Thursday, July 31, 2014

Cover Volume I

That's right Shrimpophiles!  The first Eat @ Shrimpy's art book is ready to roll.  Covers collects the cover art for the first twenty-five major storylines (over half of which haven't been revealed yet) as well as the covers for the first five trade paperbacks (the first two will be released this holiday season).

You're getting thirty-two full color pages on glossy paper stock for only six dollars (plus shipping).  Can you believe that!?  Normally something like this would go for at least $6.50!  What a steal!

If you would like to order this piece of Eat @ Shrimpy's history, just email me at shrimpman53@yahoo.com or find me on Facebook.

As an added bonus, if you purchase Shrimpology (ordering info to your right) you will get a copy of Covers absolutely FREE!  Buy three, one for you, one for your mom and one to prop up that table that's been a little wobbly, you know, the one in the dining room that you never use because there's no tv in there, but your wife had to have it...that one.

Not So New Comic Review: Guardians of the Galaxy (1991) #44

                Hey, Yondu’s back!  And he brought guest penciler Jeff Moore with him.  Unfortunately Moore is more Dale Eaglesham than Kevin West, so this’ll be another long issue I fear. 

                We open on Aleta carting around the rest of the Guardians in an energy bubble, why they couldn’t just take the Guardians’ ship I’m not 100% sure.  Thanks to Aleta and Vance having yet another lovers’ quarrel we get a slight recap of recent events, including the Beyonder and Bubonicus.  We then get a close up on where the Guardians are heading, to Centauri IV, the home of Yondu. 

                We make a slight detour to Malevolence and the Protégé who are still stuck in the Beyonder’s crystal in the never-ending storyline.  Some weird looking guy with at stick shows up and apparently uses said stick to break the crystal and free its inhabitants.  The Beyonder destroys the guy with the stick (who turns out to be Mephisto in disguise) and in so gives the Protégé a chance to mimic his power.  They become locked in an epic battle (I assume) and gives Malevolence a chance to lament over her dearly departed father with some strange forced-perspective pose that looks like it’s out of Dale Eaglesham’s porn mag.  Mephisto isn’t dead though because, well, he’s the devil. 

                We see Hollywood harassing some poor bastard as he tries to find Dr. Doom only to have someone else come in and harass him some more to shut up about Dr. Doom. 

                Back on Centauri IV the Guardians land to a not-so-warm reception from Yondu.  Yondu is pissed because his society has been destroyed by the Badoon.  Wait, but we know that already, that’s what brought the Guardians together.  Oh, his society was destroyed earlier than he expected…oh, ok.  Plus it gave us some creepy Badoon-Centauri hybrids.  Why did this happen, you ask?  Because of Charlie’s dagger that he left when he was fighting the Captain Universe Badoon.  Aleta needs Yondu’s help on some magic quest she wants to undertake but Yondu has withheld his services until the past is put right and his people get to survive for a few more years, the things this guy takes a stand about…

                Anyway, at the end of the issue guess who pops up?  The one and only Starhawk, because plotlines couldn’t get any more convoluted.


Next issue: it’s Starhawk vs. Aleta in a battle no one cares about.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Clutch at the Westcott, Year Two

                Clutch came back to town on Thursday night, so what else was I going to do?  Brandon and I headed over, and despite trying our best to be late, were right on time.  The first band we saw was called Elephant Mountain, a local Syracuse band that was actually quite good.  They had a heavy Southern Rock feeling to them, a metal Skynrd if you will, and really seemed to be having a good time on stage, enjoying the opportunity provided to them.  I would honestly see them again, and for way longer than the twenty minutes they were given here as the opener.  If you like good music in general, and especially if you’re a fan of supporting the small, local bands, I would definitely suggest finding their music on Amazon or itunes.  They even have a song dedicated to firefighters, which tickled Brandon’s fancy, being a firefighter himself, and made him a fan right away. He purchased their most recent album and after listening to it a couple times, they are really good!  They aren't the good live band but loses that magic in the studio kind of band.  Elephant Mountain brings it no matter where they are.  I plan on seeing a lot more Elephant Mountain shows in the future.

