Or today’s sexual harassment witch trials. I believe no one should lose their job or be punished, based on unproven allegations. I believe people are innocent till proven guilty in a COURT OF LAW. That goes for Cosby, or Weinstein, or Lauer, or Singer or Spacey, or Gibson, or as it affects comics, Berganza.

I do not like mobs. And I do not like Mob mentalities, and I do not like knee jerk responses, and I do not like talk show mentalities, and most of all I don’t like people tried on twitter and Youtube, and based on the accusations of the unproven, the opinions of the uninvolved, and the fear, and in some cases the vendettas of the powerful, people before trial… are tried and punished.

I do not like it.

Not when it comes to movies, or sports, or newscasters, or the medium of comic-books.

I do not know Editor Berganza from a hole in the wall. He could well be guilty. My problem he was fired on allegations rather than proof. As were all those I’ve mentioned. Accolades and awards and honors they have earned, stripped from them at the merest whiff of scandal. So until proven guilty, a man is innocent, and should be treated as such. I don’t like that comic book artist Adrian Syaf was fired for placing the numbers ‘212’ and the number ‘5:51’ in the background of drawings. Artists sneaking easter eggs into the background of drawings is not new for comics or any other medium. And how that is any different from Christians putting bible verses in the background of their scenes. Long story short, it isn’t. That’s what an editor is for to catch that stuff, and if you don’t you don’t. Based on the agregiousness of it, you take  the appropriate action. Which usually involves a good talking to, not ruining someone’s career.

So I do not like witch hunts..

Whether led by a republican, a lesbian, a trans-gender person, a bigot, I do not like witch-hunts. You have a case, prove it in a court of law, not by gathering lynch mobs.

And this overreacting is on both sides of the fence, and the quickness to throw broad dismissive labels, obscures the fact of what you are fighting against, and what you are fighting for.

That is the folly of labels, it makes people side with fools, and fools lead good men to horrible acts.

Labels and acronyms are always shorthand for the lazy, who can’t be bothered to know what or who they are really arguing against or about. If you are using the acronym SJW you might as well carve a swastika in your forehead because that’s the level you are arguing on.

We are all of us gradations of right, and gradations of wrong, and we are all gradations of irrational.

Being aware of those places where the unfair and the fair fight for possession of our soul, being aware of our culpability in any argument, makes us less likely to glibly go along with the mob, or those who would throw the first and last stone.

Being unaware that anyone who uses the term SJW or dem or repub, is in and of himself, guilty of being the exact same thing they would denigrate; makes you ignorant.

But that is fine, we are all ignorant of something.

Staying ignorant however, makes you stupid or evil.

And that is not fine.

You have to know in any argument, you may not be on the side of the right. And you must learn to accept no truth you went to bed with, as the truth you’ll wake up with. Only through constant questioning of yourself, and the things you love and the things you hate, and the things you believe, can you grow and stay on the right side of those things.

And just as surely… assuming you are always right, especially your side or group or acronym is always right, is the surest way to go marching down the road to hell.

Deep waters for Youtube and comics, huh?

Here is the thing, it doesn’t matter over what we conflict, How seemingly trivial or important.  it matters that we always know, the conflict is with ourselves first. And reason and right is not a given, it must be continually retried within ourselves.

I generally do not gravitate to comics that have trans-gendered or homosexual people in it. That has nothing to do with either of those groups, and everything to do with me. I would like to think it is less about homophobia and more my aversion and dislike of talk shows and reality shows and Lifetime movies, and not wanting that in my comic. Though definitely homophobia plays a part. But mostly its an aversion to those topics heavy handedly crowbarred into what should be a a superhero/action genre. That was my problem with Supergirl Season 2. And why I stopped watching it. It was the gay subplot, handled incredibly annoyingly.

Now contrast that to JH Williams III’s BATWOMAN which was a brilliant superhero book, that just so happened to have a Lesbian character. Or Priest’s DEATHSTROKE with its bisexual character, and these things aren’t written in 20 point type, it’s just another brilliantly layered part, or a brilliant superhero story.

But most people aren’t as talented as a Priest or Williams, so when my comic reads more like a mission statement it is time for me to find a different comicbook.

