Monday, April 27, 2015

The 10 Best Walking Dead Characters Not Named Daryl Dixon
Let's face it kids, if we were to do a poll of all the fans of the AMC TV hit, The Walking Dead, approximately 99 and 44/100ths percent of them would vote for Daryl Dixon as their number one zombie apocalypse survivor. Okay, perhaps that is a bit high of a percentage, but you get my drift. Daryl is the be all and end all of The Walking Dead. Which is rather ironic considering he is the one major character of the show that has never been in the comic book from which the show is adapted. So, basically this list is going to be a list of those Walking Dead characters who invariably come in second, third, fourth, and so on, to one Mr. Daryl Dixon. This post originally saw the light of day over at The Geek League of America, a place where I do the occasional outsource work, but has been brought back to life for W-Day in the ole A to Z Challenge. Granted, it has been updated and a bit rearranged since its original posting two seasons ago. Anyhoo, before we get started, I would like to shout out a big ole "I'm sorry!" to Tyreese, Dale, T-Dog, Sasha, and especially Beth. Sorry guys, even you, Eugene, but I had to make the cut somewhere. And to Lori and Andrea - I never really liked you guys all that much anyway. So let's get on with the list. Oh, and for those of you that still haven't seen the show (are there really any of you out there still!?) there be spoilers a-plenty ahead. So you've been warned.

And awaaaaaaay we go...

10. Shane

Yeah, he's a gigantic asshole, but he did kick some major ass in his time on the show. Sure, he shot Otis in the leg and left him as walker bait, but hey, I would have done the same thing. His number one goal was save Carl, and if he didn't make it back to the farm, Carl would have died. Okay, he tried to kill Rick because he wanted to have Lori all to himself, and that was a real dick move, but the guy did protect Lori while Rick was off having a nap, and maybe he deserved the little sumpin' sumpin' he got from the gal. Okay, maybe not, but he did kick a lot of ass, and got that whole barn situation taken care of. Now am I the only one who thinks Judith looks a lot like Shane? Yeah, I went there.

9. Carl

Yeah, I know, I know. At first this obnoxious little brat was everyone's number one choice for most "I-hope-he-gets-killed-soon" character, myself included. But ya know what? The little shit kinda grows on ya. At least he grew on me. I mean, this kid has been through a lot. He had to kill his own mom, and he had to take care of his dad when he was seeing ghosts. Carl has deserved his rise in respectability. Hell, he even had the balls to hit on Beth. Going from idiot child to real live ass-kicking member of the group in season 3, Carl is now old enough (and un-obnoxious enough) to make this list, and maybe even get some in the upcoming season 6. Hey, and he loves pudding too.

8. Glenn & Maggie, aka Gleggie

The hottest couple in the Zombie Apocalypse should rightfully share a spot here - plus it's a great way to sneak in a top eleven. Glenn was fun and all that before hooking up with the hot farmer's daughter (he did save Rick's ass in the first episode), but after their tryst in the pharmacy, he became that much cooler, and together these guys are enough to give everyone hope for the future. Their search to find each other after the prison went down, and everyone was separated, is a quest for the proverbial ages. Maggie and Glenn (a couple so hot that they even get their own Bennifer-esque portmanteau) are both kick-ass on their own (remember when Glenn was tied to that chair and took down that walker, or when everyone was sick and Mags was cuttin' down walkers left and right?) but together - they fucking rock! Too bad Glenn's probably going to go down in season 6.

7. The Governor

The poor guy just wanted to keep his little girl safe. Michonne had no reason to do what she did. The Governor's a good guy. He built a community where he kept people safe. Well except for when he stabbed Milton and left Andrea for dead, or when he pitted brother against brother in a ring of walkers, or when he attacked the prison...twice. Okay, who the hell am I kidding? The guy is an out and out psychopath, but isn't that why we love the guy? No? Well, it's why I love the guy. He is an eye-patch-wearing, bad-ass mofo, and I wouldn't want him any other way. Well, he was an eye-patch-wearing, bad-ass mofo. Now he's just walker meat.

