Tag Archives: humor

FINALLY: TALES OF WEIRD CRIME with Doctor Satan — FREE 30 pages of pulse pounding pulp story, part one. Welcome to the Golden Age.

Part One of Three – 30 pages. See PDF for all details. Part Two is getting edited for polish.

To GET THE FREE PDF, CLICK HERE – JSA1938_FNL

SYNOPSIS

THE HORRIBLE PLOT OF DOCTOR SATAN

In 1938 Doctor Satan opens a supernatural gate and summons a horrible and deadly monster in the middle of a titanic hurricane. All over Gotham City, police officers are brutally slaughtered by a ghostly executioner from the other side, walking with young black men, now ghosts, that never had a chance to see justice done when they were alive.

Over a hundred police could die in a fortnight, in a wave of supernatural blowback. The death of Jim Corrigan is key, as he is the first officer to fall. His death launches Doctor Satan’s deadly plot to use a wrathful spectre of vengeance to decimate the Gotham PD.

A circle of anonymous vigilantes gathers to face the approaching storm, working in the shadows. The mysterious Sandman runs the opposition to Doctor Satan and his insidious plot. Female adventurer the Black Fury and her partner, the Green Lantern join the group as new members. Carter Hall, international adventurer, brings the weapons as quartermaster, and Doctor Fate lends his strength as a sorcerer.

And deep in the dark of the night, the Shadow laughs.

“When policemen break the law, then there isn’t any law. Just a fight for survival.” –From the ballad of Billy Jack

 

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To GET THE FREE PDF, CLICK HERE – JSA1938_FNL

(NEW ESSAY) REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS AND SOCIAL MEDIA (DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE)

REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS and SOCIAL MEDIA (DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE)

11 points. This is something new and/or rare on this site – an essay. This is based on over 6 years of observation, with a friends list on Facebook that spans 6 cities, 3 nations, and 2 languages, and good dose of humor. The topic is in the title – Realistic Expectations, Don’t Believe the Hype. I do have a rather flip style, but I hope people can find some useful tips for surviving social media without too many headaches. All the examples are pulled from real life. If people think, “well, that’s just you,” then they are exactly what I am describing. In all things, please judge for yourself. Comments are fine, but LIKES are better. I like to keep this space for browsing, not for back and forth arguments.

WARNING – If you buy into the orthodoxy and hype on social media, or fancy yourself a Social Media Superstar, reading this could cause hissy fits and stomach upset. You have been warned..

1) WHY DO PERFECT STRANGERS DISAGREE WITH ME?

If you feel like you are being buffeted by the views of strangers that disagree with you, then you need to look at your Friend’s List. These people did not appear from nowhere. They requested to be friends, and you APPROVED it. If you want a homogenous group of people that always agree with you, then you need to actively filter people to achieve that. Lazy users of Social Media seem to think they can just take it for granted. LOL. Of course you can’t. How long have you been using Social Media?

When deleting people, I always start with people I do not know at all, or people i have not met face to face in the real world. Complete anonymity leads to conflict that would not happen in the real world. People get more extreme without real world consequences. However, expecting 500-1000 strangers to always act like your own personal cheerleader is just plain unreasonable. If you want only affirmations and kisses, then you need to post that. “I need you to pander to my ego.” Post it, delete the heretics, and you should be good with a nice quiet page. You get what you want and you’ve deleted anyone that might think you are shallow. Maybe. See: Lurkers below.

I find it helps to have your own basic, personal code. For example, If I do not share an opinion, I do not delete. But if someone expects me to be their obedient audience without controlling their own behavior, SAYONARA. People who delete comments without having the balls to reply are SAYONARA. My core rule is – if you can’t get with equality of all, then SAYONARA. If you are the Subject and I am your Object SAYONARA. I am not here to be someone’s unpaid chorus. You have to pay union rates for that. Facebook and Twitter are shared platforms. If you want a private party, you need to PAY FOR THE ROOM, stupid.

IMPORTANT POINT ABOUT PRIVATE CLUBS on FACEBOOK – I have encountered people on FB that say things like, “This is a private discussion for my private circle of friends, and you are unwelcome to say things we do not want to hear.” My reply – “Oh, did you buy Facebook and not tell me?” Surprise – you have to pay for the room to make it private. I am not on your feed, because YOU are on MINE. At best, Facebook and Twitter are SEMI-private platforms to share semi-public information. Lots of comments go public because the setting is “friends of friends” or “public/everybody,” set by the person who wonders how a stranger wandered in (see point 11, privacy settings). It’s fully private when you don’t post it, something professional writers understand very well. To Friend someone, then tell them they are excluded from your “private chat” is just the height of obnoxious, stupid, piggish behavior. If you want a more private conversation, the rest of us use email, asshole. ‘Get a room,” OK?

