All posts by Zac Shipley

Get Fuzzy



Get Fuzzy caught me by surprise when I started reading the paper every day at work last fall. it had been years since I regularly checked the comic section and in the post Watterson/Larson world, I didn’t miss it.

But I’ve enjoyed Bucky Katt and Satchel Pooch’s endless torment of their owner Rob so much over the last few months, I went ahead and grabbed Groovitude last night and virtally devoured it today. It hits that same level of pet owner humor that many other strips have successfully done in the past, but without the calm and occaisionally sappy moments. “Fuzzy” is anything but. Its brutal and hurtful as often as possible, and scratches on some of that weird kind of Adult Swim kinda humor here and there, which is pretty damn edgy for anything in the newspaper comics pages.

Darby Conley’s writing may have me in stitches, but his art is what caught my eye. He lives in his details and shading, with depth and dynamic imagery thats far too uncommon in the comics section. He’s writing and drawing and monthly comic book 3 panels at a time it seems! The rest of the comics page seems to be made up of people who have little to no art skills at all, getting by on their jokes. I guess the only thing that bothers me is that joke writers can just write their joke, and if they can’t do better than they’re doing (and I won’t name names) they need to partner with an better artist.

Conley has got it as much as Aaron McGruder does, and that a high complement from me, since I continued to read Boondocks on the web for years after not reading it in print, and even now when the paper I read doesn’t print it. PvP creator Scott Kurtz may be gunning against Syndication, but Get Fuzzy makes me beleive its not broken yet.

X-Ecutioners: Revolutions

Wow, so this record came out last summer and I bought it and loaded it onto my computer but it wasn’t until tracks started popping up while shuffling on my iPod did I actually really listen to it. I took off the skits after listen to them each once, as I’m prone to do on rap records.

The bulk of the record is some pretty good beats that are NOT mucked up by guest rappers. Sure, we got some favorites like Cypress Hill, Ghostface, and Fat Joe, but the tone is VERY much the opposite of rap radio, so I’m all for it. The instrumentals make this record and I’m sure I’ll have to go back and get some of their older hits to complete the collection. I’m already thinking of using only X-Ecutioners for the no-brand movie I’ve got on the table for next month.

Constantine

I understand that this movie is based on a very successful comic called Hellblazer, but I’ve never read it and given that I haven’t been to a comic store in 2 months to buy books I want, I’m not likely to start. Apparently a lot of stuff changed.

I understand that this movie contains a fair amount of religious implications and references, but I’ve never gone to church and I’m not likely to start. Apparently a lot of stuff is wrong.

Those two qualifications out of the way, I enjoyed this movie. I’d highly reccomend it to anyone not reading comics or involved in the church. The guy who played the devil was funny and cool, and even Keanu had a little more personality than we’re used to.

I was about to insert a hilarious photo of Jon Lovitz portraying the devil from SNL, but google image search failed.

Batman Begins

Batman Begins is a movie I’m out of control excited to see. Hopefully this film will be as good a representation of Bats as the animated series. The cast and crew is solid, the trailers look good.

We’ve also got Star Wars and Hitchikers Guide this summer as well. Much better summer for movies than last year, which had Spider-Man 2 followed by a series of horrible movies like Van Helsing. The best summer movie (Sky Captain) didn’t even make it out in summer!

its never just Black & White.

Roy Orbison’s Black & White Night is the first full album I’ve ever purchased from iTunes. I was pretty pleased with the instant gratification combined with the cost effectiveness of downloading vs going to a store.

I know a lot of people crying now about music downloads vs purchasing cds in a store in a manner comparable to when LP collections in the 80s became obsolete. I don’t blame them, and I still think having a hard copy is worth having if its a favorite artist or if you don’t have a digital music player. But since I got the iPod, and even in the last few years, almost ALL my music has been on the computer. I load the cd into my hard drive, and then the cd goes onto a shelf or to my car CD player. of course, now the iPod goes everywhere, and the idea of buying a CD just to never play it more than once seems SILLY.

Albums usually go for only 9.99 even if that adds up to be much cheaper than the .99 per song cost of individual tracks. I don’t know any store in town that sells a CD for less, especially not with sales tax.

So I totally sympathize with the CD owners, because it might be the end of an era if enough people get broadband connections and digital music players (which is a LONG LONG way off) but I’m going to enjoy grabbing new music and trying out stuff on iTunes instead of buying CDs from now on.

This week…

Hide And Seek in theaters. eh. not scary, deniro and fanning are wasted, doesn’t finish fast enough.

Empire Strikes Backon dvd. actually haven’t watched Jedi yet. Empire is good.

The Legend Of Zelda: The Minish Cap on GBA. Returns to form from classic zelda games with newer style. Doesn’t last long, but its fun start to finish.

