Monday, March 14, 2016

Review of Stuart Black's The 4Horsefemmes, and my first shameless marketing promo

It's time for my very first shameless sales pitch for my very first marketing promotion as the Director of Social Media Marketing! Time to earn my bread! Here we go! WHOOHOOO!!!
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Yes, friends! This comic, by the awesomely talented Stuart Black, creator of The 4Horsefemmes, has produced the comic with the VERY FIRST APPEARANCE of The Mighty One - ANYWHERE!  It is issue #7, but don't hesitate to buy the whole series while you're at it!  I've owed this dude a review for a long time now, and I'll be taking care of that below, but first, make sure you get a copy of 4HFs #7 in your greedy and grubby little hands as quickly as possible!  Otherwise, you'll be dissed and maybe even cussed out by your kids, grandkids, and even great-grandkids for having missed this historic opportunity!  Okay, time for the review!

Gosh, what to say about Stuart Black and his book, The 4Horsefemmes?  Let's go ahead and start by introducing his four main characters.  They are, in no particular order, Lacey the sword-swinging de facto leader of the group, Mussk the sai-wielding blonde who smokes like a chimney and drinks like a fish, Rasta the Hawaiian who is from a family of super-powered folks, and Talena, whom Stuart describes as a "loveable douchebag."  Talena's power is basically the discharging of static electricity for mostly destructive actions.  There's also Harvey, Talena's turtle, who is just a turtle.  He doesn't talk or anything, he's just a turtle, but he's a cute little guy!

What I'm about to get into now is kinda spoilery, so if you haven't read The 4Horsefemmes and don't want what's in it spoiled for you, then

STOP READING NOW!!!  You have been warned!!!

The first four issues begin with Lacey and Talena on the run from Australia's superhero team, Supreme Justice (did I mention that Stuart is from Australia, and that his stories take place there?  Now you know!), and have been for years. Lacey and Talena are located by Mussk and Rasta, who are members of SJ.  But a bad guy named Satan (not THAT Satan, but if you have a name like "Satan", you gotta be a bad guy, right?) is also pursuing Talena, and after a brawl in which Talena basically tasers Satan, Lacey and Talena are back on the run.   

Long story short, it turns out that the head of SJ is actually a bad guy, and the other bad guys also pursuing Lacey and Talena are all doing so on his orders.  So, he has his SJ team looking for Lacey and Talena, and he also has bad guys looking for them. Big battle happens, the head bad guy loses, and Rasta and Mussk join up with Lacey and Talena, and The 4Horsefemmes are born.  I don't want to reveal TOO much of this story arc, because I won't do it justice.  You'll just have to read the books yourself!

After this first story arc, Stuart takes a one issue respite with a book called Plan B, which is another superhero team that also works for SJ (by the way, The 4HFs now work for SJ as well), and it is basically Stuart's way of having a little fun, and it is indeed a quick and fun read.  His current story arc is about an invasion from Mars, and it's in the 7th issue that The Mighty One makes her appearance.  She's come to help out, but is stopped by a giant glowing energy shield that's surrounding the SJ headquarters, where The 4HFs are trapped.  The Mighty One does not like big, glowy energy shields stopping her punches, but what can she do?  This isn't her book!  LOL

I'm going to stop here in regards to describing the stories, because really, you'll just have to read them.  But I will say this - Stuart's books are a fun, fun read, and you will go through each book very quickly.  For those of you who may want to be told of this, there's adult language, and there's heads and other body parts being lopped off, and other kinds of "PG-17"-type fare.  For those of you who are Christian (as I am), there's also an occasional use of the Lord's name in vain, although I don't get the impression at all that Stuart is out to bash Christianity.  So in short, The 4HFs isn't a kids' book, so be aware of that!  The stories themselves are fast-paced, and the backstory scenes of Lacey and Talena's youth are touching and very moving.  The two ladies aren't related, but they are orphans who bonded together in order to survive, so they are very much sisters in every which way except biologically.

