Wednesday, November 16, 2011

5 Comics That Don't Suck. Seriously.

In the Bible there is a passage that says, 'to the making of books there is no end.' This is true for comics as well. Wouldn't be awesome if you had the time and money both to read and collect all comics that were printed every month. Ok, back to the real world though. Limited money keeps a lot of us from going too crazy. But with so many choices what do you choose?

Well, I can give you my opinion. Here are 5 books (in no particular order) that are totally worth you spending your lunch money on.

1. Uncanny X-Force - Rick Remender is spinning quite the tale in this book. It's so good because it tackles hard issues such as which makes a person evil, nature or nurture? Can a hero sacrifice one person to save thousands and it not affect his soul and sanity? Wolverine, Archangel, Psyloche, Deadpool, and Fantomax tackle these issues every month. And that and hordes of bad guys. And they do it with extreme prejudice too. Not for children due to the violent content. But it maybe just right for you. Has one of my favorite comic stories of all time. Issue #9. It's more than just a comic. It's good writing.

2. Suicide Squad - DC took an old 80s series and revitalized it. In 3 issues we have seen betrayals, double crosses, techno zombies, babies born, people getting limbs bit off, and 3 dead team members! This series is a thrill a minute ride. Well worth the $2.99 price of admission!

3. Action Comics - Grant Morrison is awesome. Maybe he isn't the superstar Geoff Johns is, but he is arguably just as good. Action comics has been a nice breath of fresh air to the staleness of Superman. Let's face it, he wasn't the most identifiable character. But now? You can really feel the weight of the world on his shoulders. Forget super strength, he is working just to survive life.

4. Daredevil - Things were really dark in Daredevil's life for a while. And while things aren't exactly roses yet, at least Matt has a positive attitude about the future. He's already tangled with a couple different villains and some superheroes as well. I appreciate the fact that they just didn't reset the character. Daredevil is still dealing with the Shadowland fallout. In his personal life as well as his professional one. Good book. Exciting with good story hooks. But doesn't dip into a depressive melancholy.

5. Green Lantern - Every time I finish an issue of Green Lantern I can't wait till I can read the next one! Geoff Johns shows why he gets paid the big bucks in this title. Making Sinestro the new green lantern? Making Hal Jordan Sinestro's puppet lantern? Add in the mix that Sinestro is going to go after his own corp and oh man I can't wait! If you are unsure, read issue 3. But be prepared to get hooked...

Of course these aren't all the good books out there. But I put my own personal stamp on these books. Definitely worth the tress to make them, and for the money you will shell out on them. Two thumbs up.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Incovenient Truths And Stuff....

This has nothing to do with comics or collectibles or games. It's just a truth I think I have stumbled across. Do you want to feel good now but not later? Or do you want to wait for later and feel better forever?


So how's that a grand truth? Because it literally applies to everything in life. Think about if you need to loose weight. Food tastes great. Our brain literally releases bursts of pleasure into our bodies when we eat. But we know we're not supposed to eat fatty and sugary foods. But they taste and feel so good. Of course so does looking in the mirror after we have lost weight. And so does fitting into those too snug pants we haven't been able to wear for a year. So which is better? Which do you want?

You can feel good now. Eat all you want. And horrible later. When even your new pants start getting snug! It's a short term fix because the food endorphins wear off. But the fat on your thighs won't. If we choose later, it doesn't feel great today or tomorrow. Not even for the next month probably. But when all is said and done you will be way happier with yourself and life in general.

Now I'm not picking on the overweight, (I fall in that category myself) this formula actually applies to most aspects of life. It applies to when you know there is a right course and a wrong course and you know the right way, but you don't follow it.

It's rough because the easiest way is always the wrong way. And we usually don't pick the hard way on purpose. The real challenge though, even after being aware of all this information is applying it. But that's always the challenge because knowing is only half the battle.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Next Episode! Tourney Style! (15)

The Next Episode.


Welcome, in this blog we will pick up where I left off with the MTG tournament. Forgotten part one? Click here. Alright, so this week I decided too try something a little faster. I put together a faerie rogue deck. Based on speed and using Earwig Squad to steal their best cards. I also am running a couple of Notorious Throng cards. It's a little expensive for this deck and Legacy format in general! But I got to try it.....

Once again same rules. 4 rounds of play. Winner has to take 2 out of 3 matches in the round. If you are the top two then you get to play for the winner of the night. Alright, so here we go:

Round 1:

Up first I find myself facing my friend with his 5 year goblin constructed deck from last time. I'm ready this time though! I got a fast deck too!

Match 1:

Not fast enough. He comes out of the gate with a swarm of goblins and nasty burn spells as well. 0-1
Ok, not cool. Let's try that one again!



