The Casual Geek

You don't have to be an expert to enjoy pop-culture!

Category: Random

When is a Zombie also a Realtor?

When Drew Barrymore is rocking it out!

This Netflix show premiered yesterday, Feb 3rd and I binged hard on this show. 

As many of you have seen, Netflix has been pushing this show really hard in the last few weeks. From the two or three “diet advertisements” that gave absolutely no hints what the show was about, to the few traditional trailers, I have been curious to check this show out. 

The basic run down of this show is Sheila (Barrymore), husband Joel (Timothy Olyphant), and daughter Abby (Liv Hewson) live the cookie cutter life in the suburbs. Sheila and Joel are struggling realtors who live between a dickish Sheriff’s deputy and a Santa Monica policeman who are in a perpetual pissing match. Abby is the typical 16 year old, rebelling against her parents. Joel was the High School Prom King to Sheila’s Prom Queen, a classic situation where the husband peaked in High School. To start off, this show looked kind of boring. Well, that changes fast, at a home showing Sheila vomits A LOT, now you may think that I meant more than just a bucket, I am talking wall covering, humans don’t have that much liquid in their whole body vomit. It was CRAZY! Shortly later, Sheila lacks a heartbeat and hungers for uncooked meat. She is undead. There are jokes thrown here and there with her situation making her ravenously sexual and her lack of self-control. Like all undead shows, she quickly discovers that she craves human flesh and kills her first victim. What follows are hijinks, such as Sheila killing a man and freezes his body in a storage unit, hiding the fact that Sheila eats human flesh from Abby, a funny scene about Polish desserts, “ant” spray, a stepson trying to get back at his stepdad, and peppered throughout is a good story about a family trying to stay together in a situation that is beyond comprehension. The jokes go from tongue and cheek, fast sexual ones, and ones that build as characters develop.

The episodes are fast paced and after watching six in a row, you will be surprised where the time went. I felt that character development is solid for a show that plays more on the jokes than the drama. The writers put in solid storytelling for a basic plot.

What makes this undead (they don’t like the Z-word) show different than all the other shows (TWD, Izombie, and more) is the story that is focused more on what life is like after the changes. Sheila is more worried about being a better mom than finding a cure. She is bold, empowered, and aggressive, all qualities she self-described did not have beforehand. Joel has found a purpose and is trying to adjust just as much as Sheila. Abby doesn’t know what to make of it and knows that her parents are hiding something from her.

I look forward to the second half of the season and I think that Netflix has found a possible, offbeat hit.

 

A Sleeper Hit: Rough Riders Vol 1

The one that started it all!

First off, full disclosure, I am very excited to write about this title. When I first say an article in Comic Shop News about a new title that had Teddy Roosevelt, Harry Houdini, AND Annie Oakley, my interest was peaked. I loved the idea of REAL figures of American history (still one of my favorite trivia subjects) being put in to a comic with a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen feel to it, I could not wait to read it. Unfortunately, after I did some digging I found out that the release date for #1 was not for several months. To make a long story short, none of the comic stores in Dallas (one of the largest cities in America) carried the title and I really was interested in reading it. Through the power of social media, I was able to receive a copy of the first volume last week from one of the artists and WOW! Is this a good book! Let me back up a little bit and give you some back history…

 

As a teenager in the early 2000’s I saw League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the film based on Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s 1999 comic series. While the movie left much to be desired, I loved the comic title and the following spin off series. The idea of famous literary characters coming together to save the world just resonated with me. What I also gravitated to, much to do with Alan Moore’s writing, was the non “marquee” characters that made up the team. Captain Nemo, Mina Harker, and Allan Quartermain, all from massively important books, but not characters that the ordinary person would think of when they recall heroes of literature. The blending of elements from different 19th century works fell perfectly together and was familiar yet new. Rough Riders continues in this spirit and definitely adds to it.

 

The basic arc of Rough Riders Vol. 1 is that a no-nonsense, brash, adventurous, scotch-drinking (Pre-President) Teddy Roosevelt, assembles a team to go to Cuba due to some questionable circumstances. What follows is an engaging look at the sides of very familiar names in American history that I doubt they would want you to see. Adam Glass does a great job with writing stories that are fast pace, memorable, and does not waste a panel. The action makes sense and I actually took a moment to realize that the amount of character development that is done in seven issues is huge. I understand that it is fictionalized, but to have Oakley’s drinking explained in two panels and you can understand why Teddy found her the way he did is satisfying for the reader more than I think the writer would believe. I do want to commend Glass for putting in some important details that really helped to sell the story. Peppered throughout the dialogue are comments about how Blacks, Jews, and Women are treated and viewed by society at this time. It shows that there is a sense of realism and acknowledgement that you rarely see in modern comments. Even having the main characters show bigotry demonstrates that the characters are not the best versions of themselves.

