Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The First of Many.

And So It Begins

My adventures in the self-publishing world of Amazon's Kindle begins today. It's a bit rough edged -- not the story, but the product details and the complete lack of a cover and my rusty skills in selling my own material -- but it's there. It's there for everyone to read and I really feel like I just conquered the world. A bit childish, perhaps, but I've never been one to grow up.

A Childhood Terror is the first short story in a trilogy of short stories that'll all be available before too long. The second one, Ebeneezer the Scrooge vs. Santa Claus (just humor me, okay) will be up within the next week, and Another Childhood Terror will follow shortly after that. They're short little attempts at humorous horror that I'm quite fond of (as a reader, no less!) and I hope other people are, too.

The fourth and final installment of the "Terror" series is going to be novella length and it's called The Third Terror. I hope to get it finished before December 25th of this year, so we'll see.

I have other short stories coming as well, Along for the Ride is one of them. 1 Mouse, 2 Mice, 3 Mice, 4 is in the works, but that one's only going up if I can make it something truly worth reading. Several others. The one I'm the most proud of probably won't ever be published there because of the content. I'll try though. See how long it can stay up before being taken down or something. Haha. It's Splatterpunk horror, so it pulls no punches, and is explicit in every definition of the word. I dunno!

I'm also working on the Chiliad somewhat regularly, but that's still far off. I'm gonna go back and revisit my first novel, the one without a title, and see what I can do with it and make it readable. Then I'll revisit Effin' Vampires as well. The first one shouldn't take me too long either. I hope.

The covers. I decided to go without a cover just as a test to see how well it would do. I can't do covers on this laptop, so maybe I can get a regular ass computer to be able to do them. Or maybe I'm just not trying hard enough with the laptop. I don't know. They will have covers, I promise that. Even this one.

Anyway. There it is, folks. A Childhood Terror.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Bits and Pieces 12: COMIC-CON EDITION.


Yeah, it's Comic-Con time again, and with all this griping about keeping Comic-Con comics, you'd think that comics creators and comics publishers would pull no punches in delivering things that'll get people excited for what's to come. I can say that, so far, reading the news sites -- or trying to, rather, as I've not found a site that's covering the convention in a satisfying manner at all -- all the comic book related news is on a serious meh level. The only thing I've seen worth mentioning is Marvel's Day and Date digital release services, but with that comes no announcement of Android support. You'd think Marvel would want their product in as many hands as possible, and seeing as how the Marvel Reader for iPhone is running off the same system as Comixology, Marvel's product would be readily available on Android based phones. But they're not.

Other than that, it's usual business for the big two, Marvel and DC, with their OMGEVENTS, relaunches, and other very unexciting publications. Don't get me wrong, love comics, but this is just lacking now days. I will say that there is some very pretty art going on in the DCnU Relaunch and I'll be checking out a lot of those books, but Marvel's got nothing interesting me.

That's not to say Comic-Con doesn't have some exciting news for me. It does. And it's all related to fighting games!


Earlier this year, Capcom released a game that was literally ten years in the making. Marvel vs. Capcom 3. The vs. series of games that began with X-Men vs. Street Fighter, pits Marvel's finest superheroes, mutants, and villains against the finest martial artists, robots, and monsters from Capcom's various video game franchises. This installment was more of the same running on a new graphics engine, a beautiful one might I add, with a new assortment of characters along with a decent gathering of the classics that had appeared in the games before.

At Comic-Con earlier this week, Capcom announced Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 that will featured rebalanced gameplay, twelve new fighters, and eight new stages. Most of the additions were planned as DLC, but due to the earthquake in Japan earlier this year those plans were scrapped in favor of releasing all the DLC as one big disc-based release with a very cheap price tag. On Marvel's side they've added Dr. Strange, Ghost Rider, Hawkeye, Iron Fist, Nova and Rocket Raccoon. Capcom's new onslaught of characters are Firebrand from Ghosts'N'Goblins, Frank West from Dead Rising, Nemesis from Resident Evil 3, Phoenix Wright from Ace Attorney, Strider Hiryu from Strider, and Vergil from Devil May Cry. A very interesting selection of characters with very few returning ones from previous games. I think Strider is the only one that's appeared previously.

Still no Mega Man and the like, but I can do without re-appearances as long as the new characters are exciting and fun to play. If the videos shown are anything to go by then they certainly do look fun to play.

The Fight of the Century

Street Fighter X Tekken also got some news this week from Comic-Con. Dhalsim, Sagat, Steve Fox, and Hwoarang were confirmed for them game, even though they had character teasers a few weeks ago. Then they announced Poison and Yoshimitsu as well. Poison is from Final Fight and made an appearance as Hugo's manager from Street Fighter III. Yoshitmitsu is, well, Yoshimitsu. He's almost like Namco's Gouki character as he appears in almost every fighting game Namco develops like Tekken and Soulcalibur. Then another cinematic trailer was released featuring a wrestling contest between Marduk and King against Mike Haggar (I dunno if he'll be in the game, but he was in the trailer), then Poison comes along and unleashes Hugo on the duo. Epic fight followed up by Cody and Guy coming in a little too late.

