Pikachu Pinata Pizza Protest!

It's Wednesday, March 2, 2011, my Squirtle just fainted, and this is The Side. The week seems to be flying by, but when you're working hard it weeks tend to do that.

I pissed someone off pretty good the other day. She was crowing on about the Wisconsin protesters and how the Governor must be desperate if he's using such a lame excuse as them really needing to clean the capitol building to try to get them to go home. She was pretty smug when relating how the protesters had countered this ploy with their response of "We'll clean it ourselves!" That smugness turned to bile when I piped up with "What? A union worker actually doing work? No way!"

Of course it was hard for her to spew that bile my way with about five other people laughing at that comment. Expect them to demand pay and benefits for cleaning the place.


A recent TV ad and Joe's latest entry has me thinking about Pokémon. I like Pokémon. It used to be just a weird cartoon that would come on before I went to work. It was neat, and the kind of thing I'd really be into if I was a kid. I even found a Japanese Pikachu t-shirt which I wore, because the cartoon had actually given people seizures in Japan. That's hardcore! But then the kiddies picked up on it, the fad exploded, and it became pretty annoying. But I still checked out the cartoon from time to time. The collectible card game baffled me a bit. I never really glommed the "collecting" aspect of it. Had a younger cousin who had a bunch of the cards but no clue whatsoever how to play the game.

Onward the thing went. Sequels to the game were released. There was new varmints to catch and battle. The gameplay didn't change much over the years, but it was a winning formula, so there wasn't much tweaking needed.

Joe touched on something interesting. The tagline was always "Gotta catch 'em all" and when there were 151 that was an achievable goal. It would take a while, but it was doable. You had to probably buy different games, or have a buddy you were willing trade the virtual varmints with, but if you were determined you could pull it off. But now its gone on to a whole new level.

Gamestop is doing a promotion this week in which if you go in with your Nintendo DS and one for the DS Pokémon games then you could get a special Pokémon, Celebi. I'm a bit torn on this. Part of me thinks that getting these little critters shouldn't involved stuff like this, but part of me does think its a pretty novel marketing gimmick.

So I ventured to a local Gamestop, minus the family's pink girlie DS, to inquire a bit about this. It was at this point I encountered Pokémon Pete. Pokémon Pete knows a shitload about Pokémon. So I asked about this here Celebi. I asked if it was possible to capture this Pokémon within the game without coming into a Gamestop. Nope, its a Gamestop exclusive.

This kinda reminds me about a promotion they did with Yu-Gi-Oh in which certain cards were included with some of the video game releases. The thing is one of the cards was "Harpie's Feather Duster", and there are leagues and tournaments which have significant prizes, and that card could be a serious game changer in a competitive deck. This led players to buy the video game only to get the card, and them promptly return the game.

So I did some research into Celebi, and he's not really much of a beast. He's got some useful moves, but he's not going to stomp all over an opponent's line up. So, its mainly a collector's item. Fine and well.

But I questioned Pete further. See, if you get Celebi and then buy one of the new Pokémon games coming out. You can beat that game, trade Celebi to it and that unlocks a special quest in which you can possibly get one of that game's "Legendary" Pokémon. Legendary in the Poké-vernacular translates into "Cool looking, hard as fuck to find, harder to catch, and typically not the best in a battle line up". However, it has to a Celebi from this event, and not a Celebi you got from somewhere else. But wait, if Celebi was Gamestop exclusive release where else could a player have gotten one?

Pete told me he knew that there had been an event in which you could get Celebi if you went to the Pokémon Store in Times Square up in New York.



Now, its not there anymore, its a Nintendo Store now, BUT STILL!

Part of me wonder if there was some kid back in the day in the middle of West Bumbleton, Arkansas who somehow talked his folks on taking him on a PokéPilgrimage to the Big Apple. Got see the Statue of Liberty? The Empire State Building? A Broadway show? Fuck that shit! I gotta catch 'em all!

Thus ended my conversation with Pokémon Pete. And I now know more about the world of Pokémon than I ever wanted or needed to know.


I mentioned before that Domino's has redone their pizza recipe and that its pretty tasty. To help promote this they were doing a deal in which if you got two or more medium two topping pizzas they were only $5.99. Now they've upped that deal to where you can get a large two topping pizza for $5.99 with no minimum.

Now this is a company that really wants my business. Domino's isn't even my favorite pizza place. Sure, its good eatin', but there's other places I prefer. However when they're selling large pizzas for near the same price as I could buy frozen ones at the store and the economy being what it is, I'd be a moron to buy my pizza's anywhere else.

We got pizza last Friday night, and we've still got enough left over for a couple days.


Educational moment: if you play a mean accordion, beware Mexican women driving hearses.

Thanks to Kat for the link to the video. That's the whole Pokéball of wax for this go around. See y'all Friday.

Fitch Beats up a Cheesehead for Comics!!

Shame! Or possibly sham. Its Sunday, February 27, 2011, I've returned to you, and this is The Side. "Where was Friday's post?" you may ask. More computer trouble, but its been resolved. I thought about posting up some stuff on Saturday, but it would have been more rushed and half-assed than usual, so I figured I'd wait.

Alright, time for a shameless plug. I like video games, but I'm not super up on all the news and details. Lately, I'm playing more older games since they're cheaper to get a hold of and i don't have the latest systems. So if you're looking for some video game news and articles, go check out my buddy Joe. You'll be glad you did.


The UFC last night proved three things to me: you don't ever want to get punched my Mark Hunt, Michael Bisping is an asshole, and Jon Fitch can't catch a break.

The main event last night was disappointing and not because of the fight. After seeing Michael Bisping blatantly throw a completely illegal technique and then go on to win I was a bit soured. However, then out comes Jon Fitch to some sweet Johnny Cash music. Much has been made of him coming into this fight, mainly due to him adopting a new diet which is pretty much a vegetarian one. He's been a dominant fighter in the welterweight division. And now standing between him and title shot is the former champion BJ Penn.

Fitch might look like he should be in a van with a Great Dane and some other kids out solving mysteries, but he's the real deal. He battled a very tough Penn in a grappling war the first two rounds, and then beat the crap out of him in the third taking the fight to the a decision. The Judges chose poorly and the fight was declared a "majority draw" meaning two of the judge called the fight even on points while the third said Fitch won. Even Penn said that him getting a draw in that fight was an act of the gods and he thought he lost. Fitch was very disappointed but his attitude about it was outstanding.