6. Abraham

You want tough? Well, I got just the guy for you. Abraham takes no guff from no one, be it the living or the dead. With that handlebar mustache and flat-top hairstyle, all those oily muscles, and all those guns (arms and arms, alike), Abraham is one bad-ass mofo.  Yeah, he took it a bit hard when he found out Eugene was lying to them all (though Eugene has since redeemed himself) but when he went into that construction site horde of walkers to single-handedly rescue a fallen comrade, well that was fucking bad-ass to the nth degree, man! Plus, it appears that Abraham is one of the few people still able to get sex during the Zombie Apocalypse.

5. Hershel

In the early episodes it was wizened old Dale that acted as the moral center of the show (though he was kind of a douche at times), but after he got gutted like a goddamn fish, the group needed a new moral compass on which to rely, and that guy became old Reverend Hershel Greene. Sure, at first Hershel was in a big ole bag of denial, but after the barn incident, and the ensuing chaos that sprung up from that, as well as losing his leg (oh man), Hershel changed his tune and became one of the most important people in the group. An importance that was emphasized by his daring to go into the quarantined and infested prison cell block. Even after losing his head (man, oh man) it was the memory of Hershel that helped many of the splintered survivors carry on. Hell, even Daryl called him one tough sonofabitch. Didjya ever notice that if you were to combine the eye-patched Governor and the peg-legged Hershel, you would have mighty fine zombie killin' pirate. .

4. Rick

Okay, he's a born leader, but sometimes the guy gets a little, shall we say, distracted by the ghost of his dead wife. And maybe sometimes he falls into a coma, and misses the entire beginning of the zombie apocalypse. And the sometimes he falls into another coma (or something like that) and has to be taken care of by his son. And sometimes he gets in shouting matches with a one-eyed sociopath, and ends up causing his whole group to lose their comfy prison home. And then sometimes he stupidly befriends an obvious whack-a-doodle he finds living in the woods, with her boyfriend's head in a bag. And sometimes he wastes day after day being a farmer instead of the leader he was born to be. Okay, maybe he isn't that great of a leader after all. No seriously, he actually is a really good leader, with or without his gigantic beard of terror!

3. Michonne

One of the biggest ass-kickers on the show has just got to be the lady with the dreads, the katana blade, and a coupla armless, jawless walkers in chains. One of the most popular characters in both the comics and the TV show, Michonne is the balls-out samurai of the zombie apocalypse, and she gave the governor that kick-ass piratey eye-patch by putting that aforementioned katana blade through his little girl's undead head. This bitch is bad, baby! Do not mess with this lady! She will kick your ass! Hey, and she collects comic books for Carl too. How cool is that?

2. Merle

Come on people! Ya know ya love some Merle Dixon. Ya know ya do. Yeah, he may have been a redneck racist who would just as soon kill ya as look atchya, but when the chips were down, he was a good guy to have at your back. This one-handed mofo (hey, we could combine him with the Guv and Hersh, to make the ultimate Walking Dead pirate!) not only saved his brother's life, but also came to the rescue of Rick and the others when it came down to it all. Yeah, yeah, he beat the living crap outta Glenn, and then tied him to a chair and let a walker loose on him, but hey, he's a good guy. Right? He did go out a hero though. So there.

1. Carol

Sure, when dirty deeds need done, ya get Daryl Dixon to do 'em. But when Daryl ain't around, the best place to go is to good ole Carol. She started out as an abused wife, then became a grieving mother, the sometime around there, she turned into a kick-as warrior woman who would do anything that needed to be done, in order to protect those she loved and cared for. It's kill or be killed for Carol Peletier, and this guy wouldn't want it any other way. Hell, she single-handedly saved the entire group from the clutches of the Termites. She deserves to be on this list, and in the number one spot at that. And she makes great cookies too.

That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Brief History of the Letter V, Not to be Confused w/ the Letter U

So, yesterday, we took a quick and mostly unnecessary look at the life story of the Letter U. It was a rather sad story, as the poor Letter U has had a hard life. You can read all about it right here. But that was then, this is now. Welcome to V-Day, and a brief history of the Letter V.

