Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Banshee in Firelight

The Obi

Obis are harmless
and fond of puns
and small fish
they are shy
because they realize
other people
don't like how they smell

Captain America and Captain America II

Oh no movie lovers this is not the recent big screen version of Captain America.  This isn't even Albert Pyun's abortion of straight to video wreckage of the eighties.  This is the SEVENTIES Captain America that came in the form of two TV pilots.  The first pilot was the basic origin story and the second was a bit more adverturous, but more about that later. 

So, how did they handle Captain America's origin for the seventies?  Well Steve Rogers, as hunkily acted by Reb Brown, drives to California in his tricked out van to start a life on the road seeing America.  Turns out though that some scientists who work for the government want him to test his father's super steroid.  Also turns out that a scientist friend of his is killed and when Rogers tries to find out why he is banged up pretty good.  The government scientists see that his only hope is daddy's super steroid so they shoot him up.  Rogers isn't happy about this first but as the super powers kick in he decides to work with the government to help the little guy.

So what did they do right and wrong here?  Well first Reb Brown is already a super hunk, that's a bad thing.  The heart of the Captain America story is he started off 4f and caught people's attention because he tried harder than anyone.  This Steve Rogers is already an ex marine and professional motorcross rider.  He's already practically a superhero.  One the other hand making his dad the maker of the super soldier formula was a good idea since in the plot his father used his own cells to make it.  That gives a good reason why Steve is the only one who can take it.  They also do a good job showing just what the formula does.  He definitely is much stronger and faster than a normal person and he says his senses are also better.  On the other hand the muck up the shield badly.  It's fricking plastic!  They also mess with the classic design of the suit for no clear reason.  On the other hand, they gave him a really radical motorcycle that even has a "silent" mode of travel.  Cool.

The first was mildly interesting but a standard origin story.  The second was better.  It's a shame that they avoided using a super villain like the Red Skull but Christopher Lee is always a good choice.  He plays a terrorist who kidnaps a scientists and secretly takes over a jail.  From there he creates an aging gas that causes anyone exposed to age 38 days an hour.  He of course has the antitoxin and he holds a town hostage for a ransom of a billion dollars.  Captain America must first find him, break into the jail and get the scientist and antitoxin out.  It's actually pretty decent for made for tv.  It's a shame really that neither pilot really took.  I think it could have been a lot of fun to watch.

My Top Ten List of Superheroes I Like #1: The Batman

Why?  Cause he's the god damned Batman that's why.  He's cool, and he has the best villians ever.  He has even survived having Robin around. Batman even kicked butt as an old man. He's the guy other heroes turn to when they have a problem.

Villainy and Blackguards Incorporated #28: The Photon

Villains and Blackguards Incorporated (VABI) is an organization found on Earth 32aa which has dedicated itself to protecting the interest of those of differently enabled morality and enhanced humanity. They take care of legal expenses and investments. It has become a very successful organization and is considering spreading to other Earths. In case they do here are some of it's members.

VABI tries to be a low key operation. We don't want to rule the world, just aid those who might want that. We don't want headlines, we want profit. So we like operatives like the Key Men, or the Telemen who can operate with little fuss or muss.

Sometimes though you need to have the big dogs.

When we need massive property destruction or to take out some one who is supposedly invulnerable we like to call on the services of The Photon. Lydia Lee was 13 when she first started getting visions. She was 16 when the visions started leaking out from her. Lydia is channelling the power of a sentient star, in this case Alpha Cigna 12. Alpha Cigna is interested in earth and humanity and uses Lydia to experience things as mundane as how a pizza may taste. Lydia on the other hand can channel the raw power of a star and can create beams of energy that can render most forms of matter into nothing at all. Overall, they are a good team though sometimes they have their problems. Also, Lydia's sanity has suffered a bit and now she is taking medication for schizophrenia.

VABI uses her sparringly, but when we do it's generally a fairly final solution to any problem. VABI is also monitoring her mental health closely. The idea of her going hopelessly insane is frightening even to us.

Things You Need To Know #120

The cat known as sassy knows where one of the five remaining doors to fairyland resides.  Sassy has been given four and three fairy gifts so he is no pushover.  Bribes must be very high if one hopes to know where the door is.  Physical threats are not advise.  One of sassy's gift is to become a lion when threatened.

This was something you needed to know.

Monster of the Day: Skalengeck

Source:  Grimm
Location: Any where
Threat Assessment:  5.  Nasty teeth.  Gills.  And they tend to be drug addicts which make the unpredictable and dangerous.
Limitation:  Drug addicts.

Today's Secret Code

"Birds fly, snakes crawl, and I'm sort of glad it worked out that way."  Again:  "Birds fly, snakes crawl, and I'm sort of glad it worked out that way."  Today's Colour is shiminy, shiny, steely silver.  Today's Author is a cookin' fool.  That is all, maho maho.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Demon Heads On Satin

The Kappa Ascending

From the depths
comes the Kappa
no doubt planning
some mischief

Songs for Comic Book Reading

My Top Ten Superheroes that I like #2: Spiderman

Spiderman is the perfect combination of wish fullfillment and reality. On the one had he really enjoys his powers and his adventures. He always has an easy quip at the ready. On the other hand, his accidental involvement in the death of his Uncle has given him both a lot of guilt and a sense of responsiblity. That sense of responsiblity has only grown over the years through other tragedies.

Things You Need To Know #119

Alien John is a street person who believes that EVERYONE else is an alien. He says all the real people were replaced by aliens in 1965. He says we have been hypnotize to forget that we are aliens and we are part of some strange experiment. Oddly, Alien John has six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. He also has a small tail.

This was something you needed to know.

Monster of the Day: Critters

Source:  Critters
Location:  Space prison/farm
Threat Assessment:  5.  Crites as they are known are a ball of fur with teeth.  Lots of teeth.  They also can shoot poisoned spikes.
Limitation:  Nothing that a good shotgun can't solve.

