Posted in Uncategorized

Chuck: In which we learn dancing can be dangerous.

It’s Thursday and another Pilot Era post

Pilot Era

First aired: 7th April 2008

Cast:

Zachary Levi – Chuck Bartowski

Yvonne Strahovski – Sarah Walker

Adam Baldwin – Maj. John Casey

Sarah Lancaster – Ellie Bartowski

Joshua Gomez – Morgan Grimes

C.S. Lee – Harry Tang

Matt Bomer – Bryce Larkin

Ryan McPartlin – Devon ‘Captain Awesome’ Woodcombe

Vik Sahay – Lester Patel

Scott Krinski – Jeff Barnes

Julia Ling – Anna Wu

Dale Dye – General Stansfield

Tony Todd – CIA Director Graham

Synopsis: Burbank California and Charles ‘Chuck’ Bartowski is desperate to escape the situation he is in, his own birthday party. The party thrown by Chuck’s older sister Ellie who Chuck lives with as well as Ellie’s boyfriend Devon or as Chuck calls him Captain Awesome. Cut to spy Bryce Larkin breaking in to some sortof top secret facility and accessing a computer called the Intersect. The information from this computer is downloaded onto a device…

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Posted in Uncategorized

Forever: In which we learn to ask, where do his clothes go?

Thursday Lunchtime and it’s a Pilot Era Post

Pilot Era

First aired: 2nd October 2014

Cast:

Ioan Gruffudd – Dr. Henry Morgan

Alana De La Garza – Det. Jo Martinez

Joel David Moore – Dr. Lucas Wahl

Judd Hirsch – Abe

Lee Tergerson – Hans Koelher

Donnie Keshwaraz – Det. Mike Hanson

MacKenzie Mauzy – Abigail

Synopsis: New York City – A voice over introduces Henry Morgan. He is a long story, but he has plenty of time. He gets into a subway and sits next to a young blonde woman, he is able to determine many things about her by sight alone, including her country of origin, he job and her plans for the evening. This prompts her interest and they share a lovely moment, right up until the subway train crashes and kills everyone on board, including Henry.

Over 200 years earlier, Dr. Henry Morgan prevents a slave from being killed, paying for this good dead with…

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Posted in Uncategorized

Positive Steps Forward

Back in October I wrote about an appointment I had made regarding my teeth.

I went to a surgical consultation regarding them, this is something I have avoided doing for literally years, increasing my self-consciousness over it as well as my shame and anxiety over it. I had a X-Ray, with some pretty sci-fi looking X-Ray machines and then got the bad news that I had been dreading. Some of them had to put taken out. Some though, not all. One day soon, this neglectful chapter of my life will be behind me and I may end up being able to smile openly.

I’ve been a rollercoaster of emotions over this, but ultimately I am feeling positive about the whole thing, I am not looking forward to surgery, but I am looking forward to dealing with this problem and taking care of it once and for all. Then I’ll do the regular check ups, free from most of my fear, like most people do. This has doubled down on the importance of self care for me. I have shaved this morning and there’s even moisturiser on my face, but my body isn’t a temple, a lack of faith shouldn’t leave it in disrepair. It’s a positive reminder that fear can be challenged and defeated.

It’s a personal victory in a 2020 that has seen few of them, coming from decisions made in 2019, a year with even less victories.

I couldn’t do this without the support of the MIGHTY Rosie, or my son SuperSam who have lent me the strength to do these things.

This is not the story of my fall, it is the tale of my triumph.

Love to you all internet people.

ttfn

Posted in Mental Health Struggles, Miscellaneous

For the Me in Me, 2019 was a challenge.

Well that was a year.

It was a decade too, but I am not going to be all “look at the decade as a whole” about it.

It’s been hard, there’s no denying that, but there’s been ups as well, since I need some kind of structure I am going to break it down into categories.

