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Archives for : November2015

Dave the Nerd’s – Music Review – One Republic ~ ‘Waking Up (Deluxe)’ 2009

The sophomore album for One Republic had a lot to live up to. Their debut album had three top ten hits. But ‘Waking Up’ actually has a feel of a more established group that is putting out their eighth album. Having as many, if not, a few more hits proves that they will last longer than the “15 minutes of fame” most groups that gain quick success receive. “All the Right Moves”, “Good Life”, and “Secrets” are just a few of the great songs on this album. They can flawlessly blend cellos and other orchestral strings in with the Adult Contemporary/Pop-Rock feel that they have. This album has more emotion and heart in it, when put up against their debut album. That is one of the reasons why I give this album a 8.5 out of 10 rating.

Kickstarter of the Week 11/23/14 – Touching Evil

I always enjoy helping friends and this time is no exception. I had the good fortune to meet Dan at Cherry Capital Comic Con 2014 and have been following his amazing work ever since. As hilarious as his real-life(ish) comic strip Beardo may be, his incredible horror comic Touching Evil is as far to the other side of the spectrum as something can be. Dan gave us some time to talk about the current Kickstarter he is running to collect the first arc of Touching Evil into an amazing 240-page hardcover edition!

Digital Nerdage: What is Touching Evil?

Dan Dougherty: Touching Evil is a creator owned comic that blends The Twilight Zone with Breaking Bad. An ordinary woman is given an extraordinary curse: she can kill anyone she touches…if they’re evil. 

DN: What can you tell us about the creators associated with Touching Evil?

DD: I am the writer and artist for the series. The seven issue story arc collected in this Kickstarted hardcover features colors by Kanila Tripp and Wes Wong, cover art by Tom Kelly, issue covers by Stephen Bryant, and additional inks by Monica Ras. I also have some excellent pinups from Ryan Browne, Doug Klauba and Andrew Dimmitt.

DN: What are the plans to for the future of Touching Evil?

DD: Aside from launching the hardcover in March (if we succeed) I am working on the second story arc right now, which I plan on releasing most of in 2016. The better we do in the Kickstarter, the easier it will be to finance future issues, as I basically fund the whole thing.

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

DD: The rewards are great (tshirts, prints, additional books from my other works, original art, burritos, yes, burritos) but I’m most excited about the stretch goals. If we hit $12,000, everyone at hardcover and above gets issue 8 for free! $13,000? You get a Kickstarter exclusive bonus comic drawn by me and written by horror master Dirk Manning! $14,000? You get another exclusive bonus comic featuring a crossover between Touching Evil and my award-winning comic Beardo! (Which you can sample free at www.gocomics.com/Beardo)

DN: Anything else to add?

DD: Yes! For anyone who is intrigued but wants to know more about Touching a Evil before backing, I have a link on the Kickstarter page that lets you read issue one FREE! I’m confident you’ll be intrigued, and if you like issue one you will LOVE the rest! 

DN: Thanks for doing this, and good luck with the Kickstarter!

DD: Thanks, Pat!

Dave the Nerd’s – Music Review – Chicago ~ ‘Chicago Transit Authority’ 1969

Certain bands do not need an introduction, as soon as you hear the first few seconds of some songs the name of the group just comes to you. Chicago is one of those bands. As soon as you hear the horn section you know when you are listening to them. Chicago, who’s original name was Chicago Transit Authority, was told by the mayor of Chicago that they could not use that name in 1967, so they shortened it to Chicago. Giving them the reason to use Chicago Transit Authority as their first albums title. With the whole original line up, this album goes down in the history books as the start of something different. Most people will sing along to the vocalist or the guitarist, but when you are listening to Chicago people sing along with the horn section. This album is one of their obscure treasures, mainly because it does not follow their numbering sequence that starts a few albums later. This album was just title ‘Chicago Transit Authority’ with no other name for the artist on the album. The only really well known song on the entire album would be either “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” and “Question 67 & 68”. And when asked in a concert that was televised on A&E in 2002 “What about the other questions before 67 & 68?” They responded, you just have to listen to the music and find out. Although this is not your normal Chicago album, it is still an amazing album to listen to, and one that will transcend the ages. I give this album 9.5 out of 10

How the…

The next chapter in this adventure has begun, Final Fantasy VII. This is a game that, as much as I love it, I have only played through it about 3 times at most. So few times in fact, I recently realized something that I had never noticed before.

As I got to Kalm and experienced Cloud’s flashback, it hit me. How in the world does Tifa not look at Cloud and say “You weren’t there with Sephiroth…that was Zack!”? The FF7 storyline has always been a bit confusing to me, even AFTER Crisis Core and now I am even more confused.

I could maybe understand her not saying it right there in front of every one, but why isn’t it addressed as a side bar immediately after? I just don’t get it….

Other than that, I am off to continue getting Limit Breaks/leveling for Aerith before the event, because you aren’t really playing FF7 if you don’t get her final Limit…

Episode 14 – Condolences, Culture and Cremains.