Today's Secret Code:

"We've gone from four elements to over one hundred, who knows what the future might bring."  Again:  "We've gone from four elements to over one hundred, who knows what the future might bring."  Today's Colour is putridly, raptorish, vulturine purple.  Today's Author is soaring slyly highly.  That is all, maho maho mayo.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Lady Boar

The Lady Boar
makes the Ghantwood
her home
There are no hunters here
at least for long

Abelar: Tales of an Ancient Empire

Albert Pyun, wow. There's a name I haven't thought about in years. He directed "Abelar: Tales of an Ancient Empire" which should stop the review right there. The IMDb says this about the man:

No other film director has been so much vituperated against as Albert Pyun. Frequently compared with Edward D. Wood Jr., they both share a fascination for the bizarre. Pyun has a feel for the stylistic and hypnotic, changing the conventions of fiction, and makes each of his movies extreme experiences.

I can attest to every word of that little bio.  He was responsible for some pretty funky films like "Dollman" and "Brain Smasher, a love story?"  He was also responsible for huge mountain of crap usually involving cyborgs, the desert, and yellow film filters.  So it was with a special sort of terror and expectation that I started to watch Abelar.

True to Pyun's tendency to direct action films without having action, the beginning of Abelar begins with an epic credit crawl and mass exposition.  Instead of having actual actors 9/10 is told in really crappy drawings.  We learn that the vampires want to do nasty things to the world so a mercenary and his buddies do some vampire killing.  The mercenary has a faux samurai hairdoo but is dressed more European middle age/world of warcraft style.  He kills the head vampire and is about to kill his daughter when he suddenly gets the hots for her and the do the nasty right there next to dead daddy.  She instantly becomes nine months pregnant so he kills her.  He takes the baby though.

Twenty years later we have Kevin Sorbo in need of a check.  He's trying to do a Conan/Han Solo combo and is failing epically.  He meets the sister he didn't know he had.  They are also met by a princess on the run from the vampire lady slain at the beginning who has risen again and is in a bad mood.  So all these literal bastards search for other bastards and there mercenary daddy to defeat the vampires. 

So we get yellow filters (naturally), bad action scenes, bad acting, truly bad Kevin Sorbo acting, and people dressed in a combo of world or warcraft/middle age/post apocalypse fashions.  There is a weird, funky bright murkiness here in terms of the writing.  After awhile you just stop trying to follow the plot and just let the whole thing jump on your brain.  It's certainly not a good film, but its a whole 'nother dimension of bad that a true film fan might want to take a look at.

My Top Ten Superheroes That I Like #3: Buckaroo Banzai

Now some may complain that he's more of a pulp style hero.  All I know is he drove through a mountain and saved the world from the Electroids.  That's pretty hard core superheroing in my book.  Besides who else but a real superhero can keep the Hong Kong Cavaliers together?  The thing I like best is how low key he was played but it was a very special type of low key.  You can't really be low key and stand toe toe with the over the top performance of John Lithgow so it only SEEMS low key.  That, dear readers is brilliance.

Villainy and Blackguards Incorporated #27: Penn Teller

Villains and Blackguards Incorporated (VABI) is an organization found on Earth 32aa which has dedicated itself to protecting the interest of those of differently enabled morality and enhanced humanity. They take care of legal expenses and investments. It has become a very successful organization and is considering spreading to other Earths. In case they do here are some of it's members.

VABI would be nowhere without its economic division and the person that leads it is Mr. Penn Teller. He has no super powers. He was never known as a villain of any sort. He is, however, a wizard with numbers, a sultan of sums, and the very picture of the modern money genie.

He was born of humble means being the fifth son of a large Irish family in the worst part of Dublin. He grew up being very aware of the value of even a penny. Luckily, he had a fine mind and excelled at school. Winning various scholarships he attended college and graduated with honors. He spent ten years in various financial institutions before coming to us.

So why did he agree to join VABI?  Well, to be honest Mr. Teller was somewhat abused as a child by his father.  This has led to a certain....dislike of a certain type of people.  He agreed to join us in return for VABI to perform certain functions to remove said people, and take pictures.  Over the years Mr. Teller has filled up two albums and has never felt better.

VABI is dedicated to employee morale.

Things You Need To Know #118

There is a slide in plainville's park that if you climb to the top and stand up you can see your house from there. The house you grew up in. If you bring binoculars you might even see a younger and probably happier you.

This was something you needed to know.

Monster of the Day: Soda Machine of Doom

Source:  Maximum Overdrive
Location:  Somewhere in the South
Threat Assessment:  3.  Dispenses soda at great speed at groin height.
Limitation:  Immobile, limited amount of soda and then it's "Where's your God now soda machine?"

Today's Secret Code:

"Beware of the man with ferrets in his pants."  Again:  "Beware of the man with ferrets in his pants."  Today's Colour is a peachy pricklish pink.  Today's Author is jousting against solar panels.  That is all, maho maho.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Vidogo kijani Mungu

Vidogo kijani Mungu
is a little spirit
full of great mischief
but he's not mean
and will give
magical fruit
if asked

Number 6 3/4 Decides on a Head

The right head
makes the day go by
ever so nicely

My Top Ten Superheroes That I Like #4: Raven from the Teen Titan cartoon

I have be specific here because her comic book incarnation always left me a bit cold. In the cartoon, though, she is all sorts of snarky fun. She's also seems to be a lot more active in combat showing off how much fun a little magical telekinesis can be. She bounces off well against the sunny personalities of Starfire and Beast Boy and she still has that core of tragedy being the daughter of a demon and all.   In all, a good reason to still watch the Cartoon network even as an adult.

Things You Need To Know #117

Never light a fire in the fireplace in the third house on the right side of Chantmoore Street. Those flames have no heat because it is the preghost of those flames. Those flames that you just lit will someday be real, and you will be the fuel.

This was something you needed to know.

Monster of the Day: Little Baby Dragons

Source: Game of Thrones
Location: Across the Narrow Sea
Threat Assessment: currently 2. Eventually 7. They will grow up to be huge flying, flame throwing monsters.
Limitations: just babies right now.... awww cute.