Match 2:

I jump off to an early start this time. Hit him with some quick fliers. Get a key counter in there and start my faerie crowd going. Maybe I have a chance this time! No, not so much. He comes back on me with a couple Goblin Grenade. And I fall. 0-2.

Great this is starting off just great......



Rounds: 0-1 Matches: 0-2

Round 2:

Next up I am facing another member of the store owner's family, his son. Hopefully he's not running treefolk! I am looking forward to the battle. He has a deck that seems pretty weak. It's red/green and made to stop suspend decks and mess with storm. I'm not too worried. But I also am not stupid either. We shall see what happens.


Match 1:

We go back and forth and it is a relatively close game. He edges me out though. 0-1


Match 2:

This match was more exciting than the first one! I was able to start a little swarm on him. Still we traded blows all the way till it was the point of no return. He has me down at 3 life. I know he has a burn deck so I need a seriously quick kill.

I hit him with my Prickly Boggart and then drop Notorious Throng . OK, now I have a small army of fliers and took another turn. As I am calculating I realize one thing though, I can't do it. I can hit him for all but one, ONE, of his life. I know I can't survive past his turn though. So with a sad heart I punch him down to one. Then he wins. But I was so close this time. Unfortunately close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear war.....0-2



Rounds: 0-2 Matches: 0-4.





Round 3:

Great! Next I am pitted against this girl who is running a Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker deck. We all remember that one from last time and it beat me 2-0. It wasn't fun last tournament and I'm not enjoying the fact I have to go back. Can I get some kind of win streak going?



Match 1:

She can't seem to get a Tooth and Nail to pull her Sky Hussar out. I manage to hold on, and because of a perfect Cryptic Command, I am able to put her away! Alright and about time too! A win! 1-0



Match 2:

You know how there are moments in life when everything just comes together and meshes so well it's perfect and almost magical? Oh yeah this was finally that moment.......

Early on I am able to hit her with Earwig Squad . And I steal her only Sky Hussar in the deck. With that gone some turns later I hit her with my second Earwig Bandits. And dump her Tooth and Nails too. But I'm not done with her yet! Since my Earwig is a rogue it lets me play my Notorious Throng with the Prowl cost. Bam! Before she knows it I have generated an army of fliers and got another turn coming right up. Boo yah! She wasn't very appreciative of my resounding victory. But she was a little sore! Ha ha. 2-0!



Could this be what I needed? My deck worked perfectly and I know exactly how to manipulate it now. So all that's left is one more round and then I hopefully can get 2 rounds won for the night. Help my DCI points too.

Rounds: 1-3 Matches: 2-4



Round 4:

Ok, final round I am playing a guy who has been creating buzz tonight because his deck seems to be one of the most solid. His one loss has come at the hands of the merciless W deck with the truly scary Orim's Chant / Isochron Scepter combo. That deck is nasty. But so is my opponent's as well....



Match 1:

The deck my opponent is using has it all. He's got combos. He's got back up plans. And did I mention he is only running two land? First match he comes at me with all he's got. Which isn't a lot of creatures. So I bash him good. Hurt him down to about 7 life. I am getting to play beat down! His main combo isn't working. But then he draws the card for the secondary part of the combo. Goblin Charbelcher. Did I mention he is only running two land? He gets all his mana from cheap to no cost artifacts like Lion's Eye Diamond. I take a massive amount of damage and I'm down for the match. 0-1.






Match 2:

OK, so that was rough. I'm not depressed though. I played a good game. It was just happenstance that he got me. My deck is relatively fast. Maybe I can pull one off. Maybe I will get fortunate....and I do, just not in the way I want...

Remember the good old keyword storm? That's the deck's main combo.Tendrils of Agony are what really runs it. He pumps out a ton of mana using his spells and and artifacts. And since all the artifacts cost 0 then he builds up a massive storm and kills you in one turn. It is a sick, sick deck. And he knows it.

I try to hold on, but he draws cards with storm until he hits the tendrils. Then it is game over for me. 0-2



Rounds: 1-3 Matches: 2-6



That total looks suspiciously like my last tournament's round total! So yes I fall again. But at least I had a fighting chance this week. So what did I do wrong? Was my deck the weakest there? No.
In my opinion the deck the store owners son ran was the most pathetic. If it had a combo it didn't really show. My deck was actually better except for the fact I got stuck with mana problems on one round. The Mirror Breaker deck was good. And I do feel it was better than the faerie rogue deck I ran. But she couldn't get her combo going. I don't know if she was just bad at magic or if I just got fortunate. That match showed me though that I at least had the skeleton of a good deck. I just needed to make some changes.

