OVERRUN #1COMIC BOOK REVIEW – Bits that don’t byte

OVERRUN 1OVERRUN 1 (London Super Comic Con Edition)
Writers: Andi Ewington & Matt Woodley
Artist: Paul Green
Publisher: Could be You (weareoverrun.com)
Reviewer: Rob Patey (aka – Optimous Douche, Ain’t It Cool News)

Anthropomorphizing is a solid staple for comic books. It gives writers a freedom and flexibility to exponentially increase their character head count of human intrigue beyond the bipedal. Traditionally this trick is used with animals or I guess teapots if we’re talking Disney, but what about all the geeks of the world who shun the physical and find solace in solely interfacing with the bits and bytes of this modern age.
Well, there’s Tron and the Matrix. At least that was my first thought when Ewington first slid some of OVERRUN’S artwork my way in Mid-2013. What I slowly began to realize though as I interacted with the spoiler site and finally got my hands on the first 24 pages of this what will ultimately be a 114 page opus, was that computers have grown up – along with our understanding and comfort with them.

The characters of OVERRUN morph data to our current understanding. The denizens of “the city,” which is basically yours or my computer, aren’t as nebulous as the simplistic bits and bytes that ran the OS in Tron, nor as heady as the intricate destiny engines of code that compiled the Matrix (If you understood that shit in parts II & III, drop me a line would love to pick your brain). OVERRUN’S files consist of and embody those files that we interact with daily: .xls and .doc walk the city with their suits and briefcases, .MP3 range from hipsters to hip-hop stars, SPAM files in various states of undress and hocking V1agra and the worst of the worst the infected files.

The over arching story is of course one of corruption in the literal and metaphorical senses. The CPU is as dirty as the day is long and he is ensuring lower levels of his processor – the dirty parts – are going to be wiped from his pristine version of the city.

But as we all know, sometimes those older archaic files are the ones that bring the most joy. Here is where the book imbues a ton of heart as we get a brief meet and greet with the characters live in the dirty subroutine slums of the city. They are short on currency (KBs), but their friendship sustains them (along with piling together some funny for a few drinks at the Scroll Bar. Ewington and Woodley drop quite a few other of these computer puns into the book. I’ll admit some are groan worthy in their punny design, but quite a few others are damn clever in their physical representation.

The art of OVERRUN is jaw droppingly stunning. I never heard of Paul Green, but I’m sure I will many many times in the near future. He’s hyper stylized to be sure, but that’s not a bad thing as long as an artist remembers real body poses as opposed to a cacophony of pin up art action in every panel. The sheer amount of detail put into each page must have taken Green months upon months to conceive and design.

My only real complaint with the book is in the lettering. The bubbles are a sharp neon green and the text is white. Not the best choice for the mildly color blind or the middle age. I can handle it if it was just one character, but instead it is a convention for any dialog. Perhaps in later issues, if the team is married to a color wheel bubble, each character gets one in tonality with their personality. Or…you know…white on black isn’t a bad choice either.

I could easily see OVERRUN fitting in like a snug 3.5 floppy at a company like Top Cow from an art perspective. The story isn’t sultry or horror enough unless the Big Moos brand wanted to diversify. Other contenders for pick-up would be the likes of Boom or hell even Image, since they have no theme other than great stories. For now though, copies can only be obtained at the upcoming London Super Comic Con. With OVERRUN and the wonderful 45 penned by Ewington a few years ago, I have a feeling these limited copies across the pond will become collector issues as the marks of the early years in a storied career.

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.`

THE WAKE 6 REVIEW – Fast Forward to Page 1 [SPOILERS]

The Wake 6 CoverTHE WAKE 6
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Sean Murphy
Publisher: Vertigo
Reviewer: Rob Patey (aka Optimous Douche – Ain’t It Cool News)

It didn’t take a MENSA candidate to make the aquatic association of THE WAKE’s title to the shit storm that Snyder unleashed from Davey Jones’ locker, but the way in which he did it left me jaw dropped when this book took it’s hiatus a few months ago.

You all will remember when last we left THE WAKE, the aquatic brain trust had basically unleashed merman-a –geddon on the world. Not only were there thousands of razor mouthed man-guppys chasing our heroes, but they had also unleashed a skyscraper size mer-man who could devour the paltry underground base in one chomp.

Well, fuck them, they’re not in this issue. They probably died.

Act II takes us back to the very first pages of the book where we were flung 200 years into the future. Way back in the beginning there was a girl living in water world with her pet dolphin. Issue 6 is her story, and it’s a good one.