The Letter V, even as a small little pointed letter v, back in the so-called Dark Ages, was always a gigantic pain in the tuckus. Growing up on the rich side of town (as opposed to the little u being from the wrong side of the tracks), the arrogant Letter V grew up to believe himself to be above all other letters, but especially his arch-rival, the aforementioned hapless poor little u. One time, Mr. V even went so far as to push poor U down a spot on the alphabet, making it go...S..T..V..U..and so on. Eventually (thanks to the French Academy, I am led to believe) this unprecedented usurping of roles was remedied, but even so, the Letter V (which does stand for Victory, dontchya know?) has always been regarded as the more important letter. Even the makers of Scrabble believe this to be oh so true. Yes, it's an ugly tale, but a true tale nonetheless. That damn V gets all the credit, while poor little u is stuck playing second banana (or second fiddle, if you prefer) to Q in almost every damn word.

So this post (and the one from yesterday) has told the story of a coupla letters. One with an easy life, the other with a difficult one. Granted, these last two posts haven't been my regular milieu (my faithful readers and true believers know full well about my pop cultural ways), but then, to be part of the A to Z Challenge, one must make some allowances. So I wrote a coupla silly nonsense posts for the occasion. Hope ya'll enjoyed 'em. Actually, it doesn't really matter if ya'll like 'em or not. There they are either way. Anyhoo, tomorrow we will be getting back to those aforementioned pop cultural ways of mine, with a little look at a TV show by the name of The, the Walking something-or-other. Guess we'll find out tomorrow. For now...that's it gang. See ya 'round the web. Now here's a pic of everybody's favourite Vulcan. Enjoy.

Friday, April 24, 2015

A Brief History of the Letter U

Hey gang! Welcome to U-Day at the ole A to Z Challenge.So, today's assignment is to post something that has to do with the letter U. So what better than the life story of the letter U? So, without any further ado, here is a brief history of the letter U.

Once upon a time, as all good stories are wont to begin, there lived a little letter u. But back in these early days, the little letter u was not really a u at all. Nope! Back in the Middle Ages (which were probably not called the Middle Ages at the time) the little letter u was really a little letter v. Or was it that the v was actually the u? Were they the same letter? Perhaps...or perhaps not. Confused yet? Good. Here's the dealio (or is that the dillio?) from the fine folks over at Wikipedia: The little u was actually a little pointed v, and the little pointed v was used at the beginning of a word, while the little rounded u was used in the middle and/or end of words. So words like valor and excuse (if they wrote in modern English back then, which they did not) would look so-called okay, but at the same time, words such as have and upon would actually read haue and vpon. Yeah, quite silly, indeed. But alas, poor little rounded u was often seen as a secondary citizen to that little pointed v.

Even back in the days of the Gothic Alphabet, v would come before u in the whole scheme of things. Poor little u, even after become an older, wiser U, always had to take a back seat to that damn big V. Even to this day, poor hapless (but still quite proud, dammit!) Letter U is often unceremoniously squeezed into nearly every word with a Q. But hey, in today's modern day texting world, U is used much often than that damn, filthy V. So, at least the guy has that going for him.  So there you have the (somewhat sad) story of the Letter U. Toldjya it was gonna be brief. Anyhoo, tomorrow, we are going to take a brief look at that aforementioned filthy Letter V. After that, we will be back to so-called real posts, about so-called real things. For now...that's it gang. See ya 'round the web. Now, just to add to the silly aura of this post, here's a picture of Underdog. Enjoy.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Heavenly Body of the Week: Tatooine
Hey gang! Welcome to T-Day in the A to Z Challenge. Just yesterday, in typical meta fashion, I did an A to Z list inside the A to Z Challenge. Said list looked at the fan battle between Star Trek and Star Wars, each given their respective fair share (13 Star Trek entries and 13 Star Wars entries). Now here we are a day later, and after all the fair play yesterday, I go and show which franchise to which I am partial. Yay Star Wars!