This episode I discuss the end of condolences and the gap it can create, popular culture vs grief and how grief may change your sensibilities, and what cremains are, what they look like, and what to expect in the event you have the need to open the urn. Thank you for listening.

Episode 55

Lots of BlizzCon and Star Wars news in this episode. Lots of other news as well! Check out our newest episode now.

Dave the Nerd – Music Review – Sixx AM ~ ‘The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack’ 2008

I first want to apologize for not putting an episode out last week. I was busy with finals and working, that time just slipped by me. So this week I am back and hope to have better time management going forward.

Sixx AM is the side project of Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue. The story behind the Heroin Diaries is that it is a collection of entries written by Sixx during the 80s and 90s while he was a heavy drug user. He wrote these diaries for three reasons:

  1. He said he had no friends left
  2. So he could read back and remember what he did the day before
  3. That way if he died he would leave a nice little suicide not of his life

Those three points are taken from the first track of the album, but also the prologue of the book ‘The Heroin Diaries: The Shattered Life of a Rockstar.” I will say that this is an amazing debut album. But can you really consider it a debut album, since the members of the group are all members of different groups? Nikki Sixx of course of Motley Crue, DJ Ashba (Bulletboys, Beautiful Creatures, and Drowning Pool), and James Michaels (record producer and fill in vocalist for when Vince Neil wasn’t touring). But this album being so good is just a standard expectation from an icon such as Nikki Sixx. Each song on the album is taken from excerpts from entries from the book “The Heroin Diaries.” Which is an odd thought, a soundtrack based off of a book? The marquee hit from the album is “Life is Beautiful”, yet this is not the only hit on the album. “Pray for Me”, “Accidents Can Happen”, and “Girl with Golden Eyes” are just a few of the amazing and emotional songs that reside on this album. And if you haven’t heard this album or even read the book. Please do yourself the favor and check them both out. I give this album a 10 out of 10. And just to let you know that at the time of writing this review “Heart Failure” is my favorite song on the album. But the changes each time I listen to this album!

The End of the 16-bit (and greatest) era of RPGs

ff6 end

Another end to another incredible game in an incredible series. Final Fantasy VI (or III as I played it…) is probably my second or third favorite in the series. As well as IV did with character development, VI took the time to develop EVERY character. They also spotlighted two female characters as the leads. These were pretty ground breaking  things to do in the early 90s if you ask me.

I spent quite a bit of time in the World of Ruin, learning spells, gaining levels, and gathering my party once again. The beauty of this game is that even the grinding never really felt all that much like grinding. The fights were challenging but not difficult and quick enough that they didn’t feel tedious.

The only bad part of the work I put in (I only got everyone to level 40ish before going to Kefka’s realm) was that the end became fairly easy. I was able to handle the entire final battle, ALL FOUR PARTS OF IT, without any real issues. I did lose a couple characters but mostly due to bad luck or bad timing of finishing the stage.

The part of this game that always felt so different from so many of the others in the series is Kefka. In all of the other games, the “big bad” had some form of motivation or at least them SEEMED to have some form of motivation. However, Kefka literally just wanted to see the world burn. All he cared about was destruction. Not to mention…that. laugh. *shudder*

Onward to the one we ALL love and the first after the big breakup between Square and Nintendo! (Is the remake out YET???

Kickstarter of the Week 11/2/15 – Corpse Corp.

This week we take a foray into the realm of good old-fashioned slasher comics. Well…maybe not so old-fashioned. We are talking with the writer of Corpse Corp., Ken Johnson. With a passion for comics and a background in film-making, Ken is bring a new take on the slasher genre with the help of Tyler and Sara Sowles.

 

Digital Nerdage: What is Corpse Corp.?

Ken Johnson: Corpse Corp. is a high concept slasher comic. I’d like to think it takes equal inspiration from mascot 80’s slashers (Friday the 13th, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street) and newer self aware slashers (Scream, Cabin in the Woods, Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil). The format and setting are definitely in the Freddy or Jason camps, but i would describe the humor as more of a Kevin Smith vibe. (more directly Tusk or Dogma).

Plot wise, Corpse Corp.  is the name of a horror based company (similar but different to the one from Cabin in the Woods) where horror villains and slashers of all kind murder droves of stupid teenagers, film all of it, and make a fortune selling them back to other stupid teenagers. While I don’t want to spoil the exact mythos, I’ll just say that it is supposed to function as a Darwin effect of sorts. That’s why there’s always one or 2 people who live.

Our story follows Jack, a new recruit at the company who wants to bring the company back to his 80’s horror roots. Although he’s quick to think on his feet, his ADHD proves to be both a great strength and weakness to him. It’s this hyperactive and out of control nature that helped him create his killer alter ego: The Swingtime Slasher! A zoot suit wearing loudmouth who rather than silently stalk, announces every entrance with pomp and circumstance.