The more I think about this topic, the more I think people should post warning labels – “Please comment only if you agree.” I would love to see that happen, but people are afraid to post such a thing, for obvious reasons.  It advertises you as a douchebag when you do. Endlessly confused people like that are the first people I like to delete, because unlike what they say, they get embroiled in conflict constantly, like a stumbling child. It is Social Media, and corporate advertising dictates we must have our cake and eat it too, riiiiiiiiight? No. Time to grow up.

2) COMMON SHARED RULES vs. LAW OF THE JUNGLE.

There are no common rules of etiquette on social media. That implies that everyone is acting according to the same standards, which is obviously untrue. English and Japanese manners are built on context, whereas Social Media is built on lack of context. Japanese and British are polite, Americans do OK, and Twitter is on fire again, off topic and out of context.

Some of my friends love political discussion, others hate it. The degree of disagreement that various people can tolerate is extremely different. I constantly see people claiming this or that is standard behavior, while 80% of everyone else is doing something completely different. “I decided this way is standard, so all you strangers have to follow it.” That is social media pathology in its purest form, like the king everyone forgot to crown, angry he has no power. KEYWORDS – Realistic Expectations will Set You Free.

Until you can point to one book that all people on social media accept as THE ONE RULE BOOK, then there is no system of etiquette on social media. People think they can accomplish that by posting one article on Facebook, which is a good example of Social Media Pathology – If  Twitter and Facebook sold you an idea, then it must be true. I have seen PC folks post the most obtuse rules and convoluted PC jargon “everyone must use,” then get FURIOUS it does not catch on. Well, who are you? Standards come when everyone agrees on the same TEXT of rules. One obscure, faceless person posting an article on FB won’t bridge the gap.

Social Media is about Hype and Group Think with no real substance or consistency. People say “this will result in” and it results in nothing. Everyone agrees on a standard of behavior (pulled from a pandering self help book) that nobody follows. The lack of a commonly accepted Rulebook indicates social media is not interested in such a thing at all. The only discussion sites I have seen work well are always actively moderated by a fair referee. Everything else is law of the jungle and inevitable clashes. Expecting people to magically act a certain way without clear rules, a fair referee, or a common code is not a reasonable expectation.

3) REGIONAL DIFFERENCES, POLITICAL DIVIDES (THIS IS A BIG ONE)

Regional Differences in the real world are Real, and people act like it. The friends on my FB reflect where I have lived: Santa Cruz, SF, Tokyo, Incheon and Suwon in Korea, Sacramento, and now Portland, Oregon. I had to cut (almost) an entire region, older gay men in SF, because their local culture means acting like a snob and demonizing people from other places. On FB, they were basking in affirmation from fellow locals, but on my page, surrounded by the other regions, they came off as horribly obnoxious and pretentious, like mentally crippled Gay Archie Bunkers. So I deleted them and my page is now quite nice, for the most part. Straights from Sacramento are underrated, IMHO, but that’s another story.

Many people do not want to explore outside their home region. They do not want to deal with outsiders, whether gay, black, southern, older, younger, or suburban. By deleting 40 acquaintances from one region, I achieved quiet, by segregating myself from them. In my case, I had many happy replacements, so it was easy to drop the problem children. But expecting everyone to agree in the age of righteous anger, income inequality, Partisan knife fights, Bernie Sanders and Trump is just ridiculous Social Media pathology. People only agree as one UniMind when the sample is completely segregated, which is popular these days, to only hear what you want to hear. Even then you get stray cats.

Regionalism is stronger than ever. Partisan politics goes right with that. Our society is a lot more polarized than normal on all fronts – political, cultural, racial, gender, regional, and international, with Social Media standing right in the center of it all. Internet campaigns crumble if there is no footwork in the real world. Culture Wars went from being Spy vs. Spy to Asymmetric Chaos and Partisan BloodFeud. MoveOn.Org does two campaigns a day but don’t ask about their actual progress in the real world. Then I notice someone being hyper partisan in a political post, and they are shocked someone disagrees- “I thought my bubble was sealed.” Only the president of the USA is allowed a perfectly sealed bubble. There are many fine studies showing that segregation is on the rise, and it’s having a harmful impact. Growing segregation tracks with rising number of gun crimes and police brutality, among other things.

Some regions are more liberal and/or conservative than other places. Something shocking in North Carolina is mundane is another location.  Maybe you think your region is the best. That does not mean that other regions think the same, or want to tolerate excess snobbery.  Again if you want a homogenous group of people that always agree with you, then you need to survey and delete people to achieve that (i.e. enforced segregation). I have observed that effective segregation takes a lot of work, but on social media people want to take it for granted and get angry when things don’t happen magically. Then when they segregate, they get mad when people say, “hey, you have segregated yourself.” That is what drives ME crazy on Social Media the most. Neurotics on a Snobbery Trip are too high maintenance.