Lacey sticks by Talena, despite Talena having just destroyed Lacey's car in the very first page of the very first book, and also Talena  often not seeming to even be grateful for when Lacey comes to her aid.  Talena often annoys and even angers Lacey, but she'll still run to her side, as she did one time when Lacey lost her turtle in a lake, and Talena was on the verge of tears, and Lacey flung a blanket around her and doted on her much like a mother.  Back when they were kids, Lacey once came to fight off bullies who were tormenting Talena, and they've stuck with each other ever since.  In a future issue, I'd love to see more of their backstory, with a better explanation as to why Lacey cares so much for Talena, even when there are times she wants to smack her. This is why I described their relationship as a sisterhood, although I would still like the backstory.

In fact, as he did with Plan B as a fill-in between story arcs, perhaps Stuart can dedicate one issue to back stories of each of the ladies?  I'm not at all telling him what to write, I'm simply suggesting what I'd like to see.  For example, a short story of Rasta and her brothers, and also what drove Mussk to be the chain smoker and drinker that she is.  Just bad habits, or is she using these habits to shield herself from something that she doesn't want to face?  One of the things I enjoy about the stories is that the ladies are both simple and easy to understand as to why they do what they do on the surface, and yet something about how they're written suggests that there's more story to tell for each of them.  I'm speaking here mainly as a comic nerd who loves her some comic lore, and I feel that each of the ladies has more story to tell.  Or at least that's the vibe I'm getting as I read each new issue.

So in summary in regards to the books themselves, The 4HFs is a great, fun, roller-coaster of a ride series that will probably make a fan out of you right off the bat, as it did me.  The main question for me to answer when I do these reviews is this: Do I want to know "What happens next?"  To me, answering that question is the make-or-break of a given comic's worth as a comic, because, after reading it, if I don't have that desire to know "what happens next?" - if I don't come away with that feeling of anticipation for the next issue, that I will probably die before the next one comes out - then that comic still has things to work out. That is NOT a problem for The 4HFs!  I DEFINITELY want to know "what happens next", and I am already ready for #8 to come out!  WHOOHOO!!  :-D

Normally at this point, this is where I end the review, but I have a little more to tell here, and this is in regards to Stuart Black himself.   Stuart is part of the same FB group for independent comic creators that the boss and I are in that's called Creators United.  Ever since joining up, Stuart has been very eager to join up in group exercises, and has often contributed artworks of other creator's characters, and - as shown in 4HFs #7, he's even offered to have cameos of other creator's characters in his book!  How cool is that? On top of that Stuart has a maniacal work ethic, having done all seven (plus Plan B!) of his issues in an insanely short span of time.

You'd think that these books would look or feel rushed, but IMHO, they're all quality works.  Yes, it's an insanely short time span, but still, he questions and fusses over how to illustrate his scenes and paces his stories like any other creator.  I'm simply amazed at his output.  To call him a "dedicated comic creator" isn't enough, he's more like "a comic creator's comic creator".  He's also an excellent lesson on what a little dedication to the dream and skill of being an independent comic creator can do, especially in our day and age in which indies have access to all sorts of avenues for self-publishing.  Stuart is definitely a child of our modern age of comic creation.  Well done, Stuart!  Keep up the awesome work!  By the way, I hope The Mighty One didn't cause any problems while she was in Australia...   :-P

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Awesomely detailed statue of Red Sonja

Check out this upcoming statue of Red Sonja.



Hopefully, one day, there will be a similarly detailed and awesome statue of The Mighty One. And fanboys and fangirls everywhere will celebrate. :-D

Sunday, February 14, 2016

YOU are the heart and soul of the Democratic Party's future

Okay, I know that's an odd title coming from a self-proclaimed right-wing nutjob.  And yet, it's an important title to convey what I hope to bring to you today.  And by "you", I mean those of you who are:

* "Millennial" - born mostly between 1980 and 1990,
* Democrats or Democrat-leaning,
* among the rank-and-file (that is, not wealthy),
* and are Bernie Sanders supporters. 