                The next band up was American Sharks.  Ho-Lee-Fuck they were terrible.  Their opening song stole the riff from “Blitzkrieg Bop” and did nothing good with it, while their second song borrowed quite liberally from Black Sabbath (“Children of the Grave” if I remember correctly) and also failed to do anything good with it.  Brandon made it through one song before leaving, and I made it through one and a half.  We stepped outside and hung out for the rest of their set, and seeing the line of people exiting the theater during that set, we weren’t the only ones that disliked their “music”.  Seriously, I’ve seen shitty cover bands with more talent than those three jokers.  The fact that Clutch picked them to travel the country as their opener makes me wonder what the fuck they were thinking.  Was a monkey with a cowbell too expensive?

                Anyway, after an extended wait (seriously, the stage was set by 940 and we were waiting until at least ten for Clutch to come on) the moment was at hand.  All of the energy and polish that I’ve come to expect from Clutch was on full display.  Neil Fallon was at his manic best, bouncing around on stage, all hand gestures and gyrations, while the band were a perfect balance of standing completely still (seriously, Mick Mars looks at these guys and wonders if they’re alive) while still injecting energy on the stage with their playing.  The technical prowess of this band is second to none, it is seriously a joy to watch the artistic mastery of these guys on their instruments.  The set itself ran for around 90 minutes, with the highlight being that they mixed it up from last year.  There were a few holdovers from that show (“Electric Worry” to close things out, as well as “Earth Rocker “ and “Cyborg Bette” from the Earth Rocker album) but a good portion of the other songs were tunes I had yet to hear live, the highlights being “DC Sound Attack” ( a personal favorite) and “The Elephant Riders”. 


                While I was not a huge fan of the long wait for Clutch to take the stage, once they got there they did not disappoint.  I have a feeling that next year if they come back I won’t make the same mistake of getting there even close to on time (unless Elephant Mountain is playing).  I would suggest going to a Clutch show if you can, the energy that they have up on the stage is unparalleled.  For those of you in Central New York, check out Elephant Mountain as well, you won’t be disappointed.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Buffet

Boneless ribs are pretty goddamn amazing, aren't they?

Friday, July 25, 2014

A Sure Thing

Do they sell beer that large?  Something tells me if they did it wouldn't be in a big mug.  
Though, if anyone was going to be able to develop the Hulk-Strength to adequately consume the beer in the mug, it would be a thirsty homeless man. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Not So New Comic Review: Guardians of the Galaxy (1991) #43

                We go from my favorite, and one of the best covers in the series, to one of the worst.  The choice of characters, aside from Thor’s kid he kind of had to be there, is laughable.  The poses are just that, poses, hardly natural at all.  And the art itself is Liefeld-tastic, especially on Woden, Thor’s kid.  I also love how everything on the cover has to have a tm or a r symbol next to it.  Nothing ruins the design of something quicker than legalese.  How about the inside though, is that any better?

                Well, it’s still drawn by Dale Eaglesham, so there’s that.  I don’t particularly care for his work in general, but aside from that, let’s see how it goes.  We open on Woden, son of Thor, who has apparently also inherited Thor’s hammer.  Thor’s hammer, if you remember, can only be picked up by someone that is deemed worthy or holding said hammer.  Apparently Woden is now worthy, and he wastes no time in putting that hammer to use in attacking Loki and Composite.  While Woden handles the big guns, the rest of the Guardians get to work on dealing with the rest of the Inhumans.  In order to contain the defeated Inhumans, Talon creates a “mystic bubble” which is basically a forcefield jail cell, which raises the question…where the hell has that power been all along?  He could have used that two issues ago and the Inhumans would not have been an issue.  Oh comics, you’re so silly.

                We now take a slight detour to the home of The Remora where Aleta and Heimdall are captured.  They both share a romantic moment, which is odd considering their current predicament.  The Remora busts in on them and mocks them which posses Aleta off so much that she kicks his ass.  Apparently you should never disrupt Aleta’s booty-call, lesson learned.  Aleta and Heimdall are now free and it seems like that was a lot of work to go through just to sideline your most powerful character so it can appear the Guardians are in danger, but what do I know.

