Friday, July 20, 2018

Needless Things Podcast 222 – Toys Я Us


I don't wanna grow up, I'm a Toys R Us kid
they got a million toys at Toys R us that I can play with
I don't wanna grow up, I'm a Toys R Us kid
they got the best for so much less, it'll really flip your lid
From bikes to trains to video games
it's the biggest toy store there is (gee whiz!)
I don't wanna grow up, cause maybe if I did
I couldn't be a Toys R Us kid
more games, more toys, oh boy!
I wanna be a Toys R Us kid


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Why Some Horror Fans Just Looked at Something Totally Wrong (and How It Didn’t End)


By Jerry Chandler

A bunch of horror fans spent part of this last weekend having a complete and total meltdown. Now, I don’t blame them for that. However, even as I suffered the same aggravations they did, I think they’re letting the thing that aggravated them cloud their vision a bit. Yes, what happened was annoying as hell when it was happening, and, yes, it was probably worse for the people who finagled the day off from work for a day-long event they were really looking forward to. But, guys and gals, there is a huge bit of great news out of last weekend’s aggravation that a lot of you need to open your eyes to and actually see for what it is.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Help - I Married a Freak!


by Beth

Well not a literal freak like in the movies Freaks or Freaked (it's really tough to find good images from that movie), but he's certainly an oddity. How else do you explain a man who hates Predator, Jaws, and Alien? I guess I should have asked a few more questions before we got married, but while we were dating we watched (often shitty) horror movies and MST3K. It was only years later that I found out how many things I love that he can't stand. I probably would have married him anyway, but I might have looked around harder before settling in. Taken individually his dislikes might not seem so bad, but once I sat down with him and compiled a full list it certainly made me wonder what the hell I was thinking.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Needless Things Podcast 221 – Weekend at Bernie’s Needless Commentary



Part of an ongoing series – the Needless Things Irregulars gather in the Phantom Zone to provide their own unique commentary on classic genre films!


Thursday, July 12, 2018

There’s Something Going Very Wrong in Parts of Fandom, and Not Just the Obvious Places


By Jerry Chandler

First, and I know this is asking a lot of you because of how much longer than usual this piece is, I’d like to ask you to go here and read this. It’s the May 17, 2018 Needless Things article I wrote. Something was happening in fandom at the time, something impacting a convention and creating a great deal of hassles and headaches. Unfortunately, it wasn’t an isolated incident. As a courtesy, I didn’t exactly address it directly back then, but I made my basic feelings about something known. If you read the piece back then and weren’t quite sure what to make of it, this is the article that’s going to make at least a little sense out of it. If you didn’t read it back then, well… You don’t have to now, but it might make references in the back end of this article make more sense. So, anyhow…

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Comic Book Wednesday – Thinning the Herd

By Dave

It’s been too long since I sat down and looked at the pull list I have with my Local Comic Shop. I have a huge stack of unread comics at home, and part of that stack consists of books that I have lost interest in and am now buying out of habit.

Comic books are damned expensive these days, even counting for inflation, so I think we all owe it to ourselves to sit down every few months and take a look at exactly how much we enjoy the books that we’re buying. For me, the simplest way to do this is to go to the Previews website and check out the current online edition of their catalog. When you’re buying books week by week it’s easy to look at one book among ten and think, “Well, I’ll go ahead and get it”. At the time you’re looking at a small portion of what you collect and one title doesn’t seem like a big deal. But if you’re getting one book you no longer care about every week, that can add up to big money.

When you have a list of every available book and time on your hands, however, you can make some real decisions about what you want to spend money on. It’s much more practical to look at the big picture all at once and realize, “Holy shit, I’m spending thirty bucks a month on books I don’t even like anymore”.

So what follows is my revised pull list, perhaps with some notes about books I am dropping or have dropped. I’m not in any way suggesting that you should drop any of those books if you enjoy them. I’m just noting that for one reason or another I no longer find them entertaining.

It’s not them, it’s me.

Essentially, if I don’t have to think at least a bit about putting a title on the top of the stack (to be read first), I need to drop it. This list is only the ongoing series that I am reading, not minis or limiteds.


Hellboy and the BPRD – Every issue is entertaining and I look forward to it every month. One of the virtues of this book is that it’s different from most of what I read. In general Dark Horse produces quality comic books and Mike Mignola, specifically, has never let me down.


Black Hammer – I’m actually surprised a bit by the fact that I’m still engrossed in this story. It’s very good and I love the art, but the pacing is a bit slower than I generally like. The characters are solid and the way that Jeff Lemire is unpacking his version of a superhero universe (that is so familiar in many ways) is fascinating. Unless things grind to a halt, I am sticking around.


Batman – I love what Tom King is doing with Batman and am very happy with this book.