His stance is that its not his job to decide who gets a title shot. He's there to do his job and that job is to fight. He's said that if he hasn't convinced Dana White, the UFC and fans that he should be the number one contender to the title then he hasn't been doing his job right.

No excuses. No whining. Hard work and dedication. That's what I like to see. Does Fitch deserve a title shot? Absolutely. Will he get one? Probably, since he's not going anywhere, looks better than ever in the ring, and is patient enough to do whatever it takes to achieve his goal.


With me being knocked offline for a couple days I spent my mornings before work watching the morning news shows. I got to see some true stupidity. The big news was that blogger who got an interview with the Wisconsin Governor by posing as someone else. Pretty lame stuff considering the Governor said the exact same stuff in a press release a couple hours later. But this was apparently some kind of brilliant ploy against the Governor. What was the monumentally dumb part was they played a portion of the phone interview and the Governor said that since certain state senators are literally in hiding to avoid doing their jobs then he was going to stop the direct deposit of their pay and take the checks and lock them into the desks of the senators, so if those clowns want to get paid they better show up for work.

At this point the dim anchor woman said how horrible it was to even suggest that those state senators be locked to their desks. Not surprised she got confused as she does tend to get confused easily. Fortunately there a guy on the same show who is actually quite brilliant and pointed out her mistake. Unfortunately as he attempted to explain why the Governor is correct and the protesting unions are not the show conveniently ran out of time for that segment. Nice.

But yes, the bill is working its way through limiting the collective bargaining abilities of public unions in Wisconsin. Democrats were chanting "Shame" as it passed. Of course they're pissed. This directly affects them. See, this is about public unions. These unions are made up of people whose wages are paid by money from taxes. The heads of these unions donate money to politicians from union dues. Doesn't really matter what the rank and file union workers want, they don't have much say in the matter. Unions is Wisconsin donate a disproportional amount to Democrats over Republicans. The Democrats are pretty much in the Union's pocket as they know which side their bread is buttered on. So yeah, the Democrats are pissed because they couldn't stop this bill which would decrease the power of public unions. The whole reason this is going through is in an attempt to balance the state's budget. It doesn't cut anyone's pay or take away their pensions. All it does is put a check on the power of unions. The unions don't want it. The Democrats they gave money too couldn't stop it. So they're worried they won't be getting their hefty union donations come election season.

Yeah. That's a damn shame.

Its been such a crazy week with everything in politics. Protests are going on in a bunch of countries against their governments. Libya is completely nuts right now. I have to wonder if our Pop-Star-in-Chief isn't trying to get himself impeached with his declaring law "unconstitutional" and refusing to defend them. He was supposed to be the one with all this understanding of the world, and the world is going apeshit on his watch. Not his fault, mind you. There's nothing he can really do about it. But between that and his old lady giving him grief about her crusade as First Lady to fight obesity, I wouldn't be surprised if he's considering saying "Fuck this! I'm out of here, and going to go get myself a cheeseburger." So, he's doing a bunch of dumb stuff that Presidents can't do and hoping to get tossed.

Its just nuts. Fortunately, good old Virginia is trudging on fairly steadily. The only political uproar here is if our Governor will be on the Republican ticket as Vice President if he gets asked. Amazing how our budget is manageable and this being a right to work state. One hell of a coincidence.

Politics. It really is like a contact sport.


Manny Fresh is dead. That's the reports coming in via The Mike and Bob Show. Manny went out doing what he loved but also proved that masturbation and gun play are never a good combination.

But is there more to this story? Manny Fresh had his share of foes. They struck at him through Twitter, but Manny masterfully shut that down. Then came "Cupcake" who also approached Manny via the internet and attempted to lure him to his doom with the promise of weird sex while simultaneously trying to drive a wedge between Manny and the Dudes. Yet, still Manny persevered! But now it seems he has fallen, and while it appears to be accidental, I wouldn't rule out foul play. This could have been staged and Manny's body could have been left in the state that it was to try to shame his memory. However, it was Manny, so there's not much that could be done to shame that memory.

Could this secret cabal that was attempting to destroy Manny Fresh have finally succeeded? Is Peter Criss Mask somewhere out there oddly laughing at Manny's demise? Has Manny really been sent back through time and is being hunted by a metaphorical curse machine? Will be one day return to form Manny Fresh Inc and train Manny Freshes around the world?

Only time will tell.


I'm going to start this off on a serious note. This week we lost a really great talent. Dwayne McDuffie passed away due to complications from a surgery. You're probably familiar with is work. He's been a writer in comics for many years. He's done a lot of work with the DC animated properties. I even scripted the Justice League Heroes video game for PS2. McDuffie was a writer that you could trust to deliver. He didn't get the recognition that some of the writing "superstars" get, but when he's mentioned you're not going to hear much of anything bad about his work. And this is good. This is a fellow who will live on through the amazing body of work that he produced in his life. The day that he passed the animated feature ALL-STAR SUPERMAN that he wrote was released. I wasn't planning of purchasing it, but I am now. Not so much as a tribute, but as a fan who now has a greater appreciation to a talent that was taken from us to soon.

On to some actual reviews, and this week's book were really great. Starting the ball rolling with DETECTIVE COMICS #874. Earlier in the Snyder run the book was split with half of it following Dick Grayson and the other half following Jim Gordon. That format got dropped to complete the Grayson story, and now that its wrapped we pick up right where we left off with Jim Gordon and his son. When I was picking up my comic the guys were discussing Luke Cage and how that fella eats a lot. It seems that there's a lot of appearances with Luke Cage eating. So its funny that the first issue I read this week opens with a diner scene. Its brilliant. Its so tense that it palatable. Brilliantly written and the artwork by Francesco Francavilla is incredible. Grayson is indeed here and dealing with the after effects of his battle with The Dealer. Fortunately he has Red Robin to back him up. I always liked reading these two teamed up. It does seem weird that in the field Tim is referred to as "Red Robin". It just doesn't sound right, but that's just how it is now. Great issue front to back.