Biker Build Off on Discovery Channel. How many fucking shows can this channel do where guys build or customize bikes or cars?

“Mexican Radio” by Wall Of Voodoo. found an old cd with this on it last week. hot damn, what a classic.

JLU in review

image courtesy http://www.batmanytb.com/

Last night Cartoon Network aired the season finale of Justice League Unlimited. Next season starts next week. Yes, thats sounds stupid as anything, but with the big gaps of new new episodes airing all over the place for Unlimited and the precursor Justice League series, I’m glad they’re at least not forcing us to wait even longer for the next season to start.

The finale is titled “The Once And Future Thing.” Batman the animated series began the DC universe animation as its now known, and its been over 12 years since it took critics and fans hopes and dreams and took them to new heights. As the years went on and Batman spawned spinoffs in Superman, new Batman adventures and even took a 50 year jump into the future with Batman Beyond, the villains and stories got bigger and bigger. The finale takes this to great legnths by putting Batman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern John Stewart into time traveling peril at the hands of Chronos (played here by Peter MacNichol of “Ally McBeal” and “Ghostbusters 2”).

Chronos is a petty thief who just wanted to collect historical trinkets for his own collection, but when he’s caught stealing one of Batman’s Utility belts, he takes the heros into the old west where they must team with a cavalcade of cowboys (including Jonah Hex, who starred in the original Batman episode “Showdown”). All hell breaks loose as an outlaw gets hold of Chronos time traveling powers and things are barely patched up at the end when Chronos tried to flee to the future on his own. The first part concludes in a cliffhanger as Batman, Wonder Woman, and John Stewart end up 50 years in the future and are about to face off against the Jokerz gang when they are saved by Warhawk, Static Shock, and Batman of the future, Terry McGinnis.

The rest of the fight in the future is more satisfying to my taste. Getting the thug cast of the Batman Beyond movie “Return of the Joker” reunited was a welcome nod, as was the implication that John and Hawkgirl would patch things up as Warhawk is revealed to be their son. The elderly Bruce Wayne also gets to collaborate with Batman, and its revealed that the three future heroes are all thats left of the League after a cataclysmic event no doubt tied to Chronos disruption of time. By now Chronos has gone nuts and doesn’t bother thinking about the consequences of his actions, with massive historical landmarks littering the future Gotham landscape. This also plays havoc with our heroes as Wonder Woman disappears and John Stewart breifly becomes classic Latern Hal Jordan.

All ends well with a reference to the DC story Zero Hour; Batman and John return to the Watchtower where the episode began, where they are the only ones with any memory of what happened. Since the future was an improbable one, they take no stock in what they’ve seen, but John and Hawkgirl clearly still need to patch things up…

Overall, it was a classic adventure and with the series trying less and less to address the alteregos and more on developing them as heroic characters, this story does much to further that.

Batman The Animated Series and Superman The Animated Series are both being released on DVD in collected forms. I hope Warners gets around to collecting Justice League and Batman Beyond in the same fashion. Its a shame this show gets only one airing on Saturday nights and it makes an excellent companion to the classic series.

Room to live

Since my roommate vacated months ago, I’ve held domain over both bedrooms in my apartment. When his room was clean, I moved my bed in there and some clothes and made in my new room.

Now, I think I gotta get a new roommate, which means facing the fact that the other room has not been touched since September. Sooo much junk and stuff cluttered about, it might take several nights to make it livable.

Further, I still got to get rid of that positively AWFUL glass and metal table we had. i loved it for a time, but its really too big to even use and was a constant hazard.

I wanted to clean the room tonight, but of course, I got stuck in a Halo 2 game (see stats now added to the bottom of the page) and then called my dad and the night was more or less shot after that.

Move to Plan B

Last night while playing a rousing round of Team Slayer in Halo 2 on Xbox live, a friend of mine noted that out matched team mate was dropping the N word a little too freely and harping on our friends on the opposing team. That wouldn’t stand, so he initiated Plan B.

Plan B means killing the team mate until either he leave or he boots you out of the game. While not exactly good for your records, it is more fun that simply reporting them. And this week’s update on bungie.net clearly states the ban hammer is coming down on players who don’t play fair, and that includes cheaters and bad attitudes.

Its almost nice how facist and regulated Xbox Live is, when they try to keep everything clean unlike the real internet where you don’t say whatever you want so much as other people say whatever they want to you as long as it offends you.

Its been too long

its been over a year since I kept any kind of personal journal. I felt the time for that had passed anyway. And with my websites in a state of flux right now, its hard to say if they’ll be able to stay online in any of the capacity they were at one point.

So I’m going to try this as a creative outlet, or really just a place to write again. Will it work? who knows.