The Alabaster Sock

We Will Fight the Threat with Fighting

Archive for December, 2009

Posted by Matt on December 31, 2009

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Posted by Matt on December 31, 2009

Hurray, almost a new year! Almost a new decade!

As I’ve said before, I really can’t contribute to the ‘best of the decade’ bloggery that’s been going down recently, as I’ve only spent part of the decade as someone with a reasonable amount of intelligence. And I’ve only experienced so much new, and barely have enough time to have digested it all. So none of those kinds of lists for me.

All I can say about the past ten years is that I went from your average nerdy kid to your average loner nerdy teenager to your average bitter, cynical young adult. I discovered music. I discovered ‘real’ comics. I decided to devote my life to writing as some sort of last minute brainstorm so I could finish the project. I went from unsolved mysteries-fanatic to total rationalist. I still play videogames, though.

So that’s the decade for me. Totally exciting, is it not?

If I forget to do one last post tomorrow, have a happy new year, you morons.

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Posted by Matt on December 30, 2009

I am slowly compiling a list from my TVTropes readings. Before that, though, a list of things I have recently learned from that site:

-Neil Gaiman wrote Narnia fanfiction.
-Patrick Stewart collects Beavis & Butthead merchandise.
-The creator of the cartoon The Marvelous Adventures of Flapjack enjoys creepy fan art.
-The original voice of Tigger, Paul Winchell, patented the first artificial heart.
-Many former Magic: The Gathering tourney champions are now successful poker players.

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Posted by Matt on December 28, 2009

Don’t pay attention to the new sidebar. I really haven’t been sucked into the Twitter thing. Really, I haven’t!

What I’m reading as we speak.

I pity the fool who had to read Tarot, though. I mean, when I had a shop with an open Previews catalog and I looked through it, I saw the ads for it, cringed, and then turned the page.

Good to hear that the actual comic itself lived up to the high standards of those previews.

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Posted by Matt on December 27, 2009

In lieu of actual content, I’m going to post some of my Youtube music videos (and one that is someone else’s).

This is from the Incredible Hulk game on the SNES, which while a okay-but-nothing-special thing from that age, had some oddly great funk-inspired music.

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Posted by Matt on December 25, 2009

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Hulk

Red Hulk, referred to as Rulk in comic narration

Why?

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Posted by Matt on December 25, 2009

You really want me to post? But it’s Christmas day! Don’t I deserve some time off?

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Posted by Matt on December 24, 2009

It’s Christmas time once again. Hoo doggy. Now for something completely unrelated.

Next year will see not one, not two, not even three, but even more revivals of forgotten videogame franchises. I mean, a new Lufia could make a degree of sense. But we’re also getting a new Joe & Mac, a new Clay Fighter, and even an HD remix of Toki of all things. Retro revivals are the hip new thing it seems, especially when you’re a company that no longer exists (or might as well not exist), like Data East and Interplay.

Resources are being spent to make a prettier version of that. Seriously.

Now, I will suggest several series that would be unlikely (and completely unwanted) revivals:

Fighter’s Destiny
DD Crew
Captain Skyhawk
Kabuki Quantum fighter
Aero the Acro-Bat
Buck Bumble
Bible Adventures

I don’t really care about these types of things. I mean, a good game is always good (except when it isn’t…time can be a real bitch on one’s accomplishments), so it’s not like they’d improve anything but making another one. That’s why I don’t join in on the hysteria surrounding the fact that Nintendo hasn’t made a new Star Fox or F-Zero for the Wii. While new ones would likely be good, I don’t really care if they make another one; that is, unless they have a good idea for one, one that would either a new take on the series, or is just fun overall. That’s when a sequel really works out.

Remakes are another matter. If there’s an original idea in an older game that can be expanded upon, sure, go for it. While Kid Icarus is the poster boy of games that people ask incessantly and irrationally to be continued, the setting and some of the concepts within it could make for a good modern game (or at least have a different take on Greek myths, a surprisingly sparsely explored background for games, than God of War). But that’s if they can think of a way to make those ideas work, or any good ideas worth adding. If it’s just to keep whiny gamers content, then forget it.