                Back in Asgard, Charlie saves Nikki from Phobia as everyone else watches Woden and Loki fight overhead.  They are not the only people interested in Woden’s success though as Fat Thor looks on.  He gets a bit of a pep-talk from Odin, which begs the questions, where the hell has Odin been through all of this?  He’s no slouch himself and, with help, probably could have disposed of Loki, or at the very least prevented the ransacking of his city.  Oh, right, it’s comics. 

                Now we switch over to Malevolence’s sex face.  Seriously.  I’m pretty sure Eaglesham was looking at some form of porn when he was drawing this.  It’s even creepier that she has this face on while she’s calling out to her father Mephisto.  I don’t even want to begin ascribing any kind motivations or extra thought to that.  Regardless, her sexy call apparently worked as she can now sense her father’s presence, which isn’t creepy in the slightest.

                We make another short detour back to the planet of The Remora to wrap up that silly storyline and prompt us to ask why this was even a thing yet again. 

                Back to Asgard, Loki and Woden are still fighting and just as Loki seems to get the upper hand, here comes Aleta to save the day.  So not only was she able to complete whatever silly business she had on the planet of The Remora, but she was able to get all the way back to Asgard in time to save the day…sure.  This comic is becoming a bit silly when it comes to its use of the Aleta, and honestly if Gallagher can’t find a way to use her effectively (and believe me, he hasn’t shown he’s capable of doing that yet) then the whole series will slip even further downhill.

                Thor, Woden and Odin all come together and banish Loki and the Inhumans to the Black Canyon (is that the Asgardian version of the Phantom Zone?  I assume so.)  Everyone is reunited and happy, except for Vance because he sees Heimdall kiss Aleta on the hand.  He gets all butt-hurt about it even though those two haven’t really been an “item” for a long time.  Just as he is getting pissy and telling everyone to get back to the ship, Aleta jumps in, says no, and transports them at the speed of light to…somewhere.


Next issue: find out where they were transported and whether Vance can stop being a little girl and let Aleta go.    

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hit Me

I'm pretty sure that guy in the background just got propositioned by late 80's Tina Turner.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fishing for Quality Dining

                This last weekend, the wife and I were doing a little charity work in Rochester.  Upon completion, we went out to eat, settling on Bonefish Grill in the Eastview Mall.  At the Taste of Syracuse last year we sampled the bang bang shrimp, so this seemed like a good opportunity to see how the rest of the menu stacked up to that delectable experience.

                First of all, as soon as we got there we were greeted by two hostesses, one old and one young.  The young one seemed nice enough, smiling the entire time we were at the door.  The older woman, however, gave us the worst eye-fuck you can imagine.  She looked my wife and I up and down like we were the scum of the earth and how dare we come to her restaurant.  My wife was wearing a long, spaghetti strap dress and I was dressed in a t-shirt and shorts with a baseball cap on (my usual summer attire).  The look on this woman's face from the moment we walked through the door was about as unwelcoming as I have ever seen.  Once we sat down I asked my wife if she saw the look that lady gave me and she brought to my attention that she did it to her as well.  I wanted to ask this old twat what her problem was and why she felt so superior?  She was, after all, a hostess at a restaurant…in a mall, but I kept my mouth shut.  What a great way to start out the experience though.

                We ordered the bang bang shrimp appetizer to start us off.  It was okay.  At Taste of Syracuse it was delicious, covered in that spicy cream sauce that is often imitated but never perfected.  Here, the shrimp were nice and crispy, but the sauce was barely there.  Not only that, but it was heaped high in a small casserole dish (like a large ramekin) that was only half shrimp.  The other half was just lettuce.  I would rather have the shrimp piled on a plate than have it mounded on top of lettuce for no conceivable reason whatsoever.  I am definitely in the camp of “don’t put something on the plate if it does not need to be there.  Unnecessary garnish is wasteful and ridiculous in my opinion.

                For dinner, my wife ordered crab cakes while I had the fish tacos.  The crab cakes were probably 90% meat which is a tasty ratio, except they fell apart into crab pieces as soon as the fork hit them.  They tasted pretty good and the remoulade that came with them was outstanding.  It was a bit overpowering when consumed in conjunction with the crab cake though as the subtleness of the crab was easily masked by the remoulade.  The fish tacos were tasty as well.  The (I’m assuming) tilapia was well masked by the rest of the taco fixin’s.  The mango salsa was the most prevalent flavor on the taco, but the lime crema and cilantro were nice touches as well.  The fish did leave an aftertaste that lingered long after the rest of the ingredients were gone from my palette, but it wasn’t that unpleasant. 