Today's Secret Code

"The sword of honor needs to be honed every day."  Again:  "The sword of honor needs to be honed every day."  Today's Colour is a sheeny steel.  Today's Author is a gay blade.  That is all, maho maho.  SLATHER!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Drowned Witch

In a barbaric past
some innocents were tested
for being a witch
by drowning
There should be no pity then
for those who drowned an actual witch
and what rose from the waters

Once Upon A Time Versus One Very Mad Hatter

Well, that's something you don't see every day. Our unhappy people in Storybrooke had a joker in their midst and didn't even know it. See, Snow White aka Mary decides to escape from jail. Her daughter Emma decides to try to find her. Both get kidnapped by a rather charming and very insane gentleman. Why? Cause he wants Emma to make him a hat.

See, back in fairy tale land he had a magic hat. The Queen needed him to use his hat so they can both go to the wonderland described in Alice in Wonderland. The Queen of course betrays him and leaves him stranded in Wonderland. The Red Queen forces him to make hat after hat to try to get another magic hat. Alas, he has no magic so he goes mad instead. Then when the Queen creates her great curse it pulls him from Wonderland to Storybrooke. Weirdly, this keeps his memory intact but he can't act on his memory. So for 28 years he stayed in his house and can only watch his daughter being raised by another family, and so he goes mad a second time. When Emma comes he senses that he has been freed and she did it so she must have magic. Therefore why not use her magic to make another hat so he and his daughter can go back to the fairy tale world.

This is a great episode on many levels. The acting was good. The writing was inventive. More importantly it advances the overall plot of the show. Emma is finally taking the curse seriously. She realizes she does make a difference. There are minor problems, like please get a real artist to do Henry's book, but they are small problems. I love that they made the Red Queen so very mysterious. I feel she will be a big part of the story soon enough.

Good job everybody. It fed my head.

The New Season of Game of Thrones is Almost Here!!

Some folks, like my friend the Druid, can't stand either the book or the HBO show but I'm frankly addicted to it.  In many ways its just a jumped up boddice ripper, but I find it a well told tale with some incredibly gripping scenes.  If you haven't seen it, I would definitely say get the DVD of season 1.

So what is it about?  Quite a bit really.  The short form is it is about royal families fighting and scheming to control the island continent of Westeros.  What no one realizes is that there are bigger threats coming.

What else do I need to know?  Well, magic is powerful but very rare in this world.  There are dragons, and there are things called White Walkers.  There's a wall seven hundred feet high made of ice that goes across the norther border to keep the White Walkers out.  There is a class of knights that guard the wall that sort of act like Westeros version of the French Foreign Legion.  Oh and the seasons are variable and can last for years.  Like ten years of winter.

Here is a song that was used in some of the recent trailers.  I love it.

My Top Ten Superheroes That I Like #5: Hellboy

We all love heroes with a tormented past, but we also love Spiderman type heroes who glib and happy go lucky. Hellboy manages to be both. A supernatural entity raised as a normal joe, he goes about saving the world like it was just another job. A lover of cats and good beer. What's not to love?

Things You Need To Know #116

Seven stars for seven soldiers, seven stars for seven fates. In WWI there were seven brothers who served bravely each awarded for their services. Each lived a life attuned to a different virtue or sin afterwards. Those awards are now imbued with those lives. Bravery, Passion, Cunning, Richness, Drunkeness, Violence, and self destruction. All the stars look alike. Be careful when you choose.

This was something you needed to know.

Monster of the Day: Evil Rats of Nimh

Source:  Secret of Nimh
Location:  Local farm
Threat Assessment:  4.  Yeah they are small.  But they have human intelligence.  Technology.   Add all the biological advantages of being a rat and numbers and a bad bunch of Nimh rats are your living nightmare.
Limitation:  Good rats of Nimh, being small, and being hunted by the government.

Today's Secret Code:

“Les jeux sont faits” Again:  “Les jeux sont faits”  Today's Colour is purply blueish.  Today's Author can only think  “Himmel, was los ist?”  That is all, maho maho.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Enyion Masqued

Enyions always wear masks
each mask is filled with meaning
emblems of the ancient stories
of Enyion heroes and cooks

Hive God

Hives do feel
and often feel fear
and loss
and so Hive Gods
hearing buzzing
of the mass

No One Expects Ninja Cats

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Ok, this is a short review. Well received novel now filmed twice and this is the American version. A journalist and hacker join forces to solve a decades old murder. The suspects are all on one island and mostly disgustingly rich. Can they solve the mystery? Will they connect with each other as people?

Well, honestly you'll have to watch the movie yourself if you want to know. I did, and I read the book, and I watched the original picture. I didn't like any of them. I kept coming back because I felt I must have been missing something because everyone else seemed to really like it. Finally, though, I have come to the conclusion that I simple don't like no matter how good it was presented.

Make no mistake, this is beautiful film. This is beautifully shot, well acted, well written, and the music is just incredible. This is the type of film that film school students come and see to pick up tips. So then, why did I not like it? Well first off, it is way too rape-y for me. As I said in another review, it's just something that turns off of a film and this film really did it in a way that was just raw hurt on the screen.

The main reason though I didn't connect to this film is that its about people who have made huge walls between themselves and the world. For the most part the walls are still there by the end of the film. It's like watching a film about glaciers doing a waltz. There's a certain fascination, but no connection. It's just hard to sit through two hours when you can't engage beyond a certain appreciation of the technical aspects of the film.

So there you have it. Most every other critic loved the film, loved the book. So take this all with a grain of salt.

My Top Ten Superheroes I Like #6: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

True, this is more of a kid's show but once I was a kid.  When I was I watched the turtles nearly every afternoon.  They were fun and took a concept that should have imploded in sheer absurdity and made it work.  I have the turtles and Bruce Lee to thank for the bumps in the back of my head due to improvised nun chucks.  Thank you turtles!

PS:  Michael Bay you suck for wanting to turn the Turtles into aliens.  You are like that producer that Kevin Smith talks about who wanted to make a Superman film but without Superman's costume or Superman's ability to fly.  Oh and he had to fight a polar bear.