Despite Social Media Orthodoxy, Context controls us, because we are so eager to deny it on Social Media. The revolution of Social Media is stripping location and context from the language for the first time ever. If you think that experiment is going well, go have fun on Twitter Flame Wars. There are no rules, making it the Wild West. People think large, complex systems “fix” themselves magically if they are Anarchists, Libertarians, or users of Social Media, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

4) TROLLS ALWAYS GET IN FIGHTS WITH ME. WHY?

Troll- this word does not mean “Person who is wrong” or “person I diagree with.” It means someone seeking to stir up negative drama (fight not discuss), overstaying their welcome and basically attempting to establish themselves as the center of attention in your thread under your post (aka hijacking threads). That person was approved by you. If you approved a difficult stranger without looking at their Feed, then yeah – this one is on you. I check feeds before I approve a new friend all the time, but I also read other comments, unlike most people. If you do not like what you read, delete and you’re done. However, if you are deleting people because their opinion is not obedient to yours, then maybe you need to spend some time thinking about that. What are you telling yourself? Also, see the point below about Lurkers, “Your Friends are Watching You.” Why do you need the world singing a song in tune with only YOU? Think about it.

Odds are we are so diverse someone will disagree, especially when so much Social Media interaction is anonymous and without consequences. That’s actually a formula for Thread War, not mass agreement (hype). If you are hypersensitive about people disagreeing with you, then chances are you will view friendly, polite disagreement as TROLLISH behavior. To be honest, there is a chance other people reading the thread will then see you as the douche, not the other guy. If you don’t want discussion of political issues that includes some disagreement with you, then DO NOT POST ON POLITICS, and the problem is solved. There are many that use this solution, and they are very happy. As a political science major, I find the people who get the most bent out of shape over differing views are amateurs on the subject. Social Media excels at making everyone think they are experts (not).

6) BORED on SOCIAL MEDIA

Honest talk – people are not on Social Media to change the world, learn something new, get to know other people, or find out about your latest product or event. They are there to KILL TIME. I do it, you do it, everyone does it, and everyone claims they don’t. If you want to believe something else, go for it. But it is unfair to expect more than what people are looking for – to kill time and relieve a little boredom. I have found through studying stats on my website that people from Social Media don’t show up. Less than 3% of my Website traffic comes from Social Media, which is ridiculous in marketing terms. We have been sold a bill of goods on the “social media revolution.” Key word – Reasonable Expectations vs. Social Media Hype.

7) MARKETING ON SOCIAL MEDIA.

People approve 1000-2000 strangers as friends because they think those people are good marketing targets for whatever it is they have to sell. Then they get surprised when one of those 2000 strangers suddenly pops up with an opinion that is “unorthodox.”. To expect those people to be marketing targets on social media with no voice is unreasonable. Resolve it simply – Social Media is actually a black hole of people that do not show up in the real world. Therefore, there is no marketing value*. So, deleting all the strangers is probably a good idea for your own peace of mind. Many people maintain Social Media just to share personal and family stuff. It retrospect, this seems like the best choice. Otherwise, approve the 1000 and get mellow about what havoc they cause. I know people with 2000 friends who use it for marketing and nothing else, which is maybe a good strategy. I know several performers that have two Facebook accounts – one for professional purposes, and one for sharing information with a select group of friends they actually know in real life. That can be a good solution.

*Please see my last post (2015 Year End Report) for actual numbers.

8) HOW ABOUT THIS – CHILL OUT ON DISAGREEMENT.

If someone is hijacking a thread or making a negative spectacle, then take action (delete, block, report). But if its just one or two comments on your thread, why are you so touchy? Maybe you should talk to someone? Oh. Everyone on Social Media has the same opinion. Everyone has to agree with Everyone all the time and if you do not, “TROLL!!” I have actually forged some friendly relations with people on Social Media and disagree with them from time to time, just as we do in the Real World. It’s not such a bad thing. Also, if someone posts a comment you don’t like, and nobody replies to their comment, then leave it alone. People with fragile egos who require people to kiss up, are probably suffering some self esteem issues. Leave the post alone and work on yourself – “Why am I unable to just leave it alone? Why do I need the affirmation of strangers I have never met?” I still encounter people who read that last sentence, and have a MAJOR HISSY FIT. Why do you think that is? People don’t realize how much you can read from comments, and how much their own ego looks like a field of open sores.

9) YOUR FRIEND’S ARE WATCHING (LURKERS)

Remember – You and the person with the opinion you do not like are not the only people reading the thread. Lurking is what most people do. They read discussions to kill time, but do not always add their own opinion. If you seek to deal with a Troll by being a Jerk, everyone will read that. If there are 20 likes but only 3 comments, than 10-15 may be lurking. Think about it and act accordingly, however you want. People are watching. And if its the same Ego Tyrant Drama all the time, they are gone. I have seen people drop from 30 to 3 likes, from 30 comments to zero. It happens, so watch yourself.