New gameplay footage also showed all four characters being used at the same time which could hint at two on two play? We shall see!

Still no sign of Gouki and Heihachi, though. They better get on that crap!

BY THE POWER OF GREYSKULL's a reference to the sword... like Soulcalibur...

Anyways, Ivy and her tits are back for that game.


And neither will the Darkstalkers. Apparently, Yoshinoro Ono is really trying to get another Darkstalkers game made, and I'm backing him completely with my words! I loved Darkstalkers and I want more Darkstalkers games. Although I would like one that's a little bit darker. The Darkstalkers, as awesome as they were and they were hella awesome, were very brightly colored and happy games that dealt with a lot of monsters. I'd like to see them running on the NT Framework engine and be a little bit more monstrous.

But it needs to happen!

1, 2 Freddy's Coming for You

And the last chunk of info coming out of Comic-Con that I'm really excited about is that Freddy Krueger is trying his hat (heh heh) as a martial artist as a downloadable character for the new Mortal Kombat game.

I love this idea. In fact, I had this idea almost twenty years ago while playing the original Mortal Kombat in the arcades. I love horror anything, and I'm particularly fond of slasher movies. A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Halloween (yes, even the remakes!), and I thought it would be awesome to see these characters put in the game. No, they don't have to fit into the storyline framework of Mortal Kombat, because sometimes it's great just to have characters that are fun. MK is known for this, but always tries to push them into the narrative of the MK universe. Like MOKAP, or Meat, or Blaze. Useless, not very well thoughtout characters, but fun nevertheless.

Freddy fits. This is a world, the MK universe is, where ninjas come back from the dead as vengeful spectres, people are converted into cyborgs, sorcerers can assume the shapes of anyone and anything (Kintaro morph for the win!), ninjas also come back from the dead as weird shadow creatures, other ninjas have sprinklers in their hands, a there's a 10,000 year old princess that acts like a seventeen year old valley girl -- and is twice as dumb. A dream monster, such as Freddy Krueger fits. Stop trying to argue it.

There's been a bit of a backlash about Freddy's inclusion in the game. The first part is that there are so many other worthwhile Mortal Kombat characters that could be included that are being ignored for Mr. Krueger's favor. No, there isn't. All the good MK characters (with the exception of ONE) appeared in the first three Mortal Kombat games: Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat II, and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. After that, they were all filler and pretty much worthless. I've seen people wanting Tremor, a shit-brown Lin Kuei ninja that appeared in one of the horrible MK offshoot games. I've seen people wanting Tanya, the yellow female ninja introduced in Mortal Kombat 4 as a replacement for Kitana, Mileena and Jade, but sucked excrutiatingly hard. Frost, 'cause we need another freezing character. Two isn't enough. Shinnok who, while the character I've read he's based on is awesome, was little more than Shang Tsung without the morphing in all his appearances.

The only Post-Mortal Kombat 3 character that is even remotely interesting is Quan Chi. He's a badass, and he's already in the game. It's sad enough that Kenshi was put in the game; a character without a name, but a title. Kenshi, if you didn't know is Japanese for "swordsman," or "fencer". Not a really cool name at all, just a title. And he's not that cool. A telekinetic character has already been in the game with Ermac, adding another one but with SLASH HACK action is superflous. I dig him enough to buy him and play as him, but he's a weak character from a line of weak entries in the franchise. And then there's Rain. Really? People like this guy? His moveset in Mortal Kombat Trilogy was atrocious and here, in the new Mortal Kombat, it's just as atrocious. He even has a sprinkler in his palm this time that washes the wounds of his opponent clean. Maybe they should create a new ninja of some various color or another that could tag with Rain and use Neosporin and bandages to heal they're opponents. He does have a cool fatality, but other than that he's just as useless as he was in MKT. The rest are an uninteresting lot of misfits that need to go back into the brainpan of those that created them.

I've even seen demands for Mokap and Meat over Freddy.

Really, people? Really?

I even saw a guy saw that the announcement of Freddy was the saddest day in Mortal Kombat history. Yes, even more sad than the original movie that was directed by a guy that didn't understand the source material, let alone what an effin' martial arts tournament is. Sadder than the horrible sequel that was so nonsensical that it made the latter to Matrix films seem brilliantly written. Sadder than the animated series, sadder than the horrible comic adaptations; sadder than the bankrupcy of Midway that brought the further existence of Mortal Kombat at all into question. Sadder than Mortal Kombat vs. DC fucking Universe. Yes, adding the homicidal dream monster from A Nightmare On Elm Street -- which is entirely optional by the way -- to the game is sadder and worse for the franchise than censoring the entire concept of Mortal Kombat so they can trade punches with Superman, Batman and the rest of the Justice League.