Villainy and Blackguards Incorporated #26: Dr. Seer

Villains and Blackguards Incorporated (VABI) is an organization found on Earth 32aa which has dedicated itself to protecting the interest of those of differently enabled morality and enhanced humanity. They take care of legal expenses and investments. It has become a very successful organization and is considering spreading to other Earths. In case they do here are some of it's members.

One of VABI's most requested services is emergency medical care.  This is both because of the extralegal status of most of VABI's members and also because many of VABI's member are not standard humans and often require special care.  VABI has a series of hidden clinics around the world and special medical teams that make "house calls."  The services are expensive, but of high over all quality and much better than some mafia doctor in an alley.

In charge of the medical division is Dr. Seer.  He is a brilliant doctor and has specialized in several fields.  As you can guess by his name, Dr.. Seer's main interest is vision.  When he was an active super villain he created many gadgets to affect vision in himself and others.  He is still a master inventor in that field and has helped several VABI members to see again.

In person, now that he's retired from active villainy, he is a very personable man.  He has wonderful bed side manner and is very empathic.  He is occassionally still bothered by an old foe of his known as the Echo, but mostly he has enjoyed his new career with us at VABI.

Things You Need To Know #115

The Samson Comb is a feared artifact. Made from bone it is beautiful and inlaid with silver and jasper. Any one who uses the comb will for each stroke lose some hair and worse a part of their life. If they comb someone else's hair that life force goes that person and their hair grows longer and longer ever more luxuriant.  Of course, the trick is to get someone to comb your hair as they slowly die.

This is something you needed to know.

Monster of the Day: Monstro

Source:  Pinocchio
Location:  the Sea
Threat Assessment:  7.  Raw Strength and great size, oh and great big teeth.
Limitation:  Doesn't like smoking

Today's Secret Code:

"Never make fun of Dander Lions for their lousy manes."  Again:  "Never make fun of Dander Lions for their lousy manes."  Today's Colour is a tawny gold.  Today's Author swore to roar.  That is all, maho maho.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Stone Angel

Over the gates of Zhar
The Stone Angel watches
all who come and go

Live Red and Free!

Martian Elite Task Fore
are a citizen militia formed
when Earth threatened to take back
Mars Independence.

My Top Ten of Superheroes I Like #7: The Tick

What can you say about the Tick except, "SPPOOOOON!!" A huge man with an even bigger heart and a let's just say unique mind wrapped in a huge blue tick costume. Crime is fearful. Citizens are confused. But the Tick knows what to do. He's there to right rights and fight evil.

Things You Need To Know #114

Farmer Timothy Tedd will if you ask him nicely show you his honey bee theater. It takes place in an old hive set under a peach tree. Within a hive has been taught to dance and sing. Granted the singing is sometimes off pitch, but when you hear a hive singing "I will always love you" it is enough that they can do it all.

This was something you needed to know.

Monster of the Day: Sandworms

Source:  Dune
Location:  Dune
Threat Assessment:  7.  The sheer size of sandworm means any person near it has a good chance of being turned to sandy road kill.
Limitation:  They don't like lots of water.

Today's Secret Code:

"I'm not tired, I always walk with my eyes closed."  Again:  "I'm not tired, I always walk with my eyes closed."  Today's Colour is vermillion.  Today's Author speaks snore.  That is all, maho maho zzzzzzzz....

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Look She Had Before the Madame Became Madame Phantom

Madam Phantom Faces the Coming Foe

she's only a little old dead lady
but she has the courage of loins

Top Ten Superheroes I Like #8: A TIE!! Dial H for Hero and Crazy Jane

I love superpowers. I love funky costumes. So what's not to love between these two. Dial H is something of a franchise as the dial in question has fallen into different hands. Using the dial you can become a different super hero everytime. In the silver age young readers would send suggestions and the writers were crazy enough to put them in. Crazy Jane was a member of the Doom Patrol and she was literally crazy. She had 64 multiple personalities each with a different superpower. Some were not nice at all, which made her a sometimes difficult teammate.

Things You Need To Know #113

There is a house where the shadows of children are still at play. They are shy, and generally only play in empty rooms. But sometimes you'll catch sight of one little shadow out of the corner of your eye. Don't be afraid, they are not ghosts. Just happy memories that still want to play.

This was something you needed to know.

Monster of the Day: Dr. Phibes

Source:  The Abominable Dr. Phibes
Location:  England
Threat Assessment:  7.  If he wants you dead, you'll probably die.  He's a genius and has a lot of resources.  It's only a question of how you'll die. 
Limitation:  Can't talk without a phonograph, his ego is bigger than the moon.

Today's Secret Code:

"Man's nature is unchanging, until now."  Again:  "Man's nature is unchanging, until now."  Today's Colour  is booster gold.  Today's Author is that masked man.  That is all, maho maho.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ursi Tal

Ursi Tal
Is creating a field
sensing the powers

A Medium Caught

The Medium of Neori finds herself
caught in the emanation
of something from beyond

Top Ten Superheroes I like #9: The Thing

Ben Grimm is always a favorite.  On the outside he might seem crude and crass, but on the inside he was a sensitive man trying to hang on to his humanity.  He hid his pain in gruffness and jokes.  He could pop the ego of many geniuses with practiced ease.  An important thing because someone had to keep Reed Richards grounded and put the likes of Doctor Doom in his place.  Reed might be the brains of the Fantastic Four but it was with the Thing I'd wanted to have dinner with.

Villainy and Blackguards Incorporated #25: The Telemen

Villains and Blackguards Incorporated (VABI) is an organization found on Earth 32aa which has dedicated itself to protecting the interest of those of differently enabled morality and enhanced humanity. They take care of legal expenses and investments. It has become a very successful organization and is considering spreading to other Earths. In case they do here are some of it's members.

VABI has already talked about the Key Men.  They are the past.  A very valuable part of the past, but the past all the same.  The future is in the Telemen.  The Telemen is the single most successful program in VABI's long history.  We have 3% of our agents now as Telemen and we aim for 10% by 2025.  Given that each Teleman is an initial investment of 23 million dollars, that should be ample proof of how much we value their contributions.