Deathstroke – This is one of the best comic books that I’m reading right now. It’s action-packed, entertaining, and smart. Almost every issue has presented me with a quote or scenario that I have felt compelled to relay to others or to use in some way. No other comic is stimulating my brain quite as much as this one. Priest’s storytelling style sometimes asks a little more of the reader, but I find that I am rewarded for my investment.


Hack/Slash Resurrection – Tini Howard’s continuation of Cassie Hack’s adventures has been great so far. I don’t love the art style, but it does work for the book.


Saga – The best ongoing comic book I have ever read.


Walking Dead – Still compelling after all this time. I can’t imagine where it goes now, which is a good thing. This new Princess character seems terribly off-putting, but I trust whatever plan Kirkman has.

Side Note: I still don’t watch the TV show.


Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man – Zdarsky’s take on Spider-Man and Peter Parker has been awesome. Every issue is full of action-packed fun. This reminds me of the Spidey comics I read when I was a kid, but more clever.


Harley Quinn – Okay, this is something of an extravagance. I’m buying these purely for Frank Cho’s variant covers. I got a little fatigued by Conner and Palmiotti’s run and was going to drop it, but I just couldn’t give up Cho’s gorgeous artwork. I’ve heard Sam Humphries has been doing some cool stuff, so at some point I’ll dive back in. I definitely want to see what’s up with this Apokolips story.


Justice League – I’ve only read the first issue and I’m already engrossed in this storyline that’s basically a direct continuation of No Justice. Snyder is writing a very action-packed, fast-paced story that as of now has me fully engaged. I hope it stays on course.


The Terrifics – It seems that I’m a big Jeff Lemire fan. I believe his run on Animal Man during the New 52 was the first work of his I had read. Since then he has continued to pop up with interesting ideas on titles I might not otherwise have picked up. I feel like he has a tremendous grasp on what makes superheroes so interesting and is a master storyteller. That combination is a strong one. The same thing that makes Black Hammer so great works for Fantastic Four analog The Terrifics.


Amazing Spider-Man – I’m picking this up starting with Nick Spencer’s run based purely on how much I loved Superior Foes of Spider-Man.


Dark Ark – Cullen Bunn and Juan Doe’s tale of the evil version of Noah’s Ark has been awesome so far, and very cinematic. The book isn’t necessarily at the forefront of my consciousness (because the scheduling is somewhat erratic), but I’m thrilled to see it every time it’s in my stack at the shop.

Share your own pull list in the comments, or join the discussion in the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group!

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Friday, July 6, 2018

Needless Things Podcast 220 – Jon Carr



Jon Carr is a writer, performer, and most importantly a storyteller who plies his trade at the renowned Dad’s Garage Theatre Company in Atlanta. His play, Black Nerd debuts on July 13th and will run through August 4th.


Thursday, July 5, 2018

Harlan Ellison


By Jerry Chandler


Harlan

That was a name you could say in many circles without having to add the last name, and no one wondered which Harlan you were talking about. If you brought up that name in literary circles, science fiction circles, or convention panels, almost everyone who had been around for longer than a cup of coffee knew you were talking about Harlan Ellison.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Star Wars Doesn't Owe You Anything


by Beth

Okay trolls, I've had enough. When you claimed that your boycott tanked Solo I rolled my eyes and let it pass. Then you chased Kelly Marie Tran off social media with rape and death threats. I was disgusted, but stayed out of it because baiting trolls is the fastest way to insanity. Then over the weekend I found out a few more ridiculous facts, and I just can't keep silent anymore. Rey's parentage needs to be retconned to make her the child of someone important? And some group of morons is actually trying to raise money to remake The Last Jedi? I'm done with the haters, the incel babies (if you don't know what incel is then google it. I didn't know giant douches had an official term until Friday night), and most of all the stupid trolls. So instead of the amusing piece I was going to write about how I should have asked Mr. Tibbs a few more questions about his movie preferences before we got married (how did I marry someone who hates Indiana Jones?) I'm going to yell at assholes.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Comic Book... Monday? – Previews July 2018: “Who You Gonna Repaint?”


By Dave


This month’s edition is coming on a Monday thanks to the Independence Day holiday this Wednesday.

If you don’t know, Previews is the catalog that Diamond Comic Distributors use to offer the products they distribute to comic book stores around the country. This is where you can view and order (through your favorite Local Comic Book Shop) comic books, trade paperback collections, t-shirts, books, media, and toys and other collectibles from hundreds of different vendors that deal in geek-oriented merchandise. The genius part is that you actually have to pay for your copy of Previews for the privilege of ordering other things to pay for.

It’s like the Ren Fest except without the horse poo smell.

So every month a new edition of Previews is sent out to comic book stores. Contained in the pages within are products that might be currently available or could be released anytime in the next year; but are typically about two months away. Most of this month’s offerings are scheduled to ship in September.