Tuesday, March 4, 2014

AFK for 40 Days begins today!

This is it, friends! 

My annual Lenten tradition, "AFK for 40 Days" begins today!  After midnight tonight, I will be taking my sabbatical to take some time off and recharge my batteries.  I will be thinking about you all, and I will be praying for you. 

I also hope that you will be keeping up with the progress of The Mighty One's book by going to the FB group called "The Mighty Andromeda".  There, the boss will keep you up to date on the latest goings-on of everyone's favorite busty superhero nerd!  I so look forward to tell you the happy news that my book is ready to purchase.  When I get back, we will be that much closer to that happy day.  I just can't wait!  :-D

It won't be easy to step away, but trust me, the time will fly before you know it.  Time has flown so far this year, hasn't it?  LOL 

So be good, my little nerdlings!  Take care, and see you after Easter Sunday, which will be April  20th this year. 

Goodbye.  :-)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Coming Wednesday: My annual Lenten AFK for 40 Days sabbatical

Well hey - look!  Only my third blog post of the year!  And it's only to inform you that I'll be AFK for 40 Days starting on Wednesday!  :-/

Yes, I've been a bit skimpy on blog posts so far this year, and because I'm about to be gone for over a month, that means that by the time I get back, it will have been a good 1/3 of the year with very few posts!  :-O

But if you've kept up with me on Facebook, then you know why I've been light on the posts here.  It's because the boss and I have been hard at work trying to put out the very first issue of The Mighty Andromeda! 

WHOOOOHOOOOO!!!!!

Those of you who are regular readers to my blog and on FB know how long we've been at this trying to get the book out, so we're very excited that things have finally started rolling.  In the past couple of years when I did my Lenten AFK for 40 Days sabbatical, it was a good time to take them anyway, because I needed the break to recharge my batteries. However, this time around, we are finally in the process of putting out a comic, so I had to decide if I should step away as I had usually done, or if I should stick around this time. 

After hearing from others, I decided to continue the practice of going AFK for 40 Days, because I think it sends an important message on priorities.  That is, as excited as I am about the book and progress finally being made on it, my custom of taking time off for Lent sends a message that there are more important things in life than putting out a comic book.  Don't misundertand - it's not at all easy to step away at such an exciting time, but either my spiritual life means something to me, or it doesn't.  And friends, my spiritual life matters that much to me. 

However, this time around there will be a TMA FB group for you to keep up on all things related to The Mighty One, so look it up, and join up, because the boss himself will be keeping everyone posted on the progress that's going on with the book while I'm away. 

Good times are ahead, friends.  I can't wait to tell you that TMA #1 is out and ready to purchase.  Please pray that that happy day comes as quickly as possible!  :-D

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Coming soon! Beta testing for the new TMA expansion!

Just to update you all on the comic:  Currently, the boss is working with the artists for the art of my very first comic book!  WHOOHOO!!!

We will know more details of the progress on the art next month, and I will keep you all updated as I have news to report.  But still - just to say that "art for my comic book is in the process of being made" is awesome enough!  :-D

However, it occurred to both of us that once the book hits, then we should have something online that new readers can go to once they're done reading the book.  Don't get me wrong - I'm proud of my little corner of the Internet that I've created these past few years, but we need something more than just a blogspot site.  No my little nerdlings, we need something more - something to draw more interest to the world of The Mighty Andromeda!  Oh, by the way, I'll be using TMA as shorthand for The Mighty Andromeda more and more both here and on my FB account, so get used to it.  :-)

Alright, so anyway - we decided to do some brainstorming as to what we can do, and I decided to help bring that process about by making reference to my love for all things World of Warcraft, so with that, I introduce to you the beta test phase for:

BSC 3.0: World of The Mighty Andromeda (WoTMA)!

So what's in the works for BSC 3.0: WoTMA beta test phase?

* Audio reviews!

Yes, my friends!  We are looking into doing my reviews as podcasts!

* Talking comics!

Once TMA#1 hits, who knows how long it will be before TMA#2 hits?  This is all new to us, you know, so we're still working out how to get stuff done to put out a comic!  So with that, we are looking into doing short videos of comic art plus audio as a way to tell back stories and to fill in some of the goings-on between issues.  This might also be how we do crossovers with our buds over at Creators United.  We love those guys.  :-)

* A TMA website!