Work

Work has been a hell of a lot of ups and downs. After a very stressful year last year, we lobbied for a new member of staff to work with Gisele (the Dept Manager), Trouble (credit control) and me, finally we got Disney Princess, the sister of one of the directors. It was great to have someone working with me doing the same job. The problem is that the workload has increased, so we are still as stressed as ever, but now we are 4 and not 3. But I have noticed that the atmosphere is better up here. We have more fun, have a laugh together and the year came to an end with more ease than the last two. Work has been difficult this year, but it ended well, a fact for which I am grateful.

Well apart from the fact that I was locked in the office on the day we broke up for Christmas and everyone had gone t’pub. Not my favourite moment.

Family

This has been a game of two halves in that respect. My mum and dad and I have got on better than we have in a few years. The therapy I had in 2018 cleared a lot of my negative feelings about them and I was able to see them as they are, just two people trying their best with those they love. At 9, I had a grandmother who had 19 other grandkids and no grandfather as he had passed away. SuperSam has a pair of devoted grandparents whom he loves to spend time with and who are more than happy to spend this time with him.

Speaking of SuperSam, he finished year 3 and it was a rough one. We’ve had bullying and also the aftermath of losing our dog last year. But he pulling himself up and got through it with help and his own determination. Our new dog Loopy Lottie has helped with that and seeing him come back to the happy boy we knew has been so wonderful as it was having a great Christmas with him.

The MIGHTY Rosie and I have had ups and downs this year. I’m not always the man I should be, nor the one she deserves and there’s been many a time where that fact had to be addressed. But we had ridden through this particular storm and I need to work hard to make sure that the next one, isn’t one of my own making. I love this woman, always have and can see no reason how I would ever stop in my lifetime. Being away from her in November just reminded me how much I missed them and I came home early just to see them.

Mental Health

I think this has been one of the hardest years since my breakdown in 2013.

Back in May, I had a ‘wobble’ and it was terrifying being back in that place. It followed stress regarding work and family and it took me a while to get back to where I was.

Once more I have to thank the MIGHTY Rosie for everything she did and for taking off the kid gloves when I needed to be told some harsh truths.

I’m still struggling, maybe I always will, but I am still here.

Triumphs

I am still here.

That may not be much of a triumph, but it seemed a shaky proposition a couple of times this year. This year highlighted that most of the problem lies with me. I enjoy my job more than half the time. I love my wife, the always amazing MIGHTY Rosie and my son SuperSam who never fails to make me proud. I even love the dog 🐶 and enjoy my nightly walks with LoopyLottie. I like my life, it’s just me I can’t stand. So maybe this year is where I change that.

But apart from that, I have had many ups this year. I have made progress regarding my teeth, a sore subject that has been an increasing problem and is now being dealt with. There was also fun to be had, we went to Scotland for the MIGHTY Rosie’s birthday and had an amazing time. I wobbled, regarding my mental health, but pulled myself back without medication and continue to battle these demons (with varying degrees of success) and am moving forward. I went to a trampoline place with SuperSam and enjoyed it, despite how badly it hurt my knee. I also went indoor skydiving, taking my dad and son and all three had a great time. It’s definitely something I want to do again. I also did the comic convention thing that I have wanted to, but lacked confidence to do and met a couple of industry people that were lovely and a couple of podcasters I am a fan on. I will go again, but I will be more discerning in future in terms of guests and my spends. The fact remains though, that I did it. I also managed to post weekly to my Pilot Era blog, which has been a nice little bonus here.

This year has been difficult, there have been many challenges and it looked as though this year did it’s best to break me.

But it didn’t.

I was glad to see the back of 2019, but I am not expected 2020 to be easier. It doesn’t get easier. You simply get stronger.

This is not the story of my fall, it is the story of my rise.

Thank you all of you, who have been part of my journey, a journey which is moving towards a hopeful tomorrow.

It’s now 2020, welcome to the future.

