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WAYWARD #1 COMIC REVIEW: Zub Kicks Barriers Instead of Skulls

Wayward01B-AlinaUrusovWAYWARD 1 (In Stores August 2014)
Writer: Jim Zub
Artist: Steve Cummings
Publisher: Image
Reviwer: Rob Patey (aka – Optimous Douche, Ain’t it Cool News) 

I find it hard to believe it’s been 4 years since I was first contacted by a lone Eastern Europeanish immigrant named Jim Zubkavich. Traveling by steamer ship from the same piece of shit country as Balki from Perfect Strangers, I received his telegraph requesting coverage of his book SKULL KICKERS, which would be his indentured servitude golden ticket to America.

Now he’s a shining example of the American Dream and how indentured servitude is really a great piece of currency, the kavich has left the building and Jim Zub delivers another comic problem solver with WAYWARD 1.

That’s right, a comic problem solver. Anyone can write a story or lasso words around editorial edicts, but the ones worth remembering always stand at the ready to fill a void or vacuum.

Back then, with SKULL KICKERS Kavich showed us that comics could be fun as his nameless D&D characters pretty much kicked a bunch of skulls inside the story wrappers of every fantasy trope imaginable. 2010 was a bummer fucking year as the Big 2 put their current universes in neutral and took all the top talent to the board room to usher in the Meticulously Measured Metrics Age of comics. Kavich said, no silly Americans, do not be sad the beetle blues has been shot by the Lord of Foldgers, laugh at my silly dwarf man instead.

Wayward01A-SteveCummings_RossACampbellToday, Zub fixes a problem that has been screaming at comics since the first bra was burned and yet amidst that screeching there is still so little problem solving – that’s right, I’m talking about some lady protagonisting. Not only does Zub go lady, he actually goes teenage lady, and I’ll tell you that it definitely works.

Rori Lane is not only about to undergo a fantastic journey filled with comic bookey stuff, but she’s also on a journey of discovery as a stranger in a strange land that I already find equally if not more intriguing than the fantasy. Her half Irish, half Japanese decent only lasted until her parents divorce. Mom gets Rori, so Rori gets to move to Tokyo.

Zub paints the perfect balance of wonderment and fear in Rori as she navigates a land that many foreigners will never quite “get,” until they actually experience it. However, the land of the rising sun also activates something in Rori that I can only best describe as Splinter Cell vision. Rori begins to see pathways, or when put to good use, a strategic line to overcome any point A to point B obstacle.

Now, where most assholes would simply use this ability to YouTube X-Treme Parkor, Rori’s mettle is actually tested her first afternoon in town by Turtles in a half shell with big ass slobbering teeth and ironically bird flu (OK I made up the last part). Until a girl with an uncanny ability to summon felines and become cat like herself mysteriously saves Rori and then quickly abandons her. Not before getting some strange milk from a vending machine to solidify once more how strange Eastern culture is to us Western world folks.

Wayward01D-AdamWarren_JohnRauchWhat this review is missing is how well Zub paints these moments. Rori’s journey, the loss of her parent’s love for each other, how bat shit crazy Japan is for first timers, because he does it all in masterful and authentic detail. Steve Cummings is simply a new God of comic drawing, my jaw continued to lower to the floor page after beautiful page.

Sorry to tease WAYWARD so far ahead of release, but that’s comics folks. Retailers must order now, they believe they are people too, and so they sometimes need a little help stocking the shelves before you consumer types start navigating them. There are a deluge of titles coming from every corner of comics and Image is certainly one of the most massive #1 producers in recent memory. Out of all those so many books of genesis I’ve enjoyed, WAYWARD is one of the first that I feel is as much needed as it is entertaining.

Avoiding Hypocrisy – Blogging the Bad for Once

rob-patey-sad-faceI blog with the highest of frequency and candor about my successes in life, so I want to avoid the traditional artist hypocrisy of cowering when my ego is suffering from the rawest bruise ever struck.

I parted ways with my employer today. We both had an inkling it wasn’t going to work out pretty much from day one, and I am almost thankful (though undeniably scared about my future) they broached the subject in a timely fashion. So when they said it wasn’t working out, I didn’t perform the traditional knee jerk defense because I truly wasn’t happy with the decision I made. Quite frankly, the only reason I didn’t leave sooner is I simply refuse to be the first to throw in the towel. I know in the grand scheme of an uninterrupted fifteen year career, I should consider this a quick 4 week anomaly. But your first rejection, when you kind of want to be rejected still stings a tad.

