First off, I'm perversely proud to announce that there'sgoing to be a geek gathering in San Francisco, organized byhepkitten. Usually I avoid large gatherings of MT fans atall costs, but as I said, I'm perversely proud of this one. Why? Because the acronym is BAMF--Bay Area MegatokyoFans. And because I'm a dork. But before I speed off intofacetious blabbering like I usually do, I'll give thedetails on the thing. Like I said, it's taking place inSan Francisco. Hepkitten hopes to hold it some weekend inFebruary, first going to dim sum (mmm... dim sum), then tothe park or something. If you're at all interested, sendher an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org your day of choice. I'll most likely be unable toattend, due to other engagements, but who knows--as long asit's not Katsucon, there's a chance of me being able toattend. Plus, maybe you can convince her to move it tosome time in March. Stranger things have happened.
Moving on. Yes, as you can tell, I'm an unabashed comicbook fan. Not of the tripe that litters the stands thesedays--though I do sometimes read those to give me somethingto do on slow days, it gives me something to laugh at--butthe stuff that really interests me as a story.
Comics are a fairly unique creature. Unlike children'sstorybooks, movies and illustrated books, the comic relieson equal parts image and printed word. You can't shove thewords out of the way, but you can't get away with just wordbubbles, either. Look at the work Kevin Smith does--whileit's witty and all, I can't stand Clerks. I get thefeeling that it'd work better as a short story, so I didn'thave to stare at the same static image with differentdialogue every panel. And in contrast, take a look at therecent (silent) 'Nuff Said issues of Marvel comics or takea look at some of the scriptsthat Marvel has up on their site. When I was flippingthrough those, I got the distinct impression that I wasmissing the point--some worked, some didn't, and I knew Ididn't want another month of these things.
And that's why, back in college, my prof affectionatelycalled 'em "co-mix", due to what she called their"verbal/visual hybridity that commingles image and text,sometimes using the visual for the temporal demands ofnarration and the verbal for merely visual effect". Idon't call them that, though--it sounds pretentious. :)
So, yes, I love comic books, both as ten minutes worth ofpulpy enjoyment and an artistic/literary genre--to doanything less would invite the wrath of Will Eisner. Sofar, though, I've only found two stories where the mediumis absolutely essential to the story it tells, rather thanan illustrated short story or movie lite. One is ArtSpiegelman's Maus,which is at once inspiring to me as a bad, but aspiringwriter and disturbing to me as a human being. The other isthe first three issues of Warren Ellis' "Transmetropolitan",because it needs both the columns and the images of theriot to be wholly effective--if you only get the column,you only take in part of the scene, while if you just seethe riot, you miss the whole impact. Fascinating...
What's the point of all this? Well, other than plugging apersonal interest of mine, it helps me write for MT--whichI think would work just fine as a movie or a short story,so I can't really say it's in the same category as theprevious two. I've also started up a random pet projectwith Meruru of Nekoboxthat it will be useful for.
On to what you usually expect from me, the rants on videogames. Well, here we go...
Dynasty Warriors 3 is a nice example of beat-em-up action,but unlike other people who rant and rave about that gameuntil the sun comes up, I can't compare it to Streets ofRage 2, my personal benchmark for all beat-em-ups. Onething Streets of Rage had going for it wasdigestibility--you would be in once scene, fight a set ofenemies, and within a few minutes you'd be somewhere else,fighting a new set of enemies before you could get bored. Dynasty Warriors 3 is like whittling--you run into a crowd,press square a few times, maybe end it with triangle,circle, or both. Lather, rinse, repeat as needed. Sure,the different missions provide needed variety, butcripes--there's only so many times you can cut throughhordes of ancient Chinese soldiers. Plus, that battlewhere you kill the peasants always makes me feel vaguelyguilty. So enough with that.
A co-worker of mine recently visited THQ and told me that agame called Britney's Dance Beat exists, while they nevershowed a lick of Red Faction 2. I think that speaks foritself.
In another piece of news that speaks for itself,apparently, Casey Kasem refused to reprise his role asShaggy's voice for an upcoming Scooby-Doo game. Why? Because he's a strict vegan, and Scooby's health isrepresented by sandwiches, which have animal products in'em somewhere.
Aaaand, with that, I leave you. I'll rant again when Ihave time--which will be a while from now, given how myFebruary looks. Oh, well. Come summer, things will slowdown--especially since my boss told me I don't have to workat E3, but I can still go...