The Telemen are the creation of Doctors Ruthless, Heartless, and Careless.  They believe that the current laws against "grey" and "superpowered" technology are silly and all technology must be freed no matter what the cost.  This of course put them against the Authorities and eventually drove them to join VABI.  Their creative minds together are responsible for the best agents money can buy.

Take a welll trained agent and give him a highly expensive and perhaps a little risky brain surgery.  When done the agent willl now have organic shunts around the nerves around his brain.  These shunts intercept singles to and from the brain.  Then have the shunts connect to an organic computer that acts as quantum communicator with an entanglement encryption system.  Now you have all that input from nerves going over to an operator at a central base.  The operator can see and hear everything the agent sees and hear.  He can also pass along any information of sound or pictures to the agent.  The operators can even connect agents together forming something even better than telepathy.

The end result is you have an agent that can have any information you can find downloaded directly to his mind.  He can keep in silent contact with fellow agents.  He also is not prone to betrayal because they know they are under constant watch.  As an added bonus any teleman caught and put in jail can have easy vacations.  Merely switch the feeds between agents and the agent in jail is suddenly controlling and experiencing the body of the agent not in jail and vice versa.  Jail is much easier in small shifts.

Authorites are becoming aware of the Telemen but are ineffective in controlling them.  Judges and most laws of most countries don't allow for the kind of tests that would detect a Teleman, nor the dangerous surgery to remove the devices that make a Teleman.  Attempts to block the entanglement encryption system have met with failure thus far.

Things You Need To Know #112

There is a secret constitution to the United States.  It was written by the Illuminati in Boston in 1734.  If you can find a copy it will be very helpful in dealing with the 26 secret states of the United States and the Shadow Government.  Always remember that the first right is the right to protect your body, your goods, and your secrets.

This was something you needed to know.

Monster of the Day: Yetch

Source:  Mad Monster Party
Location:  The Castle
Threat Assessment:  3.  He is undead and no doubt will turn on you if he thinks he can get something out of it.
Limitation:  Slow (in both senses) and cowardly.  Tends to go to pieces.

PS:  Peter Lorre called he wants his voice back.

Today's Secret Code

"The right smile can mean more than all the words." Again: "The right smile can mean more than all the words." Today's Colour is either jasper or smalt. Today's Author is either a jokester or a wise man, he can't remember which. That is all, maho maho.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Phantom In Front of Abstract Art Looking Slightly Lost

Aasa Sagwai Mutant Psychic

Aasa Sagwai
born a mutant
came into his power late in life
he can control of low willl power
he now lives in a chic
rehab clinic
among wealthy addicts
with little willpower

The Top Ten Superheroes I Like #10: The Question

Created by comic book oddball and artist extraordinaire Steve Ditka, the Question has always fascinated me.  He's had an on again off again career and is not the most well known of super heroes.  On the other hand, he was the model Rorschach and his appearance on the Justice League cartoons won him a lot of fans.

I like him for many reasons.  I like that he was a throw back to the golden age of heroes in that he had no real special powers and just made do with fists and wits.   I like how his name worked in so many ways.  People questioned who he was, and his goal was to answer the questions to the mysteries he dug out from the streets and even less savory places.  I love his classy simple look of a suit and no face.  I think it is a good comment on how a man can be so absorbed by his quest that he can lose his identity.  Besides it's pretty spooky meeting up with a no faced man at midnight.

The Justice League version of the Question if anything made him even more intense.  Working next to Batman, the so called "World's Greatest Detective," they had to do something to make the Question stand out.  So they intensified his desire to answer the questions not even being asked.  He saw conspiracies everywhere, and (while you can't trust all of his theories) he gave the Justice League important information.  Sometimes you just have to know what Questions to ask.

Things You Need To Know #111

Don't sleep in the abandoned building on Wilshire St. The Cobwebs there have gotten a taste for blood. As you sleep they come and slide into your mouth till you can no longer breath. Many homeless people have died there. The only hope is to apply fire to the webs but that will burn your lips and throat as well. Sometimes there are only the tough choices.

This was something you needed to know.

Vampire Cows

Source:  The Middleman
Location:  Farmlands
Threat Assessment:  4.  Even if they are just cows that attack humans they have a lot of weight.  Other vampiric powers are a mystery.
Limitations:  I'm sure a steak would repulse them.

Today's Secret Code:

"It might be darkest before the dawn, but who's staying up to check it up."  Again:  "It might be darkest before the dawn, but who's staying up to check it up."  Today's Colour is an elegant ermine.  Today's Author is running around but with no scissors.  That is all, maho maho.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Hyperpherion

The Hyperpherion no longer reads minds
he sorts them
in his grand mental library

Super Best Friends Forever is Fun Fun Fun

I love this little short and I can only hope there's more coming. I love how these three personalities just naturally go together.

Top Ten Badasses of the First Season of the Game of Thrones #1: Khal Drogo

Could there be any doubt? This man has never lost a fight. He pulls out tongues with his bare hands. He leads a horde of harden warriors who would turn on him on a dime if he showed any weakness. Truly he was the toughest of the tough which is why his death due to illness and black magic was tragic.

The Retreat

The Retreat is what we would call if it were a television show "a bottle episode."  That is, it is basically one set and very few people.  In this case of couple in relationship hell decide to go to a remote island retreat for some healing time.  It's very prickly, but maybe they can pull things together.  Unfortunately, a wrinkle in the shape of an unconscious wounded man turns up.  Turns out when he wakes up he claims that there's this huge pandemic hitting everywhere and they have to board up the house.  He's seemingly military and armed so it becomes a contest of wills and belief.  Is there a pandemic?  Is he crazy?  Can husband and wife work together?

Over all this was an ok film, not top ten but well acted and well thought out.  I love the country home where it's set.  There's a believeable isolation.  Overall worth a watch.


Things You Need To Know #110

There is a letter that was written but it was never meant to be sent. But it was sent. It never found its target though. It flows through the mail now from box to box. Sometimes a person will open it, but it will always wind up back in the mail. Those who have read it have been moved to tears but they can't say what they read.

This was something you needed to know.

