WSP Episode XIV: Ultimate Songbird Edition

posted by @HeyItsKamoWSP Bioshock

The Big Daddy of Warp Speed Podcast episodes has finally arrived! Kate (Cartridge Kids) joins us this week to talk about one of our favorite game series: Bioshock

From the original Bioshock to the latest installment, Bioshock Infinite, we open a tear and step through into one of our longest and most insightful podcast episodes to date.

 

Also if you’re interested, check out The Drunken Moogle for some awesome video game themed drinks- they even have awesome tasting (and easy to make) Bioshock themed drinks, like this one right here !

Would you kindly subscribe to our iTunes channel (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/radpocalypse/id728359173), follow us on Instagram at WarpSpeedPodcast, and hit us up on Twitter at @WarpSpeedPodcst? All feedback is appreciated!

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Captain America: What it Takes to be a Winter Soldier

posted by Steve Kochems

In the last 15 years many of us have enjoyed, and occasionally endured, the wave of comic book movies that many studios now thrive off of. X-Men and Spider-Man were welcome Captain Americareturns to the genre that had last left us with the horrifying taste that was Batman and Robin, but like the start of any genre or wave, poor imitations would soon follow, many of which being sequels. While X2 raised the bar, X3 promptly shat itself before our eyes. While Spider-Man 2 challenged us and the aforementioned character, Spidey 3 showed us how ruthlessly capitalist a studio can be when not guided correctly.

If you’re reading this I doubt I need to educate you on the history of the super-hero genre, but I say these things with reason. Everything changed with the Dark Knight. Yes, Batman Begins really began the gritty reboot stage, but it was its successor that truly presented us with a story of consequence . That’s what Thomas Jane spoke to when he criticized The Punisher, which he stared in. That is the direction comics have gone in the last 25 years and really only one comic book film has thus far. This brings me to Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Steve Rogers still runs and guns with SHIELD, along with the trusty (yet inevitably shady) Black Widow. It’s difficult to give much of a synopsis without giving away spoilers since the story twists and turns so unexpectedly (and early) in the film, but Rogers picks up where he left off in The Avengers, with a healthy distrust of what Col. Nick Fury and SHIELD were truly up to.

Rogers goes underground and uncovers much he perhaps wishes he hadn’t. But what’s more telling is his unwavering loyalty to his virtues. It’s what’s always made his character more interesting to me than Tony Stark or Thor. Stark relies on his wits and knowledge, neither of which are innately admirable qualities, while Thor is consistently tricked by his brother and, by the end of his second feature, basically decides he can’t make the personal sacrifices required to his duty. They are both put into situations that go against their nature and overcome it. That’s drama. Rogers is put into situations where his capability may not be enough to satisfy his nature. That’s humanity.

Although there are consequences for the protagonist in this film (and in subsequent films, as we should all know Marvel’s diegetic is consistent), it does not reach a Dark Knight level yet. Therein lies what will either be genius or generality. DC may end up a one trick pony (or 2/3’s a trick considering the rubbish that was The Dark Knight Rises), but Marvel’s expansive cinematic universe may be setting up for something truly shocking and incredible: the Marvel Civil War. If you consider the number of calamities to take place since The Avengers (terrorist attacks, space goo, and the events of this film), doesn’t it just feel as if the mutant registry is around the corner?

I might be off base or simply justifying my liking for the movie, or possibly even giving Marvel too much credit. But at this point, after nine films within one living world narrative and just one coming out below par, haven’t they earned our trust? A cynic would say no, but even if that’s the case, Captain 2 still stands as a movie clearly aimed at a sociopolitical discussion current today. Just as the Dark Knight showed us that unlimited power means nothing to a soulless enemy, or Iron Man 3 revealed that we are often our own worst enemy, The Winter Soldier showed that those who fear transparency have blood behind the curtain. It reiterates that absolute power corrupts absolutely and anyone comfortable with such a force as protector might also accept them as overlord. Rogers trusts his instincts, even if they oppose orders. It’s what makes him admirable and not just a super hero, but a real hero.

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WSP Episode XIII – Troll 2: OH MY GOOOOD

posted by @HeyItsKamo

Mike and I get together for another “Warp Speed Movie Night”. This time around, we sit WSP Troll 2down and view one of the (rumored) worst movie’s of all time: Troll 2: The Movie!