First up I shouldn't have ran my Cryptic Command in it. They are awesome but the triple blue cost is bad news was a little rough since my deck was blue/black.. Especially in one where the majority of the cards were black!



Second I needed better cards. Seems simple but 'what's simple is true.' Bitterblossom was a must for a faerie deck. If you run a faerie deck and you don't think you need that card, you might need professional help! Course I am kidding but seriously Bitterblossom is a powerhouse in one card. If you aren't running it, why not? Also a play set of Mutavault might have helped my deck as well.

So anyway, there you have it. I played in 2 tournaments back to back and didn't do much. After that I decided to build a really stellar dredge deck. Spent a nice chunk of money on it. Was all ready to go conquer! And then I found out the store where we play at was vandalized. Someone checked a hug rock through the window and stole there entire YU-GI-OH stock. So they haven't been open since then. Unfortunately that was the only place I could play at in town(at the time). So there I stood. I didn't want to drive over an hour if to play in a tournament. So that ended my gaming days for a while. Such is life huh? Months later I discovered that Cloak and Dagger comics in Daytona ran them too. Ah cest la vie!

So there you have it. Whatever game you are playing can be kicked up a notch or two by just playing a tournament. You learn so much from the experience. Not just from the winning, but more from the loosing. Also you will learn a lot about yourself as well. So that's that. Until next time fellow geeks......

Monday, January 24, 2011

An Inconvenient Truth.....About Comics (14)

Hello all.  Sorry it's been so long.  I have been busy I promise.  But here we go with another fun blog!

I would like to pre-face this blog by telling you that the following information won't make you any happier if you are a collector of comics though. It might open your eyes to something. But it's not going to make you happy in general. Matter of fact if you are an avid comic reader, this might be a little depressing. There I said it. I just tried to convince my readers not to read my blog. Not too bright of me huh? Sorry, just wanted to let you know what you are in for....

Comic books are an interesting commodity. If you want to see what is currently happening with your favorite heroes, then you have to read them. They are the official stories. Also they are a nice collectors item because they can go up greatly in value. And some have sold for thousands of dollars. In the early 1990s, even financial advice was given that comics were a better investment than the stock market! But all of this seems like a lot of talk. Is any of this true? Let's look at some myths about some myths, and hard truths about comic collecting.

The Golden Egg Goose




Comics first were realized that they were a collectors item largely in part because of the crazy amounts some old books go for. Take Detective comics number 27, published back in May 1939. The issue first featured the Batman. One just sold for a record making $1,075,500! Yes that's over a million dollars! Also Action Comics featuring Superman is in high demand selling for over a Million as well. Suddenly almost overnight a new generation realized there was money to be made. Suddenly everyone became a collector. And even today in Comic Buyers Guide, and magazine such as these, comics prices are listed to help collectors figure out what comics are hot. What you need to buy.
Is this accurate though? Are there a lot of people making great money off comics? To cut to the heart of the matter, the answer is a simple: nope. Well, why not? Well let's take a quick look back.

The comics that are selling for so much money are older right? But it's not just that they are older. You see, back during World War II paper was a hot item. People recycled it for the war effort. Well, what was the first thing that got trashed? Mom was just itching to through out all those old comics her son had cluttering up his room. Hence some of the old comics from the 40s and early 50s are extremely rare. Hence the high prices. What about today?

Did you make sure to pick up issue 700 of Batman? What about number 600 of Wonder Woman? Yeah, you did and so did everyone else. Comics just aren't rare enough anymore to be worth anything. This is partly to blame because of us as consumers. (Because we all had the investment idea at the same time). But also the comic book companies are to blame as well. They saw the demand for comics and went above and beyond. Suddenly there were so many 1 shot issues. Next there was variant covers. 1 in 25, 1 in 50, 1 in 200. People snatched them up. This really created a glut of comics though and prices have dropped sharply since then.



The Light At the End of the Tunnel

So are there any reassurances with comic collecting? Are comics worth nothing anymore? Well, they are still worth some money. You just have to be really careful what you get and when you sell for sure. Here are a couple factors that affect the price.

1. If a movie comes out the comic gets hot. This is true of any comics when they come to the big screen. Suddenly everyone has a renewed interest in them. This is true of big name comics like Batman and Spider- man. But it's also true for smaller books. Take Kick-Ass for instance. It's a book published under Marvels Icon line. The books were a success before the movie came out. When the movie hit it blew up. Now if you own a first print of the first issue, expect to be able to sell it for just about 50 bucks. Granted it's not thousands. But still a nice little payout.