                In all, our waitress was very good, very welcoming, and the food was okay but not great.  I’m not sure if I would eat here again, at least not at this particular location, but it wasn’t terrible by any stretch of the imagination.  

Monday, July 21, 2014

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sock on the Doorknob

Shrimpy obviously drew the short straw when it came to roommates.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Not So New Comic Review: Guardians of the Galaxy (1991) #42

                Okay, this is officially my favorite cover of the series to date.  It takes all of the things that made issue forty’s cover my favorite and amps it up.  There is more action, more characters, and they are all better drawn than the last “favorite cover”.  This is the kind of cover that would jump off the spinner rack and grab you, prompting you to want to pick up the issue.  Hopefully the interior work holds serve.

                Right away we get our first check mark in the “negative” column as Kevin West has been replaced (temporarily) on pencils by Dale Eaglesham.  This isn’t the end of the world as Eaglesham is a competent illustrator, but it sucks that West can’t capitalize on his best cover to date by featuring equally exciting interiors. 

                Anyway, let’s see how the story holds up.  We start with a quick recap of everything that’s been going on the last issue and a half, including throwing in the fact that Mephisto is pissed off because he can’t find his daughter Malevolence. 

                We pick up the action with the Guardians showing up on the rainbow bridge of Asgard, ready to fight the Inhumans and prevent them from destroying the fabled city of the Norse Gods.  We then focus in on fat Thor, who does absolutely nothing to Loki, to the point where Loki is pissed that Thor has taken the real sense of victory from him.  If you could finally beat regular Thor after so long, how would it feel to beat fat Thor, a shell of his former self?  In the process of getting knocked out (and Loki taking off, a very “I’m taking my ball and going home” kind of move) fat Thor drops his hammer.  This wouldn’t seem like a big deal, but after he drops it, Talon just goes over and nonchalantly picks it up.  If you know anything about Thor, it’s that his hammer can only be picked up by those worthy, and the only one worthy for pretty much ever, has been Thor himself.  Does this mean that Talon is now worthy?  Nope.  It just means that this hammer is a fake, something to stroke Thor’s ego a little.  This is something that Lady Sif, Thor’s wife tells us.  She also regales the tale of how Thor himself became unworthy of wielding the hammer.

                This is a story that revolves around Thor and Sif’s love for one another, which begat a child, Woden.  Thor, being Thor was too busy slaying frost giants and the like to stay home and raise his child, in effect becoming a deadbeat dad.  Odin, Woden’s grandfather called Thor home to look after his son.  Thor was pissed, but really, when Odin tells you to do something, you do it.  So he came home and was actually a pretty good dad to the strapping young lad, teaching him how to be a true Norse God.  The problem was that Thor grew to resent his Mr. Mom role.  Apparently when Thor is full of resentment, Thor also becomes full of beer.  Thor became a drunk, and as if that’s not bad enough, Sif called him out on it and he went to hit her.  At this point he dropped his hammer, never to pick it up again as he was no longer deemed worthy of wielding it. 

                Of course, while this whole story is being told, Charlie and Yellowjacket are getting their asses kicked by the Inhumans, because why would Vance go help when he could instead listen to storytime.  The rest of the Guardians show up in time for us to check in on Mephisto, who is still watching his TV rock in order to see what’s going on around him.  We then check in on Aleta and Heimdall, who were thrown into deep space by Loki, only to land in the clutches of The Remora, some tentacle alien right out of a Japanese porn movie.  Apparently The Remora uses powers in his tentacles to suck out memories and overall good vibes from his victims and shares them with his flock, who are very cult-like in their devotion to him.  They don’t think for themselves, or have their own memories, so they all depend on him for these good thoughts, which makes it incredibly easy to subjugate the masses. 

                Back in Asgard, Loki and the Inhumans are winning, about to deliver the killing blow and planting Loki firmly on the seat of power in Asgard, when who shows up but Woden, son of Thor, wielding his father’s hammer.  Let me say, before we close, that where I really like the character designs for the Inhumans, Woden looks like a reject from the Masters of the Universe toyline.  I’m not super impressed.