This episode was spurred by a movie Mike watched recently, Best Worst Movie. This documentary follows the cast of the original movie as they live their current lives, and deal with the sudden fame of starring in what most critics dub the worst movie of all time.

Give the episode a listen and let us know what you think. If you’ve seen the movie, leave a comment and let us know what you thought!

As always, please subscribe to our iTunes channel (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/radpocalypse/id728359173), follow us on Instagram at WarpSpeedPodcast, and hit us up on Twitter at @WarpSpeedPodcst

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WSP XII – 4 Games, 1 Cup

posted by @HeyItsKamo

As I suffer through the hangover of a lifetime, Mike and I talk about four of our favorite new releases in the world of video games.WSP 4 Games

From PlayStation 4, to Xbox One and the 360, we talk about some titles that we hope you are enjoying as much as we have been in the past month.

Titanfall, Infamous: Second Son, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, we go through them all and give you our less than sober reviews (spoiler: they are all really, really fun to play)

As always, please subscribe to our iTunes channel (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/radpocalypse/id728359173), follow us on Instagram at WarpSpeedPodcast, and hit us up on Twitter at @WarpSpeedPodcst

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WSP XI – The Podcast In Yellow

posted by @HeyItsKamo

Gott DAMN! Are you guys as obsessed with the new HBO drama series True Detective as WSP True Detectivewe are? Got any off-the-wall theories you want to share, or maybe want to try out a few that you haven’t thought of yet? Go ahead and give this episode a listen-we talk about all the ridiculous (and maybe not so crazy) theories that we’ve heard about through the first six episodes of our new favorite show!

If you have any crazy theories of your own, or just want to talk about your favorite scene of TD so far, let us know in the comments section below!

Warning, this podcast contains a lot of [SPOILERS]

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WSP Episode X – Attack On Titanfall

posted by @HeyItsKamo

Your boy got Titanfall Beta codes, so OF COURSE we played the shit out of WSP Titanfallthe demo. Here’s what we thought: it’s awesome.

Titanfall is one of the most anticipated early titles for the Xbox One, and it will be system exclusive (except for PC). Will this beta demo convince Mike to go out and buy a Xbone?

Check out the full podcast to hear our review

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WSP Episode IX – The Podcast Who Shagged Me

posted by @HeyItsKamo

Yeah, bay-bee! Just like the Jurassic Park episode, we get together and see if the first film WSP Austin Powersin the Austin Powers trilogy holds up (Spoiler: it does).

From Dr. Evil and Number 2, to Vanessa Kensington and Basil Exposition, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery has gags and jokes we all love and remember…and maybe now just understand for the first time watching the film as adults.

As always, we are interested to hear your thoughts, so if you want to let us know how Shagadellic you think Austin Powers is, please leave a comment in the comments section below!

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And Now I Have Photoshop

And Now I Have Photoshop

Jabba the Hair

Jordan Football DunkLeave a comment and I’ll make a funny picture for you!

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WSP Episode VIII – Better Not Bring Yo Podcast

posted by @HeyItsKamo

These week, the gang gets together to talk about one of our (and hopefully your) favoriteWSP Chappelle's Show sketch comedy shows – Chappelle’s Show!

Something like Chappelle’s Show, a television program that totally captivates a generation (in this case, White Dudes between the age of 16-30), doesn’t come along every day. I think that if you asked someone in their 20’s or 30’s, they would at least be able to throw out a few quotes from the show- “I’m Rick James, bitch!”

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WSP Episode VII – SNICK!

posted by @HeyItsKamo

Mike and I are back for the first episode ever of The Soupcast!WSP SNICK

What’s that? Soupcast fell through?

Shit, now what are we going to talk about? Mike and I give our best effort to try and remember just what the hell we did on Saturday night’s when we were kids.

As always, give us your thoughts about your favorite SNICK shows in the comments section below!

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WSP Episode VI – Christmas Soup

posted by @HeyItsKamo

Mike and I are in hot water with the Boss-Man on this weeks episode. Do we have what it WSP Xmas Timetakes to save the show? Join us as we discuss the best Christmas gifts from our childhood and some of our favorite X-mas movies.