For all things Andromeda!  It will have the blog, of course, along with links to archives of my podcasts and video comics (if they're made), and other features that we are still considering.

* A TMA Facebook fan page!

That will probably happen first.  We are still working on what we want to do with a TMA fan page.

*And last, the beta key to the BSC 3.0: WoTMA expansion (Also known as "a pdf file of the rough draft for the entire first issue of TMA")!

Yes, we are in the process of deciding which lucky people will be getting this precious beta key to get a sneak peek into the first issue!  These are rough draft sketches done by the boss himself, so you won't be seeing just words, but rough draft of the art as well!  How cool is that?  We are still determining the criteria of who gets this beta key (also known as a pdf).

There are other things under consideration, but those might come later, in a future "patch" or even the next "expansion", so we're tabling those ideas for now.  We might be needing the help of some of you in getting this all set up, so if I come knocking on your FB mailbox, it's probably because I'm seeking you out for help or information on some of the stuff above. 

As we start putting together some of these ideas, I'll be posting them here to get feedback from you all.  Just consider this my version of WoW's "public test realms" (aka PTR)  :-)

Thanks for being one of my readers these past few years!  If all goes well my friends, then the best is yet to come! 

WHOOHOO!!!  :-D

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy 2014!

Hello, friends!  Welcome to the new year!  :-)

And what a year that I hope it will be, because later this year, if all goes according to plan...

...then I should finally have the very first issue of my long-awaited comic!

Details will definitely be coming as things flesh out, but please do send me your thoughts, prayers, positive vibes, well-wishes, or whatever it is that you do to help someone with potentially exciting news to get energized into making that news truly happen! 

I so look forward to telling you that the comic is now available.  In fact, I'm bursting at the seams dying to tell you all that happy news.  For now though, what I can do is say...

...stay tuned, my friends.  The best is yet to come. :-D

Happy New Year to you all!  Let's make 2014 the best one yet! 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

On December 25th, it's okay to wish me Merry Christmas! Whoohoo!!

Yes, my friends - no worrying or wondering what to wish me this December 25th! You are perfectly okay to wish me Merry Christmas! In fact, I encourage you all to make my banner as your banner on your Facebook wall, blog, computer wallpaper, or as a sticker to post on your forehead so that your friends will know as well that it's okay to wish you Merry Christmas! Spread the Christmas cheer!

And a Merry Christmas to you all!


Friday, December 20, 2013

Today is the very first Dress Like an Elf Day! Get eflin' and get happy!

This is it, my friends!  The very first Dress Like an Elf Day! 

I hope to see many of you decked out in your elf gear, whether it's Santa's elves, blood elves, night elves, LOTR elves, or even that "Elf on a Shelf!  You can even be wearing something as simple as an elf t-shirt or an elf hat!  I just ask that you participate so that we can make DLAED a new "holiday"! 

And I will continue this in the coming years, so that each year, it will catch on more and more.  However, it won't be on a specific date on the calendar, but on the Friday before Christmas, which for 2013, happens to be today. 

But I hope some of you will join me in this first go-round, so that you can help promote it, and each year word will spread more and more.  So for those of you who participated this year - thank you! 

If you do dress like an elf, I ask that you send me a pic, so that on Christmas Day, I can post them here on my blog. 

Thank you, friends!  :-)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The first annual Dress Like an Elf Day is Friday, December 20th!

Yeah, just like the title said, come Friday, December 20th, I encourage you all to Dress Like an Elf!

Why?  One is to test the power of the social media.  This is a totally made-up holiday, and I just want to see how far word-of-Facebook can carry out this idea.  I'll try this for the next couple of years to see if I can get it to become something of a "regular" holiday like "Talk Like a Pirate Day". 

But rather than celebrate DLAED on a specific date, I'm aiming to have it on the Friday preceding Christmas Day. The reason for this is because Fridays are usually "casual day" at most workplaces, so I thought that it would be a good time to do something like "dress like an elf" at your workplace.

Also, being the Friday before Christmas, most of you would already be in the holiday spirit by then.  But mostly, this should be fun to see family, friends, and co-workers dressed as elves!  :-D

For elf costumes or t-shirts, try Google.  I found a few with just a simple search. Here's one costume idea for the gents, and one for the ladies.
On Friday December 20th, I would like you all to post pics of yourselves in your elf t-shirts or costumes, because "pics, or it didn't happen!"  So let's all try to start a new wholly created holiday.  Years later, when DLAED catches on, you can say with all sincerity that you were there for the first one!  And you'll have the pics to prove it!  So let's all get elf-ed up and Dress Like An Elf!  :-D

To help spread the work about DLAED, here are a couple of graphics for you - one for your blog or Facebook banner, and the other for your profile pic.



