I don’t think I can read Doug TenNapel’s comics anymore.

Even if you don’t recognize the name Doug TenNapel, odds are you’ve experienced his work, or know someone who has.  The comics and game creator was hailed as a creative powerhouse in the 90s and early aughts (that’s the first decade of the new millennium to you, uh…millennials), and is still going strong.  There’s a reason the guy is considered a fountain of quirky juiciness: he’s been telling damn good stories for years, most with a retro flare.  His graphic novel Iron West remains one of the more memorable comics I’ve ever read, and playing Earthworm Jim (his brainchild) during my Sega Genesis days was sheer joy.

IronWest

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Remember “Avoid the Noid”?

Do you remember the game that promoted fast pizza delivery way back in the day?  Is the word “Noid” familiar? Do you know what MS-DOS or a Commodore 64 are (or rather, were)?  If you answered yes to any of these, you are almost certainly approaching 30 (if not past the mark already) or are simply cool beyond your years…at least as far as I’m concerned.

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Celebrating 20 years of Hellboy: A [moral] compass for modern comics

Today, March 22nd, has been declared “Hellboy Day” by Dark Horse comics in celebration of 20 years of one of the most celebrated characters in comic-dom.  In the spirit of this most illustrious of feast days, I decided to reflect a little on just what I have found so special about Hellboy over the years.  I think I nailed it…but maybe that’s just my ego.  Comments and criticism are welcome, as always. Continue reading

Yearning for a time when NASA’s budget reflected its greatness? Read some Warren Ellis to hold you over.

In light of China’s recent moon probe landing (and the slightly less recent government shutdown) my mind has turned again to NASA’s shrinking budget.  Sigh.

Are you yearning for the time when NASA’s ambition and budget were big enough to make dreams come true?  No need to answer, it was rhetorical.  Who knows if or when that day will come again, but until then there’s some good reading out there to keep you going.   Continue reading

Get through winter (and then the rest of forever) with shortwave listening

Fall is here and winter is fast approaching.  For many people the change of the seasons is a refreshing and renewing experience, bringing with it a new range of foods, drinks, activities and style that are befitting cooler temperatures and colors.  That embrace doesn’t come so easily for a good many though, and for those winter spells boredom for the foreseeable future.  But it doesn’t have to be that way! Continue reading

My latent love affair with Kaiju

10 Films To See Before Pacific Rim | Godzilla Vs Mecha-Godzilla (1974)

With movies like July’s Pacific Rim and 2014’s Godzilla reboot on the horizon, my mind this spring has repeatedly wandered into Kaiju territory, as is only natural.  Kaiju (giant monster) films have definitely played a heavy-handed role in my taste’s development over the years, but strangely, they weren’t something I latched onto as a young boy.  Sure, I got an inkling of this genre from King Kong, parts of the Godzilla canon and Attack of the 50-foot Woman as a kid, but I didn’t start to genuinely dig the stuff until I was in college.  Why?  Honestly, no idea…but here are some thoughts. Continue reading

The Shadow: a look back at the radio show, comic book and pulp serial

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!

Frank Readick Jr.

Do you like Batman? Do you like film noir? How about detective stories in general? Are you a living human being? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should probably familiarize yourself with The Shadow. I first became aware of The Shadow when I found cassette tape recordings of the golden age radio show at a thrift store. Lucky find. From there I moved onto the comics, dove in, and never looked back…except for those times I suspected someone was lurking behind me.

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