Saturday, May 4, 2013

5/4/13 Reviews: WHY LORD WHY?

Hello, world. Welcome to the first review collection here at Geekery and Madness. Below, you will find short little dissections of whatever I've managed to read/watch/whatever over the last week (a little more, since my internet was down.) And for those who are new to my reviewing style, there are three "grades": Yeh, Meh, and Neh. Yeh is for things I enjoyed wholeheartedly. Meh is for things that were okay, but nothing special, things that could have reached Yeh status, but had one too many flaws. Neh, obviously, is bad. As in, don't waste your time bad. Sometimes other ratings will show up, but those are the main three. Now! On to reviewing!


95 Million Killers: Gary Weston

Wow. Just. Wow. Every day from now on, when I wake, I will thank any god listening that my writing isn't as bad as Gary Weston's. It's no wonder he self-published this train wreck. (And that's an insult to train wrecks.) Characters are flat caricatures. Dialogue is awkward. There's clunky exposition everywhere you turn. And, since 95 Million Killers is set in New Zealand, there's a ton of slang. Slang Weston likes to explain in parenthesis, totally disrupting the flow of the story. Though that presupposes the existence of flow in this stinker.

Did I mention Weston has no grasp of horror writing? An episode of MLP is scarier than 95 Million Killers. There's no suspense. There's no dread. And the villain is...a horde of ravenous opossums. What. WHAT WAS GARY WESTON SMOKING? DID HE ROLL HIMSELF A JOINT IN A PAGE OF TWILIGHT?

It's no wonder he had to self-publish. Dear lord. Is my writing as bad as this? Stay away. Don't touch this book with a 10-foot pole. Don't touch it with a 100-foot pole. Don't even look at it, lest it spread.

Rating: NEH!

(Nota bene: Self-publishing doesn't necessarily indicate a lack of quality. I have read--and will review--some EXCELLENT self-published books. With some notable exceptions (Twilight, say) self-published books are often of poorer quality than their "legitimate" counterparts. This is partly because any loony with computer access *cough*me*cough* can self-publish.)

All the Lovely Creatures: B.C. Sirrom (Editor)

Darn. What started as a decent collection of short semi-horror stories quickly turned into supernatural porn. Seriously, people. Unless you happen to be a reincarnated Norse skald, present tense is not a good choice for writing. Oh, and 1st-person should be used with extreme caution. Especially if your narrator is a mary-sue self-insert who can seduce straight men by stripteasing. (Also, that's not exactly a "magical" ability. That's called a striptease.)

Terrible writing. Terrible plots. Terrible characters. Terrible everything. B.C. Sirrom, who edited this dreck, should have known better. I'd rather read Twilight than this truckle. TWILIGHT. WHAT DOES THAT TELL YOU? WHAT DOES THAT TELL YOU, HUH? IT TELLS YOU THIS BOOK SUCKS! SUUUUUUUUUCKS!

Rating: Neh

Death Echoes: Tiffany Stagner

Okay. Fess up. Who put all these self-published books in my collection? Seriously. I don't really mind--they make good rage-fodder--but how in the name of the Goat-With-A-Thousand-Young did they get onto my hard drive?

...Gar. This is a setup for the plot of Evil Dead. I. Kid. You. Not. Haunted cabin? Check. Group of idiots? Check. All that's missing is the Necrono--what's that? Demons? ... ... ...

Oh, and Miz Stagner spoils two major plot twists in the acknowledgements. THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS!

There were so many spelling mistakes in the first few pages I just couldn't go any further. I'll accept a typo every 30 pages or so. But one a PAGE? In a book you've seen fit to PUBLISH? That you've (presumably) had people PROOF? If you truly cared for the writing craft, that wouldn't happen. I'm out.

Rating: Neh

(Seriously, though. Where did all these self-pubbed books come from? Did I download a self-pub collection thinking it was German goat porn? Not that I watch German goat porn, of course. I'd just be more likely to download that then self-published books.)


15-Love: Andi Watson (Writer), Tommy Ohtsuka (Artist), Marvel (Publisher)

Oooookaaaaay. A tennis/high-school-drama comic. So Miracle On Ice or Rudy, minus the cool sports, plus tennis, plus teenagers being stupid. Wheeeeeeeee. Man, I PLAYED tennis, but I wouldn't make a COMIC about the game. You can't capture a sport like that in a comic. (Particularly not the fear that comes with having a hard rubber ball smashed towards your face at 90 mph.)

The dialogue and art are decent. Nothing special. But the characters and plot...15-Love is the ultimate mashup of underdog sports-movie cliches. I'd list them all, but I'm too lazy. Probably why I was never more than average at tennis, come to think of it.

If' you're into comics about sports (A HUGE market) give 15-Love a look. Otherwise, pass.

Rating: Meh

Afrodisiac: Brian Maruca (Writer), Jim Rugg (Artist), Adhouse Books (Publisher)

WHAT THE ABSOLUTE HADES. Whose idea was it to make a comic about a white man who is turned into a black man with a massive 'fro, then promptly forms a harem, has a bunch of love-children, and...IMPREGNATES DEATH? WHAT.

No. Just. No. It doesn't help that the dialogue is stereotypical jivetalk and the plots are moronic. Maybe this is ironic. Supposed to be funny? I dunno. I mean, Blacksploitation is a thing. But... Just what. I mean, did ANYONE at ANY POINT consider this might seem racist? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Rating: WUT.

(Seriously. Look at that cover. "King of the Jungle." Isn't the idea NOT to call black people "jungle bunnies" or whatever? Sweet 'fro, though.)

Olive Peril: Laurel Shelley-Reuss (Writer/Artist), Arcana (Publisher)

Oh, for Yog-Sothoth's sake. A forced-marriage comic, set in 21st century American? I'd buy it, were it set in medieval Europe, or the Middle East, or Asia, or PRETTY MUCH ANY TIME OR PLACE OTHER THAN 21ST CENTURY AMERICA!

The main character even takes her problem to lawyers, and they claim they can't do anything. I'm no lawyer. But I'm pretty sure financial blackmail is still BLACKMAIL AND THUS ILLEGAL!

Art's pretty, though, and the dialogue's decent. But the lettering is weird--random words are bolded, which is really distracting.

Well, what did I expect from Arcana? Really. I should know better.

Rating: Neh

(If you know me, you know my ongoing feud with Arcana. Whee!)



I was tolerating this. Until Betelgeuse or Beetlejuice or whatever actually showed up. As soon as he appeared? Interest dropped to nil. He turned a decent movie about ghosts--with some pretty funny moments--into over-the-top try-hard slapstick. Seriously. Screw Betelgeu--Not saying it a third time. My exorcism kit's locked up at the moment.

While the special effects are super-cheesy, I didn't mind. It fit with the general tone. The dialogue and plot were pretty meh, though.

I just... I can't feel excited about Beetlejuice. It's not BAD, by any stretch of the word. It's just...boring. To me, at least. Your mileage may vary.

Rating: Meh

And that's all for today, folks! Greg over and out.