And it is specifically a superhero/comic related bias, I have an archaic definition of what Superhero and other comics are and should be, an idea that works for me. An idea of what entertains me in comics,  So I understand this bias in me, and I buy the comics that appeal.  However I’m not going to have a problem with their being homosexual or trans-gendered comics or creators, that do want to focus on the lifetime channel or talk show extremes. If there is an audience for those stories great. I won’t be reading them, but neither am I going to have a fit because these stories or creators or characters exist. And that is because I ‘m good with the world being what it is, and me being what I am, and I am aware what part of the failing is me rather than the world.

There is a lot of talk on youtube about social justice warriors, mostly by white men (mostly but not exclusively, there are also enough Black and Brown and Red and Yellow idiots to go around), who see comics by creators not like them, and filled with new characters not like them, and they are not comfortable with that.

That  is not a problem. Like I said, I also feel that discomfort for things outside my comfort zone.

But here is the difference, they feel threatened by these things out of their comfort zone, and attack. Rather than allow people to ‘do them’ (as the kids would say), and simply choose to not patronize the books and creators they don’t like, and just buy and read and enjoy the things they do, instead they want to attack, and force the industry to only reflect them and exclude the other.

That is a problem.

It is a problem of ignorance, and it is a problem of fear, and it is a problem of not knowing yourself, that the world is wide and wonderful, and we don’t have to agree to like the same books or like the same creators.

But we do have to agree to, not stop others from liking what they like.

We do have to agree, to fight with ourselves before we fight others, because most of the time when we lose control, and take up arms against others, it is because we haven’t solved something with ourselves.

So that was an incredibly long aside to get you to my list of Youtubers who are doing a disservice to our hobby, by waging war with others, because they can’t just  embrace this idea… that ‘you do you’.  :).

 

Case in point…

cAPN C-SUMTHING (not worth remembering the dudes correct channel, or name) – emphasizes one of my pet peeves, people who think having an opinion is enough. When it comes to sharing and broadcasting it to a larger audience, it is not enough to have an opinion. It needs to be an informed. You are sitting in a movie theater, and because you are warm you start screaming fire, and spreading an opinion, that with two seconds to inform that opinion… you may have realized you still have your jacket on, or the person a row in-front of you is smoking; so the theater is not actually on fire. So your initial knee-jerk animal brain opinion may have been ‘fire’, but shouting out that uninformed opinion, in the theater to a crowd, would create panic and possible injuries; whereas a moment to look around and inform that opinion, makes all the difference.

An informed opinion is worth sharing, an uninformed opinion is not. This Capn C-something perfectly illustrates the type of knee-jerk reactionary that is the bane of the Internet and the world.

First he has the money to buy a 100+ dollar Artist Edition, the time and resources to want to do a video on it and share his opinion on it, however he doesn’t even know what it is. When the description of the artist Edition is on every blurb about it, as well as on the back and inside cover You don’t even know what you are buying, and you are trying to do a review on it. Strike one.

Next he’s one of these reactionaries who uses acronyms and labels coined seemingly just to be denigrative. Social Justice Warrior, and then he is too lazy, to use the whole word. The kind who resorts to shorthand like SJW and Dems, the sign of someone who can’t be bothered to research the bandwagon he is jumping on, or the things he supports or objects to in any great depth. Strike two.

Third he sees a post by Christopher Priest, lamenting his pigeonholing by DC Comics as a Black Writer,and Priest stating that a good writer can write characters outside his ethnicity and gender, and that the publishers should not be lead by the ‘twitterverse’ the vocal minority who comments on titles they have not read and subjects they are not informed on. Capn Crumudgeon responds to this by saying ‘this Priest guy gets it’ while showing his ignorance by not knowing the writer currently works for DC and is one of their most acclaimed writers, and that Capn Cummudgeon by definition is the vocal minority Priest is calling out. Priest is not railing against diversity, he’s railing against editorial mandates decided by people who can not be bother to be informed on the positions they take.