While In Light SPOILER territory here, the main thrust of this comic focuses on his unexpected team up with Sally, the stereotypical “girl who always lives character”  who becomes so sick of being bullied by the others that she teams up with him to help create the greatest horror film of all time.

The majority of the comic is going to look on the surface like your typical slasher fare. While it does take place in a summer camp with a slew of  stereotypical teenagers, I can assure you Corpse Corp. takes some massive and strange twists and turns as it attempts to not only homage the genre, but try to enhance and take it in brand new directions.

DN: What can you tell us about the creators associated with Corpse Corp.?

KJ: My background mainly consists of writing/directing, but I’ve done other things here and there. I primarily learned through film-making and theater, but I’ve always felt some connection (to) the comic community. My writing style has always pushed toward the darkly comedic and really trying to make something new and out there. I’ve always been drawn to taking genres or source material often seen as lesser or incapable of being taken seriously, and tried to make something really substantial out of it. In a way, that’s what led me towards trying to take a higher concept approach to the often overlooked masked slasher sub-genre.

While I’ll include Tyler and Sara Sowles formal credentials below, I want to speak on behalf of these guys for a moment because they are amazing.  Not only is their art so far on this project blown my mind, I have had few people I work with that have such a mental synergy. I never thought i’d be able to pitch to someone “Can you draw me a slasher comic that looks like an  R Rated Hanna-Barbera cartoon” and instantly say “no problem.” While I write this comic the best I can to show all three of us off, I have to say the unspoken teamwork between the three of us in making the story and visual mesh i think is going to be the true star of this project.

Also quick note, while they do not contribute to the comic traditionally, I have to give a special shout out to both Dirk Manning & Comfort and Adam for donating their likenesses to characters in the comic. Comfort and Adam were my first mentors in the industry and Dirk was one of the first big vocal supporters of my Batman series. It felt good to be able to give back.

Tyler Sowles is an art guy and a full-time freelance comic illustrator. When he’s not juggling indie titles (Fallstreak, Renegade, Frankenstein’s Giant) and small press books (The Numbered – Arcana Studio, Tandoori Apocalypse – Storyboard GN, Deadworld – Transfuzion Publishing), he’s working on his own titles like Hank Steiner: Monster Detective and Durontus: The Lost Serpent. He has even been lucky enough to have several pinups in IDW’s Godzilla: Ruler’s of Earth, and some cover/interior illustrations for G-Fan Magazine.

Sara Sowles is a painter, comic colorist and designer. Sara’s work includes coloring for Source Point Press’ Step Right Up; coloring, layout and lettering for Source Point Press’ Wild Bullets, Hank Steiner: Monster Detective, Tandoori Apocalypse and Durontus: The Lost Serpent. She’s also colored almost everything Tyler’s ever submitted, basically making his art look good.

DN: Are there any plans to continue on with Corpse Corp. after this collection?

KJ: That’s a really good question. The idea is definitely asked quite a bit. While I do have one possible idea for a direct sequel, the more likely idea is to see it more as an anthology series. Corpse Corp. as a company is a big place and it would be very easy for us to follow a different employee of a different horror genre while using Corpse Corp. as the overall name of the saga.  The other possibility is to potentially cross over with another horror style property (pending on where Corpse Corp. finds itself published) seeing as Corpse Corp. has a unique mythos that would let it easily enter most horror series’ back door without disturbing its long term continuity.  Long story short, If this turns out to be something people grab on to, I can speak with some degree of certainty we have room to grow.

DN: What is the reward that you are most excited to offer?

KJ: So far my favorite reward is surprisingly our most popular. For $50, a select group of 10 people will be able to have themselves brutally murdered in the first episode. During a zone out sequence, Jack imagines a wide variety of iconic horror movie kills waiting to be filled with screaming faces. Also for $50, you could design a horror poster that hangs inside Corpse Corp.’s walls.  We wanted to give our heaviest donors a chance to leave their mark on the comic in an important way and so far that seems to be paying off.

DN: Anything else to add?

KJ: Corpse Corp. is a really big, but also a really important, project for me. Not only have I always wanted to make a horror story,but this is the first time I’ve ever written a character with Attention Deficit Disorder. Quite often, this disorder is chocked up to comic relief, and don’t get me wrong; I can laugh  at a “hey look a squirrel!” joke as much as the next guy, but I think there’s room for a more serious approach too and I hope that this will help people understand it better.  On top of that, I’m unbelievably excited to write a slasher. The slasher genre has always fascinated me as a genre that has had an unbelievable number of entries, but seems to struggle to innovate as much as it might like to. Although plenty of good ones have come out in the last few decades, the struggle to break out of the 80’s once and for all has been a real struggle. While I don’t expect Corpse Corp. to be the greatest slasher ever or even the most original, I really want to be a footnote in bringing new stuff to the slasher genre.

If you wanna follow more of my stuff, check us out /deadmenink with Facebook,Twitter,Twitch, and especially Youtube.

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