Jake & Leon #153: Hello, 2022

Of course this year it was mental health, because my body finds new ways to attack me.

Not that great a comic but given how long it’s been I’ll take it.

Over at The Clutter Reports this week I have a better return to form as I organize the various paper I use for comics and other art projects. Or at least hope to use this year. It’s the first step in Operation: A Place For Everything, which I mentioned in the v-log and came up with the name last week.

So, this week we get closer to the end of Star Trek: Prime Directive for Chapter By Chapter. I already have a review ready to go for Tuesday since I finally saw the trailer for DC’s League Of Super-Pets and I’m not angry, just disappointed in the lost potential. I’ll get into it then. I’m not sure what else I’ll have this week but it’s nice to be back to what passes for normal. There’s still going to be a bit of dust but I’m sure it will be worth checking in for. Have a great week, everyone!

Saturday Night Showcase: Terrahawks

What happens if the Thunderbirds are less about rescuing internationally and more about fighting galactically? You get Terrahawks, a 1980s series from Gerry Anderson and co-creator Christopher Burr.

Earth is being invaded by Zelda, an alien android from a world where the robots overthrew their slavemaster humans, and now has an issue with all humans in the universe. Earth’s humans are her next target but here the Terrahawks work with their robotic Zeroids to oppose her. Leading the group is Dr. “Tiger” Ninestein, ninth in a series of clones so you know they’re equal opportunity in this future. The show follows the various members of the team in their battle to protect the planet from the invaders.

Terrahawks uses the same models as previous puppeted and live-action shows produced by Gerry Anderson, but instead of Supermarionation they opted for Supermacronation, using hand puppets to get over the weird walking issues the marionettes tend to have. The show also leans a bit more on light humor, though not necessarily a comedy, which sadly means the Japanese guy gets to be made fun of because the Japanese language doesn’t have the “l” sound, and those who don’t adjust tend to use “r” instead. It’s really the only flaw in the first episode, as Zelda and her forces establish a base on Mars after attacking a NASA base manned by a woman who is clearly forcing something resembling an American accent, then making her first move on the planet. As a bonus I have a behind the scenes video for you. Enjoy!

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“Yesterday’s” Comic> Scooby-Doo Team-Up #30

“For the last time we AREN’T the Fantastic Four!”

Scooby-Doo Team-Up #30

DC Comics (November, 2017; the last story in comiXology’s vol 5 trade)

“Did Someone Say Team-Up?”

WRITER: Sholly Fisch

ARTIST: Dario Brizuella

COLORIST: Franco Riesco

LETTERER: Saida Temofonte

EDITOR: Kristy Quinn

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Anime Made By Cultists

Japanese animation studios do make shows for kids, but unlike the US they don’t make cartoons just for kids. (We’re not counting subversive crap. They’re not trying to advance the format, they’re trying to make comedy. I just wish they made GOOD comedy but most don’t.) They make animation for all different age groups and genres. This is a good thing and one of the reasons “anime” has such a strong fanbase in the west…especially from those who hate kids shows that don’t cater to them. That’s a rant for another time.

Here’s a fun fact for you though. There is a cult in Japan that actually makes their own anime, and visually some of it looks rather good. However, the writing…is a bit weird. Since it’s from a cult you know their mission is to promote their own worldview…and Superbook this is not.

Geoff Thew of Mother’s Basement has done two videos on these crazy cult movies. Tonight I’ll show you his first one, where he discusses the cult’s history, a bit about their teachings, and then goes into the anime promoting those teachings. Prepare to be confused a whole lot. There will also be swearing in the video, so if you come here to avoid that, I’m sorry. Trust me, it’s worth dealing with and not excessive. You gotta check this @#%$ out though.

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“Yesterday’s” Comic> Speed Racer #23 (NOW Comics)

Someone saw the live-action movie.

Speed Racer #23

NOW Comics (August, 1989)

WRITER: Lamar Waldron

PENCILER: Norm Dwyer

INKER: Jim Brozman

COLORIST: Michele Mach (fitting)

COVER ART: Norm Dwyer & Jorge Pacheco

LETTERER: Dan Nakrosis

EDITOR: Katherine Llewellyn

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BW’s Daily Video: Why The Comics Industry Needs To Change

Catch more WhatCulture Comics on YouTube

Slight difference: The monthly periodicals need to stop being part one of the later trade and tell a story the way that format can. As I’ve said before, graphic novels are movies and monthly comics should be more like a TV show. I do agree that comics need to reach beyond the comic store (as much as I like comic stores) and return to the general audience at a price that benefits from impulse buying. “I have a few extra bucks, let me see what this comic is like. Oooh, I may consider getting more issues. I can get back issues where?”

Also making the mainstream comics friendly (not necessarily targeting) to kids is also a good idea. This is how comics became popular in the old days and restricting them to adults loses a good chunk of your potential audience. Something to think about but they don’t think anymore.

Trope Shark: ET Gave Us Wi-Fi

It’s not easy to love something that seems to hate you. For example anyone whose favorite food makes them sick, or learning that the people behind your favorite show loathes anyone who doesn’t share their worldview 100%. As a Christian I love science fiction but science fiction doesn’t love me because I’m a Christian…and that seems to hold true for any other religion, whether they want to write it off as “that group’s culture”. Look, if it involves worshiping some form of deity IT’S A RELIGION, NOT A CULTURE! That’s not even putting down people of other spiritual views than mine. If anything I’m standing by them if not their religion. Sci-fi seems to be the domain of atheists, many of which are very much anti-religion because it isn’t science-y enough. I’ve gotten used to it but it’s irritating that my favorite genre keeps telling me my God doesn’t exist…or that he’s really a little grey man from another planet. Grey is the new green in aliens you know.

(And this is not the point where you start pointing me to great Christian science fiction. I’m talking mainstream SF and my reading list is long enough without recommendations right now. Maybe when my list is a bit lower I’d like to check some out, but so much of Christian fiction is preaching to the choir and losing the mainstream rather than being a witness to the Lord.)

We’re not here to talk about that, though. It’s along those lines, and apparently something that affects the way we view real life ancient societies and our own technology. The trope is called “ET Gave Us Wi-Fi“, and any science fiction fan is aware of it. You know that cell phone, tablet, or computer you’re reading this on right now? Aliens. Microwave ovens? Aliens. Velco? Sci-fi loves to blame Velcro on aliens. Now there are times when the trope on a general level can actually work, but there are also uses that diminish the accomplishments of the human race…and some people believe it might actually be true, which only makes the trope even worse.

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