Strike 3, you are out. What really lit me up about this, is a lazy acronym user like this guy, has more subscribers than actually informative people like some of the users listed above. It’s like people subscribing to JERRY SPRINGER instead of COSMOS. People stumble across his channel, probably like I did  (i did not subscribe  to him) because of his numerous Artist Edition reviews, and then he uses that as a platform for this half baked uninformed drivel, posing as a stance or world view. It reminds me of the brain damaged circus that passed for the last presidential debates. Something that debases viewer and viewed. If you are subscribed to this guy, unsubscribe. There are better places to get your book reviews from. And I list a bunch of them above. :).

 

And to not end on a down note here are more people/channels you should be watching and even subscribing to:

 

JARED OSBORN- He offers weekly pull list comic book hauls, and the occasional collected edition

POPE CEREBUS THE FIRST-

THE DARK NATE

IDWPublishing

24FRAMES

CURTISCAMRON

DRACIR’S COMICS AND THINGS

SOLID4STBEND

BRANDON 191

LUTHER MANNING

MARCUS LIM

JACKKIRBYBRONZE

So any of the above are better than those who embrace attacking the difference of others, rather than simply trying to better understand… the difference of themselves.   CAP’N and DIVERSITY (in name only), Youtube channels, come to mind, but any channel using acronyms such as SJW to cloak their ignorance and fear, you should strongly consider unsubscribing from.

Don’t support the uninformed who want to spend their time screaming fire, in a theater where there is no fire. Instead support the above channels that are trying to help people just find the seats, that are a good fit for them.

Here endeth the lesson.

Richard Carpenter’s seminal 80’s ROBIN OF SHERWOOD may just be the best TV show of all Time

‘Nothing is forgotten. Nothing is ever forgotten.’ — Richard Carpenter’s ROBIN OF SHERWOOD

 

 

 

Richard Carpenter, no relation to John Carpenter, is largely unknown to modern audiences, however he shouldn’t be. In the 80s he created a TV show, ROBIN OF SHERWOOD, which became a surprising hit. Here in the states it was broadcast via PBS, and even watching it then, it felt mythic and larger than life. Revisiting it 35 years later, not only does the short lived series hold up as great television, those first two seasons remain the best version of Robin Hood ever conceived.

Richard Carpenter taking the traditional Robin Hood myth, and adding unheard of mystical and Moorish and pagan and Arthurian elements to it, created a show that was the crystallization of myth. Add the perfect confluence of young, hungry actors , a brilliant creator/writer at the peak of his powers, groundbreaking directors and cinematographers, led by Director Ian Sharp, that were rewriting the way action could be filmed, and a score done by Pol Brennan and hot new touring bad Clanad, and you had a show that was as mythic and forged by destiny, as the fiction it chronicled.

 

  • Michael Praed
  • Ray Winstone,
  • Nickolas Grace
  • Judi Trott
  • Clive Mantle
  • Robert Addie
  • Phil Rose
  • Mark Ryan
  • Peter Llewellyn Williams

 

The above actors were the perfect cast (thanks to Beth and Esta Charkham) to give life to Richard Carpenter’s groundbreaking mythic and mystic version of Robin of the Hood.

The writing, married to the performances, is at once eloquent and elegant; and like all great myths it is endlessly quotable and memorable. In the 35 years since, what Richard Carpenter invented for his series, the mystical elements, the addition of a Moor to Robin’s Merry Men, making Marion a vital part of the story, has been stolen by other tv shows and films, but none to any great effect. Because those were part of Carpenter’s vision, and 35 years ago he, with the exact right people, and the exact alignment of stars… gave birth to that vision.

Will someday someone make a Robin Hood series or film as good? Well they haven’t yet, but the good news is ROBIN OF SHERWOOD is available on DVD/Bluray and Streaming for a new generation to discover, and long term fans… revisit.

The first two seasons (called Set 1) are essential television. The third season (Set 2) is fun, but is not essential.

Get your fix here:

http://amzn.to/2H8TSQI

http://amzn.to/2ElZrxo

 

If you would like to try before you buy, Season 1 is available right now via Amazon Prime. But the commentaries in the Bluray’s are a clinic on film-making and storytelling, and are a must listen. As well as the other features, and interviews with the cast, it is… in the age of streaming; a must own Blu-ray.

Best & Favorite of 2017!!!

This is a bit belated but I think you will find a nice overview to 2017 and pointers to 2018 in the ramblings below.

