Spooky Tunes

Halloween doesn’t have nearly the amount of music it deserves.

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I had a realization the other day that Halloween really got the short end of the stick when it comes to music. I think it’s safe to say that Halloween is easily the #3 Holiday here in the US right behind Christmas and 4th of July in terms of a) people who give a crap that its coming, b) celebrations held and c) decorations put out. Don’t get me wrong, the other holidays are great. Personally, Halloween should be #2, but it is really tough to get around how much Red, White and Blue gets scattered all over right when June rolls around and Halloween doesn’t feature thousands (millions?) of people literally launching explosives into the sky to celebrate. And thus, Independence Day probably earns that #2 spot.

“What about Thanksgiving,” you might be asking. Oh, you mean pre-Christmas? The truth about Thanksgiving is that for quite some time (much longer than the twitter armies think) it has really just been this launching point for the “Holiday Season,” that wintery zone of various Holidays that actually mean something beyond “people with buckles on their shoes ate turkey and we don’t talk about the rest of the colonization stuff.” It’s the starting gun for a season of caring and sharing; a season of love and peace. Granted, that season for most people is more selfish and Capitalism-hungry than any other month of the year, but that’s not the season’s fault. Anyway, I LOVE Thanksgiving, don’t get me wrong, but as a Holiday it’s always felt more like a turning point than a big day to eagerly anticipate. People don’t go to football games specifically for the initial kick-off and then say “oh man, that was the best one yet.” Just saying. Don’t @ me, Thanksgiving people (or do, I need more interaction for my Google metrics).
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Jaded Unafraid

Have I reached my maximum spoop capacity with horror movies?

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Come with me now on a journey back to 2009. Barack Obama had been inaugurated as president, shit was going down in Sudan and Darfur, and the airy love-ballad “Tik Tok” by Ke$ha (₭€$₴؋ on the international market) was all over the airwaves. As autumn loomed in the distance, TV audiences were graced with a trailer for an upcoming horror flick. However, instead of laying out every detail of the plot and spoiling every twist like trailers today, this trailer mainly focused on movie audiences. It showed them jumping and screaming. It showed their moments of vulnerable terror as the reeled in fright at the events happening on the screen. It was an exciting trailer and one that made horror fans, like myself, absolutely salivate.

That movie, of course, was Paranormal Activity.
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READ THIS: Coffin Bound

Coffin Bound from Image Comics deserves a place at the absolute top of everyone’s reading list.

Let’s chat about my new favorite book. I’ll just go ahead and say it outright: if you have any interest in comics, Coffin Bound needs to be on your radar. This book is INCREDIBLE, and while only two issues in at this point, it has absolutely blown me away. I absolutely cannot express enough how much love I have for this book. Stop reading this. THIS IS TIME YOU COULD BE USING TO GO BUY COFFIN BOUND AND READ THAT INSTEAD. WHAT ARE YOU DOING? GO GO GO!

~C

*Record Scratch*

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…..Okay maybe I should elaborate a bit more.

On the surface, Coffin Bound doesn’t seem like anything that hasn’t been done in the scope of neo-noir before. Our protagonist, Izzy Tyburn, is targeted by a notorious killer and hits the road as the killer pursues. Along the way we meet various criminal groups, crime bosses, down-on-their-luck people just trying to get by, and various forms of sex, drugs and violence we’d expect from the derelict landscapes surrounding the story, populated by dilapidated buildings and absolutely covered in litter and graffiti. However, the surface is where familiarity stops, and as we dig deeper the true surreal nature of Coffin Bound blasts its way into our brains.
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IT’S LIKE READING FOR YOUR EARS

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Audiobooks, man.

I recently signed on for Audible at the suggestion of a friend. Now, I should start by saying this is not an add for Audible. I like it fine and the library is good, but you could legitimately use whatever audiobook service you prefer for all I care. Who am I to tell you what to do? Live your life. Jerk.

Anyway, to return to my original statement: Audiobooks, man. They’re great. I was always hung up on the idea of like listening to a book. In my mind it always felt like more of an achievement if I actually read the book instead. Also, I never really saw an opportunity to just pop on a book and press play. It’s definitely not something I can do for background noise, since that really defeats the purpose. However, I never really traveled long distances by myself nor have I had much of a commute, both of which are when a lot of people engage audiobooks. When I do go out of town, it’s typically with someone else, often my wife, and I’m a talker. I never really felt motivated to listen to audiobooks while cleaning as I typically need a peppy upbeat soundtrack to get me going. All in all, I just didn’t see when I’d have the time to let someone read a book for me aside from time that I could use to just read a book myself.
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Monster

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Halloween is approaching: a time when all manner of ghost, ghoul and monster crawl their way from the deep abyss of our fears to roam the mortal realm in search of their next fright. It’s also a time of year where Diabetes awareness gets sidelined. Spooky stuff.