Moving on to another Red Robin appearance over in TEEN TITANS #92. Georges Jeanty pencils this issue, and i like his work, but I was really amped to get my Nicola Scott fix. After a few deep cleansing breaths I dove in. With everything going on with Calculator the story was mainly about the team preferring to have Tim with them than Damien. I understand it since a lot of the team has a long history with Tim. These are his best friends. It makes sense that he's with them now that his quest to find Bruce has been completed. However, I prefer the team with Damien on it. J.T. Krul really made that dynamic work and I was eager to see how this was going to play out in the long term. Looks like we'll never know. Something that was bugging me was the deal with Kid Eternity. He got snatched like a year ago and it seemed like nobody noticed. Well, they certainly noticed now.

Over in ACTION COMICS #898 Hairless Lex Luthor takes on his old Orange Lantern ally Larfleeze. Paul Cornell and Pete Woods are nearing the end of this story which has just been completely stellar. Just when you start to really pull for Lex Cornell reminds us of what a complete bastard that he is. The end of this issue has a huge reveal about Robo-Lois which had me smacking my forehead and wondering how I couldn't have seen that one coming. We knew she had an agenda separate from Lex's and that she was working for someone else. Now we know who and this has me itching to see the next issue.

ATOMICA #5 turned things from a light-hearted romp to a nasty chain of events. After talking with a counselor about her Amnesia, Rose discovers that Professor Colluns is missing! The hunt for the good Professor leads out plucky heroine straight to one Dr. Astray. Ted Astray is still a nasty opponent and fairly creepy, but the creepiness gets upped with his parting warning "Beware the Metavore!" I don't know what a Metavore is, but I'm damn sure bewaring it. I have to wonder if this has a connection with Atomica's past and if this is the "big bad" that Astray is working for. Hopefully we'll get more answers next issue.


I'm a general fan of there domestic policies concerning boggy marshes.

That's the whole nine yards for today. I'm ready to go back to bed or start a coffee IV. Money's on the latter. See y'all Wednesday.

Q, A, and Dough-ray-me!

Here we go! Its Wednesday, February 23, 2011, I'm one hard workin' dude, and this is The Side. I'm very glad to be working. After crawling around under houses looking to shore them up a bit I was sore an tired. So on my lunch break when I see some asshole from Wisconsin bitching and moaning that thinks the unions are getting crapped on I had little sympathy. The woman interviewing him told him a lot of people support teachers and think they need great pay and benefits, but they don't like that they're getting fraudulent doctor's notes so they can go protest. She asked the guy if he supported them doing this, and he blatantly avoided answering five times.

State senators are hiding to avoid a vote which wouldn't be taking away any pay or pensions from anybody. Its just unions getting pissy because they won't be able to throw their weights around as much. And some people wonder why I think unions suck. Get back to work, you whiney bitches.


Joe Arnold had a bunch of questions that demand answers. Who am I to refuse his demands?

Why do we drive on a parkway, and park on a driveway?

Here in Virginia we have Skyline Drive which overlooks Shenandoah National Park. Its a very lovely drive. Very scenic. It was deemed a "parkway" due to it overlooking the park. Since then many very long, scenic roads have been referred to as "parkways". Driveways used to be much different than we know now. Many very large homes and manors had very long driveways leading from the house to the main road. Back then you really did drive on the drive way, since if you had the money for a personal carriage or the like you usually had a lot of property.

What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

Assuming you're referring to the European swallow, around 24 miles per hours.

Can't we all get along?

Yes we can. As long as everybody agrees with everything I say and does everything I tell them then we'll all get along just fine.

How many roads must a man walk down before you can call him a man?

Usually the answer is blowing in the wind, but that's the kind off crap answer you can expect from some hippy, and this here is a no hippy zone. The path to being a real man isn't about the quantity of roads, its about the quality. You can walk a hundred roads, but if they're all named "Easy Street" then you won't be much of a man. Its those long, rough roads that make you a man. The ones with lots of detours and shortcuts that look real tempting but don't take you anywhere worthwhile. And a real man is always walking that road and sometimes showing the way to those who need guidance. Those who stay true to the road get they're reward when they reach that destination, and hopefully leave clear footprints so others will know the path they walked.


I got the call Sunday evening after a full day or working and torturing children. "Dave just about cut his finger off, so I'm really needing you to work this week." The details were sketchy but when fingers are possibly missing its time to spring into action. Seems Dave had an accident while splitting wood over the weekend and took off a good portion of his middle finger. He'll be needing a skin graft which hopefully he'll be able to get soon to speed up his recovery. Nonetheless, I was out at the beach on Monday to try to help out and Dave made it out too hoping he'd still be able to work in his condition. Turns out he's still pretty capable, but every so ofter he gets a nasty jolt for wound.

So we were destroying a few walls and cutting up some floor and one thing we had to do was more an amour in the next room so it wouldn't get damaged. There was a small TV in it so I picked it up to move it and there he was: Ben Franklin.

I've found a lot of things in houses as I've worked in them. I've found porn stashes and sex toys. I've found things that home owners really should have cleaned up before I've gotten there. I've found a few bucks here and there that I never touched because that's a damn good way to lose your job.

This was different. This was a winterized beach house that no one had stayed in for months. We don't even know the last time the owner was there. But there was the most money I've ever found in a house that was essentially deserted. Was it a trap? Had the home owner planted it to test the honesty of the people working there? Had the last renter been just really absent-minded?

Oh how that one bill tormented us as we worked. It was like a test of our moral fortitude. We could have split it. Dave needed more bandages for his finger. There's a book I really wanted to buy. What could we do?

I won't tell you what we did.

But I will say I'm going to the comic shop happy today.


Those schmucks drive around in their cars blasting bass to the point to rattling windows. There used to be competitions to see whose car's sound system had the most bass. People would buy those stupid cars that look like toasters on wheels for the acoustics so they could really get their bass going.

Dumb bastards don't know shit about bass. Hit it Les.

That's the shooting match for today. I'm going to get some more work done. See y'all Friday. Behave yourselves. And if you can't, send me pictures.

Thor cheats!

For Asgard! Its Sunday, February 20, 2011, I'm ready for ale and wenches, and this is The Side. I don't drink nearly as much as I used to, but just last night I dreamed I was drinking a MGD and it was good. Things must be bad when my subconscious is telling me to go have a cold one.

As for the wenches, well, someone needs to clean up around this joint.