Monster of the Day: Evil Dwarves

Source:  Phantasm
Location:  the local morgue
Threat Assessment:  3.  They are pretty strong and heavy for their size being normal sized people squashed down.
Limitation:  Not bulletproof

Today's Secret Code:

"One end of a shadow points to  the real thing."  Again:  "One end of a shadow points to the real thing."  Today's Colour is peachy peach.  Today's Author is a rare edition still in the box.  That is all, maho maho.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Eyes As Green As Emeralds

Eyes as green as emeralds
that have seen so much
and so much she didn't want to see
now she must stop the terrors
the horrors
and maybe then
she can close her eyes
and sleep
in peace

The Lich Master

The Lich Master stalks the vaults
the trouble with the dead
is they are not good company
The Lich Master is bored
never a safe thing

Coda To The Walking Dead

I am not the only critic who has been frustrated by "The Walking Dead."  Good golly molly, this season has been a mix of greatness and clusterflucks to beat the bank.  I would like to blame it all on Frank Darabont's being shown the door, but the seeds of the problems of this season started in the first.  They just happened to sprout like kudzu.  Well, there was one major addition, AMC being idiot in doubling the amount of episodes for season 2 but keeping the budget the same.  Yes, AMC that's classy quality control.  Gee, didn't even notice all those zombie make ups that were only from the neck up, or those long scenes of basically NOTHING to pad out the running time.  Yeah, that's how you keep a show going AMC.  Everyone, give AMC a slow golf clap.

Of course, the main problem.  The wellspring of woe, is bad writing, bad writing, and bad writing.  A prime example was the whole Shane/Dale fracas.  Now we all know from the audience that Shane offed Otis to get away from the zombies.  No one in the show, though, could know it.  They might suspect because Shane got even more nutty after that, but there was no proof at all.  So Dale, one of the most pragmatic people of the series, suddenly has this psychic twinkle of what Shane did and follows through with it even without a lick of evidence.  This, dear readers, is just sloppy writing.  Somewhere someone said..."Gee we need more conflict" and they thought that a Shane and Dale would be perfectly matched for a battle of wills.  What they didn't do is create an organic reason for it to exist and instead just pulled something out of their butts.

Great job.

So what other things can we blame on poor writing.  Well, boring dialog.  Lack of characterization.  Oh, how about lots of scenes of people aimlessly wandering the woods.  Yeah, we need more that.  The biggest victim on the show from the writing is the character of Lori.  They took a concerned mother and turned her into Mega-witch.  It was just so painful, on many levels, to hear her screeching that I notice many fans on forums were actively wanting her to be zombie chow.  Yeah, great job writers.  The second biggest victim is T-Dog.  First, the writers decide that who needs a personality well just make T-Dog into a walking stereotype.  But then, some latent guilt over that keeps them from using the character because deep down I'm sure they are ashamed that they can't think of something real for T-Dog to say.  The net result is T-Dog is good for one line of painful dialog a show usually. 

On another matter I know when you adapt a work, things do change.  Different mediums, different artists, etc.  It's going to happen and I have no problem with it usually, however there are certain tent poles that you don't pull down without destroying what you want to adapt.  I would say the death of Dale was such a point.  If for no other reason he was a very calming presence on the show and was an emotional middle ground for the various conflicts.  Well until they set him up against Shane for no reason. 

So as you can see, I have problems with the show.  Did the season finale ease my mind any.  To an extent yes.  It was far better than any episode this season.  Starting with a full scale zombie attack on the farm.  It's time to get afraid again of the living dead.  Our team is finally together enough to get in the cars and go head busting.  Amazingly they are able to fire from their cars and get head shots every time (try that at home kiddies!), but I don't mind that too much because this is action movie time and who wants to count bullets. 

I did mind a bit of real stupidity.  Rick and his son get to the second story of the barn and then set the zombies on fire.  That means the barn is on fire.  So the guy driving the RV goes and parks right by them.  They then go on the roof of the RV, and then amazingly stupidly enough go down the ladder in the back as the driver gets munched.  Why?  You get down the ladder and you are still in the middle of a zombie herd.  The thing to do would have just banged on the roof and tell the driver to floor it.  Oh well.

Any after twenty minutes of zombie killing, everyone goes in separate directions.  Now we are back in the familiar quagmire of this season.  People want to go find other people.  Others want to go here, or there.  They natter natter natter.  Finally near the end Rick finally pops a cork and this was a very good thing.  He tells them directly "This is not a democracy."  He's been trying to be the Gene Autry nice guy all through this, but he's tired now.   He's been trying to save everyone's life and he's going to get serious about it.

He also tells them the terrible truths.  He tells his wife that he killed Shane and why.  It's a bit disturbing.  He also tells everyone that everyone is infected.  So you don't need to be bitten by a walker.  You just need to die.  Sort of a downer.  But at least everything is out in the open, and I hope that a newly energized Rick can lead this group.

Also there are two other cool things that help give me hope.  The first is the appearance of one of the true badasses of the comic book series.  We don't see much of her, but when you see a lady dragging two armless zombies on leashes and using a samaurai sword it just warms the heart.  The other is a lingering shot of a prison which was central in the comic book.  I believe that's how they snagged Darabont in the first place.

"Hey Frank come do are zombie TV show."

"Naw I have better things."

"There's a prison in it...."

"Oh, really?  wow I'm your man!"

It was sad that they canned Frank before he could get to his prison.  I'm sure he could have reenacted scence from Shawshanks with zombies and a sad Morgan Freeman narration.  Oh well, I'll just have to hope that they get it together and put the zombies back in zombie TV.

Villainy and Blackguards Incorporated #24: Key Men

Villains and Blackguards Incorporated (VABI) is an organization found on Earth 32aa which has dedicated itself to protecting the interest of those of differently enabled morality and enhanced humanity. They take care of legal expenses and investments. It has become a very successful organization and is considering spreading to other Earths. In case they do here are some of it's members.

The Key Men are a very special asset of VABI that we use with care.  Since the death of their creator, Baron Evil Von Bad (yes a horrible name that he kept despite best efforts of our personal department), the Key Men are a dwindling resource.  Already half of their numbers have been lost due to jail or death.  Also there is an age factor to consider, the youngest is in his forties. 