Before I continue to my point for this blog entry, let me first state that I am not a Democrat, nor will I be one for a very, very long time - if ever.  That's because I know its past, and I know its present, and I like neither one.  It's because of that past and present that I can't foresee myself becoming a Democrat for many, many years to come, because I can't see the party changing in any significant way that would cause me to consider joining it.  Right now I know that some of you who are Democrat are thinking "Well, the GOP has its flaws!  Many of them!" 

I agree, and the two main reasons that I am with the GOP are, 1.) It's the only serious alternative to the Democratic Party, and 2.) It's allegedly the pro-life party, an issue that I hold very dear.  Don't get me wrong - I know the GOP has its flaws, primary among them is that it is filled with cowards who do not stand with the courage of their convictions, which annoys me to no end.  So my standing with the GOP is mainly because it's the only alternative to the Democrats.  That the GOP relies so much on that reason for so many of its members to be in their ranks should be a damn embarrassment to them, but they actually seem to be okay with that, and that's just damn disgusting.  And yet, I and most other members of the GOP really don't have a choice, and the GOP knows it.  Bleh.  Let's move on, before I barf on my keyboard.  :-P

Here's a little history: Let's take the side that fought FOR slavery during the American Civil War.  Let's take the side that fought against changes to laws to help former slaves in their new lives in the post-war world.  Let's take the side that had the KKK, had lynchings, Jim Crow Laws, separated water fountains, segregated schools, pools, lunch counters, and many public facilities. Let's take the side that fought against civil rights laws, and that attacked peaceful protesters with clubs, dogs, water cannons, and other instruments of enforcement.  Let's take the side that fought against school segregation, with even a governor blocking a school entrance.  Let's take the side that fought tooth and nail against laws and changes for a century after the end of the war before the former slaves and then their descendants finally had all the rights that our Constitution guaranteed for everyone.  Know which side that was?  All of that was from Democrats.  DEM-O-CRATS.  Check your history, folks - it's all there. 

And yet. 

And yet.

And yet, for some reason, the Dems are the side that's considered "on the side" of "the people."  They're considered the good guys, the ones with all the smart people, the ones who will go all out for the many categories of "oppressed" classes - especially in the faces of the GOP's "tactics" to keep those "oppressed folks" down.  When I bring up the Democrat party's very ugly past, it's usually explained to me that "those guys changed parties to the GOP sometime in the 70s"  I have to disagree; especially since it's the Dems who still need a class of our society to designate as "not human".  I speak, of course, of the unborn.  It took over a century for the party to finally recognize the humanity of the slaves and their descendants, and not a decade passed before they replaced them with the unborn as their new class to deny basic human rights.  It's plain as vanilla for anyone who really wants to see the truth.  But this is a battle that I'm not going to win overnight, and I'm certainly not going to win with one blog post.  It's time to get to the point of what I'm trying to write here today. 

At this time, the majority of my fellow Millennials vote Democrat, and they also believe that Socialism holds the cure to all of our country's ills.  They couldn't be further from the truth, but again, I'm not going to convince them of that with one blog post.  Right now, all I can do is to suggest a course of action in this 2016 presidential election.  Right now, they support Bernie Sanders as their candidate.  But also right now, the Democratic leadership has made it abundantly clear that they want Hillary Clinton as their candidate.  So the establishment and the Millennial voters are clashing over which candidate will get the nod.  In all honesty, the odds are overwhelmingly against the Millennials, and my fellow Millennials are known as the generation that got "participation trophies", so this seems to be a battle in which my generation is expected to simply give up and go home. 

That indeed seems to be the case, but I am hoping that right here, right now, is when my generation finally grows a pair.  I am hoping that this election season will be when the Millennials finally grow up, and fight for a cause that they believe in.  Now, here's the thing, friends - I will support my fellow Millennials fighting for Socialism and for Bernie Sanders, even if I am wholly against both - if it means that, for once in their entitled and "participation trophy-awarded" little lives, my generation will finally stand for something and fight for it. 