New Thor movie trailer hit the web this week. Looks great. I was already looking forward to this flick, and this just makes me more excited for it.

There's is a few things that strike me as odd. I already discussed having a black guy running around Asgard. They're also changing things up a bit in having Jane Foster (Played here by Natalie Portman) be an astro-physicist and not a nurse. That's not too big a deal. What does seem odd to me is this movie's take on Asgard itself.

According to this movie Asgard is so technically advanced that their technology takes on the trappings of magic. I just seems odd that the concept of magic is getting explained away in this manner. Its interesting as hell, but its just such an odd shift for a set of characters based of Norse Gods. Maybe they wanted to take this direction to distinguish themselves from the slew of other movies that have magical characters. It could be that they have a lot of really cool ideas to put up on the screen that they've based on this concept. Its not a deal breaker change, and its not even a dumb one, but its just so striking to me. I think that comes from Thor being the part of the Marvel Trinity that represents magic and mythology, and this shift sort of removes him from that spot and places him more in the science fiction slot.

But yes I am definitely looking forward to this movie. The guy playing Thor looks absolutely spot on. I spotted the Warriors Three in the new trailer, and I'm a fan of them. Really the only thing that's a drawback is the 3D thing, but I'm sure I'll be able to find showings that aren't 3D. Bottom line: the new trailer is cool, and I'm very excited for the movie.


There's a lot of people concerned with things being "fair". Sure, things being fair is fine and dandy, but its easy to go overboard. How can you go overboard on being fair? Isn't fairness a good thing? If something is good then there should be no such thing as too much of it, right? Wrong.

Let's look at a very old game. By old I mean a few thousand years. Its called Go, and its still very popular. It originated in Asia and the premise of it is pretty simple, but the game itself is very complex. Its played on a board with a grid on it and two players take turns placing stones where the lines intersect to gain territory. You get points by successfully surrounding space on the board. You can also take your opponents stones if you surround them and cut them off from any openings. It takes little time to learn but a lifetime to master.

Its a very simple game but when you have someone who is very good at it playing someone not as skilled they can receive a handicap. There's 9 key positions on a Go board and depending on the handicap a player can allow his opponent to start the game with stones in these locations. In a game where one well placed stone can turn the tide of a game this is a huge advantage which can sufficiently counter gaps in skill between players.

Over time it was determined that even going first was a huge advantage so the concept of komi was developed. Black always goes first, so in a match between evenly skilled opponents where there is no handicap, the player with the white stones receives 2 1/2 points to off set the disadvantage.

These rules have been in place for a very long time. They weren't just created on a whim. The game was analyzed and proper ways of keeping the matches even were developed. But what if someone still doesn't think that's enough to make things even? I knew a kid who cheated in pretty much every game I ever saw him play. When I attempted to teach him Go he would blatantly attempt to place more than one stone during his turn. The game had been explained and he understood how it worked. Still he attempted to place multiple stones even after I told him it was against the rules. In truth there is a rule about placing multiple stones in one turn and I enforced it the very next turn when he tried to do it again.

"You lose."


"You just lost this game. If you place more than one stone during your turn then you automatically lose."

Thus ended his playing the game. Once he found out he could not manipulate the game to his liking he had no interest in playing anymore. This mindset isn't limited to children. In life you cannot expect everything to work out your way. Fairness means everybody has the same opportunity to be successful in their ventures. It doesn't mean you can change the rules just try to stick it to someone you don't like. Its like the movement to up the Capital Gains Taxes. Some people want this don't because they say that wealthier people aren't paying their fair share even though wealthier people pay the majority of the taxes taken in by the government. Its been proven that upping this tax actually decreases the amount of revenue taken in by the government, but still they push for it in the name of "fairness".

We play games as children, but what we learn is how to deal with life. Some people are winners. Some people don't win quite so much. I'm still waiting on my ship to come in, but unfortunately I think its off the coast of Somalia. So you shouldn't get all butt-hurt when you think of successful people. They just happen to be winning out a bit more. If you're smart you should look at them as you would a person you beats you at Go, Chess, or anything competitive. When I put the gloves on and get my ass kicked, its a learning experience, and I look to the person who beat me and ask "How can I do this better?"

When the world stops being a level playing field because whiny little pansies claim "its not fair", look at them as the children they're acting like and do what I do when a student gripes about something not being fair. Laugh right at them, and then get back in the game.


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That's the shooting match for today. I'm going to see if my sinuses will actually explode with the temperature bouncing up and down over the next few days. If they do explode hopefully a hippy will get caught in the blast. Nothing says "TAKE THAT!" like a snotty sinus detonation, except for Phoenix Wright. ASK NOZZ DAY #2 will be this Wednesday! So, if you have any questions about anything you'd like me to answer you can leave a comment here or e-mail it too me at martynozz@yahoo.com and I'll have the answers up next time around. See y'all then.

Baltazar and Franco overtake my pullbox

Surf's up! Its Friday, February 18, 2011, I'm heading to the beach, and this is The Side. I'm not going for my own enjoyment though. There's work to be done, and fortunately the ocean air is just what the doctor ordered for my cantankerous sinuses. I'm not a huge fan of the beach, but it is pretty and the dolphins have been out lately, so if I'm going to go do some labor at least I'm somewhere pleasant doing it.


is up first on the list. I didn't see Nick Spencer credited on the writing this time around, and am wondering what's up with that. The story is progressing along well enough. We get a team-up with Robin, and Damien is his usual charming self. The Cadmus sub-plot is taking its time playing out. The Alex character continues to use his social media app to target young superheroes and send opponents his way. The story is taking is time revealing things about this guy, but he's shaping up to be a good opponent for the Girl of Steel. This storyline is getting a lot of attention from me because its the first since Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle rehabbed the character. When Jeph Loeb and Michael Turner first brought her into play she was pretty much a jailbait character would just a bit sleazy. Gates made a decent character out of her while Igle refined her look to make her look a bit less trampy. Bernard Chang isn't an exploitative artist and keeps his approach to Kara tasteful enough. Peaty his doing well with the sotry, and decent enough with Kara, but she is coming across a little flat. But this is their first story with the character so I'm sure they'll have more fun with her once they settle in.

