Archive | July 2014

Atoman–Superhero Comics Discussion #1

…because I have nothing better to post and the class I wrote this in was fucking awesome so I’m sharing.

Today, we’re discussing superhero comics because why the hell not. We’ll begin with Atoman by Jerry Robinson, a sad, sad attempt at writing a superhero story line, in my opinion. This discussion is about the construction (graphics/panel placement) and story line creation of the comic at the time in which it was created and why. I was limited in word count at the time, so don’t hate.

atoman

And while looking for the above image, I may have discovered that this comic is still around. Someone, please tell me it isn’t so. *looks again* Maybe I’m wrong. *shrugs* At any rate, let us begin….

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Atoman pg 3Page 3 of Atoman by Jerry Robinson, which is the opening, is entirely too busy and atrocious for my taste with the multitude of Atomic Bomb headlines covering the top, and pieces of the story all around the center of the page. It seems as though they’re attempting to tell the entire story on one page, and it’s just too much. My eyes don’t know where to stop.

Atoman pg 5Once the actual story begins on page 4, the timing of Atoman is too fast-paced. The coloring is completely off and tends to run outside the lines, which tells me this comic book was done in a hurry. Perhaps it was made in one of the assembly-like lines, where it was produced cheaply, quickly, and quantity was the goal. I wouldn’t doubt the artistry is copy-cat style because all of it pretty much is, stemming from the early pulp magazine days, but the images in Atoman are fairly bland and the panels don’t really stand out. Another reason to consider it “assembly line” pulp fiction.

Atoman pg 7Since it’s around the time of the atom bomb, they even throw in a panel showing Einstein, but in the beginning, practically each panel showed a different person, unlike Superman in Action Comics #1, which displayed Superman in nearly every panel, start to finish. The next two pages are completely prologue, explaining in two simplistic pages the years put in to “conquer atomic power.” An interesting contrast in the dialogue on page 7 in the panel below is how they’re discussing, after using atomic power “destructively against the hate-filled fascist enemies of mankind,” they decide they “must turn to peaceful construction” in the use of atomic power to help the entire world. This is the perfect example of how fast-paced and not-thought-out this story is.

Some of the panels show dialogue that is a dead giveaway to the next panel, like the first panel on page 8, and just are not necessary. We jump from “evil minds are plotting right now” to oh hey, look at that, evil minds are plotting in the next panel. Mr. Twist (I’m guessing the name comes from the attempted twist in the plot?) is plotting to steal the secret to atomic power. He uses a henchman to get it for him, of course. How did Mr. Twist know Dale would be in the vault all day studying the secret to atomic power? There are huge pieces of the story missing. HUGE!

Mr. Twist’s face in nearly every panel is shaded to the point that it’s almost black. I think it’s an attempt to make him look more evil or hide his identity. Meanwhile, Zelda and Barry Dale have hardly any shading on their faces throughout. At times, Zelda’s face seemed to disappear, there was so little detail. Botox?

I think that Robinson took a fairly easy story that could be produced quickly using something from reality to help the reader relate to the story, and he maybe even did so over a weekend. It’s a sad tale, in my opinion, and should be a lesson in what NOT to do when creating a comic book.

What’s your opinion? And remember, swearing is fine, as long as it isn’t directed at anyone insultingly. Seriously. Don’t make me ban you.

 

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Certification

…and all that it entails.

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So our main networking or whatever guy had a chat with a few of us last week and said it’d be a good idea if we, during our copious amounts of down time, would watch these online videos and start getting certified in some IT areas. Okay, so it’s not a bad idea. I wouldn’t mind having some of those certifications. But here’s the thing….

First, getting any IT certification involves just a tad more than watching some videos. If I remember correctly, a test is involved too, one that costs money to take. Will that be reimbursed? They don’t reimburse teachers for their certification test, so I doubt I’d get reimbursed for my IT certifications.

And are those certifications going to be reflected on my paycheck? I already know the answer to this and it’s a flat out no. Why? I’m a lowly help desk hourly-rate employee. If they’d like to change that, I’d be more than happy to go after those certifications. But, if I’m MCSE or otherwise certified, why in God’s name would I stay in this position making what I make, which is less than half of what I could make with any IT certification?

IT Certifications in demand

Brilliant fucking thinking.

As usual.

