Monday, June 25, 2012

Review: Black Boy by Richard Wright

Black BoyBlack Boy by Richard Wright

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Black Boy is yet another masterpiece by Richard Wright, who wrote the stunning Native Son. All people interested in learning about oppression will appreciate this book, but I feel this autobiography speaks clearest to black Americans, specifically ones who are intelligent and have felt isolated by their own race. It holds up today as well as I'm sure it held up back then, with my only qualm being the second part of the book, which was added in the early 90s long after the author's death. This second section, entitled, "American Hunger" chronicles Wright's move up north and his joining of the Communist Party. It doesn't detract from the book, but I feel it lacks the speed and energy of the first part. Other than that, though, it's a masterwork. If you haven't read it already, read it now. It's an enlightening book.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Top Ten Easiest Characters to Beat in Video Games

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Oh, snap. I didn't even know this article was published. Check it out here.

See if your easiest boss makes the list.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Umbilical cord Sea Monster

A few weeks ago, I went to this indie comic event called MoCCA (The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art). While walking about the booths, I stumbled upon a guy named Michael Manomivibul who had some of the most stunning artwork I'd ever seen in my entire life. (You can find some of his work here: Seeing his stunning portfolio, I knew I just had to have a piece done by him for my book, The Darkness of the Womb. And here's that piece. It's the umbilical cord sea monster from chapter 17 of my novel. I love every last thing about this picture, especially the surging power of the splash as it bursts out of the water. It's a work of art. When I push the book to agents again, this is one of the pieces I'm going to show them. But until then, I'm putting it on my wall! It's a masterpiece. I couldn't be happier.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Here's another version by Oliver Hine. (

And here's another. What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Man, You’ve Changed! 10 Video Characters Who Changed Completely.

Well, lookit you, man. You’ve changed! We remember you back in high school. Don’t front. You were the one trading lunch money for Mewtoo on your Pokemon game. Yeah, we remember. But look at you now. All cool and shit. Dressed for success and reading Complex. Good for you. But not everybody’s made such a smooth transition into adulthood. Some have actually made embarrassing leaps, especially when it comes to video games, where the rate of success for change is usually (Note we said “usually”) slim to none. Here are 10 such examples. Warning: Some of them aren’t pretty.

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10.  Sonic the Hedgehog 

If Sonic Generations has done anything, it’s proven just how much we miss the old Sonic. The old Sonic was fast, he was chubby, and most importantly, he didn’t say a damn word. But the new Sonic, well, he just won’t shut up. Oh, and he kicks it with humans, too.

Because nothing says “awesome” like interspecies dating. 

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9. Pac-Man

Wait, Pac-man? How did he change, you ask. Well, you must have missed out on Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures. Our pellet chomping hero went from being chased by ghosts in a death arena, to walking around town and throwing litter in a trash receptacle. The life of a citizen is fine for some, but for Pac-Man? No way, man, no way. You’ve gone soft, dude. Like a pillow.

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8. Poison

One of the greatest traps in the business, Poison went from being a hot biker chick in Final Fight, to a man, to a, well, we’re not quite sure anymore. But whatever “she” is, good for her. Be as bad as you wanna be, baby. We ain’t gonna hate. 

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7. The Prince
How do you make a sequel to a very successful game? Well, if you asked us, we’d say fix some nagging issues, add in new levels and stick a bow on it. And voila, instant sequel. But Ubisoft Montreal wasn’t having any of that. They decided to take the very likeable Prince from The Sands of Time (“Car-full. Think a-head.”) to an angst ridden emo child of the 90s in a 2005 game. Um, way to go?

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6. Sub-Zero

He started out as a regular ninja in the first two games. Then he took his mask off in the third game to show off a cool scar. Then he put the mask back on. And now…he’s a robot. Good Lord, he transforms more than Michael Jackson in the movie, Moonwalker.

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5. Lara Croft
If we’re to believe the new Tomb Raider game coming out features a younger Lara Croft, then that means the old games we used to play on the PSOne feature the grown-up Lara, and good God, what what happened to her? When she was younger, she actually looked like a human being, but later (circa-late 90s), she became a mess of polygons and PS1 processing power. She looks like a plastic surgery gone wrong. And it’s a shame. She used to be stunning. 

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4. Raiden

Let’s chalk this one up in the improvement category. Raiden was no slouch back in Metal Gear Solid 2 (Though, what was up with the naked gymnastics?), but now in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, he’s a certified, sword-wielding menace. Change isn’t always a bad thing.

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3. Dante
We’d be lying if we said we weren’t excited for the new Devil May Cry, but Lordy, why on earth did he decide to go all Adam Lambert on us? We’re sure he’s still a badass, but all we hear is, “What do you want from me?” whenever we look at him now. Dye it white again, please. 

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2. Conker
Conker went from being a cute, go-kart driving squirrel in Diddy Kong Racing, to being a cigar smoking, boob jumping, asshole in Bad Fur Day. And we loved him for it. Debauchery, pass it on. 

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1.     1. Bomberman
If there was ever a change in video game characters, the greatest of all time would have to be Bomberman. Once an adorable man the size of a plush doll, the blue bomber became a soulless, hard-edged killing machine in Bomberman Zero, where all of his familiar features were entirely erased. Damn, Bomberman, we feel like we don’t even know you anymore.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Why I Hate Ridley Scott

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A lot of people tell me I have terrible taste in films. That's obviously not true as some of my favorite movies are critical darlings--Pulp Fiction and Taxi Driver are two films that I can't live without. I'm also an immense fan of Stanley Kubrick, I've seen all of his films and love all of them, too (Well, except 2001. I feel like you really had to be there to fully appreciate it).

But one director I could never understand enthusiasm for is Ridley Scott, who makes some of the most boring and most overrated films I've ever seen in my entire life. I mean, he totally butchered Phillip K. Dick's, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? when he made Blade Runner, and that's considered a masterpiece, when really, it's just one long slog through mediocrity. I've fallen asleep every time I've tried watching it. I mean, even the trailer, though atmospheric and moody, bores the hell out of me. Watch it. And seriously, wake me up when it's over.

It's awful. In fact, so is Alien, which takes its sweet time getting to all the good parts. Aliens is such a better film. But then again, James Cameron is a better director than Ridley Scott. There, I said it.

I don't even like his films that aren't science fiction. Gladiator didn't deserve to win best picture, Robin Hood was an absolute mess, and Thelma and Louise feels dated beyond belief. Just about the only film I DO like by Scott is Matchstick Men, and that movie always gets forgotten in his resume. Even I forgot he made it. I had to look through his filmography just to remember. It's probably because it's the only of movie of his that actually has a quick plot.

Plus, it had Nic Cage in it, which is always good in my book.

But the fact is, Ridley Scott wastes too much time in his flicks. He's nowhere near as good as people say he is. So stop listening to everybody else and form your own opinion. American Gangster and Black Hawk Down are only half the films they really are when you put them side-by-side with similar pictures, like Goodfellas and Apocalypse Now. See? Didn't I tell you? If he's anything, it's only a good director, but not a great one when you stand him beside cinematic giants. He's mediocre at best! And nothing you can say will change that.