Wednesday, January 18. 2012 | Comments (4)
Wow. Lot's of stuff to talk about. First of all, the Texas Rangers' new ace pitcher:
Good Lord, some of those pitches change zip codes before crossing the plate. And after. Good change-up, too. Yu Darvish. No Wikipedia link today; they're doing that stupid blackout thing so I figured I would go along with the idea and not link them. I'm sure they're crying.
Speaking of which, any of you who follow my twitter feed probably picked up that I'm not terribly impressed with the SOPA and PIPA activism. As I mentioned earlier today on Twitter, let me be clear (Thank you, Mr. President): I don't support either proposal. They're a little to vague and broadly targeted. As most legislation is, honestly. On the other hand, neither of these bill proposals does what so many are claiming. Anything subject to First Amendment protection is exempt, first of all. Seriously. ThatGuyWithTheGlasses.com? Your stuff would still be just as protected as it has been. SOPA and PIPA can't touch you. READ THE DAMN BILL. The government can bypass due process and shut you down with only a complaint? No. The bill is very explicit in this regard; the Attorney General can only act directly against a website, etc. if NO DOMESTIC HOST OR CONTACT OF A FOREIGN SITE, etc. CAN BE LOCATED. At that point the AG can act against the foreign host, etc. using the legal tools available to the office. Not only can NONE OF THIS apply to American hosts, etc. (because of that due process guarantee) but the law only allows action against FOREIGN websites as a last resort. READ THE DAMN BILL.
This is giving me a headache.
In the meantime, there are laws being proposed that actively and directly affect our rights, and I don't hear a peep out of hardly any of you. I've mentioned the Research Works Act.
So, yeah, I'm a little upset about this. Some smart people have bought into the argument wholeheartedly, and it's disappointing. Shamus, call me. I believe you're smarter than this. I understand opposing the legislation; I do too. But spreading misinformation is NOT the way to win the argument.
DC The New 52. Everything has four issues now, and next week the final fifth issues will be out. But I think I've got everything grokked now. This is pretty simple, really. As a reboot, The New 52 is a complete failure. Most of the titles aren't even reboots. Superman is. Batgirl is. Batman isn't, really. Neither is Green Lantern. Don't know about Flash or Green Arrow. Birds of Prey isn't, it's just a new volume, really. Except it has the new Batgirl...so maybe? There are several new comics, and a lot of those are pretty good. If they would have done the entire DC universe in conjunction with the new titles, I think it might have worked.
As a marketing initiative, The New 52 was pretty successful. It got a lot of people like me to try out some comics. And, while I've dropped several, here's what I'm still reading, and my thoughts so far.
All Star Western - Jonah Hex. Written by Palmiotti and Gray, drawn by Moritat. Well-written book, it's on the "continue indefinitely" list. The first storyline teamed Hex up with Amadeus Arkham, and it looks like they're going to continue in this vein. Interesting take on the classic Holmes/Watson dynamic. And I'm not just saying that, I'm pretty sure it's intentional.
Animal Man - Written by Lemire, drawn by Foreman. DC is making a strong move into light horror comics with a lot of their new titles, with Animal Man at the forefront. Has a very "indy" feel to it, if you take my meaning. The opening story arc looks like it's going to last quite a while; this one is currently on the "continue indefinitely" list, but I can see the potential for one bad issue to ruin it.
Aquaman - Written by Johns, drawn by Reis. Damn. A premiere writer and artist launch the underwater superhero back into stardom. I am not even remotely joking about this. Aquaman is probably the only must read comic for anyone in The New 52. At least that's how I feel. I assure you I will continue reading this comic for a while.
Batgirl - Written by Simone, drawn by Syaf. Barbara Gordon's return to active duty in the new timeline has certainly been met with a mixed reception. Personally, I think this is one of the better books. The initial storyline was a bit trite, and I get the feeling Simone is having a hard time developing a feel for the new Barbara Gordon. But, this comic as well is on the "continue indefinitely" list.
Batman: The Dark Knight - written by Finch and Jenkins, drawn by Finch. This one isn't on the long list. The art is nice, and the story has been somewhat interesting, but I may drop this title. I've been considering going back to the regular Batman title instead, which I had previously dropped because it immediately hooked into several other titles for continuity.
Batwoman - written by Blackman and Williams, drawn by Williams. Beautiful art and an intriguing character concept which was ruined by the fourth issue by getting on the soap box too often, and with way too much ignorance. It's hard to take a mystery seriously when characters start demagogue-ing and the story starts devoting half the issue to making political points. Also, see Mister Terrific.
Birds of Prey - written by Swierczynski, drawn by Saiz. I don't like Black Canary. Thankfully, it seems like Swierczynski doesn't either, as the most recent comics make plain that while she's tough as nails and can burst your noggin', the Canary isn't quite as competent or as smart as she thinks she is. Thankfully, the ensemble cast just get's better and better with each issue. I initially took the Starling character to be the snarker and punch-line provider, but Swierczynski has managed to instill a personality that's refreshingly different. Kooky Katana comes of, really, as perfectly normal...right up until she pulls out her blade and starts talking to it. In a very realistic manner. It's not hammy and silly. She really, truly believes the soul of her husband lives in that sword and talks to her. Poison Ivy looks sick but acts the sophisticate, when the truth is exactly opposite. Swierczynski has managed to make each issue better than the previous; Birds of Prey is finally on the "continue indefinitely" list.
