• Posts Tagged ‘review’

    You Should Read This: Locke and Key

    by  • August 1, 2012 • Comics • 2 Comments

    As part of my second annual comic-con adventure I decided to finally pick up Joe Hill’s Locke and Key 1-4. IDW, the company that publishes Locke and Key, is one of my favorite publishing companies and I have heard outstanding things about Locke and Key, all of them true.

    In purchasing Locke and Key, I discovered something about my comic book reading: I’ve grown out of the traditional super hero books. I still love Superman, Spider-man and Batman but at their core, they are still for younger readers. I’ve moved to reading darker fantasy books like Animal Man and Swamp Thing (which if you are not reading, you should… start with the new #1) as well as books like Locke and Key.

    The Locke children suffer a horrible loss when their family is attacked and their father murdered. After the funeral, the children, Bode, Kinsey and Ty, along with their mother move to their father’s childhood home – Key House. Hidden around Key House are… surprise, surprise… keys that, when they are used to open doors, grant the user powers. For example, my favorite key is the head key which allows the kids to open their heads and cram in knowledge or take out things like fear.

    The keys, of course, are trouble and the kids suffer due to the presence of the keys. To tell you more is to ruin the story.

    Locke and Key is, at its core, a story about family. Joe Hill examines what a family can endure and how they can continue to come back from amazing amounts of tragedy. Each child has baggage that relates to the death of their father and their mother develops an unhealthy attachement to wine. Add to this the continual issues that related to the keys, particularly the mysterious Omega Key and you have an outstanding plot line with complex characters that you want to love and hate.

    Hill’s writing is terse and beautiful… he also knows when to shut up and let Gabriel Rodriguez’s art tell the story, as in Locke and Key #3: Crown of Shadows. The first twelve pages of chapter five: Light of Day have zero dialogue but are amazing storytelling.

    Locke and Key is dark and disturbing, beautiful and touching. It is everything a good book, comic or prose, should be.

    I would suggest purchasing the trade paperbacks from your local comic store because, dear reader, you should read this.


    Comic-Con thoughts: too big for its own good?

    by  • July 30, 2012 • Comics, Conventions, On the Road, Pop Culture • 1 Comment

    Oh dear reader… do you remember when I said I was going to try and do something different this year at Comic-Con? No? Go here, and then come back.

    Now that we’re all on the same page…

    I was stupid. While I did manage to get into Ballroom 20 on Thursday to see Elementary I failed to get in to see Firefly and failed to get into Hall H to see The Hobbit and Kevin Smith. And here is why: I wasn’t willing to camp out the night before. I paid for a hotel and for the nice warm continental breakfast they offered and I wanted to sleep in a bed each night. I’m not complaining, I’m simply pointing out that, although a huge fan of all the shows I wanted to see, I guess I wasn’t a huge enough fan.

    This leads me to two observations:

    First, There are a lot of pseudo-fans at Comic-Con. The convention itself has become an attraction and people are there simply because their spouse-partner-kid-friend-etc brought them or because they want to see a single panel across an entire day’s worth of amazing panels. They are not there for the entire event, and in many ways not actually what I would call a geek. For example, On Sunday I attempted to get the one item my wife mentioned, the Cirque du Soleil Ká comic book that Marvel was giving out. As I reached for the last one on the stand, having waded through the throng of people just grabbing free stuff, I was elbowed aside by an older lady, perhaps in her 60s. She grabbed the comic and shoved it in her bag without even looking at what it was. When I asked her if she knew what it was she venomously replied “free” and stomped off.

    This is an issue. I heard a lot of comments in the big hall lines similar to “I don’t care about panel A, but I want to see panel G five hours from now so I am going to hang out.” Or similarly “I don’t even know what (insert show/comic book/ celebrity name) is but my partner wants to go see it and I want to be with him/her. These people tend to take seats that others who really want to be there could use.

    Second, and not exclusive of the first issue, is that Comic-Con is too big for the San Diego Convention Center. I know that San Diego is planning and expansion, and that is great, but, to borrow a phrase, if you build it, they will come. Even if they expand and fill the limited space available to them, it will simply not be enough room. Comic-Con needs to look at moving to (granted this is biased) Las Vegas.

    Ballroom 20 of the San Diego Convention Center holds roughly 4,000 people, almost 2,000 camped over night Thursday to see Firefly on Friday. By the time all was said and done, roughly 8,000 people lined up to see the panel. I actually felt quite badly for the kids behind me all dressed up for the Legend of Korra panel that was planned right before the Firefly panel. There was no way any of us were getting in and they missed a panel they wanted to see because SDCC doesn’t clear rooms between panels (a smart and time saving policy) and the Firefly fans camped out in ballroom 20.

