Rss

  • youtube
  • google

Archives for : October2015

Dave the Nerd – Music Review – Jimi Hendrix Experience ~ ‘Are You Experienced’ 1967

One of Jimi Hendrix first albums and probably one of the essential for any collection, seconded only to ‘Electric Ladyland’. This album has most of all the songs that Jimi is known for. ‘Purple Haze’, ‘Fire’, and ‘Foxy Lady’ this album is only missing a few songs from being a definitive greatest hits album. Although a studio album you can easily tell in the tracks he was fighting with himself from going on long experimental guitar solos. If you like classic rock and psychedelic rock then ‘Are You Experienced’ is an album that should be in your collection. Whether you do smoke or are a non-smoker, and no I am not talking about cigarettes, you can also experience the feel of the music on multiple levels. I for one am not condoning the use of, but I am not telling you not to either. I give this album a 9.5 out of 10.

Episode 13 – Science and Insensitivity

This episode, I discuss Donating your body to science and what that might entail and being informed before donation for the sake of your family. I also discuss Wakes and how it may benefit your loved ones to spend time with your corpse, GYST.org and how it can benefit the living to prepare for death, instruments devised to speak to the dead, Insensitivity by the world at large and how it makes functioning difficult even when it is a rather small event, and how you can cycle through guilt and anger no matter how many times you’ve already faced those feelings. Thank you for your support and for listening.

Grand Rapids Comic Con 2015

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the Grand Rapids Comic Con at the DeVos Center. I have been reflecting on this show all week, trying to find the right words to talk about it. This has been difficult for many reasons, but here goes!

Grand Rapids Comic Con was an enjoyable time, but the growing pains were evident in this third offering of the event. Much of this can be attributed to the fact that the show has continued to grow at a rate that has prevented them from staying in the same venue two years in a row. Moving from a church gymnasium, to the DeltaPlex (a 23,000 square foot arena), now to the DeVos Center with a sprawling 162,000 square feet of exhibit space. Only 2/3 of that was used as the main show floor, but the other third was a main stage area for costume contests and major panels.

Entering the show was a bit of a challenge. I was fortunate to have had a Press Pass to the event, but directions at the front doors was all but non-existent. They had also run out of lanyards for their badges by the time I had arrived…30 minutes after the doors opened on Saturday. After standing in three different lines to try to enter the show, one of the people standing near a barrier that separated the exit line from the entrance noticed my pass and waved me into the show.

The show floor was massive, but poorly designed. I am a fan of interacting with creators at shows, and GRCC had them either buried in the back of the show floor, or interspersed within the vendor areas. Artist Alley was as far away from the entrance as was possible and seemingly separated from the rest of the show floor. In talking with some of the artists, it was apparent that their position on the floor had negatively affected their ability to make any money or even to interact with con-goers.

The problems with the show floor may have been alleviated by a good map, or an effective layout to the program but neither was there. There was a tremendous amount of color throughout the program, but all the maps were a flat black and white. A little color-coding would have gone a long way. Also, alphabetizing guests, artists, and vendors would have helped as well.

Panel content was varied and interesting, but there were way too many happening at once. At any given time during show hours there were at least 4 panels happening. The panels were scattered all over the DeVos center with almost no direction as to how to get to them. This came to a head as the celebrity that was the subject of one of the panels that I attended got lost on their way to it and it took 20 minutes to find them and help them get to the panel room.

Even with all of the complaints I have put here, I definitely think GRCC is a worthwhile show. I can see the potential in the event, and the region is hungry for this type of attraction. I am sure they will continue to learn each time they put on the show and will eventually find their sweet spot. Just having the event in the same venue two years in a row will be a big help. If you are near the area Grand Rapids Comic Con is DEFINITELY worth a visit and I have every confidence that the show will improve and expand!

Dave the Nerd – Music Review – The Second Guess ~ ‘My Life This Year’ (2005)

Back some years ago when I did a lot of theatre shows I ment the majority of the members of the group The Second Guess. While on Spotify one day I found this album, ‘My Life This Year’. To my surprise it was the same group and I had to check it out. To lable them with a genera is kinda hard to do. They have an alternative rock feel, but have some punkish stylings as well as a blend of some solid classic rock. I will say that it is hard to review something produced by people you know, and have known for over a decade. Especially when you have shared beers and stories with them as well. This album has some songs that could use a little more work on, in regards to mixing and blending. But that is just my opinion, and should not be held against this album. The song ‘Newborn’ is an amazing song, and totally has a Foo Fighter-esque feel to it. This is a great album by a total indie band that is still rather unknown. I can’t wait to hear more from them, and hope that they are still jamming together. I give this album an 8.5 out of 10. I think you should check it out. It might just be the mix you are looking for.  

Kickstarter of the Week 10/19/15 – Rapid City Below Zero

This week we’re shipping up to Boston to talk with Josh Dahl, the writer behind the Rapid City series of comics. He is working on issue number four of Rapid City Below Zero and has a Kickstarter to bring it to life! Let’s see what he has to say about the project.

