August 25, 2004

Headline News: I rock.

This past weekend, the local newspaper had a nice passing reference to the anime drawing classes that I teach.

In an article from Saturday’s Economist and Sun (Aug 21, 2004) entitled “Movies Creating Comic Craze“, Mitchell Brown writes about the resent crop of films inspired by comic books and their effect on the comic book industry. My boss, the honorable David Bluestein, was interviewed for his take, and talked about how these films have brought new fans to his drawing classes at Comic Book Masters. When the subject of the new trends involving graphic novels and Japanese comics and animation came up, he had this to say:

“At our school, we opened up with an anime (Japanese animation) program and I thought it was just a phase, but here we are six years later and it’s one of our most highly attended classes.”
Hey, I teach those classes! That’s really freakin’ cool! Thanks Dave! Hopefully this will help get the word out and bring in some new prospective cartoonists this fall.


That which I had once thought would never happen has actually come to pass.

Whether I like it or not, I am now in possession of a Playstation 2.

Those who know me know that I am a devoted and loyal Nintendo fan, and I am proud to be one. I dutifully obtained a GameCube upon its release, as I did with almost every prior piece of Nintendo hardware. The thought of owning another system is sacrilege to me. Sure, I flirted with other systems back in the PS1 days, but I ultimately found them to be hollow and unfulfilling relationships. To me, Nintendo hardware has always served my purpose and never let me down. And yet, through no action of my own, here I am with a PS2.

From what I understand, without going into too many details, this PS2 sat in storage without any packaging, and thus it could not be sold. My dad brought it home from work and gave it to me to see if it was functional. Not only does it work like a charm, but it appears to have never been operated before and is in perfect condition. So far be it for me to refuse. I had been entertaining the thought of buying one, since there are a few PS2 games that I’d like to play, but it wasn’t worth that much to me, even to buy a used one. A brand new one free of charge, on the other hand, well, I’ll take that! No problemo! And if someone can dig up an old X-Box or Dreamcast, then what the hell, I’ll take that too!

So now my GameCube and Nintendo 64 have to coexist with their new PS2 roommate. It’ll be interesting to see if they get along.

I only have one PS2 game, Need for Speed Underground. It’s pretty fun, though I can tell first hand, from an objective point of view, that the PS2 graphics are inferior to the Cube, moreso then I expected. There are a lot of jagged edges and the picture just doesn’t look as polished or as smooth. But, this game was also free, so I ain’t complaining. That said, should a game that I want be available on both systems, I’ll pick the Cube version, hands down. But it’s nice that I now have the ability to pick up a game that isn’t available for GameCube. I’m looking at the Transformers game, the Street Fighter Anniversary Edition, and the upcoming Godzilla game, all three of which, in my opinion, should get a Cube release, but are not.

A part of me is pretty happy about this, but another part, the Nintendo loyalist part, is a bit angry. Not that I have betrayed my roots or anything like that because I still consider myself a hardcore, die-hard fan of The Big N, but because I now have the ability to play games on the PS2 that I should have been able to play on Cube anyway. Companies act like the X-Box and PS2 are the only systems that exist, and don’t support the GameCube because the games don’t sell as well. Well that doesn’t cut it with me. I mean, in a race between 3 horses, somebody has to come in third, even if they’re all thoroughbreds. But I digress.

I wonder what else I can do with this, if I should get it modded or something like that. I mean, I haven’t really been paying attention to the PS2 scene, having no reason to until now, so I have no idea what’s out there or even possible. I know from watching The ScreenSavers on TechTV that there are some crazy cool things you can do with an X-Box, so I’m wondering what the PS2 can do if I unleash it’s potential.

Anyway, I hope that this does not change me as a person. I still want to be the same Super Mario-playing guy I always was. I’ll have to keep the dark influences under control. But I do have a way to purify my soul. For you see, the PS2 was not the only thing that was uncovered in an unsalable state. There were also two fully functional black GameCubes, complete with all the accessories. I’ll be giving these away to other people in my family who don’t have video games, so I can share the Nintendo love. I think that evens things out.