The Shazam Family drops in on TINY TITANS #37. It looks like they're getting set to be regulars on the cast which is fine by me. Hoppy the marvel Bunny has been around with the bunny and Pet Club running gags for a while. Talky Tawny is the newest teacher at Sidekick City Elementary. All and all its pleasant enough. The cast has gotten pretty unwieldy though. There were already a lot of characters for readers to keep track of wen the series debuted. It has been amusing to see so many characters get the Tiny Titans treatment, but I do worry that the series is getting more of a "Look who pops in this month" treatment than having fun stories and gags with the established characters. Still, its a fun book, and for someone who knows all the characters from the DCU proper its a hoot.

Art Baltazar and Franco join up with Mike Norton on YOUNG JUSTICE #1 spinning off from the Cartoon Network show. Having not seen the cartoon I was going into this unprepared. I was a huge fan of the old Peter David/Todd Nauck YOUNG JUSTICE comic. I've followed those characters for years. So this series featuring Superboy and Miss Martian alongside a teenage Dick Greyson and Wally West smacked my continuty button upside the head. It took quite a bit of doing on my part o get around that. Superboy in this series is quite different from Superboy in the DCU proper and even in Baltazar and Franco's TINY TITANS. He's much more contemplative and quiet. Unfortunately that doesn't do much to warm us up to this version of the character and he gets nearly all the face time in the book. Miss martian is around for a bit, and she's a peach, but once she leaves the book goes downhill fast. There's weird stuff going on in their headquarters at Mount Justice, which would be interested if we weren't stuck with a complete stick in the mud for a protagonist. I want to keep supporting this title, but I think a lot of it comes from my love of the old series. There's not enough here to make me want to stick around.


That was a bit short this time around, but unfortunately I haven't had a lot of time to get stuff typed up. We'll see how the weekend goes. See y'all Sunday.

Just the facts, ma'am.

Hit 'em with an internal organ and its three points! Its Wednesday, February 16, 2011, that pesky lung just won't hack up, and this is The Side. Tournament season is approaching and while I'm trying to prepare that nasty cough from my bout with the flu is hanging in there like Oleg Taktarov on the receiving end of a beating. Old Oleg did alright for himself though and has done some pretty sweet movies. I doubt I'll be offered any choice roles upon my recovery, but at the very least I'm hoping to snatch up some trophies next month.


Does this look like a black belt in Karate to you? I don't know either. I read a lot of magazines. When you spend a lot of time riding in work trucks sometimes up to an hour at a time, you pick up anything eye catching and read just about every last bit of it. I've read a lot of comic and entertainment magazines. I read a ton of Maxims back when it was worth a damn. Read a bunch of Black Belt magazine when there wasn't a whole lot of choice in martial arts magazines. Now the magazine I like to keep up with is Fighters Only.

Fighters only is really good. They've got great interviews. There's a lot of training tips. Its also the main way I keep up with news on mixed martial arts. Each issue has a Fighters Only "Babe" and sure enough one month it was Francoise Boufhal whom I have pictured. There's a few pictures and a brief interview. So I read the attached interview and while she says her knowledge of MMA is light at best she did say she was a black belt in Karate.

These interviews do remind me a lot of the Maxim interviews in that I have to wonder how much actually came out of her mouth. Sure some of these girls are very savvy and know what to say to cater to the target audience. I do think the interviewer in many cases is more of a writer making the gals more appealing. See, I could understand if the "babes" were UFC ring girls, or even some of the more attractive female fighters. Sometimes they'll have the ladies in fight gear or wrapping their hands like they're getting ready to pound out a few rounds on the heavy bag. Typically, I'll see the girl featured in a pictorial that has absolutely nothing to do with fighting, and the notion that they do anything fight oriented stretches even my imagination. Its kinda like when you see the star of the latest hot movie say that she goes for the average guy who likes to eat burgers and play video games. Does anyone really think that the Maxim cover girl du jour loves playing Call of Duty when she isn't watching football?

I can live with lie of it all. I really can. I just wish it was a little more plausible sometimes. I know full well I'm not going to see a girl like this in a magazine like Fighters Only and have her say "Gee, I don't know anything about that mixed martial... whatever. I'm just here for a check." but it would be a refreshing change of pace. Of course that's about a likely as hearing a politician say "No, I really don't give a damn about anything you care about, I just want you to vote for me."

Ah, the truth. Don't hold your breath waiting for it.


Ya know what really sucks nowdays? Science, that's what. Science used to be so awesome. It used to be all about exploration, and making cool stuff, and blowing things up with lasers. Now all it seems to do is show us how terrible everything is and suck all the wonder out of everything.

Let's look at out old pal Pluto. Remember Pluto? Little frozen rock out in the middle of nowhere. Last little planet on our solar system. We learned about him in elementary school. We had bright colorful posters showing off the planets of the solar system and his little gray self was there on the end. I have a book. Its got all the planets in it, and sure enough, there's Pluto. Then five years ago they demote Pluto. Its not a planet anymore. Buncha jerks! Some of us out here love Pluto.

And all it is is a bunch of scientists being spiteful. I bet they got a lousy grade on their report on Pluto when they were kids and this is payback. They are just dead set on there only being eight planets in our solar system. Hell, some scientists have possibly found another planter out there. Its four times the size of Jupiter and hidden in the Oort cloud (obviously to hide cool, mysterious stuff) and those jerks want to say that it doesn't count either! Just being spiteful is what it is. Its like they don't really care what's out there, they just want to be right about there being eight planets.

Same with triceratops. Seriously, who doesn't love triceratops. I do. My kids do. They like Tank the Triceratops on Dinosaur Train. He's a very popular dinosaur. If he wasn't would there have been a Dinobot of one? I think not! But no! Bunch of killjoy scientists say there was no such thing. Its really a torosaurus.

No its not, you jerks. Its a triceratops. Every last cartoon I've ever seen with a dinosaur in it says so. And so do the Transformers, and we don't argue with Transformers unless they're directed by Michael Bay.

And when science isn't taking cool stuff away from us its telling us how horrible everything is. You can't even eat a cheeseburger anymore because it'll kill you horribly and put a hole in the Ozone layer. Pretty much according to science the best thing we could do for the planet is all die. We cause global warming. We take up too many natural resources. We're all just horrible. But if we drive pansy cars and use those stupid light bulbs with mercury components that aren't worth a shit then maybe science will say its OK for us to live and have kids.