I won’t even go into some of the other shit coming down the pike.

Ashes to Ashes

…and dust to dust.

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Three months ago, I quit smoking. I know. I’m still in shock over it. But to be honest, I don’t even miss it. Seriously. I just go about my day/night doing whatever and very rarely does a thought of having a smoke pop into my mind.

Which has me ecstatic!

It’s also saving me a shit-ton of money, so for this trifecta of celebration, I’m buying myself some pretties. Clothes, that is. I deserve it.

I hardly even use my e-cig or vapor. Of course, I’ve been sick for two weeks so I haven’t even touched those.

But yeah, for surviving three months without a cigarette, I’m treating myself to a few nice things…….and then I’ll start saving for a house and a new car and whatever else my pretty little heart desires.

Keep on going, bitches! You can achieve anything once you set your mind to it.

Jinxie

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Re-imaging and Upgrades

…also known as ‘Jinxie needs a new damn computer because her hard drive crashed’.

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After being off work for a week and a half, I returned to my trusty Windows 7 work computer. Everything was just as I’d left it, and I started working on emails, since I had no voice and that would make talking on the phone a tad difficult. Then I decided since it was slow and I really couldn’t talk, it’d be a good idea to move my station…again. Might as well just get it over with, right? It’s bound to happen anyway. So that’s what I did. I got everything moved, hooked up everything and got my computer back on the network, and then BAM! Screens go black and the bitch won’t fully boot up. Seriously? Now? Fine. I tried to repair it, but it was beyond my skill level, so I walked into the tech room where two techs happen to be at their stations, and asked, “Who wants to re-image my computer?” They both laughed and one grabbed his disc and followed me back to my station. Then we decided that since I was going to have to help teachers and admins out in the district who were suddenly faced with Windows 8.1 after being on XP for years and years it would be a good idea to upgrade me to 8.1 too.

He tried imaging my computer THREE TIMES and it wouldn’t take. I made mention of how nice it would be if I had a 7010 64-bit computer. He laughed and said there weren’t any 7010s in stock. We ended up having to replace my computer anyway and the OS upgrade finally took. YAY! It only took a few hours.

And just before I left work on Monday, I opened the computer’s properties, and do you know what I discovered? It may be a 780, but it’s a 64-bit!

Onward to Photoshop!!!

(no, I didn't do this one but it's funny)

(no, I didn’t do this one but it’s funny)

You Gotta Stop

…and rest once in a while, or Life will force you to.

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I work hard. In fact, I work my ass off with all that I do. I have my day job, which is a 40-hour per week venture in the information systems industry a.k.a computer stuff. It gives me a stable salary and benefits, and provides me the ability to do nice things for Umi. I have my publishing company, where I help other authors get their stories out there in the world. I freelance line and copy edit, helping authors make their stories better. I am an author as well. I’m a Commander on the Zombie Survival Crew, which can entail many different things. On top of all of that, I take care of my mother (Umi). Sometimes, like this past week, she takes care of me.

For the past week and a half, I have been very, very ill. It hit me fast and hard. I was at work Wednesday morning without issue, then by lunch I’d developed a scratchy throat and a bit of a cough. By the end of the day, the cough was more pronounced, and when I woke up the next morning at 5 a.m., I felt like dying. My fever spiked to 101.6, I’d sweat profusely because of it, and then I’d get the chills and was freezing, dropping my temperature to 98.2 and lower.

I’ve been working my ass off for a good long while now, not taking a moment to rest because when I’m not at work (the day job), I’m still working…at night, on the weekends, whenever. Running a business takes a lot of work and energy. Freelancing does too. The issue is that I haven’t stopped. I haven’t rested. I’ve been working straight through every hour of every day, sleeping maybe five hours a night during the week, maybe a bit more on the weekends.

And I believe that’s what got me.

Aside from Juliette having acute bronchitis in Denver.

I’m sure I caught it from her, but if I’d been rested, it likely wouldn’t have taken me out so quickly and fiercely.

Sometimes, you have to just stop and rest.

Even if that means unplugging for a day or two.

I was pretty much unplugged for five days. FIVE DAYS. That’s insanity to me.

But I didn’t care because I felt like I was dying during those first five days.

CakeorDeath

Lesson learned: stop and rest, smell the roses, or Life will force you to stop…and hey, that just might kill you.