Friday, June 30, 2006

Comic peeps and Superman

So, I'm in Charlotte now and checked in to the hotel. Randy and I met up with a bunch of other pros at a theatre to see a private showing of Superman Returns. It was cool seeing some of the usual suspects (Mike Wieringo, Cully Hamner, Craig Rousseau) and some of the not quite as usual suspects (Joe Quesada, C.B. Cebulski) ... and even some surprise special guests. In fact, I was lucky enough to sit behind Rosario Dawson and talk with her for a while before the show. It's definitely going to be a huge show ... and a busy one for yours truly.

As far as the movie goes ... it's hard for me to really gauge right now. There were some parts I liked a lot and some parts I couldn't stand. There were obvious cuts in the final version (one character who shows in the TV spots was cut completely), and some stuff just didn't make a lick of sense. If I had to give it a GameSpy-like score, I'd give it a 3 out of 5. Worth seeing for fans of the original movies. Comic fans may have some issues with it, but will still at least enjoy it in parts.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Another day, another adventure

So, it's now 2:00am and I'm basking in the glow of my laptop in Martinsville, VA.

"What's in Martinsville, VA David?", you ask inquisitively.

"Not a damned thing." I'd reply.

So why am I here? Well, it's not because of the NASCAR track, that's for sure. Actually, I decided to take some time to visit w/ my dad and also get some work done nearby in Greensboro with a few of my comic contacts. I'm also heading into Charlotte tomorrow to attend the Heroes Convention. While I'm there, I'll be working on a bunch of different projects and trying to pull a few rabid rabbits out of my proverbial hat.

Depending on the availability of a decent network connection, I'll update ye old blog as much as possible.

A Call to Arms ...

As many of you know, I was recently offered the position of Managing Editor for a new mag that was/is meant to cover the comic and anime industries, along with some occasional crossover stuff. Unfortunately, due to a number of communication miscues and the like, I've decided that things will likely be better for me to not take on the position after all. There are a lot of different factors in my decision, but I believe it's in my best interest, and in the best interest of the industries I serve, to utilize my talents elsewhere.

Having said all of that, I'm now in an interesting position. I've always been continuing with my freelance work, though now it looks as if my schedule will be freeing up to handle a larger workload (obviously). Plus, I'll be working on a number of other projects, including more production work in television, radio, print, and online formats.

For those of you wondering where I've been "hiding" lately, now you know. I've been working, but having to stay under the radar, so to speak. With this recent turn of events, I'll be a lot more active and visible around the industry, and I'll actually be even more involved in the video game and comic fields with the new projects than I was with the other magazine ... and I'm still going to need your input and your help.

Here's the lowdown:

I'm currently working on the development of a television show which will focus on the news and information happening within the worlds of comics and video games. I'm also developing a radio show and a new online presence covering the same industries. This is where you guys come in. I need to know two big things ...

First, I need to know if you guys believe enough in our "fanbased media" (I really do love that description) to support some major projects like this. By support, I mean would you be up for doing interviews, or being commissioned for art, or discussing your latest projects on the air and in print. I'm willing to put my ass on the line and my neck in the noose to show the world just how amazing our industry is ... but there's no way I can do it alone. If you're simply willing to put forth an effort to support what we do, I promise to to as much as I can to keep our fans interested and stoked and itching for more of what we do. I started this group with the statement that we all, in our chosen fields, live and die by the support of our fans. Well, this is my contribution to guarantee that the lifeblood continues to flow. More so than that, I want us to not simply survive, but to thrive, to grow, and to evolve into something more than we've ever been.

Finally, I need your input. Video games, comics, movies, television ... all of our fields are linked by the fans. But more interesting than that, we ARE a part of our own target audience. We ARE fans!! Better than that, since we all have our own insights into the industry, we should have a better understanding of what makes things tick. So, now is the time to speak up. What are you looking for in a show? In a magazine? In a game? In a comic? What would grab YOUR interest, take hold, and never let go. For example, these projects I'm working on ... what do you think is missing in the coverage of our industry, as both fans and as professionals?

And hell, this line of thought should apply to ALL of our projects. To all my comic pros here, what kinds of games get your creative juices flowing? To my media people, what kinds of comics could give you the same feeling as a major summer blockbuster? And to my game developers, what sort of television or motion pictures inspire you to cinematic excellence?