Monday, November 4, 2013

Review: HB Comics' Vindication

Today I will be reviewing Vindication #'s 1-3,which is brought to you by HB Comics.

Vindication is the name of a superhero group, and the members are below:

* Speedfire - speedster with the ability to generate and manipulate fire.  Just think of him as a combination of DC Comic's Flash and Marvel Comic's Pyro.

* Pitchshift - able to generate sonic waves from his fists, but it takes concentration and a few seconds to generate the necessary sonic waves.

* Imogen - ability to generate light for various effects, including concussive blasts.  Using her powers for an extended amount of time eventually leaves her fatigued.

* Surge - team leader.  Ability to absorb energy, and is able to shoot it right back. 

* Barrier - Hulk-sized super strength hero with the intellect of a child. 

* Omega Virus - Vindication's villain with the power to control computers, including human minds.

For this review, I read Vindication #'s 1-3.  I have not read any other issues of this title, so what you read below are only of #1-3. Before I continue, it's time for the usual:

******WARNING!****** 

SPOILERS AHEAD!! 

 If you have not read Vindication #1 and don't want what's in it spoiled for you, then 
STOP READING NOW! You have been warned! 

Most superhero teams start out as a deliberate choice; that is, the heroes at some point made the decision to band together to fight evil. But in Vindication, the heroes came together because of the villain, Omega Virus, brought them together.  Understand that Omega Virus didn't bring them together so that they might team up and kick his butt, they only teamed up out of survival.  To Omega Virus, these people are just lab rats and nothing more. 

Oddly enough, OV's arrogance works in the Vindication team's favor.  He constantly underestimates their abilities, and is even defeated because of it.  But isn't that how it usually goes with super villains - their arrogance being their undoing?  At the end, OV may have escaped at the last second.  Maybe.  That's how it usually goes with supervillains as well.  :-)

 But really, this story isn't so much about OV or his arrogance how it proved to be his undoing.  Rather, it's about the team of people forced together by circumstance, and whether they can become a team in the true sense of the word instead of a group of people brought together due to events beyond their control.  Vindication #'s 1-3 is an interesting start to exploring that idea. Let's look a little more into the individual heroes themselves.

Surge is the most experienced of the bunch when it comes to the action hero stuff.  He's also a tad short on people skills.  He was the leader of the group largely because he has the most experience, rather than him having any sort of innate ability to lead a group of people.  At times, he's impatient, and at other times, a bit condescending.  However, he's not beyond being reasoned with, as demonstrated when Pitchshift had to remind him that the rest of the group is basically having to learn all of this action hero stuff on the fly, so they're a bit scared and apprehensive when it comes to being ordered around by him.

And to his credit, Surge listens to Pitchshift, and tries to follow through on his suggestion.  A reminder: I haven't read past issue #3, so I don't know what happens to the group in later issues, so what I'm about to say next is based on what I've read so far.  And one thing that I hope hasn't occurred is that Pitchshift is permanently dead!  Yeah, you know what I mean - superheroes die, as Pitchshift did in this storyline, but they often come back.  And I hope Pitchshift comes back, because I think he serves a role in the group in keeping Surge oriented on his role as team leader. 

In truth, I think Pitchshift would make a great group leader once he gains some experience and develops some self-confidence.  Developing Pitchshift's personality to this end would be a very interesting subplot to follow for the Vindication series.  Now, this is not to say that Surge wouldn't be a good leader, but I think he serves the group better as a mission leader, rather than team leader.  His training and abilities are more geared to action, and not to the subtle nuances of human nature and psychology when it comes to motivating team members to action, even when they might not be motivated for action on a given mission.  In fact, we saw Pitchshift serve the role of being the kind of team leader that I think he can be when he had to cajole Speedfire into action when Speedfire was reluctant to follow Surge into action when they just met the guy (not to mention having just met each other!).  