Digital Nerdage: What is Rapid City Below Zero?

Josh Dahl: Rapid City Below Zero is a super villain revenge drama. It is the story of one super villain, Icicle, who is dell-bent on getting revenge on the villain who betrayed her crew and murdered her boyfriend. When it is complete, it will 12 issues of bad-guy-on-bad-guy badness.

DN: What can you tell us about the creative team?

JD: I am the writer, Josh Dahl. Our artist is Shawn Langley, he does all of the drawing and the gray tones. Shawn is simply too good an artist to be working at the insulting rate I have been paying him. The same is true of our cover colorist, Micah Faulkner. Our letterer and producer, Kyle Kaminski, is in the same boat. Amazingly talented and working for peanuts. That is one of the biggest reasons to do this kickstarter. To get these guys what they deserve.

DN: What would you tell someone that is just looking to jump onto Rapid City Below Zero? Can they jump on at #4 without reading #1-3?

JD: To be completely honest, issue #4 will be the worst jumping on point thus far. It starts out in teh middle of a fight which was hinted at in issue #3. I think a reader could catch up and enjoy the book just fine, but there is an emotional journey in the first three issues that really adds weight to the events of issue 4.

DN: What is the reward, besides the book itself, that you are most excited to offer?

JD: I think the coolest thing we are offering is also the cheapest. All backers, at all reward levels, will be offered access to The Rapid City EXCLUSIVE Studio on Facebook. Shawn and I used to have a page called “The Rapid City Open Studio” where anyone could come and watch out collaborative process. Well, for now that site is closed. In its place we now have The Rapid City EXCLUSIVE Studio, which is the same thing but now only open to backers of this campaign.

Instead of sending me sketches and pages via email, Shawn simply posts his work on the Facebook page. I see it at the same time that everyone else does and I make my notes and comments in front of everyone. That is where our collaboration happens.

rapid cityInline image 1

So, it’s better than just watching some guys making a comic, our backers will actually be watching their money at work. They’ll be able to watch the progress in real time. In fact, if they are on at the right times, they can easily see developing art work, and completed pages, BEFORE I do.

DN: Anything else to add?

JD: Just that I am already overwhelmed by the incredible support we have already gotten. Just making it this far has been amazing. But we’re not done and I really hope that your readers will want to get on board and help us make this comic a reality. And thanks.

I have to say that I really enjoy the fact that they will be sharing the progress on Facebook unfiltered. It is a cool perk for fans! Please be sure to back this Kickstarter if you can!

Whosoever Holds This Hammer…

As most of you know the word fan is actually short for fanatic, and YouTube user Sufficiently Advanced shows us just WHY that is. Not satisfied with just creating and excellent recreation of Thor’s preferred weapon, Mjölnir, he actually wanted to make it so only HE could lift it!

Using a combination of high powered magents, an Arduino, and a fingerprint scanner a viral video was born. Check it out!

Episode 12 – Apart

In this episode, I discuss the newly passed California Right to Die legislation, the difference between Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide, a feeling of being set apart from the world, Witnessing a death, the cost of dying in America, and the reiteration of knowledge as a cure for fear. Thank you for listening.

Dave the Nerd – Music Review – On the Off Chance ~ Debut EP 2015

This is a unique occasion, I got the chance to check out a new up and coming band out of Chicago. The group is called On the Off Chance. They are a group that does original music but will also touch on covers. A good friend of mine is the lead guitarist in the group and graciously gave me a copy of their debut ep. Now there are 5 songs on this ep: ‘Shackled to the Drawing Board’, ‘A Ring For My Bell’, ‘(Fall of) The Butcher’, ‘Cameraman’, and ‘I’m Not Listening’. Each one of these songs is amazing in their own regard. The stories each song tell is very well written. The musicianship on each song is top notch. I hope to be able to get my hands on a copy of their full length album. I would strongly recommend this album for anyone that is looking to get into a band. Use this as your guide of what to do to make the epic first start into the realm of recording music and song writing. I give this ep a solid 9.8 out of 10.

https://www.facebook.com/OnTheOffChanceBand/videos/vb.705348046208150/860190424057244/?type=2&theater

Kickstarter of the Week 10/12/15- The New Zodiax

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are back after an extended, and unplanned, hiatus from our Kickstarter of the Week. Sorry for the interruption. However, I am very excited to talk with Joe St. Pierre, the creative mind behind The New Zodiax. Joe is running a Kickstarter to help fund a collected edition of the first four issues of The New Zodiax. Check out what he has to say about the project!

 

Zodiax1

Digital Nerdage: What is New Zodiax?

Joe St. Pierre: The NEW ZODIAX is my new creator-owned comic series that I am self-publishing.

For the fans out there who are unfamiliar with me or my work,  I have worked for Marvel, DC, Image, Valiant, IDW and Dynamite as an ­artist and writer. I have penciled more #1 issues featuring Spider-Man or his cast than anybody else.