Every time I add an opinion that may be somewhat challenging, I think of those invisible readers. If I an reasonable and someone calls me a troll, then I know I win – because of all the other people reading the thread. Worst case for them, someone (LIKES) my comment, now what? That has held true again and again. Over 6-7 years, I have seen the posts of oversensitive people drop and drop and drop in Likes and Comments. Everyone says to the original post, “Oh you are so right” then they fade away over time, not interested in being your constant cheerleader. I have noticed this trend recently A LOT as people use Facebook less and less.

You can be lightweight and shallow but people get bored. Remember – realistic expectations will set you free.

10) HEAL BY WALKING AROUND THE REAL WORLD –

Walk around outside. Meet new people, face to face. If you are married and have a tough job, then spend more time with family and coworkers, in the real world. The reasons for extreme behavior can be someone who never gets out, anonymous without consequences, or someone who opened Facebook with a preexisting temper tantrum caused by work or home (kick the dog syndrome). More time OFF social media is a way for you to work on those face to face relationships. I do Facebook now about once per week at best. I also have my dog and my work. I pick dog and work. I see most of my friends on FB are doing the same. And yet after deleting so many super sized egos, I still can’t make my friend’s list shrink. Pretty nutty bunch, actually, but I like what they post.

11) PRIVACY and INFORMATION SECURITY –

Public information about you on social media was put there by you. Do you know why a complete stranger has your phone number, email, and personal information? Because YOU put it in your public profile, dummy. Most people have no idea what’s on their own page, then fall into a rage when they are “hacked.” In the young vernacular, “hacked” seems to mean a stranger accessed information you put on your public profile, probably in less than two minutes, without the fancy software used on TV.  Also keep in mind that I can access all the info on most people’s friend’s lists, incl. people that are not friends with me. Have a look at your list and settings and think about upgrading the security.

I found a way to contact someone’s father, and they were blown away by that. I simply pointed out – the information was clearly posted on his PUBLIC profile, by HIM, so why is he so freaked out? Several times I shut down white strangers trying to preach to other white strangers on the race issue by posting their friends list. “If you are against racism, why do you have over 300 friends, ALL WHITE?” Boy, that was embarrassing.

Take ownership of your own information and page. Keep it simple. If people want your telephone number, they can ask. If you are not sure what to include, just post the very minimum, and add to it later. I list High School Name, some Work info, because nobody can use that in advertising. Advertisers want my contact info – address, email, phone – so you do NOT want that on your FB page.

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY is a major theme in all 11 points. I’m afraid I’m not too down with the Twitter Orthodoxy of Screaming Trivial Victims. They hate it when I use the word shallow. They want me to act in a way without a written script that nobody voted on. I think nothing would benefit the users of social media more than taking personal responsibility to grow, rather than throwing a hissy fit because a complete stranger walked through the door they opened. That and getting out of the house more often. The ugliest thing I have ever seen in a gay bar is a lonely young man attached to his phone, totally shutting out everyone around him. They attempt to connect with people who are not there, and shut out the people who are – true pathology. I guess some guys have trouble with real world communication and real world connections. Too much time on Twitter?

BONUS TRACKS

SOCIAL MEDIA REVOLUTION

2011 Occupy Begins, gets approval rating higher than Obama, then fizzles out within 4 months. Social Media Trends have a short life.

ARAB SPRING

Protestors force Mubarak out of power in Egypt.

Election results in Religious extremists taking power

Religious extremists replaced by new dictator and military rule.

Social Media Hailed as being a way to Change Society.

I roll my eyes.

TRUMP is a social media creature. He knows Twitter better than most men know their wives. He uses it very effectively, yet he is an extreme Troll of Trolls. Like any tool, social media can be used for Good or Evil, and if you think there are rules in the Jungle, Trump just blew them up. Is that a good thing? Think about it.

BLACK LIVES MATTER

My observation is that they are adept at adapting the tactics and strategy of ACT-UP and other groups from the real world. They share info on Twitter, but the heart and engine of the movement is meeting in the real world to pressure for change on real streets. They have had some success, including some of the first prosecutions of cops for killing citizens. This to me is the ideal use of social media -a convenient tool, combined with old fashioned, real world action.

Having realistic expectations of Social Media is essential, but also rather rare. Yiou can’t make Social Media be something it is not – you are only causing yourself frustration. Do what a Martial Arts Monk would do in Japan or China – Understand the reality of your surroundings, harmonize with it, then seek ways to get what you want within that framework of Realistic Expectation by adapting the good stuff to things in the real world that actually work. And don’t believe the hype.

Cheers,

Brian

(NEW) Preview Cover – Meeting of Evil Doers Part 2 (cover only)

CHECK LIST Script is in rough draft stage. Needs a lot of work, these guys are so bad!! Please note, Spymaster was not included. Pleaes see History of Ninja (webcomics, free PDF) for more details on spymaster. This is issue eight. Right now I am more than half way done with Issue six, so sooner or later. enjoy.