Now's the time for all of us to rally together and make a difference in what we do. Don't just sit back and hope for things to change ... let's work together and MAKE things change. We live and die by the fans ... so damnit, let's make sure they LOVE us!!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Catching up ... somewhat

Wow ... okay, okay. So it's been a while. There's been a lot of wild and wacky stuff going on. First off was E3. Lots of stuff there. If you look below this at the two previous posts, they're actually reposted entries I did over at MySpace. From the second day on though, things went crazy, leaving me barely enough time to collect myself. So here's a quick rundown ... though in no particular order.

First, I've "officially" started as Managing Editor from a new magazine coming out later this year from the guys responsible for Play Magazine. As a result, I've been making plans to hit a number of different shows, including the Heroes Convention in Charlotte, NC and (naturally) Comic-Con in San Diego. I've also been working on doing some extra writing for GameSpy and for GamesRadar, as well as Play, on the video game side of world.

Due to some other crazy situations, I've also moved ... twice ... with a third move pending soon. For those of you keeping track on the hadny dandy WldCard Radar, I'm still in Jacksonville ... just been bouncing around. And the office info (address, phone, etc) is still the same and always will be.

I'm working on a blueprint for doing a regular podcast, which will most likely be distributed here on my main blog, or through the Visionary Ink website. I'm still trying to find time to get some stuff done to get the site up and running, but the forums are at least functional over there. I'll try to post a link shortly.

Continuing on ... I've managed to pick up (by sheer luck), not one, but TWO Sega Nomad devices. In case you need a refresher course, the Sega Nomad was released back in 1995 and was Sega's second major handheld game console after the Game Gear. The whole thing started as something called the Mega Jet in Japan. It was a portable Genesis system that was renter out to passengers on Japan Airlines. The device lacked its own screen, but could connect to a small armrest monitor to play any of the Mega Drive games on the market. Sega took the Mega Jet, added a few features, most notable of which is of course the backlit 3.25 inch color screen, and voila ... the Sega Nomad was born. One of the coolest things about the Nomad was its ability to plug into a television and add a second, standard Genesis controller to become, in essence, a replacement for the home version of the Genesis console. Although it was the size of a brick and went through batteries faster than sushi through a sumo, it was a great system that simply seemed ahead of its time. And now, I've ended up with TWO of 'em. WOO HOO!!

While we're on the subject of recently aquired systems, I got myself a Game Boy Micro again. I saw a deal I couldn't pass up at a used game store and managed to get the $80-$90 device for $30 out of pocket. Ahh ... the Micro. It's such a sexy little beast of a machine. The funny thing is, the person who traded in the system traded in the faceplates of one version with the actual system from the other. So, I've got a slick little GBM in solid silver. I also went ahead and ordered the GBM Wireless Adapter and the Famicom faceplate from Nintendo's online store, so I could get a little more out of the device.

I also decided to bite the bullet and pick up a DS Lite. I managed to supress the urge to spend the extra $70 to import a color other than white and just get the US release of the handheld. I'll admit that I was wondering if the DS Lite could really be different enough to warrant abandoning my DS Phat. In the end though, I'm glad I did. The Lite is slicker, more stylish, and the screen is bright enough to make a blind man see. The system has four brightness settings: "Bright", "Brighter", "Brightest", and "GOOD LORD!! MY CORNEA IS BURNING!!". Hell, if nothing else, you can cut out a piece of paper, tape it to the screen, and taunt planes flying overhead with your own private Bat Signal.

Some people have bitched slightly about the Lite's GBA port leaving GBA carts sticking out of the system somewhat. Actually, this isn't a big deal at all, and in fact is a HUGE advantage over the DS Phat. "Why's that?", you ask? .... Go on ... ask ... I'll TELL ya why. It's a little guilty pleasure known as the e-Card Reader. Remember that oddball peripheral for the GBA? Well, the due to the pass through port for the GBA link cable, the e-Card Reader couldn't fit into a GB Micro or DS Phat without some major modifications. And the pass through port ALMOST made the device impossible to use on the GBA SP ... though it did just barely manage to fit there. Since the carts stick out of the DS Lite, I decided to see if there was enough room to allow for the pass through port ... and there IS!! So now I get to swipe my cards and go old school with Excitebike, Clu Clu Land, and Donkey Kong on my new DS Lite. The only down side is hat since the DS system has no port for a GBA link cable, there's no way to use the Lite to transfer items to the NGC version of Animal Crossing with the e-Card Reader. Ah well ...

Oh, and since I admittedly FORGOT that I could transfer my wireless info from one DS to another, I need anyone out there who passed along their Nintendo WiFi Friend Codes to me to do so again. And when you do, I'll shoot you over my updated info as well.

