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< Piro >

Jack & Daddy, the Post-Op Lounger

"Post Op & Library-ing"

Thursday - October 22, 2009

[Piro] - 12:11:12 - [link here]

If you have been paying attention to my twitter-sludgestream lately as opposed to waiting for me to update this poorly neglected column, you will know Tuesday was a rough day for my little guy. Jack had his Tonsils and Adenoids removed, which is a big deal when you are barely two years old. The good news is that he came through everything just fine and after spending a night in the PICU we were finally able to go home yesterday afternoon and he's doing great. In fact, you'd hardly know he had the operation two days ago the way he's popping around today.

Now his parents didn't fair quite so well in the ordeal (i wont get into the long list of 'you gotta be kidding me' things that happened, like the surgery being delayed and his post-op medication wearing off and having to go in and hold and comfort the little guy him while they gave him anesthesia, dealing belatedly with the fact that parents are not big on remembering to feed themselves when their kid is in the hospital, and having a dead battery in the vehicle at 2am in the hospital parking structure) but now that we're all back home I think we survived. The rant image is from yesterday when i had pretty much been pressed into service as a lounger for Jack as he slept of the drowseys. Kids can exercise some serious Sleep Voodoo on you when they want to, especially when you are seriously overtired. Oh, and Mommies should not be allowed to have cameras.

I've been threatening to start writing rants again since a week or so before Jack's little fun day at the hospital, but as usual i found myself extremely preoccupied with things leading up to it. Yes, i am an obsessive and worry too much about my boy when it comes to things like this, it's just the way I'm wired. Now that we're on the other side of it i feel tons better, and after looking at the calendar i realized that i really should write about what i'm doing this weekend. :)

On Saturday October 24th I will be giving a presentation at the Dexter District Library in Dexter, Michigan from 2:00pm to 3:00pm. It'll be on the lower level and should be pretty easy to find, all are welcome to attend. I plan on talking about both the drawing and writing processes involved in creating comics (mine, at least) as well as ways to explore and expand upon your creative ideas. It's a pretty casual thing, so be sure to bring some questions. Hopefully i'll be able to provide some semblance of an answer. I will also be helping judge entries to the Manga Illustration contest and announcing winners after my presentation.

So, if you live in the area and have some time, stop by the Dexter District Library and join us. Should be fun.

You may have noticed that we have some additional contributors who have been writing and contributing rants to the right column. These are some of the guys who have been helping me in recent years, most noticeably in the website overhaul and rebuild. Now, these guys are pretty decent guys and have not caused me the kind of grief that would make me want to make them into MT characters (an abusive and cruel act that i would not put upon anyone lightly) but i figure some ranting into the void won't be too detrimental to their lives. If they get out of line, Dom will it.

Right now, i'm off to get some shirt printing done and then see what i can do to get that last comic finished and get the next one on deck and up before it becomes 'next week'. Even in spite of Jack's thing this week, i'm pushing to get the comic output up to at least two comics per week. I apologize for the slow flow lately, hopefully it can become a thing of the past. I'd say that for 'not ranting' too, but i know better than to say it. Any progress on that will happen by doing it. I will say that i'm getting really sick of Twitter's 140 character limit.

< Dom >

As the Japanese fans would say, 'Marry me, you hag!'

"Bullet Climaxes and Crazy B...Witches."

Friday - November 20, 2009

[Dom] - 11:48:49 - [link here]

Crap, Bayonetta comes in, I blink, and it's 3 weeks since I last ranted. That's what happens when a game sucks me in, heart and soul, though...

Let's see how I can best describe Bayonetta. Let's start with this - if it weren't for the cartoonish levels of sexuality and gore in the game, it could have been designed by a 5-year-old. And that's a good thing.

The best qualities of Bayonetta are closely tied to a couple of movies I watched recently, the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann films (as a note, I reviewed them for AnimeReel, which is sucking up a lot of my writing time). They both casually discard the conventions of reality and video games in favor of trying to extract a "Holy crap, that's awesome!" reaction.

Let's throw out some examples here: the weapons include a combo bazooka/tonfa, ice skates, and gun-chucks. GUN-CHUCKS. There's also a chainsaw-sword, a stripper pole... all sorts of things that are just so ridiculous that they're great. One of the "Climax" kill sequences involves a bunch of hands made of hair playing volleyball with the boss. You can grab missiles and falling satellites out of the sky to throw them at a boss. And, as the kicker, the last level has you ride a motorcycle into space and punch the last boss so hard that her soul flies out of her body and into the sun. The sun!

It doesn't need to be said that I love this game in all aspects. After all, I loved God Hand, and that was a game that only masochists loved. Bayonetta plays like a dream, making dodging a one-button affair instead of a three-input hassle, which was one of my biggest complaints with the Devil May Cry series. It also adds all sorts of fun wrinkles to its combat system, from parries to last-second dodges to projectile deflection and a million other things that make no two fights play the same way if you don't want them to. The team also does a good job of making it so that none of the extra bits are actually necessary - you can very ably get through the game with just the default weapons and the dodge button, but the other options are so much fun (I'm a huge fan of equipping claws to my hands and feet, and the Breakdance move, while mildly pointless, is way too fun not to use).

I'm going through Hard mode right now and having just as much fun as I did on every difficulty of DMC - and, when the English version comes out in January, I'm probably going to buy and play that one, too. Why? Because this game is just that damn good.

Find out for yourself in a month and a half, I'll be waiting with a shit-eating grin on my face. :D

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