Next: Woden strikes, and fat Thor eats a cheeseburger.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Minibar

Because really, what else is there to do in New Jersey but drink and forget that you're in New Jersey.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Late to the Party Video Game Review: Mario Kart 8

                Generally I wait until I have beaten a game to give you the review, which is why you have yet to hear anything about Darksiders 2 and Wonderful 101 (I’m working on them, I promise).  With Mario Kart 8, I feel like I have played enough of it, despite just recently purchasing it, to do the game justice with a review.

                I love Mario Kart, my kids love Mario Kart, and while I wanted this game from the moment it was announced, sixty dollars is a steep price to pay.  Luckily, my brother brought to my attention that if you bought Mario Kart 8 and registered it on Club Nintendo by July 31, you got a free game (a $50 value!).  This was something that I found hard to pass up.  Not to mention the fact that I was able to knock twenty-five dollars off the price by cashing in some of my Gamestop points, and I was sold.  Two WiiU games for thirty-five dollars?  I doubt I’ll ever see Mario Kart for that much, much less two games (I chose Pikmin 3, that’s on the list for review as well).  I jumped at the opportunity.

                I went home and fired up the game and it was like an old friend greeted me.  I had Mario Kart for the Wii, though that was stolen from me along with the system last year, and I have the 3DS version as well (one of Logan’s favorite games).  Hell, I remember when I was younger, Mario Kart on the SNES was the only game my father would play with us, so to say that Mario Kart and I have quite the history would be an understatement.  Nintendo games in general and Mario games specifically are the kinds of games that are perfect for families, perfect games to share with your children, and because of that I would have recommended this game before I even started playing it.

                Now that I have played through a good portion of it (six different “cups” totaling twenty-four races) I can easily state that this is some of the most fun I have had playing the WiiU.  Now, I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t played the WiiU much, and I sure as shit haven’t explored much in the way of its full capabilities yet either, but Mario Kart 8 might just wake me up in that respect.  I have only played New Super Mario Brothers WiiU and Wonderful 101 on the system and while both were nice games, they didn’t really overwhelm me in any way.  Mario Kart 8 did that in spades though.  I was blown away from my very first race in terms of the graphics and the gameplay.  The graphics were beautiful, taking full advantage of the WiiU’s HD graphics to make every bit of the scenery as vibrant and breathtaking as possible.  The controls are easy to use and respond well regardless of whether you are using the traditional joystick method or the motion sensor (both options available on the gamepad). 

                The major difference (selling point?) of Mario Kart 8 is the inclusion of “hover craft” mode.  Unfortunately I didn’t see this utilized to any great degree within the races I participated in.  There are some instances where you can drive along the walls, usually collecting coins or speed bursts along the way, but more often than not, that mechanic is utilized along the general track, and because you are looking at the race from the perspective of being behind the racer, it doesn’t change much.  The initial view of the racetrack is impressive, seeing the track go from horizontal to vertical and back again, but beyond that it doesn’t give you a different feel when you’re actually racing.

                The courses in Mario Kart 8 are interesting and inventive.  They feel similar to other Mario Kart courses but only because of the amount of tracks I have raced on since the inception of the series.  The construction and slight nuances in the new courses are wonderful to behold (I’ve run into more than one wall while marveling at my surroundings).  As in every newer Mario Kart, the tracks are split between brand new tracks and old tracks, reimagined for the new system.  This is one of the first times I have seen those tracks completely reimagined.  Usually it’s just a matter of updating the graphics and making things a bit smoother for the new system.  With this edition of the game it looks like Nintendo upped their game and recreated the standard tracks, using the same premise as the old tracks but completely reinventing them so they feel brand new.

                Mario Kart 8, like all of the Mario Kart games is chock full of replayability.  Beyond just the standard of there being no real end to the game, no end boss or something of that nature, Nintendo gave you goals, things to unlock as you progress within the game.  The inclusion of coins on the track give you ways to unlock parts for your carts (as well as giving you a speed boost on the track itself) making the customization of your ride a constant thing.  In order to see how this customization effects the attributes of your kart, just hit the + button.  The ability to unlock other characters is fun as well.  My wife and I, even if we didn’t want to race the next race, couldn’t wait to see who we unlocked by beating the previous “cup”. 