The Key Men were part of a special ritual.  The lost a small part of the soul and gained the remarkable power to open anything.  No lock can stop a key man.  Any door will open to them no matter if it is barred or even sealed.  The Baron first used the Key Men to do a wave of robberies across New York City.  Later he joined VABI the Key Men came with him and were used in many VABI operations.

VABI is clearly worried about the Key Men.  We are trying to recreate the Baron's ritual but so far with no success.  Anyone with mystical abilities are free to advise.  VABI will pay very handsomely.

Things You Need To Know 109

There are amazing things everywhere.  Even at your feet, or on it.  There are an old pair of sneakers of a ghastly yellow color and smelling of old cheese and fresh paint.  If you dare to put them on (and a size 10), you will find yourself to run anywhere within the hour.  You'll be seriously tired but you'll be there.

This was something you needed to know.

The Walken Dead

Monster of the Day: Hordes of Zombies

Source:  Practically any zombie film
Location:  Coming towards you
Threat Assessment:  7.  One zombie is generally easy to take out, almost amusingly so.  One thousand zombies and your best tactic is run and run fast.
Limitation:  No leadership generally

Today's Secret Code:

"The code of the dead is never to speak secrets, but sometimes they will show them."  Again:  "The code of the dead is never to speak secrets, but sometimes they will show them."  Today's Colour is silvery.  Today's Author is still golden.  That is all, maho maho.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Odds Bodkins

Odds Bodkins
is an odd sprite
but friendly enough
he loves to eat pumpkins whole
with one bite and a smile

The Antdroid

Scientists have long looked to the insect world
for insights into artificial intelligence
the Antdroid is just the newest incarnation
using molecular programming
to do simple and complex tasks

Things You Need to Know 108

There is an old fashion adding machine that if you punch in your birth date will give you your date of death. But ask yourself if you really want to know, or if you really trust a machine to tell you?

This was something you needed to know.

Monster of the Day: Wolfman with nards

Source:  Monster Squad
Location:  Spooky Places
Threat Assessment:  6.  Despite said nards, it's pretty much an indestructible killing machine of teeth and claws.
Limitation:  Silver bullet.  (not the movie, or the beer)

Today's Secret Code:

"If you had three words to say to a person you have wronged, what would they be?"  Again:  "If you had three words to say to a person you have wronged, what would they be?"  Today's Colour is bronze.  Today's Author is watching the rain which falls on everyone.  That is all, maho maho.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Fifty Million Years From Now

In case of convergent evolution
the naked mole rat
will eventually evolve
into this fearsome predator

The Guardian of Rainbows

Is iad na leipreacháin leisciúil
agus mar sin anois tá siad cailíní albastar
le dóiteáin ina súile
chun cosaint a n-ór
ag deireadh an tuar ceatha

Attic World, A Dream

As a child I would dream in serial fashion. That is, I could pick up my dreams where they left off on the next night. I would have some incredible nightly adventures. One summer though, I had a series of odd dreams I called the Attic World.

It started with me exploring the back rooms of some unknown house. I was all alone and there was that silent buzzing sound you sometimes get in total quiet. I found a little green door and opened it and there were narrow steps leading up. So steep it was nearly a ladder. I took one look and then went up like a rabbit.

There I found an old attic filled with boxes and other things. It had that hot dust smell, and the quiet buzzed even more. There were dim electric lights and that was the only light. I explored there all afternoon finding pictures of people I did not know. When I felt hungry I tried to go back down the steps back were gone. There were other steps going up and down and small doorways that one had to crawl through to enter.

In the weeks that followed I never found a way out. Just more attic. I drank where water pipes leaked. I learned how to catch rats. Once I found an ancient jar of hard candy that melted all together into a sugar football sized lump.

It wasn't all bad though. I found wonders in boxes and suitcases. I found ancient swords and even older books. I found a snowglobe that seemed to have real tiny people living in it. I collected them all into a large suitcase and dragged it behind me.

Eventually, I did find a regular room. It was large and white. There was a table set out filled with food. In each seat was a potted bush. I went to eat but I saw that I could not touch the food because each bush had thorns that I knew were poisonous. Along the wall in red tile were words that read "This is not the world."

There was a door on the other side and another room. It was filled with fountains and the room felt cool. But when I tried to gather some in my hand I found that it was burning me. Rubbing my hand I look to the floor and there in tile again was "This is not the world."

There was one last door and to the side a set of steps going back up to the attic world. I opened the door. The room was pure darkness. From the light of the room I was in I could see a shadowy globe in the middle of the darkness. I felt suddenly afraid. There was something in the darkness. This was not the world, I had to go back. I began to go up the stairs back to the attic world.

The lights went out.

I awoke, and never dreamed of the Attic World ever again.

Other Men's Women

"Other Men's Women" is a great example of old fashioned melodrama.  Released in 1931 it is the story of two guys, one girl, and a train.  Of course from the title you know that the happy go lucky single guy is going to make time with his best friend's wife.  They actually discover that they love each other and he wants to do the right thing and tell his best friend.  Probably not the best idea.  When it all comes out it ends up with a fist fight on a train.  Train crashes.  Our hero (?) takes the blame for it, not that it matters though because he friend was struck blind by the crash.  Stricken with guilt he takes on a suicide train run over a bridge that is likely to collapse.  Her the the film just gets into a crazed overdrive as his blind friend wanders through the train yard, finds the train, and throws his friend off the train.  In the end his blind friend is riding on the doom train with an odd smile knowing that in time his wife and friend will get over their guilt and marry. 

It's pretty crazy film as you can see.  It also has a host of small details which for some reason just tickled me.  Like our hero would always offer a stick of gum to everyone (no I mean it everyone) and say, "Have a chew on me."  The details of working the trains was also interesting, like how he'd get off the moving  train at the train yard go to the diner and eat while counting the cars passing so he'll know when he'll have to run and hop on.  Definitely this is an interesting old film and worth a look.