As always, leave us a comment in the comments section below and let us know what you thought of the episode! Also, please remember to follow Warp Speed Podcast on Twitter and Instagram – @WarpSpeedPodcst and WarpSpeedPodcast on IG

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WSP Episode V – The Next Generation

posted by @HeyItsKamo

PS4 or Xbox One? Mike, Mike, and Alex talk about their experiences and the ups (and mostly downs) WSP Next-Generationof the next generation of video gaming systems, as well as their favorite games and launch titles from systems past.

From the NES to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, we talk about some of the biggest games in launch history…and also get weirded out by the SEGA Dreamcast.

Don’t forget to leave a comment, and please give us a follow on Twitter at @WarpSpeedPodcst !!!

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WSP Episode IV – Apt Podcast

posted by @HeyItsKamo

Happy Halloween, everyone! This is episode two of our two-part Warp Speed Podcast WSP KingHalloween Spook-tacular. This episode is all about that master of horror, Stephen King. From favorite books and stories to (mostly) awful adaptations of books-to-film, Mike and I discuss our favorites from one of the most distinguished and iconic writers in the horror genre.

Stick around for the SPOOOO-OOOOooooOOOKY quiz at the end! (or don’t, this one got pretty damn out of hand…)

Also, for anyone interested, Click Here for the famous clip of SK from the film Creepshow, and Here for a more in-depth look at one of the craziest horror films ever made.

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WSP Episode III – Warp Speed at 20,000 Feet

posted by @HeyItsKamo

Happy Halloween, everyone! This is part one of our two-part Warp Speed Podcast WSP Twilight ZoneHalloween Spook-tacular. This episode is all about The Twilight Zone! From weird facts to favorite episodes, Mike and I talk about one of our favorite fantasy/sci-fi shows of all time.

Stick around for the SPOOOO-OOOOooooOOOKY quiz at the end!

Also, for anyone that is interested, you can check out the Two Minute Twilight Zone Project videos that Mike and I mentioned.

Click Here for the Shatner vs Gremlin episode

Click Here for the terrifying Talky Tina episode

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WSP Episode II – Hold On To Your Butts

posted by @HeyItsKamo

Thanks to everyone who gave the first episode of Warp Speed Podcast “All About GTA” a listen- we appreciate the response and feedback that we’ve gotten so far. Episode II is here, and boy is it…different. Warp Speed

Mike presented the idea that we watch a movie, in this case Jurassic Park, and just record ourselves talking about what we’re watching. Alex joined us for this recording, and it turned out pretty funny, so if this is a popular episode expect to see something like this again in the future. It’s definitely recommended to watch the film along with this podcast, because unless you’ve watch JP recently, you might be a bit lost….but just a bit.

Also, thanks to Kate for making out great Warp Speed Podcast logo (featuring Popsicle Baby the cat)!

Hang tight everyone, we are working on getting the Podcast up on iTunes- in the meantime, you can listen to the episode below:

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Warp Speed Podcast – Episode 1

posted by @HeyItsKamo

We’ve been talking about doing a podcast for a long time. It got a bit more serious when we realized Mike had all of the stuff necessary to actually record one- then it was just a matter of Warp Speedgetting together and thinking of what the hell to talk about.

Insert Grand Theft Auto V

The biggest launch in not only gaming, but entertainment history, GTA 5 gave us more than enough to talk about. Episode I, All About GTA, takes a look at the newest title in the saga that is Grand Theft Auto. From random observations to full on [SPOILERS], we discuss why this is one of the best games we’ve seen in years. And also about the time Mike killed a stripper.

 

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Dexter’s Disastrous Denouement

posted by @SKochems

Back in 2006, CBS decided to try their luck with a show which would directly clash with all the crime solving garbage we were (are) being fed. While maintaining the murder/mystery element of the show, the twist came at the end, when instead of arresting the bad guy our hero wrapped him up in plastic sheeting and plunged a knife through his heart. Despite being dropped and moved to Showtime as a result of its graphic content, it became a pivotal part of the change that has brought us to the television programming we see today- anti-heroes and mixed morality. And under the premium channel umbrella, the Dexter series as we know it was born.

Dexter is so appealing because he does what none of us can do but all at some point want to do: when someone deserves to die, he kills them.

This past week, the Dexter series that we thought we knew took one final swerve into the other lane and was promptly hit by a truck- this is a consequence of getting behind the wheel while drunk one too many times. While many can complain about the finale to Seinfeld being bad (whatever), or The Soprano’s (it’s what Tony’s life is going to always be like from there on out! You get it?), the Dexter finale dropped its drawers and crapped on Dexterthe primary thing we all cared about, the thing we all were hooked by from the start. So if the title wasn’t evident enough, there are spoilers below so read at your peril (or relief).