                I’ll have to admit, the best part of this game was that I was able to bring it home, pop it in the system, give a controller to my wife and five minutes later, after choosing our characters and some cart customization we were literally off to the races.  We played for a good sixty to ninety minutes and had a great time doing it.  She even won a couple races!

                Whether you have kids or not, Mario Kart 8 is a perfect addition to your WiiU collection.  If you don’t have a WiiU yet, this is the game you were waiting for, trust me.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Bad Memories

I remember driving through Atlantic City back when I lived in New Jersey, the juxtaposition of the bright lights and "happy" people with the filth and garbage that was literally within walking distance was jarring.  In all fairness to Atlantic City, it is probably pretty similar to any and every bigger city, but it still left quite the impact.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Can You Smell That Smell

Those are two very distinct smells to pick out of a crowd.  Sluggy obviously has a highly developed sense of smell.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Not So New Comic Review: Guardians of the Galaxy (1991) #41

                The cover to this issue promises an appearance by everyone’s favorite blonde-tressed Asgardian.  No, not that Hemsworth guy, the actual Thor.  Let’s see how long it takes for Thor to show up.

                We start out with Talon chasing Composite through the caves in the moon, except Talon sucks, so Composite takes him out pretty easily, with the impact of Talon on the ground jarring loose his Guardians star.  Talon is presumably carried away by Composite, and the Guardians happen upon his star as they go and look for him.  The Guardians are also concerned about Aleta, but more in a “where the hell is our other teammate” kind of way.  This makes for a great segway into seeing the battle between Aleta and Loki take center stage.  The two heavyweights trade blows until Loki encases Aleta in a crystal which knocks her out.

                We then focus in on Talon, who is freaking out, writhing on the ground.  One of the evil Inhumans, the female named Phobia basically takes your fears and throws you on an acid trip rollercoaster ride involving those fears.  While the  evil Inhuman gang is reveling in this display (Talon believes he’s covered by carnivorous bees) the rest of the Guardians burst through and take the fight to the Inhumans.  Unfortunately they have no idea what powers these Inhumans possess so they are fighting blind for the first round and do a pretty good job of getting their asses kicked.

                After Wormhole disposes of Yellowjacket, Imprint tries to go after Nikki.  Unfortunately for the Inhumans, they didn’t do their homework on the Guardians either because Imprint doesn’t realize that touching Nikki’s skin results in him getting burned, while Nikki is otherwise unharmed.  She then shoots flames out of the top of her head to throw up a barrier between the Guardians and the Inhumans.  We then see that Yellowjacket was not transported via a wormhole but instead just shrunk down and pretended to be so that Wormhole would leave her alone.  This is yet another well plotted sequence by Gallagher, who continues to write action incredibly well.  In fact, this is also one of best overall issues as West is on top of his game as well. 

                We then make a quick cut to Mephisto who straight up murders (is it murder if the soul is already dead and in hell?) someone because they couldn’t find Malevolence (remember, she is being held captive by the Beyonder). 

                The action now turns to the rainbow bridge to Asgard, where Heimdall comes across Aleta and arouses her from her slumber.  When she is fully awake she sees Starhawk standing over her and uses her power to try and kill him.  Starhawk eludes the blast and it turns out that Aleta was tricked by Loki into blasting a doorway into Asgard.  At this point the Inhumans show up to start their assault on Asgard, but who shows up to stop them…Fat Thor!

                Seriously, it’s fat Thor. 


Next Issue: Two words…fat…Thor.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Not an Improvement

It's true.  Atlantic City is the other side of the same dirty coin.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

New Music Review: Sebastian Bach – Give ‘Em Hell

                Who remembers Skid Row from the late 80’s?  Who remembers Sebastian Bach, the volatile frontman that was eventually jettisoned from the band after three albums?  He actually has a solo career!  Can you believe that?  It hasn’t been great or garnered a lot of attention, but he’s plugging away at it just the same.  His newest release Give ‘Em Hell follows in the steps of his previous efforts, to the point of being derivative.  You would think this would be hard to do considering the fact that he has had different musicians backing him up on each record, but they manage to accomplish it in spades here. 