The second complaints are coming from the Freddy fans. The fact that he's wearing two gloves is just WRONG apparently. Because it's totally inconceivable that a monster that exists in the world of dreams could wear two knife-fingered gloves. A monster that can do anything, literally ANYTHING, except wear two gloves. That's sarcasm. Freddy has done all sorts of crap from becoming a giant skybeing in Dream Warriors, to a video game character, to even a fucking superhero in the later movies. How is it so preposterous that he'd wear two gloves to fight with when taking on fuckers like Scorpion, Goro and Shao Kahn? Then there's the folks that are complaining about him looking like the Freddy from the remake instead of Robert Englund.

Blah blah blah. If I hear another complaint about the remake from someone who doesn't understand the original Nightmare on Elm Street, I'm gonna punch them in the face. I'll email it to them if I have to. Freddy has always been a pederast. It was more implied through psychological imagery in the original than it was in the remake, but it was there. In the original screen play, Freddy wasn't a child-killer at all; he was a complete pederast/pedophile. It was toned down (almost completely removed) by Wes Craven at the time of filming because of high profile cases at the time that dealt with pedophilia. People need to know that their memories of things are often better than the actual things they're remembering. The remake hit all the proper notes and despite a few CGI mishaps, was a very well done retelling of the original Freddy Krueger story all the hate it gets (along with Rob Zombie's Halloween remake) just baffles me. Especially when compared to some of the sequels of the original film.

ANYWAY. Freddy's in the game, he looks like he fits from the gameplay footage I saw, and I've no complaints about him being included at all. I'm more excited about him -- and the potential for a Jason Voorhees release -- than I was about Skarlet, Kenshi or Rain.

People're acting like they put fucking Santa Claus in the game. Sheesh.

I'd also like to see Satsui no Hado ni Mezameta Ryu (Or Evil Ryu) and Gouki added into the game at some point, 'cause they're the two Street Fighter characters that fit. Also Iori Yagami from King of Fighters and Kazuya Mishima from Tekken.

...and Santa Claus...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bits and Pieces 11: Gorgon Rage


I don't care who they get to direct a live action version of Akira, I won't be seeing it. Ever. The track record for American renditions of Japanese anythings has gone down a shitty hillside since The Magnificent Seven. And some films that come out of Japan, or novels or comic books and animated anythings, shouldn't be touched by any American film companies, because they won't get it. Two such things are Gojira and Akira. Why? Both of these works are anti-nuclear weapons and anti-nuclear warfare type stories that no one can really do other than the Japanese as they are the only ones to be on the receiving end of a nuclear weapon. It's just how it is. You cannot take something like Gojira and slap some nice CGI paint on it, throw in a few semi-name actors and come out on the end doing the original 1954 film any justice whatsoever. That's how we ended up with Godzilla in 1998 or whenever. It just doesn't work. There was NO real strong voice for the sentiment of anti-nuclear anything in that movie, and it became a silly little romance that had Matthew Broderick chasing a giant mutated iguana around New York City. And somewhere along the line it became a rejected sequel to Jurassic Park; and it all became the French's fault.

You see in the 1954 film, the original Japanese version without Raymond Burr's totally awesome performance (re: sarcasm), it was a note on how ALL mankind needs to avoid this sort of technology when it comes to warfare. In the 1998 Americanized version, it became: THE FRENCH DID IT, 'CAUSE THEY'RE WEIRD AND THEY'RE PUSSIES. It was a hollow piece of fiction with stupid jokes, lame effects, and no real statement behind it. Which a lot of the Gojira films eventually became, but not the original that this one was supposed to be "retelling."

Then you have Katsuhiro Otomo's masterpiece: Akira.

Akira is pure Japanese fiction, even to the point where it addresses that frustration of the Japanese people during US occupancy post WWII. It's not a very American friendly book in the United States sense of the term. Trying to retell this story with American sensibilities in mind won't ever work, because it will, again, fall flat and become a completely hollow thing with lots of CGI. Setting it in Neo New York and centering it around the 9/11 disaster, as I've heard it was intending to do, doesn't work because no matter how you look at it, the September 11th tragedy, while being awful, does not compare in any way, shape or form to what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Altering the relationship of the two characters, Tetsuo and Kaneda, from being friendly to familial lessens to meaning of those characters' relationship. Hiring all white actors to portray something that is uniquely Japanese also weakens the material, regardless of who they are or how talented they may be.

The only way I'd watch a live action version of this story is if it was told from an entirely Japanese perspective. Japanese director, like Ryuhei Kitamura or Takashi Miike or even Katsuhiro Otomo himself for instance, with an all Japanese cast (save the few American characters that appear in the massive comic book), and so on and so forth. Watching an Americanized version of this picture would be like watching a Japanese movie about our Civil War, or the Declaration of Independence even, with an all Japanese cast while being refitted to fit in Japanese society. It wouldn't work. Just stay away from it.

I don't have a decent closing to this blog. I'm too tired.