So the logical progression of the series leads to one of two routes:  Dexter gets caught or Dexter gets away. The main tension has always been “can Dexter lead a double life, working for the police while directly violating the law?” Sounds reasonable right?

Wrong. Instead of Dexter being caught and going through two episodes of him being on trial for his massive body count, he drives his boat into a hurricane and fakes his death. Instead of Dexter being investigated for murder and fleeing the country, he drives his boat…into a hurricane…and fakes his death. As dumb as the ending is, it’s even worse because he’s not running from his crimes, but instead the people who love him. This makes him little more than a coward; someone who is giving into the worst part of himself and contradictory to everything we’ve learned about this character.

Remember back in Season 2, when Sergeant Doakes was chained up and Dexter had to make a serious decision: kill Doakes or get turned in? There really wasn’t a clear and clean way out of it. Sacrifice yourself in the eyes of the world, or sacrifice yourself in the eyes of yourself. This type of situation would’ve played really well in the final season. Dexter simply got lucky the psychotic Lila intervened, allowing him to escape with his stasis in Season 2.

Or how about Season 4, when he comes up against another killer who is skilled enough to challenge him? Someone who learns the truth about him and, having little to lose, threatens to expose his Dark Passenger to the world? Saxon sort of fits this bill, but never truly feels like he can follow through. He knows all of Dexter’s secrets and who he really is, so he could theoretically suicide bomb Dexter by going to the police with all the data he had on his computer (yeah, Dexter deleted it, but apparently jump drives are illegal in Miami). His death in the finale is just to neatly tie things up.

Easily the biggest threat looming in this season was that Hannah McKay returned and Dexter simply couldn’t leave her. As a wanted fugitive, this leads plenty of interested parties snooping into her business and in turn, Dexter’s. Discretion has always been his best friend, but now he sacrifices this for love; a reasonable move in the overall arc of our favorite serial killer.

This in turn gives us the biggest disappointment. All the hinting at U.S. Marshals looking into Dexter dies with Deputy Clayton. The focus stays so centered on Hannah being caught, the writers seem to forget that Dexter can get caught too. There are countless ways they could have utilized this dynamic but instead they let Dexter off the hook with little to no doing of his own. Sure, his mercy on Saxon could be construed to in turn get him off the hook, but one can’t really argue he was in much danger to begin with.

The uncertainty the staff had going into this season is really apparent here. In the first episode of the Season, Dexter murders Deb’s fuck buddy and accidentally gets blood on Harrison’s stuffed animal, which resurfaces later in the season and then is never addressed again. All it would take is one search of Dexter’s apartment to find a bloody stuffed animal, a quick check, and he’s tied to a recent murder.

Even worse, there was still hope in the finale as late as 40 minutes in. Dexter murders Saxon in the prison and makes it appear to be self-defense on the camera. Afterwards, he nonchalantly presses the help button and then can be seen going from calm to panicky. Batista and Quinn ask him some paper questions and just let Dexter freely leave the country. Probably would’ve been a good time to maybe ask our forensics analyst some questions- you know, the same guy who was arrested and accused last season for murder and has a seriously shady history of screwing up paperwork for people who then disappeared. Just saying.

It might not be fair of me to criticize, but you come to expect things of a show after a few seasons. And while Dexter hasn’t really been the pinnacle of consistency (see Season 3, 5, 6), it’s place in television history and how it helped the change gives it a certain iconic status. What’s more frustrating is how many possible outcomes it could have had that may be more appropriate.

The fact is that Dexter is so appealing to adults because he does what none of us can do but all at some point want to do: when someone deserves to die, he kills them. But we all have different scales of discipline and morality, hence why murder is illegal and we don’t employ vigilantes. So Dexter is consistently breaking the common social agreement we’ve all come to, which is why it is so important that in the end someone pays for it.

Deb dies in a spoof accident. Dexter runs off because he decides he’s not strong enough to change, something he’s done regularly throughout the series. Quinn falls in love again and loses it. Batista gets promoted. Hannah acquires Harrison all while being an international fugitive with no job prospects. None of those things are really repercussions for the decisions Dexter has made for years, only for the last 3 episodes.

So what did this season really say or accomplish?

