SPOiLER ALERT: DON’T DEAD OPEN INSIDE

After Hotel Echo is overrun by junkers (survivalists) using hungries (humans infected by Ophiocordyceps Unilateralis, whose new big thing is to eat flesh, and who do so quite indiscriminately.) to batter down the fences, Sergeant Eddie Parks manages to escape with a single soldier (Kieran Gallagher, whose main motivation for enlisting was to escape the brutal overcrowding of England’s last human enclave, Beacon), two female staff members, and Test Subject Number One. At Echo, Dr. Caroline Caldwell has been studying and dissecting anomalous specimens: feral children infected by the hungry pathogen who retain higher reasoning abilities and behaviors. Helen Justineau… [Continue Reading]

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Holes Shaped Like Our Fathers

“Tell me the story of home.” Black Panther’s opening dialogue, of a father telling his son (and us, the audience) the story of Wakanda, serves to set the scene for the film. It’s a great opening, exposition-wise, and gives us context before the first action scene of the story (set in Oakland, 1992)—but it wasn’t until the day after I saw the film that I realized something. Namely: that the boy asking for a story is the child who will become Killmonger. He longs for a home he has never seen, and is relying on his father to illustrate his… [Continue Reading]

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Dresden Cookies

Dresden Files rang a bell when a buddy of mine recommended it last month, but when he said “It’s like a detective series, but he’s also a wizard”, I was immediately curious. (Plus the fact that, weirdly, he thought of it cuz I’d been telling him about the classic cyberpunk novel Snow Crash.) Harry Dresden is a well-conceived character. He’s got that Sam Spade swagger, a bit of Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman banter, and takes his work seriously enough that you’re invested in that journey for something more than wanting to know how the magical locked-room-mystery ends. One of my favorite traits of… [Continue Reading]

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Reflections In Soup

In my first article for SPUF on 100 Bullets, I gave the run-down on Agent Graves and his mysterious offer of retribution-without-consequences (via the titular case of untraceable ammunition, and a file of dirt on the scumbag who ruined your life) (It’s worth seeking 100 Bullets out and giving it a read – you can read a bit about it here and get it on Amazon over here.). I said something about Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso – the team who (along with Dave Johnson on the covers) brings the world of 100 Bullets to dynamic, cynical life. There’s more to say,… [Continue Reading]

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Window Dressing

Richard Feynman, in one of his autobiographies (if memory serves: Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!), talks about losing his wife. She was diagnosed with tuberculosis, which at that time (the 1940s) was untreatable/incurable. In SYJMF, he says that he didn’t cry at her funeral, or precisely accept that she was dead. Until two weeks later, when he was walking down the street, glanced in a shop-window, and thought “Arline would love that dress.” That was when it hit him, and he started to cry. Yesterday, I went to an alumni (Sarah Lawrence, 2013) event. Someone asked who my don (SLC’s system:… [Continue Reading]

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Picture-To-Word Ratio

You know that thing about how a picture’s worth a thousand words? Attention-spans are short, and scrolling through another 971 words (as of ‘another’) is a bit much. Plus which, my tendency to get on rolls and tangents, once I get going. So. I had a thought. Instead of trying to write a full review for comics I love, I’m gonna focus on a single panel, and spin off from there. (Count: 66 words.) This is from awhile ago, when my main outlet for creative commentary was through Twitter. The comic is 100 Bullets (written by Brian Azzarello, and illustrated by Eduardo… [Continue Reading]

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Spanish For Snow White

In Spanish, the familiar fairytale princess whose skin is white as snow is called ‘Blancanieves’. You’ve probably seen Disney’s take (1937) on the story – and I’d highly recommend checking out Lotte Reiniger’s shadow-puppet animation Aschenputtel (1922). But tackling fantasy in the flesh is different from animation – where a creative mind like Reiniger’s could fashion magic from stop-motion. Where the vision and high standards of Walt Disney could produce an unprecedented spectacle like their eighty-three minute masterpiece. Pablo Berger’s 2012 film Blancanieves stands on its own – there is literally nothin’ else quite like it. And here is Why. It’s a Spanish… [Continue Reading]

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PONY ISLAND: Secretly Is Satanic

Before I say anything about PONY ISLAND, or we get to what insights Dan Mullins (the creator) had on building it, you should watch the Steam trailer: Okey-doke. From the title, you know that it’s a game about ponies… but (as you can now see) the game delights in misinforming and misleading us. “…or Treat?” Mine had been a stressful October, so when this game was recommended to me and I was told it was on sale (Steam Halloween Horror Games!), I bought it without registering more than “oh, the trailer had cool weird energy” and that it was for… [Continue Reading]

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