Again, the odds are almost completely stacked against them.  The odds are, by my guesstimation, to be at least 90+% that this will be a fight that they will lose.  But I hope they fight away.  I hope they make the Democratic Party leadership choosing Hillary Clinton as difficult as possible.  I hope they make the leadership pull all of their con games and other chicanery cards out, and very much in public, and make the leadership look in all the worst ways possible in order to get their desired candidate on the ballot.  I hope that my generation will help expose the Democratic leadership to be the party of corruption that I've long known them to be.  I could point it out to my fellow Millennials until I was blue in the face, but it's going to take being conned by the party before they will see it.  But they will only see it if they keep on fighting for Bernie, and they will only see it if they get burned by the party when the party finally selects Hillary. 

So, despite my preferences for a GOP candidate, I hope my fellow Millennials fight for Bernie - in fact, I wholly encourage them to do so, even if it means dealing with the expected disappointment in the end, because it will mean that, for once in their lives, they fought for something, even if they fought for it and lost, so long as they participated in the battle.  And in the process, they will have helped expose the Democratic party for ALL to see.  I will be honest in admitting that I hope that the Democratic party crashes and burns, and collapses in a heap under the weight of their corruption, because that's what it's going to take for the party to finally, finally change. 

And if this indeed happens, then it will be my fellow Millennials who will be there to pick up the pieces.  This is why I said in the title of this post that they are the heart and soul of the Democratic party's future.  So the battle for Bernie is for more than just for 2016, it's for all the upcoming elections in the near future, when the Baby Boomers step down and retire, and the next generation - my generation - takes their place.  You can either follow in the footsteps of the past generations, and continue all the ugliness that comes with it, or you can make your own footsteps, into a new and brighter future. 

So please, my friends, choose the latter.  We can always talk about your mistaken attachment to Socialism another time. ;-)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Hello! Welcome to my blog!

If you're here because you read my FB post about posting to my blog while I am AFK for 40 Days from FB, then hello!  ^.^

Unlike in recent years, in which I went AFK from both FB and my blog for Lent, this time around I will be posting to my blog during Lent, because I haven't shown my poor blog much love in quite awhile, and it's not really "stepping away" if I'm not here on my blog anyway. 

So in the coming 40 days, I'll try to catch up on many topics that I didn't cover on FB, and at the same time, I'll reinvigorate those writing muscles that I used to cut my writing teeth during my pre-FB days. 

Stay tuned, my friends!  More to come!  :-D

Monday, December 28, 2015

Science!

(Note: This post originally appeared in my FB account. I'm posting it here for future reference)



First, read the story, and read the comic, so that you and I can both say we read it. Let's get that part out of the way first. I'll wait. :-)



I hope by now that you've read both, and haven't skipped them and instead continued on to this sentence. If any of you respond, then I'm going to ask if you read the story and comic, and if you haven't then I'm just going to ignore you until you do.

Now, let's assume that you've read both. And now, know that I understand *and support* the benefit of vaccines, so don't get the wrong idea when I bring up a certain question that I'm about to get to. Most of the time, when people ask about new vaccines or medicines, there will be others who have what I call a "science-ism" mentality - that is, they believe that science trumps all, even debates about science, so they'll simply shout "Science!" and that is supposed to close any debate or discussion on a given scientific issue. 



However, as the cartoon itself demonstrates, it's rather easy for bad people to cloak themselves in "Science!" clothing, and cause all kinds of problems because trying to debate people who shout "Science!" is met with looks of disgust and claims of clinging to backwards superstitions and old wives' tales. Then it takes a real long time for the real science to catch up to the "Science!" and refute it, and by then, millions have been spent (and usually of taxpayer money!) and much harm has been caused, all because some doofus shouted "Science!" and no debate was allowed.