Her name is Leeward, and she lives in a world where only the highest regions of America remain above sea level. A world where these mer-men are the clear enemy, especially after they sent warm water gushing to the ice caps and melting them. Leeward lives in a world where these creatures are now hunted with a reckless abandon for consumerism and basic survival.

Now for some reason the last vestiges of our government aren’t too kind to these activities as they work to form their own plan for fishie eradication. Kudos to Snyder for restructuring the American government. The concept of regional governors is something I believe we should institute even before release the Kraken.

I would like something for you all to enjoy, so I’ll let you fall in love with Leeward and her bigger mission as your own discoveries when you read the book.

As a parting thought though, I offer you to not rush your read of the book like I did. Murphy brings his PUNK ROCK JESUS harshness to the metal barges our children’s children call cities. There’s a beauty and a sadness to this moisture laden pastoral existence and Murphy gets all the credit for bringing it alive.

Android Acceptance Accelerates in Enterprise BYOD [STATS]

IT departments have had a love/hate affair with Android since the first time the Google’s Green Guy raised his antennae: they loved the devices for themselves, while loathing the idea of end-users having access to such and open and flexible mobile OS.

In the early days of mobility, this fear of Android was a good survival instinct for these warriors of the firewall frontline. No forced email encryption…an App store rife with nefarious blackhats trying to capture data…and more fragmentation than a jigsaw puzzle when it comes to device type and OS version were all strong signs for IT to beware.

Android-enterprise-KingToday, management tools for mobility have assuaged those initial techie trepidations to make Android smartphones and tablets a viable entrée for enterprise palpability that can sit right beside Apple’s iOS. Recently, Fiberlink, an IBM company, scoured the millions of devices currently being managed by their Enterprise Mobility Management solution, MaaS360, to see just how Android is enabling enterprise mobile productivity.

Smartphones Smolder Tablets

When looking at all Android usage across MaaS360’s platform, smartphones trump tablets 84% to a paltry 16%. This stat isn’t really rife with surprise since email is the original killer app and since leaving behind the dark days of 2.0 the OS has become infinitely more secure.

However, IT still needs to be wary. Even though the Android OS lives in a 4.0 world, many users have yet to leave behind their elder operating systems for fear of change (and updating a slew of apps and other logins). This requires IT to use some form of Mobile Device Management to get these OS laggards up to current standards using policy controls for security and mobility management sanity.

 Samsung: Android’s Enterprise Savior

Device diversity has always been a hallmark of the Android OS. It’s this wide stratum between high-end and more affordable manufacturers that has made Android the clear consumer choice across the globe.

Currently the Android device leaders in the enterprise consist of:

Top 5 Android Manufacturers Managed by MaaS360 MDM

The top 5 make up 90% of all Android devices in the enterprise, and include:

  • Samsung: 56%
  • Motorola: 22%
  • HTC: 8%
  • LG: 2%
  • Asus: 2%
  • Other: 10% (Amazon, Huawei, Sony, CASIO, Pegatron)

While a short list, it’s broad enough that IT seriously needs to take a minute when considering BYOD programs allowing Android devices. Despite sharing the same “engine” each of these devices are very different under the hood. To make an impact in the market, all of these devices share their own unique features and custom baked apps that IT must decide either to allow or block until work is over. From the useful Samsung SAFE feature to less than useful bloatware beleaguering other devices, all features must be part of an enterprise mobility planning conversation.

The diversification of Android is only going to continue if the rumor’s flying out of Mobile World Congress 2014 hold any credence. With the Nokia X Window’s skinned device Android device representing the low end of the market and Samsung’s possibly waterproof, iris scanning S5 feature bonanza at the high end, the Android management challenge for IT will only increase in 2014. Fortunately, Mobile Device management solutions have also evolved in line with devices, experiencing their own evolution from simple device watchdog programs to fully enabled Enterprise Mobility Management protecting devices, apps and content.

ROYALS: MASTERS OF WAR 1 REVIEW – Another Reason to Hate Reality

royalscoverlogoTHE ROYALS: MASTERS OF WAR 1
Writer: Rob Williams
Artist: Simon Colby
Publisher: Vertigo
Reviewer: Rob Patey (aka Optimous Douche – Ain’t It Cool News)

(Sung to the tune Royals by Lorde)

They walk around in stately dress
While Nazis make a mess of their country
And they know they can impress
But they stay ducked down, perhaps out of mercy

You see it’s ninety forty, the blitz is hitting London
The Windsor’s have power, but none will dare to use them
It’s not that they don’t care, they just know that the world will perish.
You see every royal bloodline is all possessed with power, that means not just the English but also the Italians.
OK, the oldest Arthur doesn’t care, but he’s an enormous chode.