Favorite movies seen in the Theater in 2017:

KONG:SKULL ISLAND

LOGAN

 

I only saw two movies in the theater in 2017, so looking to improve on that in 2018. Nothing in January had me jazzed to pay theater prices for, however I am looking forward to the following in 2018:

click for larger (if applicable) click for larger (if applicable) click for larger (if applicable)

EQUALIZER 2

click for larger (if applicable)

 

FAVORITE TV SHOWS IN 2017:

  • LEGION
  • TAKEN
  • POWER
  • AMERICAN NINJA
  • CHOPPED
  • AMERICAN PICKERS
  • LOVE IT OR LIST IT
  • LETHAL WEAPON
  • THE GRAND TOUR
  • GODLESS
  • RUNAWAYS

FAVORITE STREAMING TV CHANNEL IN 2017

The one two punch of AMAZON PRIME and HULU gets this award. NETFLIX that was riding high in 2016 with LUKE CAGE and other shows, had a disappointing 2017. With a non user friendly interface compared to Amazon Prime and a selection of shows and movies that weren’t as interesting or well curated as either HULU or AMAZON PRIME, I cancelled my membership at the end of 2017. The last straw being the overhyped and ultimately lackluster PUNISHER series, as well as news of the studios pulling their content from Netflix.

In 2018 the TV shows that I am or will be watching are:

CASTLE ROCK

GRAND TOUR

TAKEN (I think the new showrunner made a mistake getting rid of most of the cast from season 1, but hopefully he can course correct and fix it)

STRIKE BACK and ELEMENTARY return after long hiatuses

LONGMEYER went out with a bit of a whimper, so looking forward to YELLOWSTONE

JACK RYAN

LETHAL WEAPON

CHOPPED

IZOMBIE

BLACK LIGHTNING

AMERICANS

And lastly looking forward to Season 2 of what, without question, was the best, most inventive TV show of 2017, Noah Hawley’s LEGION.

And for those keeping score… LUKE CAGE tied with FARGO Season 2 (Also by Noah Hawley) were the best TV shows of 2015, and DAREDEVIL Season 1 was the best TV show of 2014.

 

BEST MUSIC OF 2017

I loved everything binaural in 2017, adding many great CDs to my collection. THE HEAVY and GREGORY PORTER remained in heavy rotation. Gregory Porter being my favorite live performance of 2017. And I added new interests RAG N BONE MAN, Andra day and Brian Ferneyhough. With Spotify to allow me to try before I buy, I’m looking forward in 2018 to discovering more great music, both old and new.

BEST READS OF 2017

I didn’t read as many novels, or listen to as many audio books in 2017 as I did in previous years, so I definitely hope to turn that around in 2018.

I did do substantially better with Art Books, Graphic Novels, Reference Books, and comics in 2017. Some of the standouts:

 

MATT BAKER THE ART OF GLAMOUR

CREEPING DEATH FROM NEPTUNE

THE WOLVERTON BIBLE

ARTIST EDITION BASIL WOLVERTON (This and the other two previous books having to do with Basil Wolverton, I went all in on him in 2017. Still absorbing these three books here in 2018)

JACKIE ORMES

THE SIGNATURE ART OF BRIANSTELFREEZE

SEX AND HORROR THE ART OF ALESSANDRO BIFFIGNANDI

In 2018 writers I intend to go all in on are Percival Everett, Victor Lavalle, Colin Whitehead and Walter Mosley, as well as revisiting work by Ligotti, Lebbon, Ellison, Stephen King, Clive Barker and Bennett.

 

In 2017 Marvel had a great POWER MAN AND IRON FIST series I was reading, the only thing I was buying monthly from Marvel Comics. And Marvel letting greed get in the way of common sense, killed a series everyone was loving, with a creative team everyone was loving, David Walker and Brian Stelfreeze, to instead both dilute audience attention and oversaturate the market with multiple books, almost all of which are ready to be canceled. So going into 2018, with Marvel sticking to their insane $3.99 price point per book, there are no titles I pick up from Marvel Comics.