You can enjoy the first Meeting of Evil Doers (20 pages) here on the free PDF page. Just scroll down and look for the submarine and the giant sphere.

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(WARNING) OBERON DESTROYERS – ACT II CELESTIAL SPHERES (INTERNATIONAL WARNING)

WARNING

we now interrupt your regular programing.

WARNING – Enemy Celestial Spheres on the move and ready to attack at any time. If you are from a nation that visits this site regularly, your hometown is at risk of being destroyed by. What is a Celestial Sphere? See Photo:
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Evil Doer Planning Session, feartuing Satan’s Yellow Paw, can be found in issue 5, Meeting of Evil Doers.

SPHERE_AOMRA_01pagesFor More Information

The Office of Naval Intelligence/Oberon Project has also identified nations that may have a Celestial Sphere hidden and managed by the evil Black Curtain Syndicate, ready to attack and destroy the nearest city at any time. Repeat, Spheres could open and attack at any time.

Image of Celestial Sphere from Joey O’Toole’s nightmare. Actual Spheres are 30-100 feet in diameter, or more. 

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INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE
These are the nations at risk of having a sphere and/or frequent this site. These are comments by national leaders all over the world, at a time of crisis: 

France
“All the paintings in the Louvre were replaced with fakes to protect the originals. The Louvre is all fake now, and the French public in the Louvre has no idea. Je Suis Hey did this Titian always have a mustache?”

Canada 

“Trying not to make a big deal about it, cuz, y’know …. time for the family meal.”

United States
“Alaska and Sacramento? Who made that choice? Let the States decide, as long as they pick up the bill. I would also like to say for the record that these jokes are still in progress, and blame for that tracks right back to the White House.”

United Kingdom
“The Prime Minister expressed his deep dismay that if such a horrible city were destroyed, Britain would lose a fine football team.”

Portugal
Tour and Travel small business – “Perhaps now Portugal will be in the world headlines.”

Australia
“I’m just wondering if Perth or Sydney will be attacked, because it’s a long way to run to the other.”

Lebanon
“Oh what is it now?!!”

Italy
“SCREAMING Headline: Does Holy See Conceal Secret Sphere? Secret vatican source Deep Throat tells all.”

Thailand

“What bad thing has Thailand ever done to anybody? Riiiiightt?? And if any bad person comes along, just take him for a night in old Patpong and and help him to chill out, ohhhhkaaaaay?”

Saudi Arabia
“What is a Celestial Sphere? How big is it? Can it be sold on the world energy market? Can we buy some more?”

Republic of Korea
Korea does not have a giant Sphere. Japan has two. Same old story, riiiiiiiight? North Korean TV Executive – “Can we broadcast a picture of a Celetial Sphere on TV? Nothing but Supreme Leader on the TV night after night and, wait, why are you pointing your guns at me?! YARRRGHGHGHGHH!!!”

JAPAN
Two Spheres are now held by TEPCO, so what could go wrong? Prime Minister Abe was eager to make a bold statement, but  the people from TEPCO have not called back yet. “What is a Celestial Sphere?”

If you hear a giangantic slither or step that is large enough to destroy a building with a push or a punch, then all residents are advised to evacuate to the closest safe location with nice weather. Act II Level of Threat is Orange to Red.

FInally, Three pages from Issue 3 that explains something. Is it a Celestial Sphere, or merely Coy?
These three pages are about Joey’s particular Sphere, from issue 3, JUMP TEST.

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Thank you, and be careful out there.
We now return you to your regular programming….

(NEW) TAKE DOWN w/ THE QUIET NINJA – (PART 1 of 12, 3 pages)

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(NEW) JOEY and KEN – THE NINJA IN THE ROOM (4 pages, New Chapter)

New Four Pages, Joey and Ken at Oberon HQ in Placerville, they talk about the Ninja and go to lunch. A little humorous. To read more about the NInja, Ken’s adventures in Sacramento, odd alien visitor Prince Crow, and Joey’s giant, please see Free Sample in the PDF section while these issues are still free.

NOTE – This comic features a character from Japan who does not speak fluent or perfect English. His speech patterns are based on 7 years of observing approx. 7500 students in Japan. Margaret Cho at the Golden Globes was recently bullied by PC bogus “anti-colonialists” for portraying an Asian who does not speak perfect English, to a monolingual, monocultural audience that is phobic of foreign accents. So of course they need foreigners to speak perfect English? That is not colonialist, racist and xenophobic? That is the “progressive” view?

