Wednesday, October 31, 2012

So, Superman's a Blogger Now?

'Clark Kent glasses' photo (c) 2008, Andrew - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/To be perfectly honest, I stopped reading Superman comics when they rebooted the continuity last year. In fact, the only DC Comics title I've followed at all since then (and that in fits and starts) has been Firestorm, and that has far more to do with long-standing loyalty to that character than with the "New 52" take on the concept (which, frankly, has been awful, and I can't tell you how happy I am about the "back to basics" take starting with Firestorm #13). So I can perhaps be forgiven for having missed the news that came out last week about Clark Kent quitting his job at the Daily Planet, purportedly to begin his own blog.

Indeed, after having found out about the change while listening to this past weekend's episode of Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me (and even that, I only caught yesterday morning), my reaction was essentially as one of the "millions of people issuing a simultaneous 'meh'" that was described over at Geekosystem. Frankly, I'll believe that the move is permanent when I see it still in place a decade from now.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Transformers Universe Extended Bios: The Omnibots

A few years ago, Jim Sorenson, who blogs over at "Disciples of Boltax," released a few previously unseen extended bios for various Transformers. These were apparently written by Bob Budiansky in the style that came to associated with the Transformers Universe mini-series, but failed to be included in any of those four issues. Several years previously, Sorenson had also released bios of this type for the Omnibots on the Allspark message boards. However, these Omnibot bios were not included among the bios Sorenson posted on his blog.

When these were posted on the Allspark, Sorenson noted that they came from a "comics bible" he had purchased in his quest for model sheets (which he ultimately used to create such works as The Ark), written by Bob Budiansky (who besides being the author of around 50 of the 80 issues of the original US Marvel Transformers comic book, also wrote the vast majority, if indeed not all, of the Tech Specs bios for the Generation One toys, in addition of the Transformers Universe bios). I'm going ahead and posting them now to fill in the gap left by "Disciples of Boltax," but do encourage folks to read that blog to see the entries previously posted.

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Review of A Year of Biblical Womanhood

The first thing you need to understand, before I say anything else, is this: Rachel Held Evans loves the Bible.

This point is important, because many Christians, upon learning that she is (gasp!) an egalitarian, (shock!) votes Democrat, and (horrors!) supports gay rights, tend to assume that she therefore must not take the Bible very seriously. This impression was only exacerbated when Evans announced some time back that she was going to undertake a "year of biblical womanhood" where, taking a cue from A. J. Jacobs' book, A Year of Living Biblically, she resolved to spend a year living according the Bible's instructions regarding women as literally as possible. Some Christians who do indeed hold to what they call "literal" interpretations of Scripture were convinced that Evans' purpose in undertaking this project was to make fun of them, and even to make "a mockery of God and Scripture" itself (as one of her critics is quoted as saying on p. 285).

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It's Not Easy Being Brawl

In a recent thread about the upcoming "Fall of Cybertron" versions of the Combaticons, it was observed that Brawl somehow manages to remain green through various recolors that leave the rest of the team with strikingly different appearances. Someone suggested a parody of a certain song sung by a famous Muppet frog. I took that as a challenge! ;)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Video Game 30th Anniversary of the Month - Star Trek: Strategic Operations Simulator

I have to confess to a bit of uncertainty about whether this month's entry really fits as a 30th anniversary. The Wikipedia article suggests that Sega didn't release this game until 1983, and for all I know, their sources may well be right. However, I'm going by the copyright date Sega included on the game itself, which places this game in 1982, and therefore as worthy of inclusion. For those who are sticklers for accuracy, and who believe that the 1983 date is indeed more accurate, I can only hope that my placing this entry toward the end of the year helps (although I have my own reasons for not featuring this game in November or December).

Friday, October 19, 2012

BotCon 2012 Exclusive Shattered Glass Treadshot

Love it or hate it, the "Shattered Glass" continuity has been a mainstay of BotCon and the official Transformers club for several years now. For those who don't already know, Shattered Glass is essentially a mirror-universe take on the Transformers concept. The Autobots are evil and the Decepticons are good, instead of the other way around, as it is in every other Transformers toyline yet seen.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Transformers in 3-D comic issue #1

Most of the time, when I'm talking about Transformers comics of the 1980's, I'm talking about the Marvel series. However, there was another Transformers comic series that came out during that era, which is now all-but forgotten. A company called Blackthorne Publishing, most known for publishing 3-D comic books, was able to get a license from Hasbro to do such 3-D comics at the same time as Marvel had the Transformers comic book license. Apparently, the 3-D gimmick was enough of a difference to convince Hasbro (and Marvel? I have no idea if there were ever any lawsuits) that Blackthorne's work would not infringe on the existing agreement.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Blog Action Day 2012 - The Power of We... in Fighting Breast Cancer

There are several holidays and observances on the calendar that, although they do indeed have some form or another of official recognition, nonetheless often go by unnoticed. "Boss's Day," which takes place tomorrow (Tuesday, October 16th), has been one such holiday for me. The fact that I'm noticing "Boss's Day" this year is more than a little ironic, but more on that in a moment.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Regarding The Minister as Motivator

In the PC(USA), we often like to refer to ministers as "Teaching Elders." In fact, this is technically the preferred language according to our denomination's constitution, but don't expect Presbyterians to stop using the word "minister" anytime soon. The point here is that we see "teaching" as one of the primary roles that a minister is to play within the life of a church.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Transformers Groove's Spanish Packaging

I've written before about the fact that Transformers have been sold in countries other than the United States and Japan. In fact, the brand is a world-wide phenomenon. This fact allows for a few interesting blips in the otherwise straightforward history of how certain toys come to be made. Take this Spanish version of Groove, for example. It did not come out at the time of Groove's original release in 1986, but rather several years later, as part of a European "Classics" sub-line that showed up around 1990 (not to be confused with the American "Classics" line of 2006, nor the similarly-themed lines which have come since that technically use different names, but which are often referred to in this way. Also note that "Classics" toys from Spain do not feature the "Classics" title, although most other European countries did feature such language).

Saturday, October 06, 2012

In Memory of Patrick

A friend of mine from college passed away yesterday after a near-drowning accident on Thursday. He had a pretty good impersonation of Gonzo singing this song.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Transformers Prime Cyberverse Decepticon Flamewar

Because of the engineering expertise and multiple parts necessary to create a Transformers toy, Transformers actually tend to cost a bit more to produce than many people expect on the basis of their size compared to other toys in stores. In order to at least try to keep the actual costs buyers have to pay down, Hasbro relies fairly heavily these days on redecos (also often called repaints). While I've argued in the past that there have always been such redecos in the line (and, in fact, the entire Transformers franchise owes its existence to the concept, as the original line was actually nothing more than reuse and redecos of toys created for entirely different lines in Japan), they have not always been as common in the past as they are now. These days, it is rare to see a mold that does not get reused at least once, if not more, by changing the color scheme around and possibly remolding a part or two.

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