For the better part of my years on this planet, that’s what I thought: rap music is not for me. And it wasn’t. I lived worlds away from whatever I perceived as the worlds of “rap” and “hip hop.” The closest I was willing to get was Will Smith as the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and maybe Blondie’s “Rapture,” even though I hardly identified with either. And though, growing up, my parents tended to frown upon most forms of music that weren’t classical or jazz (i.e. “just noise”), listening to pop, rock, R&B, or even rap was never expressly forbidden. That which threw a monkey wrench into whatever thoughts my folks had about music, was the car where we were allowed to listen to adult contemporary and the oldies. The flavorings in everything from Glen Campbell and Abba to The Platters and The Ronettes were probably what initially drew me to 80s and 90s pop music in general. Trying to conform to the crowds and enjoy The New Kids on the Block was just something I couldn’t do – that vain attempt muted (but didn’t destroy) my interest in pop music for several years. Instead I turned towards classic rock and heavy metal; I just didn’t have the big hair and band shirts to prove my love. That path led me straight into grunge and alternative, and eventually into punk and electronic. The road to rap wasn’t one that I outright avoided, it was simply one that I didn’t follow.
But then I heard songs from Sage Francis and Atmosphere, and they made me completely reconsider that road not taken.
Episode 134: All Buzzer, All the Time — The guys switch things up a bit, talking about the world’s biggest water slide before moving on to a supersized Buzzerbeater session. Also, Chris worries about launching to his death, Michelle continues the trend of sweating profusely, and Shaun stereotypes millions of people in Australia.
Sharing my overcrowded space with my beloved classic literature and fictional books are an ever expanding shojo manga collection. The days when I don’t feel like reading a regular book and prefer the company of beautiful artwork to captivate the eyes and get swept up in romance, humor, and adventure I tend to pick up a manga volume.
I have an appreciation for art and beauty in general and it’s no surprise I became a huge fan of the Japanese style of drawing. When shojo manga became popular in the American market, I gravitated to the pretty art style and the wide focus on romance in most shojo manga. As much as I enjoy the shojo manga genre, it’s only in the last few years have I developed more of an interest in expanding my reading to also include American comic books.
Over my many years reading comics, I have found that the best books have art that complements the story. A rollicking fantasy tale should have ethereal watercolors and wide panels for landscape views, while gritty noir fiction should have strong contrasts with tight frames to depict the narrow confines of a city. The artwork dictates the mood of a comic, providing the reader with a visual to influence their emotions while reading.
On the extreme end of art complementing a story are books where unsettling visuals match a dissonant narrative. Worlds where logic doesn’t always apply, characters who have lost touch with reality, certain time periods may have never existed; these story elements tend to shine brightest with surreal art and harsh panel layouts. So when Valve decided to create a comic around a rather offbeat side character from the Portal series, it would seem natural that the art would be as jarring as its protagonist. Continue reading Experimental Art→
This week I realized how overwhelmed I am with games. I am still playing through Bound By Flame, which I discussed last week, but now I have added Wolfenstein: The New Order, The Walking Dead (S.2/E.3), Puppeteer, and the still unfinished Daylight on to my list. It doesn’t help that one of the biggest game releases of the year is taking place next week (Watch_Dogs) and I am still not even half way through most of these games. Oh, the woes of a gamer. Anyhow, this week I’m going to be talking about my adventures in Wolfenstein: The New Order and The Walking Dead (S.2/E.3). I’ve been doing some Nazi killing but I’ve also been on an emotional roller coaster. It’s been a wild week in gaming. Continue reading A Week in Gaming: Bringing Down the Nazis and a Side of Feels→