So my question is this: With so much misinformation and bad "science" out there, how is the regular layman supposed to know what to do? I'm not particularly fond of the cartoon, despite its attempt to clarify much misinformation (which it did accomplish, I will add), but it came across as condescending at times, and I don't like "scientific facts" being presented along with condescending humor, because it only adds to the "Science!" atmosphere that already causes too many problems in our society. When "science" is presented along with condescension, then that screams to me "Science!" rather than science as it should be presented. Call me suspicious, but that's how I roll, as many of you should know about me by now.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

New Commission Contest! SLAVE LEIA ANDROMEDA!! YEEEAAHHH!!!

Back in your teen years, you drooled over Slave Leia!  Yeah, you know you did! 

Now is your chance to relive those long-ago teen days with this commission contest to combine your teen idol with The Mighty One herself in:

SLAVE LEIA ANDROMEDA!!

Yes, my little nerdlings, in honor of the upcoming Star Wars movie, we are hosting a contest to find the best artwork for a chance to appear in the second issue of The Mighty Andromeda - and get paid a commission, to boot!  Of course, there are rules for this contest, and here they are!

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* This is going to be a mash-up of Carrie Fisher's Slave Leia and The Mighty Andromeda.  Just to note, Carrie Fisher is short, like 5 foot 1, while TMO is 6 foot 1, so make sure that you reflect that height difference!  Also remember that TMO has very long brown hair, and blue eyes, and her curves are more abundant that Carrie Fisher's, so make sure that your art reflects that this is TMO wearing the gold bikini that made the world lose its shit!

* The finished art will need to be in a format to fit on a standard comic page, either vertically or horizontally (aka, "portrait" or "landscape").

* Along with a chance for the winning entry to appear in the pages of TMA#2, the winner will also be paid a commission of $50 USD!  WHOOHOO!!!  Free Market Capitalism works again!  :-D

* If you choose to participate, then note that what you'll be sending us at first is ROUGH DRAFT ART!  That is, DON'T send finished art yet!  Your entry will need to be in pencils, and completed enough so that we can see what scene you're trying to play out in your art.  IF you want to add some color in order to give a better idea of how the finished work might look, it's up to you, but just like the pencils, keep it loose and don't spend a lot of time on it - but again, color is NOT necessary at this stage.  We just need enough to see where your idea is going. 

* You can also send more than one entry if you wish, but just make sure they're rough drafts. 

* You will need a PayPal account in order to get paid if you win, because we ain't sending a check by mail, and we certainly ain't sending cash! 

* The winning entry, once submitted to us, will belong to the boss, John P. Araujo, - FOR. EV. VER.  That is, it becomes the property of the boss, for him to use in whatever format he desires, wherever he may desire to use it, FOR. EV. VER.  Just be aware of that, okay?

* As stated above, the winning entry has a chance to appear in TMA#2, but we don't want just any ol' artwork, we want something FABULOUS!!  So make sure you do your dang-di-doodliest best to make it spectacular! 

* As for the content of the artwork, that's up to you.  Of course, it needs to have Andromeda wearing the Slave Leia costume, but you decide whether TMO is in a scene from Return of the Jedi, or if she is at a Star Wars convention, or a comicon, or some other environment that would make sense for such a set-up.  You COULD do just a simple, straight pin-up, but while we would still pay the winning entry the $50 commission, a basic pin-up is not what we'd like to run in TMA#2, so keep that in mind. 

* Send your rough drafts to this email address: tcucomicsnerd@yahoo.com, and in the subject line, put: SLAVE LEIA ANDROMEDA CONTEST

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And them's the rules! 
The contest starts - hey, TODAY! - and your rough draft entries will need to be sent to us no later than one month from now, October 15, 2015. 

If your entry is selected, then you will have until December 15th to complete your entry, so that we have time to announce the winner on the date of the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on December 18th.  We will do our best to decide a winner as quickly as possible to give the winning artist time to complete the work. 

One last note: The artist will get paid once the winning entry is in our greedy little hands.  Remember that you will need a PayPal account to get paid. 

