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Blog This!

Every time I make a new post, I generally start off with something along the lines of “It’s been a while”…I then go on to say I need or will start to blog more regular and it never happens.

So I won’t start off with that.  I’ll blog when I can be bothered…it’s not like anyone takes the time to read what I say anyway so this is more like the digital equivalent to thinking aloud.

Perhaps I spread myself too thin to run various blogs covering topics etc and then couldn’t be bothered to maintain them based on the fact I’m the sole content generator/content re-sharer.

So, what have I been doing lately?

Milking my free Netflix that came to an end last week, reading comics and sorting out my collection, working, listening to podcasts, trying to run a new page on Facebook for Kevin Smith fans, playing my PS3 and the good old parenting malarkey. Exciting stuff.

I do plan on writing up my (somewhat late) review of Aliens Colonial Marines (which is a fantastic game in my opinion).

So, until next time!

How To Access A Remote Library On ComicRack

For those out there who use ComicRack (awesome program & Android app), one of the greatest features is to access remote libraries to check out other users’ collections and share them if you wish.

To do it, open ComicRack and then click File > Open Remote Library… as per the below screenshot:

 

Then click Show List

 

In the list, you can see any users with the ComicRack server running.   Many users’ libraries are password protected or just allow you to view so you can’t edit or download their issues.  You can ask in the ComicRack forum to be given access to a user’s library.

As you can see below, mine requires no password and allows exports but I have not allowed users to edit my library:

 

Enjoy!

Dead Silence

Well, it’s been a majorly long time since I last posted – not had anything to say/rant about!  For the most part it’s been a case of wanting to say something but not having the words to formulate something that would even resemble a blog post at any stretch of the imagination.

I’ve been struggling with my writing – been working on two comic book ideas (one of which I have already scripted partially – 2 pages done!) and a journal of my daughter’s life to date to then maintain that daily as well as doing a whole new one when the new arrival pops out within the next few weeks.

A lot of my time, outside of work, has been dedicated to listening to podcasts while I go about my daily routines (school run, cleaning etc).  I’m trying to catch up on my podcast subscriptions and have managed to race through the back catalogue of SModcast, Tell ’em Steve-Dave and Jay & Silent Bob Get Old but still have a ways to go to fully catch up.  I’ve also been trying to plough my way through The New 52 series of comics as well as getting up to date on The Walking Dead (mission accomplished on that one) and also reading all of The Dark Tower series to date as well.

They say writers should partake in other forms of media to keep the inspiration/flow of writing going.  I watch movies/TV regularly, reading is sporadic and my main literature diet at the moment is comics but my writing is very laboured and I find myself resenting that and then end up in the vicious cycle I am in where I hate the fact I have hit brick walls with my writing but can’t find the energy/concentration/desire to work through it.

I guess it’s like any best laid plan – deviate slightly from the itinerary and you’re pretty much fucked.  Hopefully I will reclaim my “get up ‘n’ go” once I find out where it decided to fuck off to but the coming months may be worse due to tiredness and less time to do any writing when having to look after two kids – we shall see…

What The Hal? Mini Review of Green Lantern

 

I’m gonna start this ‘mini review’ by saying I liked this movie…a lot.  However, there’s a few things that don’t sit right with me.

I haven’t read much of the Green Lantern comic series but know a little of the back story of Parallax, Sinestro etc so my critique won’t be that of the fanboy nature of the avid comic fan but that of an observer of the overall superhero lore.

This will contain some spoilers so stop reading now.

So, Hal Jordan is dragged by the power of the ring to Abin Sur, who then passes on the power of the ring to him.  Now, this is my first issue – Hal seems to take the news rather well and is in no way freaked out by the fact a red alienin a green glowing suit who has crash landed on Earth has dropped this bombshell on him.

Subsequently, Hal’s best friend and love interest also discover the fact he’s a member of the Lantern Corps and THEY take it well also.  Have they met aliens also and they’re de-sensitized to something that would freak the average human out?

Then, you have the scene where Hector Hammond is being restrained in the science labs and as he’s tearing the place up Hal, somehow, knows to smash through the wall when there’s no precursor in the movie to indicate he can locate trouble like Spider-Man can using his “Spidey Sense“.

Most superhero movies have a bit more depth to them such as Spider-Man when Peter Parker learns of his abilities – he gets off to a bit of a weak start as he grasps his potential but he has an inner struggle basedon the whole “with great power comes great responsibility”.  Then you have Bruce Wayne‘s endless torment – but if you look at Batman begins, he takes a while to establish an identity and also the power and will to take up the challenge he set himself.

Fair enough, Hal Jordan was bestowed powers by the ring, but there is no sense of inner struggle or that ‘honeymoon period’ where he needs to embrace and improve his abilities apart from a short scene with Kilowog during Hal’s short induction and the brief tussle with Sinestro.

For me, the film was good but after it I felt a tad deflated as it could have been built up so much more by giving Hal more depth and making a fantastical movie an edge of reality.  Now that I think of it, I should be really disappointed with the flick as the battle with Parallax was short-lived and instead of a punchy, high-octane action movie it felt more like a punch your way out of a wet paper bag mini game.