To be truly honest with myself it wasn’t losing the job that causes the sting to throb, it was quite frankly ignoring my gut on what the now clear voice of hindsight was telling during the interview process. Also, I am just now realizing how valued I was at my prior place of employment. Actually, I take that back, I realized how valued I was at my prior employer the moment I resigned. What I am dealing with now is seeing a support network via FaceBook from these folks that makes those past feelings shine so much more brighter.

Rejection should and could cut the human spirit like a scythe, we are after all social animals. If this day didn’t sting  I would be even more scared about who I am right now. Even when you join a tribe whose war paint clearly causes allergic reactions to your skin, the cognoscente person will take a moment of self reflection to ponder why. The sociopath will be unaffected, and only the truly blind with arrogance will deflect all fault to the other party.

What I chose to do as I sauntered away from this tribe in my coconut wheeled SUV, is take stock of not where I have been, but where I want to go next. Mistakes are only unforgivable when repeated.

Oh the places I want to go

  • Marketing – but let me be clear it must be content based. I must be with an organization that understands that capturing market share comes from invoking true emotion in prospects
  • Places that want a unique voice – My style is not for everyone, thankfully Google has awarded my style with the recent Penguin and Panda changes, but not all places will necessarily agree.
  • Team I must be part of a team –  I am too much of an extrovert, I feed off the energy of others and didn’t realize that my soul would truly suffer in solitude.
  • Technology, Entertainment and Advertising: These are my career loves, but again the future will be an exercise in ensuring those…I guess we can call them industries…are a truly honest and creative brand (or sincerely want me to make them that)

If you think my lament is admirable and honest and you want a content or lead ten marketer, here is my  resume (Robert T Patey Resume 06-14-2). I’ll also encourage you to read some of my marketing related content to ensure my voice resonates well with your eye holes.

When I bleed, I bleed ink and your readership truly helps cauterize the wound.

 

3 Types Doomed to Fail Their Comic Kickstarter

1146506_10151595136021149_2082735482_nHere are just some of the people I’ve helped already! Submit your questions in the comments or via email – because this is the face of caring!

 

Aaron Kuhn #ASKSROB

Dear Rob,
Kickstarter Fail: John Campbell Burns Comics Rather Than Sending Them To Donors

From BleedingCool.com

“And then there can be the bizarre. Such as that of John Campbell of Pictures for Sad Children.

Author of said popular webcomic, he published the first 200 strips in 2009. In 2012 he set up a Kickstarter to raise the money to publish a second volume, Sad Pictures for Children.

He asked for $8000. He got $51,615.

Some people got their books. Some didn’t. Yesterday, Campbell explained in a massive rambling Kickstarter update. Here are some highlights.

Well first, there’s the video of him burning 127 copies of the book because he had received emails asking him where the books were. And the threat he will continue to burn copies with every email, tweet, Facebook message etc he receives.”

Da Fuck?

Great Question Aaron,
There are three possible explanations for the behavior of Mr. Burns. Like Bleeding Cool‘s publisher Rich Johnston, who broke this tale of Kickstarted woe I have been exposed to all of these personality “types” during my tenure of comic reporting on Ain’t It Cool News.

Take note, all but a small fraction of the creative disorders burn out very quickly.

1) Edward Entitled: These are the worst types of creators and just frankly human beings in my opinion. They believe the world owes them something for just existing or in this case making some fucking stick figures.

They believe they are the most special and unique things put on the planet, when anyone with half a brain could dissect their personality and creative pastiches in 4 seconds.

These people are usually sheltered and get grand attention from a very small fishbowl of people.

We are all but micro atoms in the cosmic scheme and once you accept that facet, you become grateful for all the 8 bit blocks in life you unearth and craft.

I blog about comics. I’m a mid level manager. Life is good and I’m happy a small handful of people like my stuff. I’m Rob Patey, I’m not that important in the cosmic clock and neither are you John Campbell.

Dance monkey, it’s our job.

2) Harry Hubris: These types are quite frankly the victims of a morsel of success. This dude had a Web comic. And as a fellow narcissist I know the rush of gratification one can get from that initial inflow of palatitudes.

