Why I hate Black Friday Sales – Door Busters Idiots

Today I found myself outside Target at 3.20am waiting for the Black Friday sale to begin. This broke a seven year long formed habit of avoiding these events, and although I had a good reason to be here, there were a number of reminders why I hate Black Friday sales.

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My Answer to Better yet, DON’T Write that Novel on Salon.com

To understand what the blog below is about, you need to first click the link below and read the article from Laura ‘How Dare People Create’ Miller over on Salon.com, it is called Better yet, DON’T Write that Novel by Laura Miller and is aimed at the budding writers taking part in National Novel Writers Month.

Direct Link is here –http://www.salon.com/books/laura_miller/2010/11/02/nanowrimo

Here is my reply to this article, that is dripping with the sort of elitism that really does piss me off… When I first read Better yet, DON’T Write that Novel, I got a little mad. After all, the message seems to be don’t bother creating, its a waste of time, and how dare you NaNoWriMo plebes think you’re good enough to be read. Then I got it, and I smiled.

The author of this article has been reduced to writing incendiary blogs for advertising dollars, because her own novel didn’t shift any numbers, despite name dropping one the most beloved classic children’s fantasy series of all time in its title.

Let it go… People write, if they want to write during NaNoWriMo let them.  The biggest and most successful books in the last 10 years have been located on that publishers slush pile, written by such dreamers as those you will find at NaNoWriMo. From teen Wizards to Sparkly Emo Vampires who are you to set the trend?

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My review and thoughts of Millar & McNiven’s Nemesis Issues 1 to 3

Nemesis Issue OneNemesis by Mark Millar with art by Steve McNivan, published via Marvel’s Owner Creator Imprint Icon.

With Millar and McNivan at the helm this book has a great pedigree and I was excited to pick up the first issue of this book. Mark, a writer with writing credits going all the way back to ground breaking 2000AD issues, and McNivan’s art is always beautiful to look at.

Perhaps that’s the problem with Nemesis? We start out with such high expectations that what we were given was going to be a huge disappointment. The premise of the book is simple, what if Batman was the Joker? You would think a man with all the resources, training, intelligence and guile of the cape crusader would make an awesome supervillain to read about, right?

I thought so, and then I found out in Millar’s hands this very simple and powerful plot device would turn into a huge turd. The tools are all there, Nemesis travels from country to country challenging the top Police mind and defeats them, along with usually over the top Mark Millar body count. Okay, I get it he might just be evil for the sake of evil, but what makes Nemesis tick, what is making him do this?

The first book is bit of a roller-coaster ride, we start with the introduction of the Nemesis, then we meet his next sparring partner Inspector Blake Morrow, the book ends with the ludicrous kidnap of the President in downtown DC, that looks nothing like downtown DC (sky scrapers?). Still all good solid action stuff, but you do go away feeling the issue was  kind of flat.

The second book we explore the back story of Nemesis, which I think was a mistake on Mark Millars part. A villain as mysterious as Nemesis should have had his back story revealed throughout the series. In this issue the Inspector strikes back after Nemesis kills the entire staff of the Pentagon. We also learn that the Nemesis is the child of rich Pedophile parents who abused and killed kids. Yes that’s right Nemesis is going after the Inspector Morrow because he caught his parents and arrested them. Of course such sick people were executed with the Mother extorting our young Nemesis to take revenge for them. This is a hard pill to swallow, suddenly Nemesis is just a big dick as his motivations are laid bare and we have nothing to relate to with him on.

Wow… Killed the character dead right there. A simple frame up or miscarriage would added much more depth to the Nemesis character instead of a child of freaking Pedophiles who seems to be just as sick and twisted as his parents. Really I did expect much better from Mark with this one.

The third issue deals with Nemesis’s escape from prison with another high body count and improbable plot devices. And we learn more about the Inspector and how his family isn’t as perfect as he thought. Okay, now we are dipping out toe into shades of gray, which would have been better if the Inspector was an engaging character, but he is really not there either and these characterizations seem to miss the mark. Is the Inspector meant to be just as evil as Nemesis?

At this point I’ve dumped $12 into this series and now I Just give, the series is flat toned, shallow written and you don’t really care who wins in this battle of so called wits. High body counts every issue, stupidly thought out solutions (like every prisoner having an identical car) isn’t a battle of wits, its just bland action comic. The artwork is beautiful as you would expect from Steve McNivan, and I like the pale color palette used by Dave McCraig. Artwork alone is not enough alone to sustain interest in the book. I feel Mark should read a Batman comic before doing a Batman super-villain, be more cerebral and actually have the two protagonists actually try to outwit each other. And for pity sake have something we could of empathizes with for both characters.

If over the top violence for violence sake with no redeeming characters, or no gripping story arc is your thing then I recommend Nemesis, if you actually like having your books have a story or premise then this is a big miss. If I could score it on artwork and coloring I would give this a 3 out fo 5 Thumbs up. But primary focus of my reviews is the story because no matter how bad the artwork you can forgive if the story is engaging.

1 Thumbs up out of 5

A Series of Events and Observations


Karma Kit Two

I assure you Karma was very much alive when I took this picture

For the latter part of this week I had a series of observations and events lined up to blog about. Sadly, the Kitten I rescued from exposure and whom we named Rayne Karma died suddenly on Thursday morning from causes unknown, although we think her body already endured too much and just shut down.  We did all we could, just this time there was really nothing that could help her. Karma Kit born ? died Oct 7, 2010 wish I knew you longer.

This put paid to the observations I wanted to make, gone were the comments on the anti-socialness of texting in company, how the quality of driving hasn’t improved in Maryland since the introduction of hands free, the insanity, or more truthfully the plain dumbness of election coverage, watching the baby boomers influenced by the politics of fear are selfishly march this country into a reflection of what there parents fought against, how news in the USA long forgotten how to report actual news, the joy of seeing Apple sued for infringing some one else’s patient and finally how I would really like to be at New York Comic Con this weekend.

None of this seems important right now, life will go on, the world will keep turning and if you blink you will miss too much. Onwards…

Politics are a Joke…

You will have to excuse this mini-rant, remember I am from a very different country from most of you and see politics here in a much different light.

Last night we were watching the News, checking for closures after the aftermath of Tropical Storm Nicole and generally seeing what damage this huge rain storm did to our local area (we got off light only 5″ of rain). When the commercial break came on, as its election season it was campaign ad after campaign ad, and you know what I noticed?

Not one ad told me what that candidate stood for, all it told me was how badly the other person smelled, how they drank coffee from the wrong side of the cup, parted his hair differently, owned a car with three wheels, how different they were to you, that they wanted power over you and therefore are bad (anyone who notices that irony in that last statement). We are heading into a very important election mid-term here in and I have no idea what policies or even ideals any of them are running on. Its all slam, slam, slam… Nothing of any substance, nothing to mark one candidate from the other…

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