Posted in Comics n Stuff, D-Cember

D-Cember 30th – And I am outta here

30 Day Challenge Question 30: Favourite Event

Events, the bane of a comic fan’s life, or the best of stories, epic in scale and consequence. In regards to DC, I missed most of them up until 1994, so my first one was 1994’s Zero Hour

Dan Jurgens wrote and drew this story, which took threads from Green Lantern and 1985’s Crisis on Infinite Earths to tell a cracking story that while convoluted, still manages to entertain and launched yet another reboot/relaunch to sort their continuity out. To be honest, it didn’t work and most of the effects of Zero Hour have been undone at least once, but it was a great story to be collecting as it came out.

 

SuperSam’s answer

This was a very one answer question since the only one he knew about was Crisis.

Crisis on Infinite Earths came out between 1985 and 1986 and had 12 issues written by Marv Wolfman and drawn by George Perez both creators were on a roll with The New Teen Titans and were very well regarded by peers and fans alike. It saw the death of Supergirl, the final run of the Flash and the death of the Multiverse and it was a comic I read to my son a few years ago. It’s as good as it ever was and deserves its place in comic book history.

Other Stuff

Well, that’s this second 30-day challenge done and also as of tomorrow that’s 2019 done as well. I do intend to post more regularly (but not daily) but I am glad I decided to see this through.

See you next year internet people, love to you all.

 

Posted in TV Stuff

For the Geek in me 2019 was awesome: TV

I cannot describe 2019 as anything other than a challenging year. There have been a few ups and a good number of downs. But at this time of year, I want to look back at things I liked, so here we go. Now it was a year in TV that was either stuff that started last year, or non-genre TV that doesn’t qualify here, so it was difficult to find 5 new TV shows that deserved to be commented on, but I managed to find the 5.

Titans

This was a show that I was able to catch on Netflix, after it launched on DC’s streaming app. It starred a mostly unknown cast and had a tone that was at odds with every iteration of the Teen Titans that  I can remember and its initial online publicity was less than encouraging. So I gave it a go and wrote about it here.

Swamp Thing

This was a sadly single season of a well-made show that also debuted on DC’s streaming service, yet got to me through Amazon Prime. This was a bit of a horror/fantasy take on a DC comics series. The show had a strong cast and also the guy from the Sharknado films. Storylines and tones were ripped from Alan Moore stories in the 1980s. One of the episode titles is “The Anatomy Lesson” and it’s loyal to the spirit of Saga of the Swamp Thing, without actually following it too closely. It did only have the one season, but when you look at it, you can be seen as Firefly was, with only one season, it is ideal just as it is. It’s not the easiest of sits, but it was well worth sticking with.

Umbrella Academy

This one sort of took me by surprise. I had heard the name Umbrella Academy before, but it wasn’t a comic series that I had read, so I had to take the series on its own merits and not how it was adapted. So as a series in and of itself? It was very good, a very strong cast and a solid story. Several babies are born under supernatural circumstances, a wealthy eccentric adopts them to create his own superhero team/family and we see how badly that went years later after he dies. We then have ghosts, time travel and a hidden threat that is set to cause the apocalypse. This is a bonkers show and leans into it, whilst keeping you interested in its plot. I don’t know who this was aimed at, but it definitely got me at the right time. Apparentley a second season is on its way.

Watchmen

I love the original comic Watchmen. I have read the series annually for over 25 years. My most recent copy has been signed by the artist Dave Gibbons and its place as one of the greatest comics of all time is not without merit. So as a result, I have been hesitant to approve of any sequels and continuations, since it works as a 12 issue story and should be left as such. DC can’t do that though, can they? So we got Before Watchmen stories a few years ago. I stayed away. Then the disaster that was the New 52 gave way to Rebirth and then we got the first hint that Watchmen was going to be connected to this new era of DC Comics. I’ll write about that in comics, but that mining of previous successes led to the Watchmen comic getting a TV series sequel. It was from the comics not from the film, so used the comic’s original ending. We get to see the world 34 years after those events, but we didn’t see that at first, we got a look at Tulsa, Oklahoma. We saw a police force made up of mystery men detectives and masked uniformed officers. We met Angela ‘Sister Night’ Abar as she investigated the death of her boss and how that was connected to the Minute Men of the 1940s and Ozymandius and his plot. The stories seemed meandering at times and it was quite aggravating to new viewers who didn’t have the conext of the Watchmen stories, but as with the comic, if you stuck with it, it was a gripping show that kept you interested, even though you knew that it wasn’t going to end well.