It tells me that show grew beyond the capability of its creative team. Staying true to the novels wasn’t an option (Wikipedia them if you don’t believe me) and the show runners just simply may not have known where to go. I got that sense back in Season 6 when Deb fell in love with her step-brother. They couldn’t think of anything else to do with her I guess. But it’s also unfair for the expectation to be held that each season will be better than the last.

If Season 9 comes around, or a Dexter movie, I can’t lie and say I’ll never watch it. I’ve invested too much to give up now. It’s just disappointing the show couldn’t accept it was the end and give a character we’ve come to love an honest send off, no matter if you can bear to watch it or not.

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Horror in the West

posted by @HeyItsKamo

Howdy, y’all! If you’re in the mood for a poorly written review of a comic book , you’re in luck!

This post will be even better if you like striking images of undead cowboys, stories of possessed townsfolk hungry for blood, and depictions of horses getting eaten by fucked up alien creatures. So let’s saddle up and mosey along, partner! (it’s nothing but cowboy puns from here on out…sorry)

Waaay back in March, I was lucky enough to head over to the Toronto Comic Convention, which was fucking awesome for someone that’s into comic books, toys, pop culture, and allHorror in the West that good stuff. I had never been to a bigger city Comic Con before, so I didn’t know what to expect, and I have to admit I was not prepared for what was in store. I’d say I spent most of my time in Artist’s Alley, where local artists sell their, well, art. One of the tables was manned by Toronto area artist Brian Evinou, where he was trying to sell a comic book trade in which he had illustrated one of the stories.

Published by Alterna Comics, Horror in the West (Recommended for Ages 17+ mind you) boasts itself as: “a horror anthology featuring eleven stories that combine the mysticism of the Old West with demons, zombies, aliens, and blood-curdling storytelling.” Being totally honest, I didn’t expect much from this independent comic compilation because, frankly, I don’t have many independent books that I’ve been impressed by- what drew me in was the cover art. The cover features a demonic looking figure in cowboy attire (complete with spurs on the boots) sitting atop a ravaged, zombie-esque looking horse. The back cover features a similar image, with the horse and rider now reduced mostly to bones. Horror in the WestAs a horror fan, but an even bigger western fan, this was too interesting looking to pass up- the $10 price tag also helped to sweeten the deal.

As it turns out, the stories and art held within are both entertaining and captivating. The book opens with Star Calf, a story about an alien that crash lands on Earth, possesses the mind of a rancher, and then goes on a terrible killing spree. The alien grows to unthinkable size, reproduces, and then devours everything in its path- varmints, cattle, people, and entire towns are no match for the hunger of this terrifying extraterrestrial gang.

Under the Mountain is a beautifully illustrated tale of a horrible discovery found deep within a mountain. This undead adventure follows a bounty hunter as he struggles to find out what happened to a group of men that were lost while blasting a mountain for a new railroad being built through Indian territory. It touches on the Reptilian conspiracy, but the twist that it took place in the old west was fantastic. It also hints briefly on an idea found in countless Native American myths, that evil spirits and creatures were banished to lakes or mountains by powerful shaman- tampering with these locations is enough to release the horrible entities to wreck havoc once again.

Brother’s Keeper, illustrated by Evinou, followed two brother’s who, after a job-turned-sour and a double cross, were forced to shoot up a whole damn town. In the ensuing melee,Horror in the West one of the brothers get shot, so the pair are forced to ride off and look for help for the wounded cowboy. After hours of hard riding, they encounter a farm house in the middle of a dry wasteland. What happens next you’ll just have to see for yourself, but believe me when I say that the physical depiction of Death is unlike any that I’ve seen before. It fits perfectly in this collection of stories.

Probably the most interesting twist in a book chock-full of crazy turns was in El Tigre. This tragedy tells of a demonic female bounty hunter who kills her bounties by eating their souls (no big deal when the men she’s chasing are wanted “Dead or Alive” right?). She’s on the hunt for a mysterious criminal named Daniel, who ends up kidnapping a preachers daughter. Knowing full well that El Tigre will be hot on his trail, he sets a trap for our other-worldly female protagonist- he puts a demon inside the kidnapped girls, uh… lady parts, that springs on El Tigre when she tries to rescue the girl. I couldn’t stop laughing at Horror in the Westhow bizarre the notion of this trap was, and was a bit surprised that I’ve never seen it anywhere else before.

