Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2010

Punchkinhead, the Never-Give-Up Boy

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."
That line never made that much sense to me until this past year. I've definitely been through some ups and downs in my life but never so far up and so far down and never in periods so close together. Besides going through some severe life changes, early this Fall I lost two very dear relatives. I'm separated from their families by a whole planet, but contact through the internet kept me in the loop. I still felt helpless because I couldn't physically comfort or be comforted by those I love. It was an awful crushing helplessness, the kind that try men's souls.
In the midst of all that I had learned that my cousin's little baby boy was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL). Following his progress on Facebook, I learned that he was continually suffering through tests and treatments and I could only imagine how tough things are on him and his family. However, looking at pictures of him, I saw sm…

Parker: The Outfit

[Note: Check This $#!% Out was originally a seperate blog but is now a feature of patokon blog]

This comic is the total $#!%!
If you like hard-boiled or film noir or heist movies or bad-ass mofos who know how to get the job done, then you just might fall in man-love with Parker.

He's plans jobs, as in heists. He's one of the best. Even so, there are always factors that can make a job go south. Richard Stark's bad-ass bad guy Parker was introduced in "The Hunter", and in "The Outfit" he's back. With all the money he spent on his new face, he needs a new job, badly. Even though there are a few details he doesn't like about the armored car job that falls in his lap, he needs the dough. The first half of the book tells how that job went. And it went bad, but it was all good. For the reader anyway. The second half deals with The Outfit, a NY-based mob that wants Parker outta the way. WAY outta the way.
Darwyn Cooke's art makes Stark's words sin…

You down with OTR? We down with OTR!

[Note: Check This $#!% Out was originally a seperate blog but is now a feature of patokon blog]

What is OTR?
OTR is the most awesome thing ever!
Remember the scene in "A Christmas Story" when Ralphie gets his secret decoder ring and can't wait to decode his first message?



For my generation, listening to radio drama wasn't big on our list of entertainment, but seeing Ralphie decode that message (however disappointing) was kinda cool. Little did I know, years later I would become quite the fan of OTR (Old Time Radio). I guess it might have been just a matter of time since I had listened to a few recordings of The Inner Sanctum, which was always good for a scare, I was a fan of Bogart's Sam Spade early on, and I was already into comic strips from the thirties and forties. As I grew older I would try to catch reruns of Burns and Allen, Jack Benny, and other shows which I didn't even know had started on the radio.
Well, thanks to the magic of the INTERNET, I became c…

A wonderful waste of time - Italian Spider-Man and Street Fighter: The Later Years

[Note: Check This $#!% Out was originally a seperate blog but is now a feature of patokon blog]

Random YouTube vids that are awesome.
This is some good $#!%!

Funny! And though ridiculous, I found myself clicking on every chapter!
Street Fighter: The Later Years
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLrWgVPeCzI
Where Zangief decides to restart the street fight tournament to get back his mojo. Chun Li was always my fave, but in this Guile steals the show.

This is just too amazing.
Italian Spider-Man
It took me a while to realize it wasn't always real Italian.

Because I'm a fan of Italian 70's flicks, this was a happy happy surprise. Shout out to Yojimbo for throwing this masterpiece my way. If you don't totally love this series, then you don't know how to enjoy a good crappy movie. A curse on you!

Recent updates

I've set up a blog for the collaboration between me and Yukitoshi Kono, a brilliant, dark, cute, and funny artist. The Sally & Sue blog. Also, the American Comics Exhibition site is updated (thanks Patrick G!)

Also am trying to keep the "check this $#!% out!" blog as updated as possible! The character I created for this blog is now on display at Tokyo Big Site for the Tokyo Gift Show! I'll be there tomorrow all day, Thurs and Friday from about 5.

Werewolf Kings - Chaney and Naschy

[Note: Check This $#!% Out was originally a seperate blog but is now a feature of patokon blog]

Since I was a little, little kid, I was fascinated by monsters. I don't know what touched it off, but being scared was one of my favorite pastimes. I realized early on that of all the classic monsters, The Wolfman was my favorite. Lon Chaney, Jr., son of make-up master "Man of a Thousand Faces" Lon Sr., played Larry Talbot, a poor sunovagun who... you know the story. He gets all hairy and loses all reason, acting only on primal urges. Hey! Just like puberty!
Frankenstein's monster was butt-ugly, Dracula was evil (and old), but Wolfie was a sympathetic character much like the Hulk, who struggles with the awful realization that he might be a vicious blood-thirsty killer. Also, he was cool!! If I had to choose which character to play, would I want to be stoo-pid monster, aloof and snooty vampire, or wild animal-man? Let me think... oh yeah, WILD MAN!!!!! But that's just …

Don't let the world beat Scott Pilgrim!