War of the Worlds

This is a bit of a cheat considering that I haven’t finished watching it, but this is a modern made period-specific retelling of H.G. Wells’ Victorian novel. It is well shot, had a great cast and sells the horror and confusion that comes from that. It is a TV show that I have been looking foward to for a while and I will be watching the rest of it before too long.

There’s also been a lot of box sets and continuing series and I have started the new year laughing and enjoying the TV that I watch.

Next Time: Movies

Posted in Comics n Stuff

For the Geek in me 2019 was awesome: Comics

I cannot describe 2019 as anything other than a challenging year. There have been a few ups and a good number of downs. But at this time of year, I want to look back at things I liked, so here we go.

This was a mixed year for me with comics, to be honest, I have become less and less enamoured with the big two and with comics buying in general and when the solicitations for last week came, I could only see one comic that I wanted to buy. One, that’s it and I think I am only getting this to finish what will be in the first trade and then that will be gone too. But I managed to get 5 things worth talking about, barely.

Doctor Doom

This was a comic showcasing Marvel’s best protagonist. Doom isn’t a villain, but a man with a very specific view of how the world should be, our problem is that we disagree, his problem is that we are wrong. This shows what happens when people believe he has done something that he hasn’t. Doom is on the back foot and that is somewhere he almost never is. He has to keep his homeland safe, prove his innocence, find out who has done this too him and dole out the righteous retribution that needs to be doled out and he has to do all that with the world against him. This is  a story where you are rooting for Doom, despite knowing how flawed he is and it’s the only Marvel series that I am still following.

Hoxpox

Marvel relaunches the X-Men. Wow, again? But it’s the most drastic change in status quo since Morrison’s back in 2000. The X-Men have their own nation, they are looking towards the future and we get to see it, it’s not going well. Johnathan Hickman puts together a huge story, grand in scope and littered with sci-fi concepts that fit quite happily with Marvel’s merry mutants. This was an event worth reading in a way that the X-Men haven’t done in such a long time. It was nice to be on the ground floor of something so big again.

Angelic

I met the writer of this little gem, Simon Spurrier at Thought Bubble as he signed my X-Men Legacy 1. We spoke a bit about the character Legion and his work on him, which led to us talking about the TV series. I liked him, so felt the right thing to do was to buy a copy of his creator owned series first trade. This is a story about a post humanity Earth and the creatures we leave behind. It’s also about curiosity over faith and the importance of thinking for yourself. I even bought a copy later on for a friend as an X-Mas present.

Doomsday Clock

As I recently mentioned in my TV post, this has been the year of mining Watchmen for new stories and this one was a very long time in coming, since it had started in 2018. I was not a fan for most of the run, but believed that if I kept with it, it would be worthwhile. Sometimes I am right for good things. Geoff Johns sticks the landing here, with a story that left me smiling at the end. I don’t know where this leaves the DCU, but am more optimistic about it now, than I was before I read Doomsday Clock 12.

Thought 💭 Bubble

In December 2017 I went to “For The Love of Sci-Fi” convention in Manchester with SuperSam & the MIGHTY Rosie. I enjoyed some of it, but it was badly run and in the end we cut out halfway through. But I wanted to try a comic convention, so this year I went to Thought Bubble, the comics convention in Yorkshire. I wrote about it here.

I’m less and less enamoured with the current monthly comics, but my love for the medium, it’s fans and associated media is still very much present. Who knows what the future will hold.

Next time: What about actual life? What was that like in 2019?

Posted in Comics n Stuff, D-Cember

D-Cember 29th – Almost there

30 Day Challenge Question 29:  Favourite Series to Recommend

Marvel and DC Comics suffer from the narrative problem of the perpetual 2nd act. We get the origin and then the second act and then….. nothing because these stories do not end. In their normal run, we won’t get to see  Batman retire, Aquaman abdicate to his son or when the Teen Titans are no longer teens. So when we refer to Superman’s never ending battle, that’s the correct way to refer to it.