Demon Knights - written by Cornell, drawn by Nevis. Several people, most notably Linkara, have haled this series as the best of The New 52, and while I certainly like it in the main, I wouldn't go that far. In fact, I can see the possibility of a great failure before too long. This one is on an "issue-to-issue" basis.
Detective Comics - written by Daniel, drawn by Daniel. Probably the best of the new Batman titles. So far, this series feels the most like a "classic" Batman title, but of course everyone will have their own opinion of what that means. Like The Dark Knight, however, this one is "issue-by-issue".
Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E. - written by Lemire, drawn by Ponticelli. I put this one up there with Aquaman. This really is original, quality storytelling. Just try it. On the "continue indefinitely" list.
Green Lantern Corps - written by Tomasi, drawn by Pasarin. Features John Stewart and Guy Gardner, along with a host of other GL's. Primarily deals with Green Lantern problems throughout the rest of the galaxy, or that threaten the galaxy itself. The only GL book I've ever enjoyed. Will continue reading this one.
Justice League Dark - written by Milligan, drawn by Janin. I didn't like this one at first, but it's growing on me. This is a team book featuring all of the occult and magic superheroes in the DC universe. Unfortunately, I'm not sure the writer has a good grip on this one, as the narrative keeps wandering around in a very unfocused manner. On the "issue-by-issue" list.
Justice League International - written by Jurgens, drawn by Lopresti. Uneven and not as funny as it should be, but I can still see a lot of potential here. Issue-by-issue, with high hopes.
Legion Lost - written by Nicieza, drawn by Woods. This one is on borrowed time. Came out strong, but last two issues were very preachy (I don't want your politics in my comic).
Nightwing - written by Higgins, drawn by Barrows. I'm not traditionally a Nightwing fan, but an appearance in Batgirl got me reading this one. It's still issue-by-issue.
OMAC - Written by DiDio and Giffen, drawn by Giffen. I loved this series for the first two issues, but it's been fairly pedestrian since then. Currently on the "issue-by-issue" list.
Stormwatch - written by Cornell, drawn by Sepulveda. This one has really grown on me. The writing is excellent, and the setting comes off as twisted just a bit to the "weird" side. On the "continue indefinitely" list.
Suicide Squad - written by Glass, drawn by Dallocchio and Getty. I'm not sure the writer has a good hand on were this book is going in the long run, but the scenes and dialogue are great. This one is currently "issue-by-issue", but I expect to continue reading it for a while, at least.
Wonder Woman - written by Azzarello, drawn by Chiang. The other really controversial title of The New 52. DC just can't get traction with Wonder Woman, and the alteration of her origin story (again) rubbed many fans the wrong way. I actually like it, myself, and I'm still cautiously optimistic that Azzarello may actually have something good here. Currently a "continue indefinitely", but with great potential to crash and burn.
That's it. Anything else I've mentioned in the past that isn't listed here I had already dropped. I can see dropping a few titles from this list; most obviously The Dark Knight, Nightwing, Demon Knights and Legion Lost.
And I still have the independents to talk about; I'll leave it for now.
Current video games:
Grand Theft Auto 4. I have a bit to say about this game. Some of what I have to say is that 4 has the same problems that San Andreas and Vice City Stories had. Something else is that the game is such a phenomenal example of a huge, explorable area that it's a shame there's no reason to do so. One other thing I can talk about is that I have played through 43% of story in 41 hours. That's almost exactly an hour for every percent of game. Of those 41 hours, I have spent about 20 playing the actual story and missions, and 21 keeping my friends and girlfriends "happy" so they don't start pouting and leave me text messages and emails saying they don't like me anymore. The 25+ hours I have to look forward too keeping my friends "happy" so they don't yell at me are making me lose sleep at night, which will eventually cause me to become a dissociative sociopath with an inferiority complex and a gun, thereby proving Jack Thompson right. You done messed up, Rockstar.
I may talk about this more later. (Place your bets.)
Half Life Source. I never finished the original Half Life. No, really. Shun me.
Recettear. Haven't gone very far, though.
No WoW, lately. I'll be recording some more Guild Wars soon. I will also be trying my hand at visual novels again, with Katawa Shoujo.
May have some more vacation photos to put up. Working on some more figure photos as well, supposedly 3D stereoscopic images aren't that hard to do.
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I can throw the first half of those pitches. The part where the ball heads way off to the right or at the batter's head. Never could make the ball break.
I had a very deceptive change-up with the wiffleball. I could put everything into a throw and it would launch like a sick turtle.
'course, that's true of everyone, really.
I actually really and truly once did throw a curve with a baseball. Dropped off the table and everything.
Afterwards, my elbow felt like someone had taken a diamond-tipped drillbit to it. For a week. And my wrist hasn't worked right since. But it curved!
Hee Hee, this year is looking fun. Wish the girls were in to following too. Need to take them to a semi-local live game.