A few of the stories could have been left out in place of extending some of the others (I really want some closure with Star Calf), but overall this is a great addition to any collection, especially if you are a fan of the Horror or Western genres. I’m hoping for a second volume to tie up some loose ends on a few stories (The Amulet especially), so in the meantime I’ll keep my copy of Horror in the West close at hand, ready to draw whenever high noon rolls around (sorry! Last one, I promise).

Like this post? Hate it? Let Mike know in the comments section!

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Alf!

posted by @HeyItsKamo

ALF: Alien Life Form, 80’s icon, and enemy to felines the galaxy over.

America, especially the younger crowd, fucking LOVED Alf. I loved Alf (still do as a matter of fact), hence this quick post. From 1986 to 1990 (and even beyond), Alf made us his bitch. We couldn’t get enough of this goofy cat-devouring alien, eating up anything the network could think to plaster our favorite extraterrestrial all over. And believe me…there was a lot of stuff they used the Alf image and name for besides the 102 episodes of the live-action television show.

ALF: The Animated Series is a perfect example.

This cartoon show, which you could have watched Saturday mornings on NBC from 1987-1988 (or now if you had a time machine, but why would you want to go back in time just to watch a cartoon?), was technically a prequel to the live-action television program. The animated series followed Alf and his friends as they got into all kinds of weird situations on his home planet of Melmac before it was destroyed. Unfortunately, it wasn’t very popular so it only lasted for a pair of seasons. Personally, I’ve only seen a few episodes, but the one’s I’ve managed to catch were pretty entertaining. The classic Alf humor was there in full form (corny jokes, cat eating, etc.), but the really interesting part was the subject matter for each episode- the series had story-lines geared toward a fairy tale of some sort, only it was replaced with Melmacians and set on Alf’s home world. Cinderella, Robin Hood, the Wizard of Oz, and Peter Pan are just some of the classic stories featured on the cartoon.

Board game’s soon followed, as did the ALF video game (1989) for the Sega Master System. Anyone who’s been brave enough to play this title will tell you: the game wasn’t very good. That’s mostly in part to the jumbled mess of screens, no real direction, and the fact that you die fairly easily. You do get to collect cats though, so there’s that…

Then there was the confusing cross-promotion. Alf and the Hulkster teamed up to tell us about 10-10-220. Talking Alf robot toys were inevitable and pretty damn terrifying when they eventually hit store shelves. Of course there were t-shirts. In fact, the weirdness didn’t end, not even for Christmas.

My favorite Alf related venture, however, was the comic book. One of the series I’ve enjoyed the most, simply titled ALF, ran for over 100 issues from 1987-1990. The comic was supposed to run side-by-side with the live-action tv show, somewhat following the Alf Comic Bookcontinuity that the program created. Mostly, it was a compilation of random short stories (issues only ran 30 pages or so) that followed Alf and the Tanner’s as they got into all kinds of ridiculous situations. The comic book was so popular and successful because, on top of the popularity of the television show and the comic book medium at the time, the comic allowed something the live-action show simply couldn’t: Alf became extremely mobile.

Seriously, think about it. Without the need for puppets, or midgets/children in Alf costumes, the comic book let the writers have free reign for what our dude was capable of doing- anything he wanted. No more hiding behind couches or kitchen windows- Alf could go trick-or-treating with Brian Tanner, get arrested for egging a house, or get chased around the kitchen by Willie. Anything the writers could think of, Alf could now do with no restrictions.

Alf Comic BookAlf Comic Book Alf Comic BookAlf Comic Book  Alf Comic Book Alf Comic Book Alf Comic BookAlf Comic BookAlf - Comic Books

The cartoon was a prequel, so the Tanner family wasn’t involved, but in the comics the Tanner’s were just as essential a part as Alf was. Now, since no puppeteer was needed to control the protagonist, the Tanner/Alf stories from the tv show got a full range of motion. And if you were a fan of the sitcom story-line, the comics were all the better because there were no limitations on what could be done. If you’re wondering how the comics line up against the television show in terms of jokes, I can assure you that they’re just as cute and corny. Does Alf still want to eat cats? You bet. Does he like to dig through garbage? For sure. Does he still get Willie all riled up? Absolutely.