So we only get a couple of views of the end of that particular battle. Kingdom Come is one, the most famous one is Whatever Happended to the Man of Tomorrow. But for me the best of these is All Star Superman by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely.

This last days of Superman story was a love letter to the Silver Age, showcasing all of the things that made Superman great, even the silly things of it and can be appreciated by anyone from long time fans to someone new to the character.

SuperSam’s answer

This wasn’t a wholly DC story, but a collaboration with IDW. Batman Adventures/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Tonally, they couldn’t be further apart, but this was a great series that showcased the characters beautifully. When I asked SuperSam why he chose it, his answer was brilliant in it’s succinctness.

“Because its fun.”

He’s a good boy.

 

Posted in Comics n Stuff, D-Cember

D-Cember 28th Keeping track of the Days

30 Day Challenge question 26: Favourite elementalist

Wasn’t a difficult choice this, I went back to the ancient elements based character and I chose Firestorm.

An attempt to do a sort of Spider-Man like character, Firestorm was the synthesis of Professor Martin Stein and high-school slacker Ronnie Raymond. Martin as the brains and Ronnie was the body and the two became quite well-regarded superheroes as well as members of the satellite era Justice League.  Though nuclear in origin, fire is at the heart of what this guy both did and what he looked like, very few people can pull off the head on fire look.

Super Sam’s answer

Volcana from Superman the Animated Series

She was a villain whom he can understand and feel sympathetic towards and he was always happy to see her again, when she showed up again.

30 Day Challenge Question 27: Favourite non-human race.

There’s a lot to choose from here, DC has no shortage of alien species, going from the human-like (braalians, daxamites and thanagarians) to the bizaare (martians, xudarians and whatever the hell Mogo is) so this was a hard one, but I went with the Durlans.

 

Alongside the Skrulls from Marvel, the Durlans are shapeshifters and use stealth and guile to achieve their goals. Unlike the Skrulls, they have more mystery to them, cloaked from one another and everyone else and they aren’t as arch as the Skrulls and often you’re not sure whose side they are on. During the Invasion, they were clearly badguys, but one of the Reep Daggle, serves proudly as the Legionnaire Chameleon Boy. It’s that sense of mystery as much as their appearance that puts them in this top spot.

 

SuperSam’s answer

DC’s first alien race and the one we have seen the most of in different ways: Kryptonians.

From the Silver age’s Buck Rogers-esque version, to Byrne’s cold Man of Steel version and the Superman the Movie version, Krypton is always interesting to see. SuperSam’s preferred version is the DCAU version, with a heroic edge to them and the first episode of that series was entirely set on Krypton and he was fascinated by the whole thing.

30 Day Challenge Question 28: Favourite Era

There’s no real picture to go with this one, but for me, the best era was that period from 1994 that followed on from Zero Hour: Crisis in Time.

Once Zero Hour 0 was done every current DC title as well as several ones that started there got a 0 issue. It was either a look back at the past, an origin or something that fell into the zero issue mileu.

It was line-wide jumping on points and I started reading many titles as a result. I really got into the DCU at that time and every now and again I go back. It’s a period that meant a lot to me and one that re-reading still gets a smile from me.

SuperSam’s answer

The only era that has made any impact on SuperSam in terms of the comics has been Rebirth. A couple of years ago, we were at a comic mart in Manchester and SuperSam looked through long-boxes and it was  for Rebirth comics, which like Zero Hour had definitive jumping on points before going onto ongoings. He may never get the bug again, but he did that day and it was somewhat magical.

Other Stuff

We’re in that limbo b’twixt Christmas and New Year, where you have to try and work out what day it is all the time. Due to circumstances, the three of us took my nephew to the Riverside Bowl and had a game f Laser Tag and a frame of Ten Pin Bowling, all kinds of fun was had.

We are near the end of this little experiment Internet People, I am ready for D-Cember and 2019 to be done. See you all soon.