Here’s the think though, reading shit for free and paying for it is very different.

We have thousands that listen to the PopTards Podcast! each week. If we charged one dime we would see that number dropping faster than John Travolta’s IQ points from wig constriction.

3) Socialist Sam: Here are the people that baffle me. They love the socialistic bedrocks of crowd funding, but then feel like a puppet of the system when they have to produce.

Ukrainians don’t get toilet paper for not picking beets, just saying…

This guy in the end is just an Asshole. I see so many earnest Kickstarters fail miserably and this dick pulled down 250% above goal.

So people wrote him about the books wondering when delivery would be fulfilled. Who the hell orders anything without wondering that?

It’s guys like this that will kill Crowd Funding. I have contributed to one that delivered and one that failed. I really am 50/50 about ever investing on one again. This might have dropped it lower.`

All of The S$#@ is Gone From Christmas

All of The S$#@ is Gone From Christmas (Sung to the juxtaposed tune of “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot LIKE Christmas”

All of the shit is gone from Christmas
The tree is by the curb
Amazon Box filled with wrapping
Hungover egg nog napping
And we finally get rid of Uncle Herb

All of the shit is gone from Christmas
Except the sizes wrong
They’ll go back to the outlet store
With gift receipts galore
Keeping spouses out for hours long

Pine needles in rugs and copious drugs
Mark days one and two
Regifting the crap that you just can’t bring back
Keeps you in the Chriastmas mood
And let’s not forget
All the leftover food

All of the shit is gone from Christmas
But I guess it’s really not
The gifts all still remain
Along with psychological family pain
Until next year’s onslaught.

Wag the Spouse

woman-with-man-begging-vertHaving trouble getting your significant other to see the merits of Pet Insurance? Here are some strategies to turn the tables in your favor. 

You love your four-legged housemates like family. Unfortunately, not all people feel the same. It becomes even more unfortunate if you have tethered yourself to one of these people for life. It happens; courtship is a whirlwind experience as we become puppets to rapidly flying pheromones. You don’t always discuss every facet of life before you say “I do” or clear out some drawers for co-habitation.

Fortunately everyone has buttons; those pain points that will make even the most stalwart of feelings whether it’s about pet insurance or putting down the toilet seat (grrrrr) fall to the wayside for the greater good of the relationship.

Here are some tips to help your significant other see the light when it comes to protecting the whole family.

Dollars & “S”cents

Whether you describe your two-legged life mate as pragmatic, frugal or downright cheap; you know the quickest path to your partner’s heart is paved with debits and credits. The next time they balk at the cost for your favorite barker’s protection lay some of these average veterinary bill figures on them:

Fractured Tooth – $700: With that kind of money your Scrooge McDuck could get 50 yard line seats at any sporting event in the country (plus beverages).

Cataracts – $1,500-3,000 PER LENS: Yikes, this nasty coating of the eyes ends up striking every living creature eventually. With pet insurance in your back pocket, the lenses are covered and the money saved could add some nice new toys to the man-cave.

Face-Lift – $13,000: No, not for vanity. We love dogs like bloodhounds and bull dogs for their beautiful folds, but those cute crevices can become big problems over time. Some dogs simply need those deep adorable wrinkles tightened up a bit as they age. Fortunately with the right pet insurance that covers hereditary conditions, you take care of your saggy faced friend and your curmudgeon can finally get that fishing boat they’ve been dreaming of.

Let Go of the Leash

In many relationships, when one partner is less than a fan of feathers, paws and claws you might be the one to blame. That’s right, your mothering (or fathering ) instincts have left the naysayers in the house out in the cold. It’s hard not to smother when in love, but this could be one of the reasons your significant other would rather see fur fly than settle in for a snuggle. After all, how can you expect someone who has never been exposed to pets to fall in love if they still aren’t being exposed to your pet?

It’s time to correct course. If your partner is a helper, than why not mention to them that you are really falling behind on daily tooth brushing for your pet, or feedings, walks….whatever! Just get them involved. Once they begin to help care for your other family member they will eventually see the soul inside those big brown eyes.