This is why I dumped Leftist politics and draw comics. Americans should travel first, then talk.  If you can put all that aside, and just enjoy the damn comic, Have at it!! I had fun, for its worth!  cheers, -b.
KenandJoeyPART2_FNLpage1 KenandJoeyPART2_FNLpage2 KenandJoeyPART2_FNLpage3 KenandJoeyPART2_FNLpage4 UPDATE – 01.16.15 WARNING – SHARED WORLD ALERT Except for stories taking place prior to 1940, all comics on this site are one big story. Everything matches up with everything else, so if you feel like you are missing some key information, feel free to dive into other issues for the answer. Characters are consistent from beginning to end, and these comics are not “stream of conciousness.” In “Joey and Ken,” they talk about the Quiet Ninja XXIII, because he will be joining the Project Oberon team two issues from now. You have free access to 5 issues and additional strips (about 150 pages) about the Oberon Destroyers right here on this site (Free Sample PDF and Webcomics), so you have a half of what you need to figure out the big mysterious reveal soon to come. The subtext of the dialogue is pregnant with clues. Actually, I have dropped major burning clues in plain sight in all the issues, that build to some pretty huge reveals in a few months. The Seige of Sacramento will occur. I put my three main characters in one room for the first time in issue 7 (next issue is 6). Most of the dialogue for issue 7 was written 2 years ago. I am adding new material to the story, but the plot, mission statement, character arcs, and overall game plan has not changed.

(NEW) UPDATE – JOEY and KEN – WARNING – SHARED WORLD ALERT

UPDATE – 1.19.15 11:20 PM – Pages are done, just need to paste word balloons. WIll post In 12 hours.

12FacesKENTARO01 UDATE – 01.16.15 Joey and Ken: The Ninja in the Room (4 pages) is almost finished. However, I am stuck waiting on a delivery of art supplies – brush pens for gray tones, to replace my 12 pen set (fancy art supplies, $50), that all went dry at the same time. Running Late. Tick Tock, Mr. Online delivery service. Should be posted on this site by Monday. I already inked and gray toned most of the four pages, but I am stuck needing two tones “in the mail” Script is edited and formatted. Should be quick once I have those pens. And it looks really good.

UPDATE – 01.16.15 WARNING – SHARED WORLD ALERT Except for stories taking place prior to 1940, all comics on this site are one big story. Everything matches up with everything else, so if you feel like you are missing some key information, feel free to dive into other issues for the answer. Characters are consistent from beginning to end, and these comics are not “stream of conciousness.” In “Joey and Ken,” they talk about the Quiet Ninja XXIII, because he will be joining the Project Oberon team two issues from now. You have free access to 5 issues and additional strips (about 150 pages) about the Oberon Destroyers right here on this site (Free Sample PDF and Webcomics), so you have a half of what you need to figure out the big mysterious reveal soon to come. The subtext of the dialogue is pregnant with clues. Actually, I have dropped major burning clues in plain sight in all the issues, that build to some pretty huge reveals in a few months. The Seige of Sacramento will occur. I put my three main characters in one room for the first time in issue 7 (next issue is 6). Most of the dialogue for issue 7 was written 2 years ago. I am adding new material to the story, but the plot, mission statement, character arcs, and overall game plan has not changed.

Enjoy! -B.

2015newyearPromo3Faces12facesJOEY0112facesNINJAface12FacesPRINCECROWAgentDeathray02roguesgallery KEN_SecretFNL Joey and Kentaro, “The NInja in the Room” is the second of my webcomics (4 pages) featuring a conversation between two of my main characters from Oberon Destroyers. My workspeed is speeding up after the last two installments, so I would say – I think I can post it in one week (January 14). Script is finished, pencils are almost finished, so just inks and scan and  “Bob’s your uncle.” In one week. The topic of conversation? Joey and Ken talk about the Ninja based on completely 3rd hand information. It’s my tribute to Social Media where many people use the freedom of speech to talk about things they really don’t know that much about. It’s also a humor piece, with many fun quips by Joey in between amazing flights of creative English by Ken. It’s also a great way to introduce more information about Japan’s Greatest Ninja without committing to any it (he’s a man of mystery, right?). Mostly its my way of exploring the characters of Joey and Kentaro. Teaser Quote – “Small Dick Disorder is not just a straight male disease, Ken. All men are in this together.” Soon!! Thanks, -B.

(NEW) PRINCE CROW: First Days on Earth (Homeless Hero from Another World)

FINISHED!!! Prince Crow: First Days on Earth, a five page story on being a homeless alien. Prince Crow is one of the three Oberon Destroyers team members. This tells what he did before he joined the team, just after jumping into Earth Space at the end of Oberon Destroyers Issue #2.  At end of 2014 and start of 2015, this space continues to produce original and new stories and art that are actually better than you think!!

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OBERON DESTROYERS: BEST of 2014 – Funny Film Review

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My first film review became the third most popular post on this site in 2014 (I’ll post the 2nd and Top articles tomorrow). I got great numbers on this review that blew me away for two or three weeks, then  a Scraper Site ripped me off. I think people really liked it for the humor, symmetry, and history of Hammer. I think the tone is like a boyfriend making fun of his lover or family member, because I love Hammer! Enjoy!