Of course you have the science used by the high and mighty atheist assholes who like to break out whatever they can to crap on whatever religious holiday you're trying to celebrate. They can tell you all these stupid facts about Christmas, yet couldn't bring themselves to wish you a "Merry Christmas" if someone had a gun to their head. They don't need faith because they have science. Well, no one ever gets a present on Science Day, now do they.

Then there's the stupid wannabe science that tells us stupid stuff. Some study just came out and they talked about it on the morning news show that women are the ones in charge of relationships. Yeah, that revelation was worth diverting intellectual candlepower away from finding that cure for cancer.

So here's the thing science. You need to get your act together. Start being awesome again and stop being so damn douchey. Get back to the business of making great and useful discoveries. Quit telling everyone how horrible everything is and start making ways that everything can be really cool.


The fact that this was on VH1 Classic is a win beyond belief, except for the fact that it makes me old.

That's it for this go around. I'm going to go kick some ass now. See y'all Friday.

From Gotham with Love

Its Sunday, February 13, 2011, love is in the air, and this is The Side. I'm pretty sure love is in the air. Something's in the air around here. Might be Frebreeze. Maybe Lysol. Ah hell, as stopped up as my nose is it could possibly be Raid.

All I do know is that being out of commission the week before Valentine's Day puts a fella behind the eightball. Kinda hard to go and grab a nice little gift for the Missus. Its even trickery now that Comic Kings has moved because they used to next door to a nice flower shop. And really that's about all I need. Some pretty flowers and a nice card. I'm admittedly not the best dude in the romance department. Its definitely gone downhill over the years as I'm pretty sure I'm getting stupider by the year. Doggone kids done made my brain rot.

Well, I've got a little time, and I've just got to hustle. It won't be a terribly extravagant holiday, but these aren't the most extravagant times. At least the couch is comfy if this goes Tango Uniform on me.


Let's start this party with BATMAN AND ROBIN #20 which kicks off Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason's run on the title. There's been speculation as to whether or not Tomasi could match and tone Morrison previously had with the title. What I've noticed about Tomasi in relation to Morrison is that he understands what Morrison does and plays off of it beautifully while still making the story distinctly a Tomasi story. The story itself here is nicely weird but overly so. You can follow it very easily and its got nice little bits here and there like Jim Gordon not putting up with Damien's mouth or Alfred tying Dick's bowtie over his shoulder while driving. We do have nifty little mystery with glowing bats going on. I'm all in. I do want to touch on the opening scene, because its so very good. Back in Tomasi's NIGHTWING run there was a tie-in to Morrison's "R.I.P." Bat-story. Pretty much a bunch of books were to tie into it for sales reasons and it was mostly really stupid and awkward as Batman was supposed to be missing and possibly dead, but really he was gone for a couple hours. Editorial mandates just made it all so dumb. However, Tomasi's tie-in was brilliant in that the part that tied into his disappearance was down without an dialogue whatsoever and consisted of Dick, Tim, and Alfred making popcorn and milkshakes and settling in to watch a movie while they waited for Bruce to get home. Tomasi knew that the disappearance wasn't a big deal. Here he does a very similar scene with all the fellas settling in to "The Mark of Zorro" with Bruce right in the center surrounded by his family with his milkshake. Again, Tomasi absolutely nails where Morrison is at with the character of Bruce Wayne fully embracing the "Miracle of Crime Alley" concept in a perfectly unassuming, elegant manner. Its so good to have him back on a Bat-book.

RED ROBIN #20 starts off our crossover with TEEN TITANS and as expected is a lot of fun. Calculator has been getting a whole lot of mileage lately and this week he's up to no good sending Catman to take on Tim. Catman's definitely gotten to be a major leaguer over the last couple years and Nicieza definitely gives him his due. Things really get good when Tim calls in the Titans for help. Nicieza used to really shine back in the 90s on titles like X-FORCE and NEW WARRIORS. He obviously still has the touch for handling teams in comics and having Tim back with his old team was handled beautifully. J.T. Krul has been doing a great job with TEEN TITANS and I'm not eager to hurry him off the title, but when the time does come I'd love to see Nicieza have a run with it.

Calculator is definitely a busy guy since he's busy trying to kill Oracle over in BIRDS OF PREY #9. Gail Simone as always does a great job with this book, but the artwork really leaves something to be desired. This book is damn popular! Why, oh WHY can't they get a decent artist on board to really push this book. The art serviceable certainly, but needs some extra oomph. As it is it just lays on the page. The story itself is humming along proper. There's a certain symmetry to the helicopter blowing up that makes me smile.

Its team-up time once again for our gal Steph in BATGIRL #18 as this issue she meets Klarion the Witch Boy! Now, there is a distinct lack of "bum bum buuuum" here, but there is some "dun, dun... dun". It should be noted that "dun, dun... dun" is no substitute for "bum bum buuum", but really "bum bum buuum" is in such short supply nowadays that I'll take what I can get. There's this whole thing with were-cat copulation and magic snow globes. Steph and Klarion spend Valentine's Day together. Its all very weird, but in such a good way.

In KNIGHT AND SQUIRE #5 the British Joker is dying. Jarvis Poker is nearing the end. Unlike Batman's nemesis Jarvis is really a pretty harmless fellow and quite likable. Unfortunately the media start turning him into a laughing stock, and not the good kind, so Knight and Squire give him one last hurrah by warning everyone that he's up to something huge! A pleasant parting gift to their old friend, that takes a sudden nasty turn. Also, something horrible happens to Shrike in this issue, and of that I am oh so glad.

Wrapping things up this week is R.E.B.E.L.S. #25. Starro the Conqueror is back and he's building a new army. This time he's doing so with cloned Czarinas! And to make matters worse he captures Vril Dox! Adam Strange rallies the forces to save their bastard genius leader and Lobo's looking to put a hurtin' on something. Last go around with Starro went down before Dox had recruited Lobo. This should make for a damn good fight coming up.


A mushy love song for Valentine's Day? Not so much...

That's a wrap for today. See y'all Wednesday. Have a happy Valentine's Day, and guys, good luck out there. Represent!

The New FF makes me sick

Blarg. Its Friday, February 11, 2011, I'm still sick, and this is The Side. It could just be a nice 24 flu bug like a normal person. Oh NO! I had to get the week long marathon of coughing, mucus, and crankiness.