2.Variant Covers. These are a little tricky because they may or may not be worth something. Variants are harder to come by, but they drop in price seriously fast. Take the 1 in 200 variant cover for Blackest Night # 1. When it first came out it was worth almost $200. Just a couple months later it had dropped to 80 or so. And now? Same book is worth less than $40. So as you can see, you can't make a living on variant collection either.



3. Rarity in the indie scene. Sometimes the indie comic labels such as Icon, Image, & Dark Horse under print some issues. The demand outstrips the supply and obviously it creates a low supply. Take Morning Glories issue 1, first print. It was $3.99, but now goes for almost $50. Crazy. But once again this is a blind shot in the dark. Backwards. What are the odds the comic you get will be worth a lot of money? Probably better to go to Vegas. You have got just as good a chance there....


Leaping Long Boxes in a Single Bound


That brings us to the bottom line on comic collecting. If you love reading comics, than buy all you want. Enjoy all you are reading. But if the comic kind of sucks and you are just reading it to hold on to the full collection, don't bother. 10 years from now half your comics are going to be worth about 3 cents a piece. So collecting comics is honestly a really bad idea. You are not going to make any money on them. And I mean you won't even break even.

Why has Detective Comics sold for so much? Because there are only 100 to 200 in existence!

But if you are reading the comics for the pure pleasure, than I say go to it. Right now is a excellent time to be a reader. Thrilling story lines and amazing exploits abound. Daredevil has left Hell's Kitchen. Ultimate Spider-Man is going to be killed off. As well as one of the Fantastic Four. Then we have Batman returning with a vengeance. And Brightest Day is racing towards an explosive conclusion. Yes, it is a great time to be a reader.

As for me, I wish I knew this info before I get into comics. Now I have a whole collection of which some of them are enjoyable. Some are worth a little bit of money (and I mean little literally!). But I also have a crap load of fodder too. Maybe it's time to finally give in and go to digital comics. We shall see... Anyway, if you are a collector, here's hoping you find a Detective Comics number 27 at a yard sale. Heck, here's hoping I find it. :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The NES Ten

Hello geekey gamers! Time for another addition to your favorite new blog! =D


Today we are going to be looking at 10 games that made the Nintendo Entertainment System worth playing! This is not a begin all, end all list FYI. So if you don't see your favorite game of all time, feel free to post a comment and tell me why it rocks!





Ok, so first let's learn a little background on the NES. The NES exploded onto the scene in 1985 (1983 if you lived in Japan). In Japan and most of Asia it was called the Famicom. And let's face it people. If it wasn't for NES, you wouldn't be playing your 360 or PS3. This consol created video games honestly. Before this it was Pong. Aftet this....well the sky is the limit. Still the best selling gaming system of all time.

For a measley 129 bucks you got 2 controllers, and Super Mario. What a deal....



Anyway, now on to the games:

10. Duck Tales. Capcom made a huge splash with this 1989 game. The goal is to guide Scrooge McDuck in a quest to retrieve the 5 biggest treasues ever. Super fun game no matter what age you are!

9. Dragon Warrior. Also known as Dragon Quest in other countries, this game was an early RPG. It was slow, and all you could to do level was continuously grind. But the pay offs were worth it, when you felt the thrill of taking down the eveil dragonlord!

8. Tetris. Simple to learn, impossible to master. This Russia favorite is still popular even today. And admit it, you can hear the music even now.....

7. Mega Man 3. Yes Mega Man was kicking butt before this game. But let's face it, this one is one of the best. From the sweet pwoers and boss fight to the awesome robot dog Rush, this is a killer game.

6. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game. While the first game was fun, and started off the Turtles vide game run, this game is when it hit it's stride. Sure it's just a port of the arcade game, and has worse graphics to boot. But this game was just so damn fun! And it game with Pizz Hut coupons....come on! What more could you ask for?

5. Punch Out! A real rags to ritches story. You control a fighter names Little Mac. Your goal? Win enough bouts to where you can challenge Mike Tyson for the title! Sweet game.

4. Metroid. Take control of Samus Aran and save the galexy from the space pirates! The game is so addictive because no matter how many times you play it never gets old. And it adds a sense of accomplishment as you level up with weapons and upgrades.

3. The Legend of Zelda. Still one of the best games of all time. Period.




2. Ninja Gaiden 2. Just a sweet, sweet game.  The challenge is amazing.  And the story line is excellent too!








1. Super Mario Brothers 3. Yes 1 started the series, but this the game where it hit it's stride. From cool new suites to inventive levels. And secret after secret. This game is still the best Mario game ever.



Well, it was a fun trip down memory lane with the NES. In a future blog we will discuss probably my favorite system of all time, the Super Nintendo! Until then, feel free to post comments of your favorite games. Happy gaming!