 

In 2017 DEATHSTROKE by Christopher Priest was the only DC Comic I was getting on a monthly base. It’s arguably the one series that you can just pick up and enjoy without having to read any other title, or care about any other title. Priest has been able to just do… what he does best, create a fantastic read; month in and month out. So it is the only DC book I’m reading in 2018. However, greed rears its ugly heads and the idiots who get paid to make stupid decisions have decided to add DEATHSTROKE to their floundering team book… JLA,  basically gutting the standalone nature of the comic that allows Priest, to do his magic. Basically the same poor decision making that happened last year with POWER MAN AND IRON FIST.

 

I figure the conversation went like this… ‘man everyone is talking about this book, let’s put the characters in multiple other books, and then they will be talking about all those other books too.’ No, you EFFING morons! The reason people are enjoying POWER MAN AND INRON FIST or DEATHSTROKE is because it is well drawn and well written and not part of your insipid crossover infested universe. Your very attempts to duplicate that success, without understanding it, will kill the character in the new book, and kill interest in the character in the original book.

So yeah here’s hoping someone with brains over at DC, vetoes the horrible idea to put DEATHSTROKE in the JLA, because I’m not going to read the JLA, and you’re editorial interference will create a character that no longer works in his solo book. You have therefore killed the golden goose and have nothing to show for it.

 

The good news is when you get sick of the stupid decisions and overpriced ad laden product at DC and MARVEL, you have great content from other publishers to enjoy. Publishers that give you more for your money. Publishers such as IMAGE, AFTERSHOCK, DARK HORSE and many more.

As far as where to buy new comics from, a lot of people will steer you to DCBS. I personally in terms of pure customer service and ease or ordering prefer LONE STAR COMICS. You can order comics in advance from the at http://www.mycomicshop.com at a discount.

 

They are highly recommended, and I use them myself, and this is an unpaid recommendation. Tell them Heroic Times sent you.

 

And wrapping this up, favorite podcasts of 2017:

 

11OCLOCK COMICS

COMIC GEEK SPEAK

WTF with Marc Maron

BLACK TAPES

GEEK SYNDICATE

 

To name a few. Okay that is it for my 2017 Pop Culture overview. Thanks for bearing with it and if you enjoy, spread the word. Enjoy WEEK #6 of 2018!!!

 

 

 

 

 

YouTube vs Roku/Fire TV YouTube! CDs vs Records! And the de-evolution of America. Winner? MUSIC COMPANIES!

So i hate YouTube on the web.

I hate anything with an unmoderated comments section, that revels in talk show idiocy, or ‘attention through controversy’ or bad behavior.

But thankfully YouTube via streaming devices Roku or Amazon Fire TV, is actually devoid of those moronic comments and is more signal rather noise.

This week it has been brilliant helping me research and scratch my hifi/ audio need.

And by far, by far, the Youtube Channel I found the most useful of all, is the s)mply fantastic channel AUDIOHOLICS.

These guys can clearly call bs on the fuzzy thinking that makes up too much of hi-fi marketing and hype.

Such as the sillyness of various Youtube channels going on about the superiority of LPs over CD (I don’t care if you like LPs better, that is subjective. But LP/wax is an inferior medium, (I stress MEDIUM) that is not subjective, that is a fact.)

Talk about lossy system, LP is the original lossy system. It can’t handle the highs or the lows that CDs can, so has to be mastered in this very midrange sweet spot. Which is fine, in that midrange, if you’re good with that, and that sounds ‘warmer’ to you than a   CD, whatever. In the midrange if mastered right it can be perfectly fine. But one thing you lose in addition to those highs and those lows, that get clipped on wax, you lose the ability to reproduce the listening experience.

By that I mean, if you play a CD the first time, or the 500th time, and the hardware, the cd player, the speakers, amp, being the same; the quality of that recording will be the same as the first time you listened to it. That listening experience is reproducible.

Not so with wax/lps, like vhs tape or cassette tape, the LP playing experience is one of degradation. Everytime you play the medium, your start wearing it down minutely, and evertime you play it (though no one wants to think of it) it sounds worse than the previous time, because you are scraping into that signal, that medium.

I come from the analog generation, I played records, and vhs tapes, and cassettes until the quality noticeably started grinding down. And it didn’t then, and it doesn’t now, take too many plays, for that quality to start noticeably degrading.