 

A book is only as good as the author, for a comic book, the art has to be just as good for a story to hold your attention. Patrick Olliffe makes some very interesting choices for his panels. You will not find a page of panels where characters just look at one another and nothing is conveyed. One of the details that Olliffe created especially well were the characters’ eyes. After I finished the book, I went back and looked at how the eyes were drawn corresponding with what was occurring in the story at that time. To compare, I flipped through a couple of popular current titles with well-regarded artists and looked at their eyes. I noticed in many cases that it was just a filler space. My two favorite artistic parts in the book were Teddy’s dream scene and Houdini freeing himself from a tree. With the art is the coloring. Gabe Eltaeb did phenomenal work creating color pallets of each character that were distinct yet cohesive. Annie Oakley’s (sorry if you are color blind) clothes could be pulled lickity split even if you are flipping through the pages. Eltaeb contributes just as much in the storytelling with his hues and shades as any other member of the team. The work that he puts in to the smallest thing to make a detail stand out for the betterment of the reader is something that Eltaeb does particularly well in all his titles.

 

In closing, I called Rough Riders a sleeper hit because I do not feel that a lot of people have read it just yet but when they do, they love it. It has the mix of all the elements that a reader wants in a title. The only sad part was that there aren’t any more issues to read. Thank you Gabe for letting me read this.

Final thought, it becomes more and more obvious to me that with smaller publishers, in this case Aftershock, live or die based on word of mouth about their titles. Please check them out, Aftershock has some amazing concepts and I am actually really interested to see some of the titles featured in the back of the book.

Click HERE to check out Aftershock

 

San Diego Comic Con Bingo Cards

Welcome to another post by ME, The Casual Geek, I am getting back into the swing of things. Comic Con season has begun for me. Like many, I have been CONSUMING information regarding San Diego Comic Con 2016. So much of what I have heard from people that have gone in the past are blah, blah, all you will do is wait in line, blah, blah, be prepared to spend all this money, and such. Well there is so much more to this colossal event. After watching a great video about free swag and the importance of experiences over just spending money at SDCC. I made up bingo cards of different things to look for and created a simple game for my fiance and I to play while we are there for the two days. Perfect for 1-10 people. Please feel free to use any of these cards for yourself! They ten cards are a mix of about 55 different items I thought would be fun. I know some are common place, but give me suggestions and I will make more.

Let me know what you think!

Rules:

  1. First one to get 5 in a row wins (Duh). Photo or Physical evidence is needed to get the square. (We are playing that you need to be in at least 50% of the cosplay pictures)
  2. Only one person can claim the same “item” (I.E. two people don’t get credit for the exact same person cosplaying as Mexican Batman). Flip a coin to see who gets credit.
  3. Have Fun with the catagories! Here are some of my ideas
    1. Hearts Desire – Freebie, but has to be something you like
    2. WTF Costume – A Cosplayer that you have no idea where it comes from
    3. Booth Employee – Must have company logo (will break a tie if said employee is in costume)
    4. Cosplay in a wheel chair – There are some GREAT costumes where people have tricked out their chairs.

 

Bingo Card 1Bingo Card 10 Bingo Card 9 Bingo Card 8 Bingo Card 7 Bingo Card 6 Bingo Card 5 Bingo Card 4 Bingo Card 3 Bingo Card 2

Starting on this endeavor!

Thank you for taking time to take a glimpse in to my brain. I am a twenty-nine year old based in Dallas, Texas who loves different fandom, simple as that. I thoroughly enjoy the influx of sci-fi, fantasy, comic, and all around interesting topics have become pop-culture staples and been embraced by the wider populace. I do have interests that are deeper than others, and I will be the first to admit that I fluctuate between the mainstream pop-culture topics, such as up-coming Marvel films, to the items that have not had the light so wonderfully shined on, i.e. great fantasy authors, but I think deserve more attention. My interests range from trivia, to Marvel and DC comics, films (both good and bad), books that I come across through blog posts, and so very much more. I cannot tell you how many times I have been recommended by someone to check a show out and POOF! I am now twenty hours in and I could not have imagined how I had gone so long without it in my life. This blog will really serve as a mix of things that come to mind or an account of an idea or topic that I wanted to dive in to.

I started this blog because the day after I got tickets for San Diego Comic Con 2016 I had con on the brain. This will not be my first comic convention, (that was actually when I was seven or eight in San Diego) but my first time tackling the behemoth that is SDCC. I was looking through a bevy of posts ranging from the MANY “SDCC Survival Guides”, to the “Top 15 tips of getting the most out of SDCC”, and finally “SDCC Gear Bags for each day” and was inspired by the writers to throw my hat in the ring. I have set out not to try and be the fountain of all “nerd” knowledge, but just a guy who enjoys a variety of different fandoms who wants to share what I know and think about a wide range of pop-culture topics. As my website indicated, I am a casual yet dedicated fan to a variety of fan cultures. I am just as happy spending several hours on YouTube watching videos on comic facts as I am spending the same amount of time learning the science of space travel. I am interested in many things. If you have something to share, I am open to it and look forward to it!

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