Lounge Lizards

Perhaps your partner is the complete antithesis of “the helper,” leaning frankly, a little more towards sloth. Thankfully, most of our four-legged friends sleep as much as they do anything else. A way to break down the walls between your partner and favorite pet is to surreptitiously place them together for a Sunday afternoon of football or intense video game playing. You already know the soul of your pet and how in-tune they are with your emotional states. Your partner will soon realize this as well when Fido mirrors their zeal or remorse depending on how the game goes.

There are certainly more tactics at hand to melt the icicles between your two loves, but this is definitely a good start. How about you? Have you been able to break down the walls between pet and partner? Let us know how you achieved the seemingly impossible.

JUPITER’S LEGACY 3 REVIEW – NOT KINGDOM COME!!!!

jupiters legacy 3 coverJUPITER’S LEGACY 3
Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: Frank Quitely
Publisher: Image
Reviewer: Rob Patey (aka Optimous Douche – Ain’t It Cool News)

While the comic purists like to deride Millar’s work as superficial pastiches, I challenge them to spew their vitriol at JUPITER’S LEGACY. Yes, it’s another story of comic commonalities taken to hyperbole, but now Millar is putting these themes under indictment – and us as well.

I don’t mean “us” as in the comic community (that was 1985), I mean the collective us that is society. This tale of the Great Generation of heroes being dethroned is as much a cautionary tale for now and tomorrow, as it is a tale of what never was.

Western culture is in trouble, whoever doesn’t want to admit this fact better be on the ATF watch-list to survive the great thud when our recessions become full depressions (personally, I ordered my ass some Chinese Rosetta Stone). Western culture is in the same malaise in JUPITER’S LEGACY, but this world has capes to slap them out of the mire – whether through old fashioned tactics or the modern-day pill popping culture inspired “quick fix.” And therein lies the rub and the overarching theme of JUPITER’S LEGACY. The oh so Kryptonian like Utopian is fighting for truth, justice and the American way (including an unwavering belief in “the system”), while his Brother Walter and all of the “kids” in the book truly believe the heroes have the answers to what ails humanity, politics and petty squabbles be damned. Of course the problem with this, as explored in countless Elseworlds, is that the rest of humanity will need to be subjugated and willing to abandon free-will.

So how does this book differ from a KINGDOM COME type tale? The answer is simply generational. There was a proactive nature in KINGDOM COME, where those Gen X heroes looking to supplant the Golden and Silver Age heroes went after what they wanted with gusto and fervor. Now, the kids are lazy as shit. These twenty-soemthings live in a malaise of media consumption and passive debauchery until someone tells them…wait, make that shows them and guides them down the path of succession.

As for this issue itself, this is truly the climax of Freytag’s pyramid. Chloe ends up on the run after a brief visit to move back home turns into an attack on Mr. and Mrs. Utopian from Walter and the rabble rousers. Chloe escapes with her baby daddy through some clever teleportation jumps and some hilarious carnage. The fight between the Utopians and their usurpers is a brutal bag of carnage cleverly played out thanks to Walt’s ability to control the mind. Whether the favorite son of Utopian, Brandon is being controlled by Walt remains to be seen. But for now the appearance is just that Walter is a Rasputin merely whispering kill words to inflate Brandon’s ego and incite him to fry his Father’s face off.

While Quitely draws some stark images during the battle, what really resonated was the quiet before the storm when Utopian was talking to Chloe’s baby-daddy about the plethora of reasons he won’t let a drug pusher raise his grandchild. Again, it’s another societal theme we see all too often these days. How many Baby Boomers are day-care for their kid’s kids or just outright raising them because this generation can fuck, but certainly can’t live with the repercussions?

Another theme that came to light before the lights went out for the old guard was the need of a secret identity. The Utopian is a garage mechanic completely unknown to the world at large, living in a quiet suburb. This is different than the Clark Kent model where he was almost as famous as his secret identity. Utopian lives a true dual life as a simple auto mechanic. I think this makes way more sense than being a reporter. It’s much easier to duck out from a carburetor repair than during a press conference given by the President. He does this as much for sanity as for safety as he so eloquently describes to the man courting his daughter.