So I have an experience with LPs and Cassettes, and in its time it was great, and it is still something to be said about large beautiful album covers and liner notes, the tactile process of it. But don’t confuse immediacy, with sound quality. And that immediacy doesn’t outweight the glaring flaws and problems with wax, in terms of sound quality, albums always getting futz on it,needles getting futz, the threat of warping, pops and cracles appearing out of nowhere.

We loved LPs because it was the best we had. But it was always a bit of a chore as anyone can tell you who grew up with them.

And I am not an LP hater. I think it has a place , and I still get the occassional LP, but generally these are recordings only available as LPs, or were mastered direct to wax.

The former being a lot of Quincy Jones stellar 60s and 70s avant garde film soundtracks such as the seminal IN COLD BLOOD. As far as the latter, I’m a purchaser and supporter of Jack White’s THIRD MAN RECORDS. This label goes to the stunning step of recording performances live and pressing directly to vinyl. You stilll lose some highs and lows when recording to wax, but in that midrange you get something very unique and original, you get a live concert experience unmoderated by overproducing.  That”s something very unique, and while I don’t see anything particularly superior in the sound, this at least has validity as something distinct from the CD. Unlike others taking tracks mastered for  a CDs range and just chopping off the highs and lows and slapping that on vinyl.

Vinyll can be great for these very unique niche projects. But as as additive to what should be a strong and healthy and forward looking digital market. To include CD and DVD and and SACD market.

It shouldn’t be this very cannibalizing either or scenario, in which music and choice….and the consumer… loses.

So when LD, CD, DVD came on the horizon it was then, and is now, a revolution, because suddenly you have something  you can buy that will rather than lasting 25 listens or views , if you are very careful and meticulous in keeping it cleaned and dust free,  before quality suffers, you have something that will keep its pristine quality, with just normal care for a minimum of 25 years. Not 25 listens like an LP… TWENTY FIVE YEARS! Minimum.

Now add greater dynamic range, larger capacity, and vastly increased lifespan and you have a medium,The CD/DVD, that by any definition is superior. And is by any measure the greatest boon to the video and audio consumer since the advent of recorded sound.

Now if a new generation gets sold on mp3 CDs and mp3 streaming and some badly mastered cds (and LPs can be equally badly mastered, any medium will have those who use it well and poorly. The difference being we have not yet exhausted the limits of how far we can take the CD and DVD and SACD. We are abandoning those formats before wecreach their limits. In favor of going backward to a medium, wax, whose limitations were always a source of frustration to audiophiles and engineers), and this young generation is bamboozled into writing off the most astounding and groundbreaking medium produced in the 20th century and goes backward to the flawed and not copyable ,and needing replaced often, analog medium, then who benefits?

I’ll tell you who… The RIAA and the music companies, who always viewed Digital with fear for the freedom it brought the consumer.

I tell you this new generation is giving away the baby with the bath water. Privacy, oh who needs that, put everything on facebook. Put surveillance systems in the guise of game consoles, and music players and smart devices in our homes.

Here’s the thing about smart devices and trusted computing, its about the companies being able to trust you, and not the other way around.

Conglomerates, are the ones benefiting from DVDs and CDs removed from the consumer and the return to records.This creates a model where the consumer owns music or video only on flawed, finite, non high-quality medium, and must go to the content provider for anything superior.

It is not only politically and morally and spiritually that America is devolving as a nation, but also in terms of technology.

 

My response… don’t let it.

Don’t buy the marketing and allow your rights to the future, be swept away by someone selling you the past. Continue to support full spectrum DVD, CD, and BluRay. And more than that let us continue to innovate, if people like the large LP format, lets give it to them, but in the superior medium.

I was a huge fan of Laser Disc, which works very much like a record, but using a superior medium, and a laser pickup instead of the horrible wax and needle medium.

Lets offer that as the 21st century version of records, to those who want Analog playback but with the benefits of digital transport/reproduction. That is a record I could get behind. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

p.s. And avoid youtube morons attempting to review speakers and amps by just playing music (uh, moron, if I could hear the quality of your system just by listening on my system… they would call that magic. How do you not realize that?)

This is the lack of common sense mentality  that has idiots ditching CDs for flawed LPs, and spending thousands to try and make those LPs reach a dynmaic range, that is beyond them.

 

Okay here endeth my rant!