WORTHY OF NOTE, WORTHY OF RIDICULE
August 11, 2014Uncategorized Edit

UPDATE August 11 (THIS IS THE ACTUAL REVIEW)
Just reposting to avoid a parasitic scraper bot. The full review is here, just moved up one entry. See next udate to get backstory on Parasite that Eat The Mummy, Enjoy!

I just saw two Hammer Films. One is worthy of note, and the other is worthy of ridicule. Full Disclosure, I love a lot of Hammer Films, I love good Horror films,  and I am big fan of British Cinema. But some timea a good team lays an egg, while the new guys make their bones. It happens when you crank out 80 films a year, most of which were great entertainment with red blood.

WORTHY OF NOTE

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Doctor Jekyll, Sister Hyde.
This film is by a later Hammer team, 1971 but set at in the time of Jack the Ripper. My favorites are mostly done by the same people (Fisher, Sangster, Lee, Cushing), but Doctor Jekyll Sister Hyde is a different team that came later, the second generation. Roy Ward Baker directs, Brian Clemens writes the script, Ralph Bates and Martine Beswick play the role of the Jekyll and Ms. Hyde, passing him/herself off as brother and sister. As you can see from the photographs, Bate and Beswick really do look like the male and female versions of the same person.  They also incorporate the historical Jack the Ripper, as well as the famous body snatchers, Burke and Hare. The plot is tight and there are some very funny, deftly played moments. It’s British and witty, not loud and camp. The moments of horror and human carnage are honestly scary, with plenty of suspense leading up to sudden explosions of violence. The best Hammer films did this very well.

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The horror is real and not fantastic, as its essentially a serial killer story. Bates as Jekyll is understated and submerged – he seems like a nice man, but…. Martine Beswick, Sister Hyde, does not get enough screentime, but when she does, she eats up the scenery.   She has a wonderfully strong walk.

VICTORIAN WOMANHOOD

As womanhood is under the microscope, we have many differerent examples  in the story – the harsh moral mother of propriety, the sweet young thing next door, the laughing hooker, the saintly street woman that sings ballads in the bars – they really stacked in the female archetypes, but like the rest of the film it works on the subconscious. The whole movie is full of those wonderfully subtle, deft touches keeping everything very mysterious in that way that Hammer and British films do best. These are a definite break from the American style of spelling out everything in a movie.
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SO IS HE A SHE, OR IS SHE A HE?
My favorite thing is that the film never really answers the questions most people will have – Is Hyde the killer, or is it Jekyll? Is it because she’s a man, or because he’s a woman? Was he a killer before becoming female, or did the transformation do it? To really make you guess hard, they keep throwing things at you that fudge up what is really going on. Both Jekyll and Hyde have moments when they suddenly start acting out the other. The stuff with Jekyll and dresses is hilarious, because they avoided dumb, loud stereotypes that would have disturbed the tone and pace of the film. When you look at it, its really a small film taking place on only six or seven sets, but you don’t notice because the acting, writing and directing focus you squarely on the poeple in front of the lense, not the size of the set.

WAIT, IS THIS A “TRANS” THING? WHAT IS THIS?
If you asked the transgender community, what would they say? I think half would love it, and the other half would want to burn it. It’s really open to interpretation,  and horror movies could be a little heady in 1971, as that was what young people wanted back then.  B Movies were in a very experimental stage. They needed gimmicks to fill seats, but the sophistication level of the audience at the time was quite high. The artists were also creatures of their time, and could not resist taking their B Movie High Concept Advertising Strategy, and turning it into a rather thoughtful vehicle.

The actors, director, and script all conspire to make it feel normal, if not somewhat off, and … warped? Not warped? Just the downstairs neighbor over for tea? The transformation scenes are inspired and wonderfully low tech. terrific use of mirrors and colored glass – broken images talking to each other. Great stuff and proof that a low budget should not hold anyone back from making a awesome film. I love that so much of the film is open to interpretation by the audience with plenty of mysterious goings on to hook you in. You know what happened, and yet… you’re still not sure….. a little bit like people, and a lot like gender.

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Check it out! Worth a Look! I found it on Netflix DVDs (not online). These are getting hard to find.  This one is a definite B+ verging on an A.

WORTHY OF RIDICULE
THE MUMMY (1959) reviewed as a joke.
I’ve been saying for a while that Hammer always made solid B+ efforts. They never wanted that transcendental A, they just wanted to make an entertaining, fun film, and then 80 more just as good the same year. The Mummy (1959) must have been the 80th that year, because it sure does feel real tired. It’s the Dream Team – Director Fisher, Writer Sangster, Hammer Production Design, Chritopher Lee and Peter Cushing, all falling down, for not even the curse of the mummy’s tomb can rescue this turkey. There is also the sense that the Hammer dream team bit off a bit too much with this one. A Mummy Epic! “I love the idea! Shoot the works!!” (gobble gobble). Even in the tomb, you feel the lack of Hammer’s trademark claustophobia, and that cramped, confined feeling was always their strongest quality. The boring camera work also suggests that Fisher was worn out on this one as well. This was also early in their run, just one year after their first Dracula and Frankenstein films. But I still get to make fun of it. Hah!

