And Now You Will Listen to…

“Bringin’ Home the Rain” – The Builders & the Butchers

“Long Fingernail” – Scott H. Biram

“Fall Guy” – Rollins Band

“Burn the Flames” – Roky Erickson

“Boogie Music” – Thundermother


Help Me I Am Obsessed with Outernauts

The culprit LOOK UPON THE DEVIL AND WEEP FOR THE END OF YOUR FREE TIME. Seriously Insomniac, what are you doing to me? I’d read about Outernauts the other week and basically gleaned “Like Pokemon, but in space AND on Facebook!” from the article.  Then a friend (an agent of evil, for sure) sent me a request under the most Perfect Storm-ish conditions possible (bored, weekend, blahing around on the Web) and now I don’t know where the last 72 hours have gone.

In a nutshell, you’re an explorer of space tasked with finding, trapping & subjugating cute aliens, than forcing them to fight other equally cute aliens, in the hope of forcing them to undergo hideous transformations which will bring about the ability to trap & subjugate other cute aliens, ad infinitum.  The grinding aspect of this game is no joke; the part that seems like a joke but is not (maybe a Killing Joke) is the perfect engine that Insomniac has created to ruthlessly separate you from your money, micro-transaction after micro-transaction. One day your riding high on the hog and then some indeterminate time in the future you’re in the poor house, surrounded by virtual monsters. Because guess what? Every action in the game requires energy, which of course you have a finite amount of. An when you run out (or don’t have enough to fight, which is often) the game will helpfully remind you that you can BUY more energy/building elements/star gems.  The worst part of all of that is that, if you want to speed through some of the grinding or really improve your characters, you must use star gems.  Problem is, you cannot earn star gems in the game; you can only get them through trading real word dollars.

I have thus far managed to not spend any money playing, but I have wandered away from my machine several times to try to find my wallet (unsuccessfully).  I’m not sure how long I can hold out though.  My only hope is that the obsession will fade, just like it did with another Insomniac browser-based game, that had launched in tandem with the last Resistance game.  It was a combination of  Risk, Command Conquer, and Farmville, only with more explosions & alien invasions. Insidious.  Clearly they’ve been honing their money-separating chops for some time now.

The sick part of it all is that I know  what the purpose behind this “game” is.  It’s nakedly obvious and I don’t even care. You see, I have to level up PooFlinger.  I have to. 

August 28th is Read Comics in Public Day 2012

Get comics at your local library!

Get comics at your local comic book store!

Don’t know where your local comic book store is? Problem solved. Never read a comics before? Intimidated by 50+ years of continuity? Can’t even fathom where to begin? No sweat; Kotaku’s got you covered with a How to Get Into Comics guide. It’s super helpful!

There is more information at the official Read Comics in Public Day website. This year it happens to coincide/purposefully being held on the birthday of Jack “King” Kirby. All hail the King!

The Dark Knight Returns: Returning as an Animated Film

Everyone’s favorite-by-default Batman mini-series, The Dark Knight Returns, is getting new life as an animated film. I’m of two minds on this though: 1) AWESOME! There have been hints of this before, most notably in Batman: The Animated Series:

but now a dedicated, full length version? Sign me up!

2)Slow down. Has anyone else noticed the creeping, naked greed & exploitation of anything ever remotely related to “geek” culture? Breaking up the Harry Potter finale into two parts, doing the same with Twilight, spreading The Hobbit over three films and now breaking up what really should be one animated film into two parts? It’s egregious but it’s not going to stop.

I realize it’s hard to get upset about; now instead of dashing off some quick cash-in, studios & producers are putting serious time and money into these products to really pay homage to the source material, to really bring it to life.  But there are definitely trade-offs for that devotion and this splintering of material is one of them.

“Heroes Next Door” – How Superheroes Live in The Day to Day

Photographer Chow Kar Hoo showcases superheroes in the flesh-and-blood world. More of his work is available here. (from Kotaku)