Some classic indiscretions that Alf gets himself into in the comic version of the show: Alf wants to go trick-or-treating with Brian, so he goes as himself, eats a bunch of trash, and gets arrested because the police think he egged a house (he wanted to eat the eggs). In another issue, Alf builds a transporter (a “Meleporter”) that sends him to the Australian Outback, where he is worshipped like a God- he and Lynn also end up getting transported to the Arctic before finally finding their way home. One of my favorite story-lines was when Alf found out Willie used to be a cheerleader. Long story short, Willie’s old team needs him and Alf becomes the new team mascot.

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The comics are also interesting because of the retro advertisements, all late 80’s gems, that target the pre-teen to teen audience (in other words: video games, junk food, Oxy Clean, and ads for other comics). They all go hand in hand (especially the Trix and Chips Ahoy!/Oxy Clean ads…), and are actually a refreshing break from the constant full-page ads in current books. Nowadays, it seems like every two pages there is a full page add for other comics put out by each publisher, it sucks.

Retro Kool-Aid Ad Retro Nickelodeon Ad Retro Rocky and Bullwinkle Retro Toys Retro Duck Tales Ad Retro Nesquik Ad Retro Star Trek Ad Retro Lucky Charms Cereal Ad Retro Oxy Clean Ad GI Joe Retro Ad

Another great feature in a few issues of Alf is the “Melmac Mail Sack” section, where Alf answers readers fan mail. Letters range from questions on Alf’s personal life back on Melmac Mail SackMelmac, to his favorite recipes for cat burgers. A few letters actually border on the line of fan-fiction, with one writer giving a history of Alf’s samurai ancestor. The strange part about this section, as entertaining and goofy as it might be, is that the letters aren’t always answered by “Alf”. Instead, some of the responses are written as the character of Alf, while others are written as (what I’m assuming is) the editor of the comic book itself. It’s pretty strange, and some of the responses are comically rude- they don’t really thank the reader for writing in, and instead reply with short, rude comments (although this is funny in itself, and also most likely done to save on space so they can get as many viewer questions in the section as possible). -Be sure to check the pics below for a close-up shot of the letter to Alf requesting his recipe for cat burgers-

It’s sad to think that we’ll probably never seen another tv show like this come around- something that tested what was acceptable for tv, both humor-wise and oh-shit-it’s-a-puppet-that’s-the-star-of-the-show. What they did with Alf, albiet a bit overkill, was something special and I’m glad that I was able to have as a part of my early life.

If you have a chance, try and catch old episodes of Alf (I know the HUB has been playing some recently), or at least try and find a few of the comics- you won’t be disappointed.

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The Toronto Comic-Con Was Horrifying!

posted by @HeyItsKamo

Have you ever been so surprised and overwhelmed by something that you didn’t know what to do? Like, you had to just stand there and try and think of where to even begin when trying to comprehend what you were seeing?

My birthday was last week, so as a gift to myself I bought two tickets to the Toronto Comic Convention. I dragged my girlfriend along, and while she isn’t a very big fan of comic books/toys/collectibles like I am, she IS a pretty big fan of me, so she agreed to go. Plus I bought her breakfast and lunch so it was totally worth it for her.

I’ve been to comic book events in the past, from local shows at Legion halls, to small scale Cons (the Buffalo Comic-Con was a surprisingly fun time), but nothing prepared me for this event. It was incredible. Every single possible stereotype, rumor, expectation, cliché, whatever you want to call it…it was there. And it was amazing.

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From the booths overflowing with long boxes full of cheap comics to the high priced single issues kept under bulletproof glass, they were all there. The t-shirts with superhero logos plastered on the front, hooded sweatshirts with (somewhat) clever puns, fuzzy bathrobes complete with the Starfleet insignia on the left breast, Tardis beach towels…they were there too. Full length body pillows with anime characters, plush dolls from Pokémon to Transformers, and helmets and swords were all up for grabs.

The Cosplay ranged from the half-assed to the extreme. Women dressed like their favorite sexy Batman villains -personally, I was a *points to crotch* “big fan” of the Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn costumes, but there was a female Mr. Freeze which was a bit confusing on more than one level- Princess Leia, Aeris from Final Fantasy, and other random comic/video game/film characters were out in spades- I’d like to add that not all of them were sexy. At the other end of the spectrum, I saw guys dressed like Ghostbusters, Stormtroopers, Halo Spartans of all colors, Deadpool, Batman, Dr. Evil, random Jedi, Finn and Jake, and Trekkies of all sizes. Intricate Zoids costumes stole the show for me, but there was an incredibly detailed Batman walking the floor, who I overhead say was 6’10” tall- dude was knee deep in convention-goers trying to get a picture. And of course there was no shortage of the good Doctor.