Next issue promises to jump us ahead 9 years into the future, and herein is my only complaint with this book and I guess Millar as a whole. There is a certain lack of depth to the Millar World oeuvre. I would say JUPITER’S LEGACY is the “deepest” piece to date given the material, but I know the ride will be over shortly and thus my skin in the game is just as shallow. I would like to see Millar challenge himself at some point with his own consistent and persistent universe, one where it feels as though there’s a long-haul instead of just a pitch for a TV series or movie. I think Millar could truly take his already astounding success to the next level if he just follows the advice of Saturday Night Live by “simmerin down now” just a little bit.

The Rules of Marriage – Pu**y Whipped & D-Lashed is OK!

13th anniversaryBefore you think this to be another one of my crass rants, please take a careful moment to consider my hypothesis: For a marriage, any marriage, to be successful both parties must be willing to be pussy whipped and dick lashed by their spouse accordingly.

I write this on the day I gave my life to my beautiful bride 13 years ago. Are we perfect? Far from it. Yet through patience, caring and the ability to meet in the middle we have been able to survive…nay flourish in matrimony where many others have called it quits.

Biology Betrays Us

If you want you can transform my crassness to simple term “compromise,” but I don’t feel that’s a strong enough word to help build a sturdy bridge between the sexes. See, we are not biologically engineered to live with one another.

  • The Lizard male brain is programmed to propagate anywhere and everywhere they can stick their penis. If pillows could get pregnant, they would.
  • The lizard lady brain is programmed to get a mate to stick around for 9 months and then show them the door, then the next bigger and better male moves in for the next year and a half.

Consciousness, emotion, the human soul has allowed us to transcend these base instincts, but certainly not obliterate them. Honestly, can you imagine a world where people just banged recklessly and moved on? Oh ya, it was called the 70s and it gave us a generation of fucked up kids and AIDS.

Society Has Changed Since Hunter Gatherer

So we fought biology to become hunter/gatherers. For thousands of years women tended gardens and children while men hunted mastodons and impregnated other villages’ ladies along the way. Perfect model, until a tribal shaman noticed that the ladies with babies were not as appealing as the other woman sprouting their lady parts and the men were still just trying to plug any hole available be it female, male, emu or tree.

Something had to change if this society thing was going to fly.

Marriage – So Men Stop Fucking Trees

So marriage is invented. It gave women security and men a break from the extreme chafing wrought by all that hole plugging.

Unfortunately with marriage came the concept of living together. No problem, men could still go off on hunts for a few months at a pop, so fidelity once they came home was really really really appreciated by both parties.

But then society changed. Men didn’t have to hunt as much, so we lazed about the village still acting like men and never hitting the fucking hamper even though it was right next to us in the cave. And the women who would give us boundless sex after the hunt suddenly developed the headache.

Both sexes were in for a change that was directly against both of our natures. To add insult to blue balls and lady head migraines, we then got the 1970s. A time that told men we had to be more sensitive, while at the same time remaining pillars of virility and strength.  Dan Fogleberg and Chris Christofferson, basically paved the way for the next generation of intense therapy and imbibing of psychotropic substances so we could turn the testosterone valve on and off at will.

Get Whipped – It’s Awesome

So given these factors, where the modern human is forced to live in conditions that no other mammal in the animal kingdom would ever sign up for, how do we cope? YOU WILL BE WHIPPED.

Men: Pick up your shit. Listen and engage. Don’t try to fix everything – you’re not Torvald in a Doll’s House. Understand the female mind is a complex kaleidoscope of emotions and feelings we will never understand, so let her take the friggin lead when it comes to affairs of the heart – theirs are more bountiful than ours. Protect without smothering.

Women: Pick up our shit when we don’t maliciously leave it places – we’re obtuse not obstinate. Better yet, give us a tidy corner hidden away where we can be filthy. Understand we don’t see detail, so don’t expect it – ask for it instead, we’ll come along. Realize we don’t cry, we get angry. We’re not angry with you, we’re angry at the situation. Sex!!!!! We need it and we want it. Many many many times a day. Given the nature of biology, you can’t always keep up with us understood. Don’t make us feel guilty about handling the issue ourselves then.

I could go on, but I’m sure I already pissed off a handful of femnazis and metrosexuals. I don’t claim to have the prescriptions for all; I can only say what’s worked for me and my wife. The battle of the sexes isn’t a battle at all, it’s a clusterfuck of confusion against our base and higher selves. The only way to come out of the tunnel sane is for men to let ladies crack the whip of societal efficiency and for ladies to appreciate our base nature SOME  of the time.