Thanks, my friends, and best of luck to you all! 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Millennials: The most aborted generation in human history

It's been awhile since I've shown my blog some love, and even longer since I spoke on an issue, but the recent videos on Planned Parenthood has spurred me to answer a frequent question as to why I, a millennial, am pro-life.  It's a real easy answer: I am pro-life because my generation is the most aborted generation in human history - some estimates have at least a third of our brothers and sisters never having made it out of the womb.

It's also easy to explain how this happened.  Our parents, the baby boomers, were at their most fertile time during our origins, roughly the late 1970s and into the early 1990s, and they were also awash in the ideology of "my body, my choice", and flush with the "If it feels good, do it" philosophy that was going on at the time.  "Doing it", for the most part, translated into "lots and lots of sex", because holding back on your sexual urges meant that you were repressed and you needed to be free, so you just went nuts on the copulation.  They were, of course, also supposed to be using birth control, and many did, but many did not, because you know - passion of the moment often got in the way.  Also, it's theoretically possible to get pregnant despite the use of some birth controls.  So with the largest generation in human history going nutzo with the promiscuity, the logical outcome would be many, many unplanned pregnancies.  

And those "unplanned pregnancies" were us, the
millennials.  Well, they were pregnant, but thanks to the new attitudes about pregnancy and motherhood, they didn't have to stay that way, and a good third of them did not!  So our generation was the recipient - more accurately, the victim - of this new way of thinking, and we are missing brothers and sisters that we should be growing up with right now.  So this is why I am pro-life - for my brothers and sisters that couldn't be here with me right here and right now.  Having to explain all this is mind-boggling to me, but I apparently need to, because many of my generation seem to think that we all should be "down" with this line of thinking as well.  Many of my generation also seem to be "down" with socialism, and that really boggles my mind, because socialism is the greatest inhibitor and destroyer of human rights in human history, so why would I be "down" with that?

Also puzzling to me is the belief that millennials should view that aborting their own children shows that they've "arrived".  Given how extensively our parents aborted our generation, why would it be a point of pride that we abort our own children?  If anything, this makes us worse than our parents, and not better, because rather than learn from our own victimization, we instead continue it with our own children.  But it's said that patterns of abuse in one generation usually continue into the next generation, so this really shouldn't be surprising. 

So I will be pro-life, for the reasons I listed above, because I think it's the best way to break the cycle of abuse begun by our parents.  If I must stand alone in this belief, then so be it.  I'd rather stand alone and be right than be in a crowd and be wrong.  I am very much a people person, but I'm not afraid to be alone if it comes to that. 

This is why I, a
millennial, am pro-life.

Oh, one last note: Those unborn children that you're seeing in those PP videos?  Those aren't the children of baby boomers - they're the children of millennials!  We have become our parents!




Saturday, May 2, 2015

It's Free Comic Book Day! And you get a free comic from me! Sort of!

Hello, my little nerdlings!

In the spirit of Free Comic Book Day, at the suggestion of one of our FB BFFs (Scott Markley, creator of Unconscious), the boss has approved the release of the first chapter (of a total of four) of the upcoming The Mighty Andromeda #1 (still scheduled to come out this year) to my blog!

The chapter below comes at a time before everyone's favorite busty superhero comic nerd became The Mighty One, which means that it precedes the superhuman uprising from five years ago, a landmark event in TMO's universe that ultimately led her to donning the costume and the role of a superhero. 

So read on and enjoy, and know that much more is to come when the book comes out.  A special thank-you to Martheus Wade the artist, to the colorist Andrew Chandler, and to the letterer, Justin Carmona, who along with the boss (the writer) put together the pages that you see below. 

And hey, don't forget to visit your local participating comic shop for your free comics!  And other comics!  That you'll have to buy if you want them!  But you'll buy them because you love comics!  I hope you enjoy this sneak preview, and I hope you'll be ready, willing, and able to buy the book when it comes out!

Thank you, and have a great day reading your free comics!  ^.^