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Posted by Matt on December 23, 2009

Let’s talk Christmas.

In the last few years, I’ve enjoyed giving just as much as I’ve enjoyed receiving. It’s fun to think of something that my family would really like, and seeing their reactions. Especially when I do it on my own, and don’t just get them what they tell me to get them. I’d like to think I’d know what kinds of things they’d like whether or not they give me any direct ideas.

I also enjoy real surprises more. I can barely think of things to ask for anymore. I used to ask for a lot of games, but I’ve just been buying them on my own the last little while (not to mention that my taste has narrowed so significantly, there are usually less than a dozen games I’m actually interested in each year). Most of the stuff I’ve asked for are either practical (this year, I want new winter gloves) or stuff that I pretend is practical (various office supplies). This year, I tried to make the gift ideas better (they complained that I was hard to buy for last year) by including several things that I think are nice, but I would probably never buy for myself. Apparently, that didn’t fix things. Oh well.

***************

And now, some things in fiction that I like for some reason:

Fantasy meets Sci-Fi
I just find it awesome when wizards and dragons suddenly come face to face with robots and lasers. I think this can extend to many other things as well (cartoony meeting non-cartoony, for example) that feel like something really special, because they shouldn’t happen. Throwing together incongruous elements is a bad idea…unless you can think of a way to make them work. I try to do that (most of the time), and throwing together incongruous elements is pretty common in my ideas.

Good Guy Monsters
Because there’s nothing in any rule book for ideas that says weird looking things can’t be one of the ‘good guys’. Monster protagonists can often be more compelling, because unlike the standard human figure, you don’t automatically understand their situation. Yes, even humans on other planets or in some bizarre other-realm are still easier to relate to because they still look like you, sort of. I was reading an article about Avatar, and it asked whether the human protagonist was even necessary. The reasoning for him, it seems, was to act as the ‘audience relation character’, because people watching just can’t connect with tall blue cat people. Aside from the more troubling aspects of this concept (most ‘audience relation characters’ are white males), it also shows how a legitimate way of looking at fiction (studying the audience) could be turned into a marketing function.

But yeah, good guy monsters. Love ’em.

Separate or Conflicting Antagonists
Sure, the odd team-up could happen, but for whatever reason, if the thing has more than one villain, having them at odds rather than working with eachother is sort of interesting. It makes the world seem bigger, because it houses all these different personalities who don’t necessarily have anything to do with each other hanging around. And of course, different motivations leads to conflict, so it’s fun to compare and contrast how your antagonists think.

If you noticed, most of these ideas apply mainly to a very specific kind of genre and atmosphere, which I here dub ‘Nerd Fiction’. A lot only really applies in something long-form, episodic, and…well, Saturday morning. It is entirely possibly to fit some this stuff into something actually substantial, but mostly it’s fluff for a very juvenile kind of fiction. While I hope to have a wide variety of things to write about, I must admit that I’m still drawn the juvenile stuff. I’ll try to bring some intelligence to it, though! I promise!

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Posted by Matt on December 22, 2009

When I was in the first or second grade, we made little booklets where we said what we think we would be doing at certain ages. I can remember exactly two:

(1)I said in my late teens/20s (right now, then), I would be working at the game shop I rented from all the time. Not exactly high standards, but what can I say? I thought it was the coolest job in the world at the time. I never did apply there, though. Nor any game store. Because they are, in fact, quite the opposite of the coolest job in the world.

(2)Skipping middle-age depression and right into retirement and old age, I said that I would own a moose farm. I am seriously shooting for this. This is just something that any person would want to spend their waning years doing. I doubt I actually knew what people farmed moose for, but hey, what could a shitload of moose NOT do for you?

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