                The musicians involved all do a great job, and Bach is still a good vocalist, even though he has decided that screaming is more important than singing when it comes to his solo career, but the simple fact that it feels like I have heard all of these songs before on subsequent Bach albums lead me to not care too much for what this album contains.  If none of the songs can stand out in the album they’re in, much less from any of the albums before, then I find it hard to get excited.  The fact that I kind of fought with myself in terms of whether or not I actually wanted to drop the $12 fir this album shows how much confidence I had in it to begin with.


                I don’t dislike this album, and it actually sounds better with each subsequent listen, but it does say something that the best track on the album “Rock and Roll is a Vicious Game” is a cover of an old April Wine tune.  The rest of the album is one large sonic mass that is ok, but not great.  If any of the songs come up in a random playlist, I won’t skip them, but I don’t see myself seeking out the tracks from this album.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Invitation

My assumption is that most people share Sluggy's reaction when they are invited to New Jersey for any reason.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Stats

About a month ago, I got a spam email from 'Eat This Not That' that included a link to this slideshow/article.  
It immediately occurred to me that this was a perfect opportunity to do something different with the strip, 
to go off on a tangent if you will.  
All of the "slides" are courtesy of Eat This Not That but the reactions are pure Shrimpy.  
Enjoy.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Not So New Comic Review: Guardians of the Galaxy (1991) #40

                It’s back to the regular Guardians series this time around and we start it off with a real treat.  This may be my single favorite cover of the series to date.  Kevin West packs not only a multitude of characters, but action and design all into one convenient package.  Not only that, but it’s a cover that tells a story while also highlighting the villain of this issue, the Inhuman known as Composite.  There is depth, movement and aside from a couple blips here and there, great figure-work, a master class in storytelling covers from an artist that didn’t get enough credit.

                We begin with Charlie working out, trying to get back into shape from his time in a coma.  He blazes through the workout, and it’s determined that he’s even stronger than he was before.  Not to be outdone, Nikki puts on a little show of force as well with her flaming hair that alerts Talon as he’s apparently supposed to be watching over everything.  Who’s actually driving the ship?  Hell if I know.  Aside from watching over the ship to make sure that there are no fires, Talon is also tasked with looking at some confiscated data discs of Doctor Doom’s.  Among the info these discs hold is something to do with the moon, aka where the Inhumans live, aka Talon’s hometown. 

                The Guardians gather in their mission room/break room/lounge and Talon gives them a little more in depth lesson in his origin and that of the Inhumans’ plight in general.  After seeing all of that we switch over to Loki’s moon-base where he the trickster God has dispatched Composite to deal with the new arrivals on the moon.  Like the good little minion that he is, Composite doesn’t let the Guardians get that far into the caves before attacking them.  He begins by snaking out his hair (like the Inhuman queen Medusa) to entangle them.  This tips Talon off as to who could be behind all of this as Composite, in dramatic fashion, reveals himself. 

                While the rest of the Guardians are dealing with that menace, Aleta has disappeared again in order to take on Loki.  She surprises him with the power that she possesses, but it is only a momentary surprise as Loki gathers himself and responds in kind.  He punctuates this with the line “you shall die exquisitely!” which just sounds like Gallagher opened a thesaurus to find a good word to place in that spot.  Aleta recovers from the blow and the fight continues.

                The Guardians are gathering themselves after being seemingly buried in rubble by Composite (courtesy of the power-set of the Inhuman Gorgon).  Which leads to another classic line to close out the issue (Gallagher is on a roll in this one) “Well I hope that long-haired freak’s been paying his Inhuman insurance premiums because he’s about to find out what it means to mess with the Guardians of the Galaxy.”