The premise of NEW ZODIAX focuses on 12 characters who can channel the cosmic energies of the zodiac.

The first issue came out in February, and sold out at the distribution level. It debuts the New Aquarius, aka the LIBERAIDER. The LIBERAIDER is a brilliant teenage hacktivist who acquires a metallic second skin that allows him to access the web with his mind. In an age where information can mean life and death, he styles himself as the Robin Hood of Cyberspace, who steals from the info-rich and gives to the info-poor.

Zodiax2

Each of the next 3 issues premieres a new character from the NEW ZODIAX, making them all instant collector’s items. For instance, issue #2 debuts the LION, a nearly immortal man buried in a proto-Egyptian pyramid over 10,000 years ago, He represents the Leo sign. The LION is the first man to ever look into the night skies, create pictures and constellations, and the myths associated with them, and to acquire power from that process. I’m planning lots of horror and history in his tales.

Zodiax3

#3 features the new Pisces. Her name is CRICKET; she’s a paranormal investigator/ghost buster, . CRICKET’s first appearance seems to have made quite a splash with the fans. Reviews and individual fans have given me very positive feedback. CRICKET’s story meshes sci fi with horror and tugs your heart strings at the same time. Lots of horror sprinkled with sci-fi in her stories.

Zodiax4

#4 just came out in stores two weeks ago. It introduces the New Sagittarius: MULTAA, the kaiju lava creature. Lots of giant monster destruction in that one, lol. But I also mixed in some small character moments– I am so proud of this one, it really feels to me like a twist to the genre that hasn’t been done before. NBD!

Zodiax5

With NEW ZODIAX I’m looking to explore all genres, from action/superhero to sci-fi to cyberpunk to horror, all with added twists that hopefully readers will say have never been done before. Along the way I’m planning  to reinvent the astrological signs themselves, for a more modern age. It’s a pretty epic story!

I am currently running a Kickstarter campaign for the NEW ZODIAX TPB, which assembles the first four issues into one volume, along with some extra behind-the-scenes type materials. I have an exclusive offer; if you pre-order the NEW ZODIAX TPB thru the Kickstarter, you will receive an autograph and a remark sketch on the inside of the book.

 Zodiax6

DN: What can you tell us about the creative team?

JSP: For the most part, this is a labor of love I created, wrote, and illustrated. But I did ask a bunch of my A-List friends to contribute their talents as well. Sandu Florea (BATMAN, DEATHSTROKE), Jay Leisten (DEATH OF WOLVERINE, X-MEN), Ernie Colon (CASPER, DAMAGE CONTROL), Joe Rubenstein (WOLVERINE, CAPT. AMERICA), Steve Firchow (Grant Morrison’s X-MEN, TOP COW), Laura Martin (STAR WARS, A-FORCE), Fred Hembeck (HOUSE OF HEM), Ian Nichols (TICK, TMNT) and Chris Campana (FIRST WORLD) all helped out with some great covers and pin-ups.

Dennis Calero (X-MEN NOIR, Dark Horse’s THE SUIT) helped out a TON on the colors. Joe Sinnott (FANTASTIC FOUR, THOR) inked the variant cover for the NEW ZODIAX #2. To have collaborated with a master of Joe’s calibre was one of the highlights of my entire career.

DN: You introduced four of the New Zodiax through the first four issues. Is the plan that the first 12 issues will introduce a new character or will there be a bit more spacing in the future?

JSP: My plan is to introduce the first four, get the characters interacting early in their universe, and roll out new members organically. I’ve already planted seeds for two more members of the NEW ZODIAX in the first four issues.

 

DN: What is the reward, besides the book itself, that you are most excited to offer?

JSP: I am also offering original art pages from the first four issues for sale on the Kickstarter. I am glad to see of the first batch of panel pages I posted, I sold about half in the first week. I have added a few more since then. I put my heart and soul into those pages, I think it’s a great deal all around.

I think a lot of fans know my past work, so the full figure commissions are selling well too.

 Zodiax7

DN: Anything else to add?

JSP: Yes, I’d like to say thanks to all those who have backed the Kickstarter, I’m at 75% in less than two weeks!

Also please share this article and the Kickstarter link with your  fellow comics fans, friends and social network. Anything you all do  to help Spread The New Z can go far, and that means a lot to me. Let’s make the NEW ZODIAX my day job, I have a ton of stories to tell with these characters! Thanks!

 

It is great to be back at it, and this is an exciting project to return to! Please take a moment to check out the Kickstarter and back it if you can! I see a bright future for The New Zodiax and can’t wait to see where it takes us!

Episode 54

A couple of hot button topics dominate the show this episode! We are talking about whether or not Marvel and Disney are gonna drop the cease and desist bombs at NYCC or if it will EVER happen. We also talk about whether having a variant cover artist that is different from the interior artist buries the credit for the interior artist.

Lots of fun and other quick topics abound in this episode as well!

Stay nerdy my friends!