Tatooine is actually the first planet we encounter in Star Wars. Tatooine is where we meet Luke and Ben, and later on, Han and Chewie. It is also the place where we come across Jabba in Return of the Jedi. The place where Boba Fett is devoured in the Sarlac Pit. Oh wait (spoiler alert) no he wasn't. It is also the planet where we get to see Princess Leia dressed in that iconic gold bikini. Yeah, baby! Tatooine is also the place where those stormtroopers found those droids they were not looking for, and where the funny little Jawa race, make a living selling those same said droids and their ilk. Tatooine may have also held a pod race or two, but who really knows if that ever happened. Have I mentioned Princess Leia in that gold bikini? I have? Good.

As far as the planet itself goes, Tatooine, which was once teaming with lush flora and vast oceans (at least, that is what I am told), is mostly a desert these days (or at least a long time ago). It is full of lots of species, such as the Sand People (aka, Tuskan Raiders) who are the native and fierce nomadic race of the planet, the Hutts, who are just big ugly slug creature crime lords, and those aforementioned little Jawas. The planet also has two suns. Did I mention that? Yeah, two freakin' suns. Sure, other planets have more, but when you live on a planet with just one lousy sun, two is rather exciting. Anyhoo, let's just say that Tatooine, thanks to being the place from where Luke and Anakin hail, and where Han and Chewie first met the gang, is probably the most iconic place in the Star Wars Universe. So there! Star Wars wins. Two suns!!

That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Alphabet Game: The Star Trek/Star Wars Get-A-Long Edition
Hello, and welcome to the latest edition of The Alphabet Game, wherein I take a look at 26 different things in one common category, all done, of course, alphabetically. This also happens to be S-Day in the A to Z Challenge (click on the big S to find out the rules of the challenge) so that brings us to this special Star Trek/Star Wars Get-A-Long edition of the ole Alphabet Game. As you will see below, the much bally-hoo'd battle between fans of Star Trek and fans of Star Wars, is all for null. Neither side is right and neither side is wrong. Why can't we all just get along? And yes, I do realize I am doing an A to Z post inside another A to Z post.

A is for Andorian - The Star Trek Universe has a seemingly infinite array of alien races, but the bluest of 'em all (and the one that fits into the A spot the best) are the Andorians. These azure-fleshed, antennae-wielding aliens may be troublesome at times (not Romulan troublesome, but more Tribble kinda trouble), but overall, they are good and loyal allies. Hey, and they start with the letter A, so here they are.

B is for Bantha - The Bantha is a magnificent creature that is native to the planet of  Tatooine. Very yakky/woolly mammoth-esque in appearance, the Bantha was portrayed by a costumed elephant named Mardji, in the original film. Mardji also gained fame for a Skippy Peanut Butter ad she did at the time.

C is for The City on the Edge of Forever - This first season episode is often cited as the best episode of the entire original series. I may (almost) concur. In the episode, Dr. McCoy, mad with a self-inflicted shot of cordrazine, leaps through a time portal, and accidentally alters history. Of course, Kirk and Spock must go back in time as well, to fix what needs fixin'. While back in New York City of the 1930's, Kirk, being Kirk, hits it off with Edith Keeler, played by Joan Collins. This is where things get a bit complicated. But no spoilers, just in case there is someone on planet Earth who has not yet seen this episode.

D is for Death Star - That's no moon. Ya know my biggest problem with the Death Star? No, not that it was built solely for destroying everything around it. That was kinda the Empire's way. It was there thing. No, my biggest problem is that they went and created this massive machine of doom and destruction, and left a tiny hole where it could be destroyed. Really? The contractors never noticed this? A tiny little hole, that could have easily had something put over it. hell, I can find ya some scrap metal if you need it. What the hell!?

E is for The Enterprise - My wife told me a story of when she first saw Star Wars, or at least almost saw it. Her and her ex sat down to watch it, and when the star destroyer shows up in that opening scene, she turned to him and asked, "Is that the Enterprise?" He immediately turned it off and said if she wasn't going to take it seriously, then why bother. Now, I don't tend to agree with ex boyfriends and all, but in this case... Anyhoo, as everyone else surely knows, The USS Enterprise is Captain James T. Kirk's ship. Yeah, others have commanded it, but it is Kirk's ship. Sorry Jean-Luc.