Next Issue: We find out how much an Inhuman insurance premium actually is?  It can’t be much, right?  I have to imagine if Loki is your boss, he doesn’t give you vision or dental either.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Bullies

About a month ago, I got a spam email from 'Eat This Not That' that included a link to this slideshow/article.  
It immediately occurred to me that this was a perfect opportunity to do something different with the strip, 
to go off on a tangent if you will.  
All of the "slides" are courtesy of Eat This Not That but the reactions are pure Shrimpy.  
Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Late to the Party Video Game Review: Diablo III

                A month or so ago, I posted a review for Legend of Zelda A Link Between Worlds, in which I stated how nostalgia mixed with gameplay to create an admirable experience for anyone that entered Hyrule on a quest to save  the princess.  Diablo III has higher stakes than Zelda (save the world, not just a princess), but the nostalgia factor is just as high.  This could be due to the fact that Diablo I and II were released when I was still in high school and we’ve been eagerly awaiting not only a new Diablo, but one that could be played on a console for years.  Imitators have come and gone in that time (Dragon Age, Kingdoms of Amalur, pretty much anything with sword/sorcery and an inventory system) but anyone that has played the original PC Diablo games have held out hope that they would be able to revisit that world with updated graphics and gameplay.

                We got our wish, and with Nik’s review of the first few hours of gameplay (one of the first articles on this site), it looked like a wish fulfilled to the highest power.  Nik picked up the PC version of Diablo III when it first came out, I decided to wait and grab the console version (360) as I’m not much of PC gamer.  I have to admit, I couldn’t wait for this game, holding off for as long as I could to let the price go down a little first (I still find it hard to stomach $60 for a game) and eventually grabbed it around the beginning of the year.  I jumped right into it with both feet and soon found myself covered in waves of nostalgia.  I remembered the gameplay, I recognized the surroundings (to an extent) and the prospect of fighting Diablo again had me raring to go.  Unfortunately that excitement turned into tedium as the hours of gameplay grew.  I forgot just how much of a grind the original two games were, or how linear everything was.  I am not a huge, open-world game fan (for examples of that just look at anything Rockstar puts out), but this game was incredibly linear, as in, turn the viewing angle slightly and it would feel like Super Mario Brothers.  Even the exploring that you did do, in a clearing or a large room in a castle was completely unnecessary as you really wouldn’t gain anything from the experience.

                One of the major downfalls of this game (and it was apparently only in the console version) is that the inventory system was reduced to the generic list of items that we see in any of the other fantasy-genre games.  One of the things I loved about the first two games was the innovative inventory system.  You had a grid that represented your “backpack” and you could only carry weapons/items to the point where that backpack was full.  You could move things around to maximize space but it often came down to “do I want to spend an extra six squares on a shield or three squares on a sword and three potions.”  That system had a very table-top RPG element to it that I loved at the time and couldn’t wait to get into with this iteration.  To see that removed for the console version seemed to take away what little originality was left in the game.

                This is not a terrible game, despite the issues I had with it.  The graphics are great, with the cutscene graphics being exceptional, and the gameplay is solid.  The characters are interesting, and the choices are incredibly varied beyond just a different name and weapon-set.  I chose to be the Witch-Doctor and thoroughly enjoyed it.  He definitely seems like the kind of character that would be good for beginners as you can stay back and let all of your summoned minions take the brunt of the damage, but he was fun to play with nonetheless. 

                As I finished the game, I was overcome with a sense of accomplishment that this game I had slogged through for quite a while was finally done.  I was, however, also overcome with a feeling of “that’s it?”  The final boss, Diablo, was incredibly easy, one of the easiest of the game, to be honest.  It’s not like I was maxed out in terms of my level either as I had just crossed level 30 (with the cap being 50 I believe).  However, after dying multiple times with the other bosses, I was able to dispatch Diablo fairly quickly and easily. 

                Co-Op multiplayer in this game is relatively fun but not overwhelmingly so.  It is nice to play with someone (in this case, my son Jake) who is seeing this terrain for the first time, to go back and forth with him sitting next to me on the couch as we slog through dungeons and fight hordes of enemies, but multiplayer on its own doesn’t bring much more to the table, and honestly, if it wasn’t for Jake I probably wouldn’t pick the game back up.


                Where nostalgia in Legend of Zelda helped ease me back into Hyrule, nostalgia in Diablo III made it feel like a game built for 1998 that was just delayed for sixteen years in its release.  If you can find the game at a cheap price, scoop it up for the experience, but at this point, games like Dragon Age, or The Elder Scrolls have long since passed Diablo by.