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I think the make up changed for some reason halfway through the film….  that happens a lot in this movie. Plot points that just wander off, like a dumb mummy, stumble stumble…

I love this team’s work in so many films, all horror. But the Mummy feels like the work of an A student, who only had time to phone it in. Sangster in particular was known to turn out 79 wonderfully crafted scripts, then shoot a massive turkey out his ass. You get tired! Worn out! The pay is not that great, and it happens when you work on a deadline. Its the cost you bear for all the wonderful movies they made, and The Mummy puts paid to that idea. Poor Lee. Not his best moment. They gave him so little to work with!

“But what’s my motivation?”
“You may or may not be a conscious creature in love, or a mindless robot controlled by someone else. Just stumble around a lot! Act with your eyes!”
“You know, Terrence, at some point it would be nice to get a speaking part….”

AWKWARD TALL MUMMY
Christopher Lee stumbles around towering over everyone by about 6 inches, and unlike Lee’s Dracula, the mummy is every inch the awkward tall man in the room. Just look at the incredibly key scene when Kharis (Lee) is buried alive.

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He’s about to be executed by being bricked up into the wall of a tomb, so he dutifly waits his turn with arms crossed (wtf moment), then very tall and modestly walks into the wall, turns to face outwards according to the obvious blocking, then waits to be shut up behind the wall. He is very calm about being buried alive. I know the Mummy is British, but give us just a bit more luv, a bit more! When I look at the picture, I think of a Boy Scout ceremony. The more you look at the picture (tall, arms crossed) the more you think of an old episode of the Batman TV show from the 60s.

THE MUMMY: EYES OF PAIN, LIKE A CONFUSED PUPPY
Lee can only act through his eyes, which seem to say, “How did I get talked into making this picture?” Scotland Yard’s Chief Inspector talks with an unmistakable and BIG American accent, at great length all through the third act (It’s 1898!!). It’s a little distracting. OK, it’s A LOT distracting. He has a big voice. Scotland Yard! WTF, guys?!
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Even Peter Cushing does his part. Of course he does. 4039-13092
He always does his part, nobly so, wouldn’t you say?

Peter Cushing smokes a lot – probably anxious that he’s making a bad film. They even slip in a line where he is offered a cigar and he declines, to puff on his favorite brand of machine rolled smokes in 1898. Watch Cushing in the TONS of movies he made for Hammer – his characters often grab exuses to smoke. Frequently. He was probably chain smoking through all the takes.
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He limps around through most of the movie. In fact, everyone feels like they are limping, cast and crew. Twice in the beginning of the film they mention some accident unconnected to the rest of the story that makes Cushings “character” walk with a limp. Huh? He probably just fell down before shooting started, and what to do about the action scenes? Shoot around them!! An entire movie!! The script rambles badly, which is surprising as Sangster and Fisher were masters of simple, elegant but definite structure hidden under the surface, and a sense of the lurid that is multilayerd. The Mummy? They mimeographed HUGE chunks of the Universal films, just cut and paste by the numbers, and wrapped it in bandages. CUT! PRINT! NEXT SCENE!yvonne furneaux cushing1

This poster aptly demonstates the level of tension. Yeah, not much. There’s a lot of scenes like this. Wow. I love this team. When they do good movies.
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Other slip-ups are even funnier but you have to pay attention (because the dialog is boring as hell). Apparently, ancient Egyptian architecture was the same as Victorian England . The Egyptian character that controls the Mummy has a victorian apartment that mimics the tomb in Egypt, complete with little utilitarian british cubbyhole for the sacred scrolls (in the tomb!!). For an ancient tomb, it sure is bright despite the complete lack of torches.The lighting makes it look like an indoor swimming pool.  Oh those awful dining room wooden doors with THOSE handles!! (in the tomb!!!), what were they thinking? This in the first time I have seen the Hammer ™ color and produciton design not work, and I love that color design. They always did better with 19th century Britain. Egypt was a bridge too far…

How bad was The Mummy? It was even worse than The Satanic Rites of Dracula. Yes, that bad.  So that’s that. So, Skip the Mummy. Just off the top of my head, other good, really good B+  Hammer Films include Dracula (58), Curse of Frankestein, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyerd (really good), Revenge of Frankenstein, Evil of Frankenstein, Curse of the Werewolf, Witchfinder General, and The Wickerman. That is the AWESOME list, still growing.

OBERON DESTROYERS Best of 2014 – Robot Hand

 

This was an incidental design sketch for a scene, and it took off. I check my stats carefully, and this is one of my most viewed images. It goes to my ongoing pulp short story, The Mask of Dr. Satan: Die Like a Dog. I just wanted a 1930s style robot, where it was not clear if  it was a man in a suit or a real robot. You be the fair jury.  But Beware the Left Claw!
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