F is for The Fett Family - Those damn Fett boys. First we meet Boba Fett, who encases Han Solo in carbonite and hauls him off to Jabba, to collect his bounty. The filthy bastard! I'm glad he got sucked into that Sarlac Pit. Wait, what? He's still alive? Seriously? When did that happen? Oh, for the new movies. Gotchya. Anyhoo, then we have Jango Fett, Boba's dad. He was in those films of which we do not speak, so I'll shut up now.

G is for the (Scary) Gorn - The first episode of Star Trek I ever remember seeing was the first season episode titled, "Arena." As the show went off the air before I turned two, this would have been in syndication sometime in the mid 1970's. I would have been around 8 or 9, at the time. the episode featured the Gorn battling Kirk on Cestus III. Looking back now, the Gorn probably doesn't seem all that scary to viewers, but when I was 8 or 9, that guy was all kinds of scary.

H is for Han Shot First! - Don't get me started on how George Lucas nearly ruined his own creation by constantly changing things in his movies. Sure, go ahead and digitally add a few more Tauntauns, or give extra drool to the Rancor, but when you make Greedo shoot first, so Han doesn't seem like a killer, then you've gone too fucking far. Too fucking far. Han shot first and killed the bounty hunter who was going to kill him. That's called survival. End of story.

I is for Star Trek: The Motion Picture - Yeah, that's right, I'm invoking the long forgotten Roman numeral clause, and saying that Star Trek I, is a valid entry for the letter I. So there! And, please allow me to make even more controversy by stating that I think Star Trek: The Motion Picture, or Star Trek I, if you will, is one of the better members of the franchise. That's right, I like Star Trek I. So there (again)!

J is for Jedi Knight - Somewhat based on Taoism (The Way = The Force), the Jedi religion is actually the fastest growing religion in the world. That's right! Light sabers and the Force beat out crosses and discrimination, any day. May the Force Be With You.

K is for Kirk, James Tiberius Kirk - The man, the legend, the oh Captain, My Captain. The iconic character played by the equally iconic Mr. William Shatner, will always have a spot in my heart of hearts. Sure, Jean-Luc Picard came around and did a great job as captain of the USS Enterprise, but I don't care who says what, the man ain't no James Tiberius Kirk, space rogue and the greatest Captain in Starfleet history.

L is for Lando - Let's face it, Billy-Dee Williams is already one of the coolest mofo's out there. Now, go ahead and cast him as Han Solo's even more rakish old pal, complete with suave-as-fuck blue cape, and you got yourself the coolest cat in the galaxy, man. Now, I know you are thirsty for a cold delicious Colt .45 right about now. Go ahead, you can admit it.

M is for Mirror, Mirror - So, if The City on the Edge of Forever is the best Star Trek episode, then Mirror, Mirror, cannot be far behind. Ya get an evil Enterprise crew from an parallel universe, complete with a goatee'd Spock (that's how you can tell he's the villain), and a swashbuckling bad-ass Sulu. How can that not be freakin' fantastic!?

N is for Nerf Herders - Ya gotta love those scruffy looking nerf hearders. We all know Leia does, whether she was ready to admit it at first, or not.

O is for Security Chief Odo - Played with a restrained vim and vigor by Rene Auberjonois, this shape shifting security chief of Deep Space Nine has always been one of my favourite on the post Next Gen Star Trek characters, and luckily his name begins with an O, so here he is.

P is for Princess Leia - Every guy from my generation has had some private moments alone with thoughts of Princess Leia. Be it in her white gown from the first film, her tight Hoth parka and/or formal wear on Bespin, or especially, in that slave outfit on Jabba's skiff, every guy around my age, has had his private thoughts on Princess Leia. Oh yeah.

Q is for the Borg Queen - Yeah, this nasty bitch of a queen is the most vile queen since that Alien bitch that tried to eat Sigourney Weaver. Wait, was she even a queen? Anyhoo, this Queen of the Borg was technically just one of the Borg Collective, but the ruthless bitch still held her own unique personality of sorts. And she's really scary too.