No comic reviews today since I haven't made it out of the house mush further than Walgreens. I'm hoping to have some up Sunday. In the meantime, we can still get our geek on.


For those who have have been paying attention to Marvel, and more specifically to THE FANTASTIC FOUR, you probably know that they've bumped off Johnny Storm AKA The Human Torch. The storyline has gotten a lot of praise from readers and critics. I haven't heard much fan outrage because pretty much everyone expects Johnny to be back sooner rather than later. Nobody stays dead anymore in comics.

This of course opens the door for the return of H.E.R.B.I.E. the robot who will be taking Johnny's place just he did in that old cartoon where I think they put him in because they were scared kids would try to light themselves on fire. Wait. They're not doing that? Oh.

So its time for the return of New Fantastic Four! That's right, Spider-man, The Hulk, Wolverine, and Ghost Rider together again to fight monsters and have big science action adventures! Wizard magazine would be feeling so vindicated over the press it gave this way back when if they weren't busy closing their own doors. Wait. That's not happening either? Ah, but I am 1/4 right!

Spider-man will be joining up with the remaining members of the FF to form "The Future Foundation". The new costume designs are pretty sweet, although it doesn't really look that good on The Thing. Orange and white only really look good on a cream-sycle. Spidey's costume looks sharp. Its well designed, very different from any other costume he's worn in the past, but you can tell its Spidey just by looking at it.

I like the idea of Spidey on this team. He's usually used as such a street level character, but he comes into play with some of the great big science action stories in Marvel. I remember seeing a reference to the battle in which Thanos was turned into Granite and Adam Warlock died. There were all these big league superheroes there and I wondered how Spider-man got caught up in all of that. Spider-man is a science hero. He may not be as smart as a Tony Stark or a Reed Richards, but he's definitely no slouch. I like seeing him in these type of stories, because he's very much and everyman character and that let's the reader in on the story in a more accessible way. Johnny did much the same thing. I think that's part of the reason that I really bought into the friendship the two characters had.

If it wasn't for financial restraints I would actually buy this book, which would make it my first Marvel purchase in nearly 15 years. Its not because they killed off a character that I love. Its because (much like Morrison did with Batman) they're managing to do something interesting after he's gone.


Back when 96X first hit the airwaves in this town it played music like no other station in town did. It was weird and different, and no much unlike the well worn rock tunes the more mainstream stations played ad nauseum. It was the beginning of alternative rock and this song was one of the one's leading the way.

That's a wrap for today in my week long misery. I'm going to go hunt for some chicken soup. See y'all Sunday.

Captain America loves Chick-Fil-A

*COUGH! HACK! WEEZE!* Its Wednesday, January 9, 2011, I'm sick as all get out, and this is The Side. The dreaded Chinchilla Flu has descended upon the Nozz compound. We're all sick and miserable. I've yet to find the proper medication that allows me to be particularly clever, so onward we go.


I love Chick-Fil-A. I typically eat there at least once a week. The food is great. The staff is always friendly. It's got a good health rating. Pretty much a win all the way around. So when I found out that there were people planning to boycott it this got my attention. Seems a Chick-Fil-A provided catering to a group that is against gay marriage. So, obviously everyone at Chick-Fil-A and those people that eat there are a bunch of homophobes and bigots.

Well go right ahead and lump me on in there too, because I'm gonna keep on eating there.

Obviously if someone has a problem with with Chick-Fil-A then they shouldn't eat there. But the slanderous crap is just idiotic. That high school kid behind the counter taking your order most likely doesn't have an opinion on the subject. They're just working and doing their best to provide good service. That lady with her kids stopping in there for lunch doesn't care about gay marriage when they were choosing where to go. There are no signs up denouncing gay marriage. It was just one store that provided catering to a seminar.

Now there's dopes saying they won't eat at the chain again until they provide a donation or catering to a group supporting gay marriage. Well, I hope they aren't holding their breaths because that's not going to happen. There's not enough ticked off people to make a dent in Chick-Fil-A's business. This is like that stupid boycott of Target a while back. It went absolutely nowhere.

So, if you don't want to eat there anymore, that's fine. However, if you want to call people bigots just for working there or eating there, you can get bent.


I have seen the future, and it involves hamster powered mech armor!!

And while I'm tossing around some YouTube vids, here's the teaser for the Captain America movie.


As the dreaded Chinchilla Flu has been kicking my ass this week I've been on the hunt for a perfect drug to make me feel better.

That's it for today. I'm going to go take a bunch of drugs now. See y'all Friday.

Blind man's blog

It's Sunday, February 6, 2011, I can't see a damn thing, and this is The Side. I hate it when I wake up in the morning reach over to the nightstand and my glasses aren't there. That is where they should be because I place them there every night when I go to bed. So, I'm stumbling around, and squinting like Mister Magoo.

So, where are my glasses, and why aren't they on the nightstand? The answer is simple, really.

You see, despite being poor, white trash I am a powerful and feared individual. When you possess the mountain of importance that I possess you become a target for those you either want your power or those you horrible things to to gain power. I know the Anti-Nozz protests have for the most part been peaceful, but there are a few kooks out there. I wouldn't put it past any of them to break into my house while I was asleep and steal my glasses in an effort to make me more vulnerable. There has been no less than five assassination attempts on me while I sleep, but since I am the illegitimate son of Keith Richards I cannot be killed by conventional weaponry. The Missus is spared from any such attempts as she looks so darned cute when she's asleep.

Now without my glasses I believe my detractors will believe me vulnerable and will soon enough call me out into the street to face them in unarmed combat pitting their fighting skills and martial arts prowess against mine as most of my detractors are ninjas. There was a heavy contingency of pirates in the mob too, but they pissed off after I kicked their drunken asses. Pirates suck. They kept whining about how things would have gone different if we were at sea. Buncha Marys.

Back to the ninjas, those glasses stealing sons of bitches. They're all pissed off because I've said online repeatedly how much ninjas suck and how they can't fight their way out of a wet paper bag. Please note that them stealing my glasses is only reaffirming my statements that they can't fight worth a damn. And if they think for one moment that I won't beat eight shades of shit outta them without my glasses then they're in for a surprise.