I still plan on adding a few extras to the blog here, including a semi-regular "Hot Deals" posting for the gamer on a budget. Also, I'll probably be adding some extra content involving the comic book industry, keeping things in line with my work. Oh, and for those of you out there on MySpace, you can catch me there at And if you're into the oddball collectibles like those in the infamous Swag Bag, I've started up a group over there for people to show off and swap out their own swag from the game on comic industry. It's over at Join up if you want.

Okay, I guess that's good enough for an initial update. I'll do more later.

The E3 Adventure - Day One (repost from May 8)

Well, not too much to report today. Got into L.A. and got checked in to the Westwood on Wilshire. Unfortunately, I couldn't get into the Sony event, though I did catch a live feed of the event. Lots of stuff to report from there:

  • The Sony PS3 will come out around November 17th in two forms ... one with a 20 gig hard drive and one with a 60 gig hard drive. The 20 gig version will retail for $499, while the 60 gig will run gamers a whopping $599.

  • It looks like the PS3 controller HAS been redesigned after all. Gone is the much criticized "boomerang" controller shown off at last year's show. Now, the controller looks like a clone of the current Dual Shock controller, though this time around the controller will supposedly sport an internal motion sensor. Can you say "Wii"?

  • The PSP will be getting a new series of firmware updates to add support for video RSS feeds, GPS capabilities (in conjunction with the upcoming GPS receiver), and most interestingly, Voice Over IP (VoIP) support. So, gamers may be start using their PSPs as phones soon. Plus, with the earlier announcement of an Eye Toy styled camera attatchment, video conferencing can't be far behind.

  • The PSP will be getting its own line of Greatest Hits titles. The new line will start w/ five games: Ape Escape: On The Loose, ATV Offroad Fury, Twisted Metal Head On, Wipeout Pure, and Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee. From then on, titles will be added as long as they have had 250,000 or more copies sold and been on the shelf for at least nine months,

  • Sony announced a continued commitment to the PS2, and announced that there are still 216 games planned for release on the PS2 by year's end.

I'll post more later, though my net connection in the hotel is a bit "wonky".



Okay, okay ... I'm up early on Tuesday and felt the need to add something to the blog entry to clarify something. This is mainly due to Juan's comment about the $500 PS3 being the "tard pack".

Based on Sony's press conference, the ONLY difference between the $500 and $600 systems is the size of the hard drive. You're paying $100 for 3x the drive space. That's it. As far as the rest of the system goes, the released specs (to date) are:

  • CPU Cell Processor


  • Sound Dolby 5.1ch, DTS, LPCM, etc. (Cell-based processing)

  • Memory 256MB XDR Main RAM, 256MB GDDR3 VRAM

  • HDD 2.5" Serial ATA (20GB or 60GB)

  • I/O USB 2.0 (x4)

  • MemoryStick /SD/CompactFlash support

  • Communication Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T)

  • IEEE 802.11 b/g wireless support

  • Bluetooth 2.0 (EDR)

  • Wireless controller (Bluetooth)

  • AV Output:

    • Screen size 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p

    • HDMI OUT (HDMI NextGen)

    • AV MULTI OUT (x1)


  • BD/DVD/CD Drive:

    • (Read Only) Maximum Read Speed BD 2x (BD-ROM)

    • DVD 8x (DVD-ROM)

    • CD 24x (CD-ROM)

    • SACD 2x

  • Dimensions Approximately 325mm (W) x 98mm (H) x 274mm (D)

  • Weight Approximately 5 kg

Hope that helps with a little clarification.


E3 .. The Saga Begins (repost from May 8th)

So ... it's 3:45a and here I am double and triple checking my luggage and the like in preperation for yet another trip to sunny CA. This time, I'll be out there all week covering E3, the biggest show around for the video game industry. My schedule is all over the place at the moment, with very little actually finalized. Thus is the journalist's curse at E3. Ah well, it's these moments that keep things interesting, right?

Anyway, I'll be keeping everyone up to date here as much as humanly possible. Luckily, the laptop has been fixed, revamped, and ready to make its return to the halls of E3 ... meaning that I have a lot more in the way of opportunity to update my various blogs and such. Plus, you'll likely still see me online throught the duration of the show.

Well, I'm off now ... got to get to the airport and get myself ready for another 8 hours of travel time in the air. Take it easy, look for me, say hey when you see me, and keep in touch. I'll do my best to do the same for all of you.