R is for R2-D2 (of course) - Sure, Han and Luke, Leia and Ben, Chewie and Lando, even little Wicket the Ewok, have had their heroic moments, but it is R2-D2 who really saves the day again and again. A lot of his heroics are kinda behind the scenes, maybe in the back of an X-Wing, but hero he damn well is!

S is for Spock Rules! - Let's face it, Spock rules. Nothing else need be said. Okay, I'll say a few other things. Mr. Spock, Science Officer and second-in-command of the Starship Enterprise, as played by the late great Mr. Leonard Nimoy is possibly the single greatest character in science fiction history. And he is sexy too, especially when he plays that harp thingee. Now, there is nothing more to be said. Live long and prosper.

T is for These are not the Droids you are looking for - Jedi mind tricks are always fun. Yeah, they're kind of easy peazy when you do them on the rather small-brained Imperial stormtroopers, but hey, when ya gotta hide some droids, ya do what ya need to do.

U is for Uhura! - Nichelle Nichols' iconic Lt. Uhura, was a ground breaking force in television. She was one of the first African American stars on TV, who wasn't a stereotype. Yeah, they still basically made her the one who answers the space phone, but just her presence on the bridge was groundbreaking. And she and Shatner had the first ever primetime interracial kiss, even though the censors made the show make it a forced kiss. At one point, Nichols had wanted to quit the show, but Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. convinced her to stick around. Yup, that's how important her character was.

V is for Lord Vader - How can we have any list about Star Wars, even one that share's its space and time with Star Trek, and not have Darth Vader somewhere on there. So here ya go: Darth Vader, Sith Lord Extraordinaire. Now shut up. I included the guy. Let's move on...

W is for the Wesley Crushers - Technically, this reference is from The Big Bang Theory. It is from an episode where Sheldon is bowling against his arch-nemesis, Wil Wheaton, and in trying to intimidate his opponent, makes bowling team shirts that read The Wesley Crushers. Wil Wheaton doesn't take this in the manner Sheldon does (crushing Wesley Crusher), but instead takes it as a loving embrace of his character. Oh, and if you still do not know what this entry has to do with Star Trek...well then, you need to go home and think about what you've done.

X is for X-Wing Fighter - Last year, during the A to Z Challenge, I did a list called "My 10 Favourite X Things," (obviously on X-Day), and one of those X things was, of course, the wickedly coolio X-Wing Fighters. Yeah, how could a spaceship shaped like an X, not be coolio and a half? A Y-Wing Fighter? Forget that nonsense! As a kid, I proudly flew my X-Wing Fighter all around my bedroom.

Y is for Yar! - Not much surprises me, but (spoiler alert!) when Security Chief Tasha Yar was shot and killed at the end of season one of Star Trek: The Next Generation, I was visibly shocked as all get out. How dare they kill Yar, and do it that abruptly and matter-of-factly! Bastards! 

Z is for Zuckuss, Yeah, Zuckuss - Z was kind of a tough one on this list, but I eventually came up with Zuckuss. Yeah, that's right, Zuckuss. For those not in the so-called know, Zuckuss is a bounty hunter who decided to join the rebellion. Yeah, he still charged for his services, but he was charging the correct people at least. So there ya go, Zuckuss for the win!

See, we can co-exist, if we want. That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Rat Queens, and How Kick-Ass Women Are Taking Over the Comic Book World (and Why That is a Good Thing)

Hello fellow travelers, and welcome to R-Day of the A to Z Challenge. By now everyone should be aware of what said challenge is, but in case you don't, just click on the big R over there, and all will be explained. Meanwhile, back here at All Things Kevyn, we are about to discuss how the comic book world, a world ruled by men for a long long time (both as consumers and as creators), has become much more diverse over the past few years, adding many new kick-ass female heroes, characters of colour and different religious backgrounds, and even changing the gender of long male characters. Of course, this being R-Day, and therefore the day we do a post about something R-related, this post shall now be led by some of the kick-assiest of kick-ass comic book ladies, The Rat Queens.