So, there’s three Royals (Royals)
Henry, Arthur and Rose,
Two have special gifts, but the world will never know.
They hid their power (power)
To abate the world’s envy,
But in a time of crisis
Henry will set them free.

Thank you for indulging me, that was stuck in my head since the book dropped on my doorstep.

Williams confirms what many yanks have believed since we stuck up our finger at George back in the 1700’s – Royals in their current state are pretty much useless (Though Henry 8, did introduce the concept of Royalty being far from divine when he stuck up his middle finger at the pope – just sayin.)!

By imagining a world where Royal bloodlines possessed super powers for countless generations one can’t help but to look across the pond and wonder what’s being wrought from our British cousin’s tax dollars than placebo Rogaine and naked billiards.

Of course watching a bunch of faps in frocks fly around would be a prat move by writer. So instead of being a wanker, Williams builds a personal story around the Windsor line and how their powers skipped a generation and then skipped another…or  so the world is led to believe.

To the contrary, the WWII Windsors actually have two super powered beings capable of extraordinary feats of fancy. And again, Williams veers away from heavy exposition by book ending this issue with the youngest boy, Henry, making a death defying leap through countless Nazi’s plane like a blonde bullet.

Personally I found the crisis of conscious between the leaps just as intriguing. Rose, the only girl and an apt telepath can feel the screams of London’s people, supposedly her people, dying around her. Henry, imbued with Superman like powers is as equally aware of the suffering that they could help abate. Their brother Arthur is a chode as I mentioned lyrically earlier. He is truly the weakest and yet still the bully. When I say no one knows about the powers of Henry and Rose…NO ONE KNOWS.

I’m going to hold on why their Father, the good King kept the  kids’ powers unknown. I might only behalf right and it’s a tender moment of parental love best left described with Colby’s sorrowful visual to accompany it.

I love alternate history so ROYALS was going to get a first issue read when I saw the solicits a few months ago. However, the first issue’s excellence of an honest representation of a world that was and never was is what will bring me back for issue 2.

BATMAN #28 Review – No Awful Waffles Here

Batman 28 CoverBATMAN 28
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Dustin Nguyen
Publisher: DC
Reviewer: Rob Patey (aka Optimous Douche -Ain’t it Cool News)

For anyone who has bitched and bemoaned the New 52, plug your piehole because your universe is back…sort of.

In a time only alluded to as “soon,” BATMAN 28 catapults us in time from last issues Zero Year escapades to a time about 5 years from now. I applaud all of DC for holding this one close to the vest, not only did I see the two major players of this issue appearing, but I also had no idea BATMAN ETERNAL was going to take place in the day after tomorrow. When I interviewed Snyder at New York Comic con ’13, he mentioned ETERNALS would focus on the side characters in the bat-universe, but didn’t once mention who those characters would be or that they would be future incarnations.

So who’s here? How about Harper Rowe for starters. Our little friend from the narrows is a bit more grown up and fighting the Gotham imposed police state tooth and nail as the character BlueBird.

While Batman shows up in this issue, he’s far from the star. He only appears after Harper is deep inside the layer of Gotham’s new kingpin of crime, Catwoman. That’s right kids the “will she, won’t she” rooftop tussles of early 52 books have resulted in a Selina scorned.

Why exacty  is Harper scratching her way into Catwoman’s layer. Apparently in the future the Narrows is a place of mass infection with a disease that makes Ebola look like a head cold. The only one with the cure for this plague is the Cat.

The surprises don’t end there though. When Selina opens the safe holding the cure, we see the one and only waifish waffle lover Stephanie Brown in a scene from a bondage flick.

/End scene

I refuse to hate on the New 52. The best way to be seen as an old codger is to simply dismiss anything new as rubbish. Have all the choices been my cup of tea? No. Is a 39 year old man DC’s sole demographic – FUCK NO! While I would never be so naïve to request perspective from a comic book audience, I will say it’s a fool’s errand to lament time, and a blond man’s folly to ignore that which you don’t agree with. With BATMAN 28 I truly believe the New 52 haters could find a home at DC again. Also, if this truly is a secret glimpse at BATMAN ETERNAL, then you might have a home moving forward. For Gen X, this is the DC we imagined as kids. Where Bruce would be a healthy Boomer greeting people at Wal-Mart by day and guiding the next generation of crime fighters at night. While Bruce is a little closer to 50 than 60 in this “soon” time, I’ll take it. Greta book and a much better teaser for BATMAN ETERNALS than past efforts. I thought for sure the thing was going to be a modernization of G.C.P.D. Now that it’s a future look, this Elseworlds boy is hella sold for the first issue. I just caution Tynion to ensure he doesn’t copy BATMAN BEYOND as he zooms Back to the Future