[Note: Check This $#!% Out was originally a seperate blog but is now a feature of patokon blog]

I'm hoping that "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" doesn't disappear from theaters quite yet. I love the premise - guy must defeat all seven of girl's exes in order to win her hand. I love Michael Cera, Dork Genius. I love the idea that the film lives in a comic-booky, 80's nintendo-ey world where sound effects and old school emoticons run rampant and where (according to the director) people break into fight scenes instead of musical numbers to express emotion.



I live in Japan so I'm not sure when I'm gonna see it, but I already tried the game and it was

the $#!%. I'm more of a board gamer/role-player kinda guy, but I used to rock an Atari 2600 and though I have a Wii, I'll never forget my old nintendo famicon. I almost bought one last week in Aki (akihabara, the otaku mecca sometimes known as Akiba, but actually really truly pronounced AkiBAhara until …

Welcome to "check this $#!% out!"

[Note: Check This $#!% Out was originally a seperate blog but is now a feature of patokon blog]

In my first CT-O (check this $#!% out) post, I would like to introduce our mascot.
Literally and figuratively, this mascot is The $#!% !!!

Now to get on to some cool $#!% I'd like you to check out. I spent the last week in Kumamoto where I went to an exhibition on Lafcadio Hearn, a Greek-born, Irish-raised world traveler who decided to become a naturalized Japanese citizen (also gaining the Japanese moniker Yakumo Koizumi). He also wrote several books on Japan which are probably some of the best guides to the Japanese mind you'll ever hope to find.
Though most of his observances are of a Japan long gone, it's not hard to draw parallels to the modern Japanese way of thinking. Here is a quote from "Kokoro".

'A male servant long in my house seemed to me the happiest of mortals. He laughed invariably when spoken to, looked always delighted while at work, appeared to know n…

My DVD is out!!

I did the voice of Kenneth (in the hat), the kid, and the old man for this original animated DVD. It's a comedy called "The "Why?" Brothers". In the extras, I play the main character in a mock-umentary about a foreigner working in Japan who mistakenly uses extremely dirty language in several situations.  I originally got involved when I was asked to translate the script. I got very creative and extremely colorful with my metafers (ie. dirty language). I'll probably become as the go to guy for smut talk now.

Here is a clip from the main deal:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8I_m_039jE


The language is NOT for the kiddies or the faint of heart!


Here is a clip from the special features:

I hope u rush out and buy it!

BTW, if you know some Japanese but aren't familiar with the word "nikubo" it is literally "meat-stick" which is slang for... You figger it out.

Top 10 Sci-fi Westerns Part 2

Continuing the Top 10 Sci-fi Westerns list...
5. Outland (movie) - 
Sean Connery must weigh his thankless job against family (good-looking wife and son who is too dorky-looking to be believable as from Connery's hallowed loins) and survival. Of course he chooses the option where he must face down a team of assassins at high-noon on a mining station on Io, one of Jupiter's moons). No cowboy hats or six-shooters, but it is very much a wild west type of scenario where the new Sheriff must deal with the land baron's evil henchmen and the townsfolk and deputies won't lift a finger to help, and there's space heroin and exploding heads... Okay that last part doesn't happen so much. I still enjoy seeing this one every once in a while. Connery is always awesome and best slomo head explosions ever (other contenders - The Fly II and Scanners)!!4. The Wild, Wild West (television NOT the movie!) - When I was quite the youngun' I would flip the channel on this show th…

Top 10 Sci-fi Westerns Part 1

Of the genre combinations, this is not one that readily comes to mind (such as the ever popular Slasher/Romantic Comedy crossover). My favorite crossover might be Horror/Comedy with SF/Horror a close second, but some really great SF just happens to have Western themes. Check out my top ten. It was originally five, but then I remembered 5 more: 10. Westworld (movie) - About a theme park that uses A.I. androids to show guests "a good time" in different worlds created to simulate space travel, ancient Rome, the Age of Chivalry, and the wild west. Unfortunately, a good time means being massacred by androids. Some great moments in this flick and Yul Brynner is the baddest android gunslinger badass ever, but takes too long to get going. This could use a remake, but avoid the sequel like the Black Death if you know what's good for ya'. Look for the late Majel Barrett Roddenberry in one of her few non-Trek roles.9. Star Trek: The Original Series "Spectre of t…

Before there was GON, there was FLASH

Hello, Nipponophiles!
   Yes, that's what they used to call us back in the day. Which "day" are you talking about, you might ask. I'm talking about when anime fans were such a minority that Prisoner fans used to give us a hard time. Nowadays, most Japan-o-fans are happy to be called "otaku". Well here on ARTokyo, I've decided to talk about what it was like to be an old-school otaku. Well, I used to be old-school, but now I'm just old. I guess that makes me an "ota-oji", as in "oji-san" as in old dude.
  Now this old dude is gonna tell you about a favorite manga of mine by Masashi Tanaka. Learn all about him in this informative wiki article. Tanaka is best known for GON, a comic masterpiece about a little dinosaur, which was one of the first manga to successfully crossover to the Western world if only because it didn't need any translation. There were no words! Console gamers might know Gon from his appearance in Tekken 3, but…