A guilty pleasure you could call it as there is something that made me like it, but when I break it down based on my perceived flaws, I don’t know why…obviously the hardcore Green Lantern fans will no doubt have more criticisms and a basis of opinion I cannot establish until I read the series – whether you’re a fanboy of Hal’s lore or more of an observer such as myself, share your views in the comments and tell me what you think.

The Avengers Trailer

OMFG.

Nice Rack!

Another long hiatus since my last blog post.  Been getting stuck into organising my NAS drive with new ebook content, CBR/CBZ files, videos to stream through my iTunes and work and life in general on top of that.

Seeing as I’ve spent so much time inside ComicRack organising my digital comic collection (yeah I collect comics, big whoop!  Wanna fight about it?)

This program is fucking awesome.  As you can see from the screenshot above, I have a moderate library size and I’ve been spending time getting it organised and checking whether I’m missing any issues from all the various series’ I have. One of my favorite features is the ability to install scripts that make life so much easier.

The program is touted as the iTunes for comics.  It is.  It is feature-packed and one of the scripts organises the files similar to what you can do with iTunes by checking the option to keep the iTunes media folder organised.

My favourite script, though, is the Comic Vine Scraper – this basically pulls down all the meta data for each comic which helps in terms of keeping the library organised but also keeps your library nice and tidy looking with a synopsis of each issue.  Provided your comic file names are accurate, the scraper will prompt on the first issue to choose the correct series and all further files in the series will automatically be scraped as long as the titles are easy for it to grab the data.

In my case, a lot of my  files have a very basic file name structure so I’ve had to spend an insane amount of hours manually selecting the correct titles on Comic Vine to populate my issues’ info correctly.  Laborious task, but for anal retentive file organisational freak it’s a masochistic haven.

Another great feature is online sharing.  You can share your library over the interwebs publicly or privately – I haven’t tested this yet but I have set my library to be shared privately.

In addition to the wealth of features(a lot of which I haven’t even had a chance to try out yet), cYo (the creator of ComicRack) is also looking to design and release an app for Android for this.  Hopefully it won’t just be an app that can run on a tab as this would be the best CBR app for Android ever going by the standards of ComicRack itself.

ComicRack is available for Windows for free and the scripts are also available to download from the ComicRack homepage.

If you’re a comic fan and have or are looking to maintain a digital library and you haven’t got this – go get it. Now.

EDIT: I’ve uploaded a quick video to Youtube with a brief run through of using the scraper.

The Boy Wonders

From a young age I was addicted to the Batman saga.  I’d read a couple of comics, but when I was growing up, Batman: The Animated Series was a staple of my daily TV viewing.  I also had a pretty impressive collection of the action figures and accessories – if only I’d kept them unopened and fully intact…

Anyways, throughout primary school I was like an outsider getting by as an insider.  I guess you could say I hung out with the ‘cool’ kids, but I had my fair share of bullying etc.  Plus, I was interested in so many different things as opposed to my friends who tended to just be all about football.  My school reports always made mention of me being beyond my years in terms of maturity, sensibility, understanding of life and so on.  Maturity, to this day is debatable…Another comment from a wide range of teachers was how dark I was.  I always had to draw using black.  My thoughts always ventured to the  more inhumane acts between people.

I was a no bullshit kinda kid, I knew how the world was and didn’t much care for it.  But I knew that you gotta get just get on with it and sometimes feign happiness or whatever is necessary to fit in.

As a kid, I was in many ways, more grown up.  I was de-sensitised to violence and horror.  The joys of having a significantly older brother – I was introduced to Nightmare On Elm Street around the age of 5.  Even back then, horror movies never scared me; I’ve spent many hours watching horrors, striving for even a slight scare.  I’m still looking.

As far as Batman goes, I watched the movie (Tim Burton, 1989) not longer after it was released, so again, I was around about 5 years old.  I loved the movie and that’s what stemmed my interest.

I remember being mocked for my addiction to anything Batman.  I remember we were asked to do a project on something we felt passionate about and I had picked up a few jotters and worked through page after page with my own little Batman compendium, complete with my shoddy artwork (depictions of the Batcave, Batmobile and various other locales, costumes, gadgets etc).

I even wrote various stories of my own to add to the world of the Dark Knight…not sure if it’s buried away amongst other childhood relics of mine…

Anyway, after being mocked and knowing no one else that enjoyed comic book/superhero lore, I set aside that aspect of me and acted ‘normal’.  Ish.

But, as a teenager I started to meet other like-minded friends and slowly I got back into the old ways and now, I look back and wonder why I gave up on something I got a lot of enjoyment out of for the sake of pride or whatever it was back then.

Over the years I often wondered why I always revered Batman over any other superhero and I could never and, in a way, still can’t.  I guess part of it is that he isn’t truly a superhero; a mere man who took on a great burden without any special powers or mutations.  A man who became an icon for something he believed in and took it upon himself to make things happen and try to put them right.  A man, so conflicted within himself that I identified with because, as a child and teenager we go through so many inner conflicts ourselves and what we do during those years tend to dictate how our lives play out – unless we devote much time and effort to carve a new path as we grow older.

And here I am, sitting here writing this blog and having a well deserved break from updating my digital comic library and clearing out duplicates.  Reflecting on various memories that spring to mind and sat wondering about various things I did/didn’t do and also pondering the concept of duality – is it just a Gemini thing or (as I hold no stock in star signs and horoscopes) is it more common-ground?

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