So who are these Rat Queens? They are a foursome of bad-ass fightin' ladies from the self-titled fantasy title from the always fine folks over at Image Comics. And these aren't your normal comic ladies of old. These ladies are no ladies. Foul mouthed and sex crazed, strong and powerful, never taking a back seat to any man, The Rat Queens are the epitome of the new direction in female comic book characters. Okay, perhaps they are more the extreme faction, but there is definitely a change a-comin'. Over at DC, you have a new direction for already strong female characters, especially Batgirl, now being drawn, beautifully I might add, by Babs Tarr, and Harley Quinn, drawn (and co-written with her hubby) by Amanda Conner. Over at Marvel, we have Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel (the coolest of all superheroes, male or female) by Kelly Sue DeConnick, and Ms. Marvel, a teenage Muslim superhero, created by G. Willow Wilson. And I haven't even brought up the new female Thor, and other brave and bold characters such as Gamora, Black Widow, Storm, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Woman, Spider-Gwen, the newly recreated Jean Grey, Squirrel Girl, and She-Hulk, who was recently revamped.

Meanwhile, back over at Image, we also have Matt Fraction's Sex Criminals, which is one of the best comics out there today, and it is headlined by yet another strong female character. There is also the super feminist (and I mean that with absolutely no snark whatsoever) Bitch Planet, created by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro, about a prison planet where so-called non-compliant women are sent. Have I mentioned that Kelly Sue DeConnick rocks? I haven't? Well, trust me. she does indeed rock. She also does a comic called Pretty Deadly, which is pretty awesome. Anyhoo, on with the show. But you should check her out. And this is just scratching the surface of the new direction in comic books. Some would say that taking a typically male dominated world and tossing in diversity just for diversity's sake, is never a good thing, but these new comics, and this new direction is not just diversity for diversity's sake. Some of these titles, especially Captain Marvel, Batgirl, Ms. marvel, Bitch Planet, and Rat Queens, all about strong women, many created by strong women, are some of the best comics around today. So go ahead and check some of them out...or all of them if you so desire. Hey, even the BBC series Orphan Black, is now a comic book. That's it gang. See ya 'round the web. Now here are The Rat Queens, in all their beautifully bloody glory...

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Letter Q: The Queen Mum of the Alphabet
The Letter Q is a funny one. It's like the Letter O, but the boy version...if ya'll get my drift. It's also one of the more high maintenance letters, almost always having to be followed by the Letter U. Just go ahead and as U how annoying that can be. Go ahead, ask him. I dare ya. Anyhoo, here we are on Q-Day of the ole A to Z Challenge thingee-ma-jigger. Those still not in the know, just click on the big Q over there, and all will be explained. Now back to the Letter Q, the queeny old bitch that she is. 

Ah, the Letter Q. What a fun looking bitch. Like I said before, like an O, but with boy parts. The baby Q, the q, if you will, also happens to be one of the cutest of all the lower case letters. But let's get on with things, and discuss the Letter Q.

My ten favourite Q words, in no particular order are:
  • Quagmire: The difficult situation, the soft wet ground, or Peter Griffin's next door neighbour.
  • QuestLove: In all his big-haired, Jimmy Fallon assisting, drummers a-drumming glory.
  • Quizzle: Even though it is just a credit score website, it's a pretty freakin' cool word to say.
  • Quadragenarian: This would be a person between the tender ages of 40 and 49. Hey, that's me!
  • Quasi: Put this in front of any word, and that word instantly becomes all that much cooler.
  • Quiver: Be it Robin Hood or Hawkeye, Green Arrow or Katniss, a Quiver is always quiverlicious.
  • Quippery: The art of making quips has always been one of my strong suits, if I do say so me-self.
  • Quisby: This word for an idler, one who does not want to work, may very well describe me too.
  • Qwerty: And yes, this description of the standard Western keyboard IS an actual word!
  • Queer: Some say it's not PC, but it's used as a badge of pride by many in the LGBTQ Community.