In fact, this show didn’t have a shortage of anything Doctor Who related. It had a LOT of Dr. Who. Too much Dr. Who? Or not enough Dr. Who?

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Then came the toys, collectibles, posters, bobble heads (Game of Thrones!), Mighty Muggs, original art work, Steampunk jewelry, cat ear headbands, anime and manga (this show was Otaku heaven), buttons, and unbelievably random celebrity sightings and picture ops. The 501st Legion, Canada’s premiere Imperial Star Wars cosplay group was on hand, in character, and ready to take pictures with Con-goers against various backdrops- Tatooine was the most popular among the fans. The Dr. Who Society of Canada was another fan favorite, mostly because you could take pictures with the full-sized Dalek replicas they brought along (I could’t resist getting one myself) and were more than happy to discuss the show with eager fans. Various Steampunk groups had tables, as did the Ontario Ghostbusters, a ‘busters fan group that had tons of replicas from the movies for people to goof around with and snap pictures of.

Of course celebrities were on hand, including Sean Astin (Rudy, The Goonies, Lord of the Rings), Laura Vandervoort (Supergirl on Smallville and all around attractive blonde actress), Daniel Logan (Boba Fett from Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones), and the ENTIRE GOTT DANG LEADING CAST of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Seriously, everyone was there: Patrick Stewart, LeVar Burton, Jonathan Frakes, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, and Brent Spiner. The lines to meet these actors and actress were packed, so the best I could do was yell “RUUUDDDYYYYY!” and hope Astin heard me.

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The most impressive thing to me at this convention, besides the intense armpit smell that was prominent throughout the room, was the section of the show known as Artists Alley. That’s not to say I didn’t spend my fair share of time digging through boxes of comics (sorry, Ash), but this section blew me away. If you’ve never been to a Comic-Con, this region of the floor is a series of rows filled with artists selling their, well, art. I could have spent all my money in just this area, the works were that impressive and desirable. Custom made jewelry ranging from comic book panel earrings to intricate Steampunk clock necklaces, water portraits of the characters of Clone High, perler bead crafts of Super Mario characters, and self-made comic books are just a taste of what artists had to offer. Paintings, sketches, graphic designs, and random prints littered the aisles- what do I buy first? Should I take a look at the vintage looking Wolfman movie poster, or the Heath Ledger/Joker sketch?

My first purchase ended up being a small, independent book that was actually a collection of comics- Horror in the West. Every comic in this book combined two of my favorite things- Westerns and Zombies. Next stop was a booth just over in the next row selling Steampunk and faux antique jewelry- Ash couldn’t resist and I have to admit the stuff she bought was really cool. Something else caught my eye, and I ended up walking away with a few “Standees”, which are foam cut-out stands that are drawn to look like various cartoon characters. The uniqueness of the collectibles grabbed my attention, but when I saw the ReBoot characters and Lumpy Space Princess magnet…they had my money before I knew what even happened.

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One of the most interesting (and also popular/crowded) booths at the show was the table selling Blockhead characters. Basically, this guy named Aaron Goulborn designs these paper (not quite cardboard  but still pretty heavy) characters that are almost like bobble heads- the best way to describe them is, “they’re paper Mighty Muggs.” Each character is unique, with only 144 of each being made. And every single one of them is awesome. He had so many different characters, from video games (Kratos, Minecraft), to cartoons (The Simpsons, to television shows (Sons of Anarchy, Dexter, Big Bang Theory), and just random characters. It was a great idea and he probably made a killing.

Another unexpected sight at the Convention was a booth that specialized in tattoos- seriously, is this a common thing at these events? Either way, the table was packed with on-lookers as a brave soul sat down for an ink session. The subject matter of that tat? Boba Fett, of course!

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Exhausted and still overwhelmed, but more than satisfied, we left the show with a treasure of items. From my newly acquired Alf comics, to the Creature bobble-head, I left Canada a happy boy and eagerly await the next Fan Expo in August.

Next time I hope to be more prepared…and maybe I’ll dress up like the Doctor, too.

Like this post? Hate it? Let Mike know in the comments section!

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