In the spirit of the Holiday, I wanted to bring something up. Namely, I wanted to discuss the single scariest monster of all the catalog of monsters. One that has lumbered his way through American history, always looming just out of sight and evading capture.

That’s right.

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BIGFOOT
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Putting the “Camp” in “Campy Slasher Flick”

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A classic in the Horror genre of films is the Slasher sub-genre. Anybody who is even fairly familiar with horror movies might recognize the concept of a slasher film: stalking psychopath terrorizes group of protagonists and viciously murders them, often in creative or convenient ways. This sub-genre itself has spawned many of the tropes and patterns often attributed to the horror genre as a whole, such as the whole “rules” concept presented in detail in the Scream series.

In the past, I’ve had to introduce friends and acquaintances to horror movies. I have watched an absolute ton, as horror is by far my favorite genre of just about any media, but not everybody has been so keen on horror for most of their lives, maybe occasionally seeing some mainstream fair but not much more. As such, I have an arsenal of films to introduce people to different elements of horror, from the seriously artful to the campy and ridiculous. When it comes to slasher films, there is only ONE clear choice as to which sadistic murderer needs to be the first one to stab their way into a newbie’s heart.
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Breaking Coverage: Shippin’ Out to West Coast

Occasionally, a cover comes along that just perfectly summarizes the direction the comic market is going oh so perfectly.

Case in point, Marvel and this week’s cover to West Coast Avengers #1.

West Coast

Let’s look at the characters on that scooter, real quick:

Hawkeye (Kate Bishop) = Solo Title – Cancelled – Last Issue 3/7/18

Gwenpool = Solo Title – Cancelled – Last Issue 2/28/18

America Chavez = Solo Title – Cancelled – Last Issue 2/28/18

Quentin Quire = Team Series (Generation X) – Cancelled – Last issue 2/21/18

Fuse = Brand new to the series, was also in Kate Bishop’s solo series (?)
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Cruise Contrarian

So, I catch a lot of guff from friends and family alike for one ridiculous reason: I am staunchly opposed to the idea of going on a cruise.

There are quite a few reasons for this. First, the sheer amount of disasters that can occur on a cruise is fairly large. Everywhere from fires to overturning to diseases, the list looks like the board that Roland Emmerich throws darts at to get ideas for a new picture. And everyone always tells me “Oh, don’t worry, that stuff rarely happens.” YEAH. Have you SEEN the recent news stories about cruises? Just last week, ANOTHER Princess Cruise liner was hit with a Gastrointestinal Outbreak, which apparently is becoming fairly common on this particular line of cruise ships. Between this and the ships that have navigated into storms or caught fire or just outright SUNK, the news for cruise ships is not good. As of the day I write this, the world’s largest cruise ship is officially launching out of France. Can only imagine what kind of H.P. Lovecraft horror awaits those brave idiots.

And that transitions nicely into my next point: at the risk of sounding like a cynic, a hermit or good ol’ Hank Thoreau, Large groups of people annoy and terrify me. I have only recently become fairly decent with large crowds mainly due to my love of sporting events, concerts and the most Magical Place on Earth, the Epcot Food and Wine Fest. What frightens me about crowds is mostly paranoia, but rightly so, again considering the media coverage we have on things like shootings and bombings happening across the world. These tragedies are very real, and though I don’t use them as an excuse to shelter myself away forever, it is in my opinion a reasonable detail of real life to keep at the forefront on my perception. As should anyone, honestly. An awareness in a crowded place that someone might do something crazy could potentially help prevent said crazy thing. However, if this awareness becomes straight out paranoia, then maybe you should take a step back, pop a chill pill and go see what’s being served at the Ireland booth (because I guarantee it’s some fantastic freakin’ pudding).

Now it’s when we put this large crowd in a confined space, adrift at sea. Here is a quote that has rung true for me all my life:

A truly close-minded life motto taken from an unlikely source, but it is painfully true more often than not. Panic and the chaos that comes with it terrify me. I am a very anxious person, and this results in a mild sense of paranoia that results in a firm and solid understanding of my surroundings. As a kid, I always had a plan in every classroom of what I would do if someone came in with a gun. I do the same things in crowds. I watch people everywhere I go, not out of an assumption someone is going to shoot me, but out of a general need to gauge those around me to know my surroundings thoroughly. Honestly, this has made me an asset when my friends and I go out to bars and whatnot, for various reasons ranging from “yo, she cute” to “those guys are about to fight.”

In the end, the thought of being confined in the event of an emergency terrifies me. Being surrounded by panic and having nowhere to go. Cruises are a powder keg that my anxious, paranoid mind can’t handle.

Also, I just general don’t like the idea of being covered in my or other people’s shit, and let’s be real, that’s the turn MOST of those news stories take…

Anywho, that’s my opinion on cruises. I am too irrationally paranoid to handle them.

~C