And, in the land of pop cultury goodness (ya'll knew I would get here sooner or later), the Letter Q could mean anything from Q*Bert to Quicksilver. Growing up in the 1970's and 80's, as I did, the early video gaming boom was an integral part of my societal education. I spent many an hour at the ole arcade at Capital City Mall during my impressionable teenage years (back when malls still had arcades, that is) and one of my faves, along with Frogger, Pac-Man, Asteroids, Pitfall (and in later years, Super Mario III and Mortal Kombat), was a little game called Q*Bert. First released in 1982, Q*Bert was a game where you had to help the titular orange-snooted hero, make his way up and down and all around dangerous cubed pyramids. Q*Bert was a blast. He did seem to swear a lot though ... ya know, for a kid's game.

And then you have Quicksilver. Those who are comic book readers know of this arrogant, but ultimately heroic mutant superhero. Those who only know the Marvel Universe via the Marvel Cinematic Universe (aka, those big blockbustery motion picture extravaganzas), then you really won't know Quicksilver until The Avengers 2 comes out on May 1st. Yeah, he was in the most recent X-Men movie, but that's a whole different entity. Neither one is all that true to the comics (and the battle between Disney and Fox, over how each version can be portrayed, is rather ridiculous), but you will have this. In the comics, Quicksilver, aka Pietro Maximoff, is a mutant (and twin brother of Scarlet Witch) who began his comic book life as a member of Magneto's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, before switching sides and joining the Avengers. Eventually, Quicksilver would become a member of both The X-Men and X-Factor, and eventually find out that Magneto is not his real father, and that he may not even be a mutant at all. But enough of Quicksilver. What about Quantum and Planet Q?

Yeah, Quantum and Planet Q are part of another comic book universe...the place known as Smiley-Face Land. Smiley-Face land, published by Brain Tumor Comix, a subsidiary of The All Things Kevyn Entertainment Network, is a place created by yours truly, back in the Fall of 1989. Basically, it is a comic book world wherein smiley-faces live. And of course, there are superheroes and supervillains in this world. Heroes like Cap'n Smiley-Face and the Smiley-Face Guardians, Dr. Oddball, The Incredible Behemoth, Mega Man, and the Uncanny X-Smiles.One of these heroes (a founding member of the aforementioned Smiley-Face Guardians), is a guy named Quantum. An alien to Smiley-Face Land, Quantum comes from Planet Q, where he was born into royalty. His father is King Quesada and his mother is Queen Qaa. Meanwhile, his brother is the evil-minded Quarterflash. Planet Q is a wonderful place to vacation, as the Guardians have on occasion. Anyhoo, that is the (brief) story of Planet Q.

Well kids, there are a lot more fun Q-things to tally-ho on about, but we should probably wrap this baby up. So no talk about the greatly under-appreciated 1977 sci-fi situation comedy, Quark. No mention (other than this one) of the town of Quahog, even though we did mention a Quahog resident earlier in the post. Forget about Quiznos subs or any of the world's Queens (including the band). No talk of Quartets or Quasars or Quest for Fire or the Quatermass Experiment or anything that quacks. Nope, sorry, we just don't have time, although I would like to give a shout out to Qui Qui Musarra, Harrisburg Restaurateur extraordinaire, who will soon be part of The 11 Question Interview series. I would like to close by saying thank you to all those who are visiting my blog during the A to Z Challenge. I usually do not post posts such as this, tending instead to have more pop culture essays of sorts, but it is fun to do nonsense posts like these every once and a while, and the A to Z thang, with its alphabetized 26 day posting schedule, helps me do just that. That's it gang. See ya 'round the web...and in the funny pages. Now here's a picture of Quick Draw McGraw for you to enjoy.

Oh, and don't forget another Q-word. Quiz, which is like a poll, which oh so smoothly brings us to the poll that is currently going on at this blog. The poll is to see who everyone's favourite Classic Universal Monster is. So head on over to the poll widget thingee, found near the top of this blog's sidebar, and get your vote on. The poll runs through the end of the A to Z Challenge, so make sure to tell all your friends and enemies. Now, go ahead and enjoy that Quick Draw McGraw picture. See ya 'round the web.