New updates today. Yay.

So, one year ago was the big blackout. I remember exactly what I was doing at the time. I was updating this weblog, as a matter of fact, and just about to post before the power went out. Now everyone’s all like “It could happen again! Oh no!“. News flash: Who cares? It was a freak accident and didn’t have anything to do with our gluttonous consumption of power. If it happens again, then it happens. It’s not like we can do anything about it. And it’s seriously unlikely that anything was going to happen now just because it’s the one year anniversary. I know a way to save power: Turn off the freakin’ TV when annoying news people talk about this junk!

But I’m sure the major issue that is affecting everyone today is this.

Yu-Gi-Oh: The Movie!

I’m not a fan, I haven’t seen it, and I doubt I will any time soon, but I have read some of the reviews. It has the dubious honor of getting a perfect 0% score on Rotten Needless to say, all of the “reviews” are by disinterested adults. Well, you know what? Any parent who takes their child to the freakin’ Yu-Gi-Oh movie, knowing ahead of time that they’re going to hate it, deserves to have a terrible time for not taking an active interest in their children’s hobbies. I feel no sympathy for them. The reason why I bring this up is because it reminds me a lot of a similar situation that happened at around this time in the year 1986, with “Transformers: The Movie“. All of the reviews slagged that movie. Did that matter to anyone? No! It was for the fans, and only the fans understood what it was all about. And we loved it. And you know what else? 18 years later, we still do! The very same thing could happen to the Yu-Gi-Oh movie. Time will tell, but I wouldn’t doubt it. I doubt that it’ll make a lot of money, but much like Transformers it may just wind up a “classic” it its own way, despite the opinions of some boring adults.

But, Pokemon: The First Movie – Mewtwo Strikes Back, now that was an awesome movie!


August 4, 2004

It’s Ninjatronic!

Just look at this!


Holy cow! Look at that! It’s Ninjatronic! Ninjatronic! I’m Ninjatronic! That officially makes these the greatest toys in the history of the universe! That means I need to buy them all.

Take a look at the Official TMNT website and their 2004 toy page.

I wonder what this interpretation of “Ninjatronic” means, exactly. If this really was Ninjatronic, and I mean REALLY Ninjatronic, then when you press a button it would make fun of your spelling and then destroy you. You couldn’t beat an action feature like that.

Thanks to that radical reptile Tokka at Mikey’s for pointing this out.


I’ve been a good boy. I’ve been saving my money, mostly for the National Expo this month. I did not go to the Official Transformers Convention this past weekend. It’s been a long time since I’ve splurged on a major purchase like this. I just couldn’t take it any more. I needed to buy some new Transformers. I set out early this morning with that goal in mind, and I have succeeded in coming home with no less than five new entires to the collection.

New Toys!


Brand spankin’ new, still have yet to be sighted in the US, are Sharkticon and Energon Hot Shot. Sharkticon is a cool shark-like battleship who will probably not be appearing on the Energon TV show. I already have the first release of Hot Shot but the colours on this new version look pretty cool, and the artwork on the card is awesome. I also bought Rodimus, just because I hadn’t picked him up yet. Then there’s the two Mega-sized toys, Shockblast and Mirage. Shockblast is a new Decepticon who looks a lot like the G1 character Shockwave, and Mirage is the upgraded form for Tidal Wave. These two guys have been very hard to find in the US and this is the first I’ve seen of them.

I probably should not have spent that much money all at once, but it feels good to carry home a big bag full of new stuff that I’m sure to enjoy instead of something small and expensive.

Despite this new toy influx, I’m still way behind on buying all the stuff I want. Granted, the stuff that I want is everything, but still. I don’t have the Energon Optimus Prime, Jetfire, Ironhide, Starscream, Prowl, Demolishor, Snow Cat, Scorponok…. and the list goes on. To say nothing of Megatron, who, as far as I know, has yet to even appear in Canada. Watching the Japanese episodes of Super Link with subtitles has made me want all of these toys even more.

Damn, I need some money. Somebody pay me and I’ll draw you a pretty picture of something. Ok? Ok!