That's what team leaders do, as opposed to mission leaders.  Surge helped the team to survive, but Pitchshift motivated them to work together so that they would follow Surge's lead and survive.  To me, this suggests that Pitchshift has that innate ability to "read" a person's personality - or in other words, he's a good "judge of character", as the saying goes - as he felt enough from Surge that he could be trusted with their lives, and Surge lived up to that trust.  But it took Pitchshift to convince the others to follow him.  On top of that, there must have been something to Pitchshift that made the others want to listen to him when he suggested they all follow Surge - which suggests again something of a leadership ability in him that registered with the others, including Surge.

So if Pitchshift is dead dead (that is, permanently dead), then there is already something of a leadership gap within the group that will make it harder for them to work together.  How the writers deal with this gap (that is, if Pitch is dead dead), will be interesting to follow, because Surge, as I said previously, is a bit impatient and condescending, and lacks some in people skills; all of which will make it harder for his teammates to follow him unless he deals with these issues quickly.  Can Surge fill that gap himself?  I believe that eventually yes, he would.  The question is if he'll do it fast enough before the abrasive side of his personality chases away the rest of the group. 

Imogen could serve the role that Pitchshift had played before he was killed.  Not as effectively, I don't think, but eventually she could develop some of the personality traits to fill the role of motivator.  But I don't think she has the sort of leadership skills that Pitchshift had to fill the role of team leader. Her role may be more along the lines of cheerleader, or in the case of Barrier, a foster mother.  In other words, basic traditional female roles. This does not mean that she can't fulfill those roles efficiently and effectively, but those roles don't generally lend themselves to the kinds of leadership roles that would be needed by the group.

Barrier, because of his child-like mentality, would not be able to serve any sort of leadership role.  His contribution to the group would be wholly dependent upon Imogen.  He trusts her totally, like a child trusts a mother, which can be a plus and a minus.  This puts a great deal of responsibility on Imogen to keep herself on an even keel personality-wise, because she could easily manipulate Barrier into heinous acts, if she asked him to do so.  Barrier's great dependency on Imogen is also what would hold Imogen back in fulfilling the kind of role that Pitchshift could have served, because she has to be thinking for two people.

Of all the members of the group, Speedfire is the most likely to leave the group.  Not because he doesn't like his teammates, but because he's basically a selfish, immature hedonist.  In fact, he almost left the group once already, and it was only guilt that brought him back.  The more danger he finds himself in, the more likely he'll feel that he needs to be elsewhere than in the group.  How much life-threatening danger will he tolerate before he decides that enough is enough?  That may be seen in future issues.  In any case, Speedfire is no candidate for leadership.  He's simply too selfish.

There's also the question of how much of his sexist attitudes that Imogen will tolerate before she decides that she's had enough.  There would also be a point in that his behavior would border sexual harassment.  There's limits to what Speedfire should get away with by the writers.  Imogen doesn't seem the type that's going to report each and every incidental grazing of her butt or chest, but she should also have limits of how much she'll tolerate from Speedfire - and Speedfire will need to learn those limits, especially if he's going to be staying on the team.

Before I finish up this review, let me say here that I am in no way trying to tell the writers what to write; especially in regards to Speedfire and his behavior towards women.  That's not my job.  My role is to just report on what's already there, and to give my impressions of what I've seen so far.  I know the issue of sexual harassment can be a touchy subject, and I don't want the fact that I brought it up in this review to mean that I'm now going to be going through future issues of Vindication with a fine-toothed sexual harassment comb. I'm just bringing up a logical consequence of the type of sexist behavior that Speedfire has already demonstrated. 

Now we come to the part of my review in which I ask the all-important question that is the make-or-break of a given comic and my interest in it.  That question is:  Do I want to know, "what happens next?"  And the answer is YES!  :-)

Again, the group was not brought together willingly, but by circumstance.  But can they still function as a team?  Can these people still be able to come together and function as a unit, instead of being just a group of individuals that happen to be together at the same place at the same time, but with individual and separate agendas?  Can their differing personalities still work together?  That's what I want to find out! 

My thanks to HB Comics and their great work.  I look forward to reading future issues, not just because I want answers to the questions I brought up above, but just because I'm a comic nerd.  You gotta appeal to the comic nerd in me first before you can appeal to me as a reviewer, and Vindication has appealed to both.  :-)

HB Comics, by the way, also brings you Lazerman, which I had previously reviewed.  Also, as part of Creators United, HB Comics now has its own link on my sidebar right over there.  --------->