    The Sands Convention and Expo center in Vegas has two rooms that holds over 8,000 people and another that holds slightly over 7,000. This doesn’t include the smaller rooms in the center. It could handle the number of attendees far better and give the con at least 3 large rooms to host bigger panels and that is just one convention center… we have two, not counting the centers in the hotels!

    All that being said, Comic-Con and San Diego are inextricably linked. There is something special about the combination that even my beloved Sin City cannot replicate. San Diego is also far more “kid-friendly;” you are far less likely to have someone hand you a pornographic playing card on the streets of San Diego. I’m honestly not sure how Comic-Con can continue to grow without moving, but if it moves I am afraid it will be something drastically different. It is a wonderfully horrible situation to be in; on the one hand the Con is growing and becoming a geek mecca, on the other hand its growing pains are taking away from the experience for some.

    In the end, I’m still glad I attended the convention. I found some great new-for-me comics to read (more on that later) and saw a few panels that were outstanding. Overall it was, as always, an outstanding week and I look forward to next year.

    How to be a Porcupine

    by  • June 8, 2012 • Pop Culture, Technology • 2 Comments

    “Holy shit! There are needles sticking out of my body!” Not to get overly personal, but I’ve been dealing with gastritis for about 7 years now. One of the things Vegas is not good for is health care; every doctor I have been to about my problem has run a test (maybe) and then...

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    Meat + Beer = Happy Geeks.

    by  • February 2, 2012 • Food • 0 Comments

    I think the people at Wicked Creative must love me. Why else would they invite me to see Fantasy and then allow me to eat and drink at Public House?

    Ahh Public House; meat and beer galore!

    On this particular evening the chef prepared a special sampling meal for the guests. We dined on tasty bites such as crisp oysters ( in the shell with golden raisins and cider gastrique), pork belly on polenta, short ribs and octopus. The meaty bites were quite lovely and any chef willing to send out a spoon to use on short ribs is confident in their tenderness (as well he should be).

    Add to all the meat an amazing beer selection (both in variety and price). And oh the things they do with that beer! One of the waiters pegged me for an IPA guy (and he was right) and suggested I try the Bitter Hottie (IPA, Sriracha, fresh lime, celery bitters, served in a glass with a salted rim). I was pretty sure I’d died and found that heaven exists in a glass of bitter beer and hot sauce. Seriously, this is going to be my go-to drink once I get the recipe down.

    The desserts were a bit hit or miss. The chocolate Stout Cake missed the mark mostly due to the cake (the malted milk whip cream, stout pudding and bacon crispies were great) and the Irish Coffee Cheesecake was simply a cheesecake without any wow factor. However, the Hazelnut Brown Ale Float (that’s right kids, beer and ice cream) was great and the Banana Pecan Macarons were exquisite, moist with a subtle hint of banana.

    Overall, Public House is a great place to get an upscale meat-centric (it’s a word) meal and drown your sorrows in a myriad of beers. Plan on spending some money, but save by avoiding dessert. Hey, it’s one more beer you can drink.


    Public House is located in the Venetian on the Casino level across from the Blue Man Theater.

    My dining experience was provided by Wicked Creative, however the decision to glut myself on the food provided and then tell you how much I enjoyed it was all my own.

    A Tale of Two Titties

    by  • January 3, 2012 • Pop Culture • 2 Comments

    First, let me apologize for the title of this post; I simply could not help myself. Over the past couple of months I have had the pleasure of seeing two of the Strip’s most lauded burlesque reviews: Fantasy at the Luxor and Peepshow at Planet Hollywood. When I sat down to write a review...

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    A D&D Evening at Fogo De Chao

    by  • December 6, 2011 • Food, Gaming, Pop Culture • 2 Comments

      I am not usually one to get all sentimental or annoyingly reflective during the Holiday Season but this year I have something rather geeky to be thankful for, and thus I am going to, well, get all sentimental (sort of).   Two years ago, a colleague of mine rolled into my room and...

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    The Importance of Checking-In

    by  • August 19, 2011 • Food, Pop Culture, Technology • 1 Comment

    I am going to be upfront and honest: I think checking-in to locations via Foursquare or Yelp and advertising where you are and what you are doing is a bit ridiculous. I dislike reading “so-and-so checked-in at Happy Yogurt Fun Time” on my social media feeds and, I admit, sometimes I want to be...

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