You don't see the hippies pulling stupid stuff like this. I'm sure they're busy bitching about corporations, trying to get the government to run everything, and being miserable bastards about everything. They keep right on complaining between joints and only really get nasty around Christmas time since they worships trees and no one ever gets them presents for Arbor Day. This right here is why we can't legalize marijuana, because if we did we could round up potheads and beat them with hoses no more. Nothing puts a spring in your step like beating a pothead with a good rubber hose.

Screw this. I'm going to go find the prick ninja that stole my glasses and thump him proper. Too bad ninjas are such a secretive bunch as the YouTube video of this would be awesome.


Sure enough I've gotten my glasses back. Ninjas, as I always say, are a bunch of sissies. Unfortunately, I got my glasses back just in time to see pictures from the impending Spider-man film.

Great. I get my glasses back just in time to gouge my eyes out.


Big weekend in sports this weekend. I hear there's a football game being played somewhere, but the heck with that. It was fight night last night. It was a little bittersweet for me. Anderson Silva kept his title, which annoys me because I don't really like the guy, however he won it with one of the techniques which I constantly stress the importance of to my students. Its pretty much me feeling validated in what I teach, I just wish his opponent was the one who threw it.

But more fun was watching the co-main event. It was another case of me liking both the fighters so whoever won I was happy. Rich Franklin is a class act and one of the top fighters in the world. Forrest Griffin is a big goof, and lots of fun to watch. We all have a soft spot for ol Forrest. His self deprecating attitude and sheer love for what he does makes him quite a character. He's a former champion, and that's due to another thing I always preach to my students: practice.

Forrest is one of the hardest working guys in mixed martial arts. They've had to kick him out of the gym and take his keys away to make him go home. Franklin also is incredibly dedicated and trains hard. So this made for a great fight that went the distance and both guys giving it their all for three rounds. Forrest won by decision, which was well deserved and hard earned, but what happened after the fight really stand out.

He didn't toot his own horn. He didn't trash talk. He didn't even plug his book (Joe Rogan did it for him). Before his hand was raised he and Franklin were smiling and joking with each other. It was like two guys at the dojo who just got done with a fun sparing session. That's the kind of attitude you like to see. That's what makes it a real sport and not a spectacle. This isn't guys in their back yard brawling anymore. That looks more like this.

OK, maybe not exactly like that. Still, hats off to Forrest Griffin for being and entertaining fighter and being a great dude to be a fan of.


Time for a bump and grind number.

That's the whole nine yards for today. Everyone enjoy the Super Bowl tonight. Stay safe. We'll see y'all Wednesday.

Dreaming in four color process.

Where's the coffee? Its Friday, February 4, 2011, I am freaking exhausted, and this is The Side. The exhaustion in question comes from a lack of decent sleep. Its not that I've been staying up to all hours of the night. I do still get up at six every morning. The thing that has me so exhausted is really weirdo nightmares.

So I'm at this big old house which seems really out of place because its in the middle of the suburbs. There's markings on the floor and salt on the window sills, and I know that there's a demon that's going to come and get me at midnight. OK, so obviously I'm in a SUPERNATURAL setting, which is weird because I haven't seen the show in weeks. But do I have Sam and Dean Winchester to back me up? Of course not. I have J.D. and Turk from SCRUBS. Not the most reliable help when you're being hunted by a demon.

And for some reason Felicia Day showed up, and was being hunted by the same demon. Now, I've got no problems with Felicia Day showing up anywhere, much less my dreams. Still, if she's gonna show up, why does it have to be a life threatening event that doesn't involve shoulder rubs? Stoopid dream.

So after some panic and running around trying to figure out how not to be killed by a demon we actually spot the thing and it turns out to be The Demon. That's right, Etrigan was just waiting to roast my sorry ass. And as more running about and panicking ensued, midnight struck and i was trying desparately to figure out how not to get roasted, but really it wasn't midnight, it was six in the morning and the alarm went off.

That's not the way you want to start your day. I have to wonder what those dumbass hippy dream interpreters would glean from that one. Probably that I watch too much TV and read too many comic books.

Nah. That couldn't be it.


Getting the ball rolling we've got SECRET SIX #30. Fresh off a crossover with ACTION COMICS we've got a crossover with DOOM PATROL. Them there Secret Six. They do get around. The WTFery of this issue was enough to keep me reading. A slack ass kid gets an inheritance from his grandfather and decides to reform a Ratpack style super villain team. And he gets his buddies to go along with it because there's girls involved. We also learn that getting your leg bitten off is sometimes not that big a deal. Sure its annoying, but if the eventually grow back then there's really not much need to panic. Speaking of education, we learn this month about strippers. Strippers are like 90s fanboys in that they think Bane is awesome. And Bane is pretty awesome, but not on the drooling level expressed by 90s fanboys and strippers. And finally this issue has inspired me get some smut mags, get a hold of my buddy (now known as Lord Thunderclap the Magnificent), and then go to the pier to see if I can catch anything while fishing with smut mags.

Oh yeah, and there was this thing with a volcano.

Let's move it on over to HELLBOY: THE SLEEPING AND THE DEAD #2. This wraps up a nasty little yarn in which Hellboy takes on vampires. Scott Hampton handles the artwork, and its really stellar stuff. Too often we see these portrayals of vampires as these sympathetic (and often sparkly) characters. Its nice that Mignola is reminding us here that they're really a bunch of nasty undead bastards. With all the action going on we see some really creepy stuff. Vampires preying on little girls. Spirits out for gruesome revenge. This book is a lot of fun, and that's good, because there's some messed up stuff going on in here. Great read.

I set up camp in Mignola land this week and rounding out my reads was SIR EDWARD GREY: WITCHFINDER #1. This is a well paced opener to the series. Sir Edward finds himself on the job in the Old West. On the surface this story seems like just a tale of an Englishman in a lawless western town. It was more like a JONAH HEX story. But there's these little details letting us now that there's a lot more to that nasty little town than it seems. A lot of it is explained late in the issue. This is the first time I've really taken a good look at the character. I'm definitely on board for this series.


Damnedest thing. I heard this tune on the radio for the first time in ages, then i come to find out last night that they've officially broken up.

That's the whole shebang for today. UFC night it tomorrow, followed by Super Bowl Sunday. There goes my diet.