Top Ten Badasses of the First Season of the Game of Thrones #2: Syrio Forel

The first sword.  The Dancing Master.  He would have shot up to #1 just for the scene where he takes on four knights with a wooden sword.  But, why the consumate bad ass he just doesn't have the effect on the events that our number one bad ass has.  I feel glad though that Syrio is a fictional character cause I think he'd beat me bloody for ranking him at two!

Villainy and Blackguards Incorporated #23: The Morrigan

Villains and Blackguards Incorporated (VABI) is an organization found on Earth 32aa which has dedicated itself to protecting the interest of those of differently enabled morality and enhanced humanity. They take care of legal expenses and investments. It has become a very successful organization and is considering spreading to other Earths. In case they do here are some of it's members.

VABI has explained that we aren't against more chaos in the world, as long as there is something of a world left. We also pointed out that VABI's services are rarely sought out by the more mystical beings that are found on Earth 32aa and nearby dimensions of interest. But there are always exceptions and one of them is the Morrigan.

Truth be told the Morrigan only lightly uses our services. She uses our communication division to send messages and our banking to redirect money to her various projects. Honestly, we are happy to keep our associations with the Morrigan to a minimum. She spooks the higher management not to put too fine a point on it.

The reason is that the Morrigan gives gifts, and our management know their own nature too well in refusing temptation. The Morrigan's interest is in strife. So she will give whatever gift to the person most likely to cause the most chaos. That means she'll gift to a terrorist, or a serial killer, or even a dedicated freedom fighter or a doctor. It's hard to foresee her moves in this game she plays with herself, or herselves. We at VABI have counted three different incarnations of the Morrigan coming into our offices. It makes identity verification difficult at times.

The nature of her gifts are varied. From the mundane sort of information or money to being embued with magical powers or given a magical device. The problem with her gifts is that the Morrigan is the type of being to give scissors to a child and tell the child to run very, very fast. It's not that they are traps really, but they are highly dangerous things and if the new owner is not careful it will blow up in his face.

Which would suit the Morrigan just fine. As noted, she spooks the higher management.

Things You Need to Know #107

The Ravens on Blackened Road have not forgotten. They still believe they serve higher powers. They do not steal but in their minds collect proper sacrifice for their Lords and Ladies. Probably best not to walk the baby or dog along Blackened Road.

This was something you needed to know.

Monster of the Day: Kishin Corps Aliens

Source:  Kishin Corps
Location:  They can show up anywhere
Threat Assessment:  6.  Able to drop from the sky these are very tough creatures.  They use machine guns and other technology.
Limitation:  Giant Robots.

Personal Note:  A great excuse for the Japanese for WW2.  "Pardon us, but all the good japanese were fighting aliens."

Today's Secret Code

"The Dreamer is changed by the dreams as the stone is by the tide."  Again:  "The Dreamer is changed by the dreams as the stone is by the tide."  Today's Colour is a shallow, light, cheery red.  Today's Author is deep, dark and funny.  That is all, maho maho.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Wooden Guardian

No shall pass
Not even shadows
or fever dreams
This way is barred
Until the Master

Odol-guerrero the Blood Warrior

Lantza batekin armatua


bere odol grabatzeko ezartzen du

agian kontsumitzen


The Adventures of Tintin.

I remember Tintin fondly. They were straight forward boy adventure tales with the twist that Tintin was more responsible than the adults around him. Along with his clever dog Snowy he would constantly find lost maps to treasure or foil evil deeds. While buffoonish, he was helped by Captain Haddock and the twin cops Thompson and Thompson. I remember them as fun and fast paced romps.

I was a little hesitant to see that they made a big budget version of these cute tales. I was more leery when I saw they were doing it with motion capture technology which is sort of a mix bag aesthetically.  So it was with fingers crossed that I finally saw the new Adventures of Tintin. 

I was delighted.

The voice work was excellent.  The motion capture for the most part worked here.  Oh there were times when they couldn't help themselves from showing off, but not to distraction.  The plot moved fast enough going from London to North Africa at a rapid pace as Tintin tried to figure out the secret hidden in a model ship while staying ahead of a rather nasty fellow with a sword cane.  This is one of those rare films aimed at children but capable of being watched by adults.  I certainly hope there will be sequels.

Things You Need To Know #106

Some mystic actually made a "Get Out Of Jail Free" card that works. Merely hand it to the officer and suddenly he'll realize it was all a bad mistake and you are free to go. He keeps the card unfortunately, and the next day it will turn up missing. That's time to start buying monopoly games.

This was something you needed to know.

Monster of the Day: Golems

Source:  Going Postal
Location:  Any town
Threat Assessment:  7.  They don't get tired.  They don't sleep.  They are strong enough to carry a horse over their shoulder.  They are extremely hard to kill.
Limitation:  Have to follow the words in their heads.  They tend to be very good citizens.  Note:  The hangman is ofter a very good citizen.

Today's Secret Code:

"Meckalecka hi mecca hinny ho!"  Again:  "Meckalecka hi mecca Jambi ho!"  Today's Colour is the secret color of yellow.  Today's Author is in the eighties.  That is all, your wish has been granted maho maho.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What We Saw in the Yellow Tent

Her name was Alyssa
and they said her third eye could see the future
but when she opened
she just cried
and cried

Locust Sisters

A minor malicious spirit of Africa
Locust Sisters create confusion psychically
and use that to eat everything they can

Resurrect Dead: Mystery of Toynbee Tiles

Well started sometime in the eighties or nineties certain tiles appeared in streets in both North and South America. The tiles read:

Toynbee Idea
Kubrick 2001
Resurrect the Dead
On Jupiter

No one ever saw the person who placed the tiles in busy streets.  No one understood the message really, though everyone one had an idea.  Truly a mystery in the middle of our daily lives.

"Ressurrect Dead:  Mystery of Toynbee Tiles," is a documentary about this mystery and the folks that hope to solve it.  It's amusing that some of the people searching for the answer are as odd as the person leaving the tiles.  It makes for an interesting documentary and unlike a lot of documentaries like this it reaches what I believe to be a satisfactory conclusion.