Backhand Blog

Batman V Superman Is Better Than The Dark Knight

Posted by on 9:16 pm in Backhand Blog, Featured Topics, Nerd Film, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Batman V Superman Is Better Than The Dark Knight

Having recently viewed (and enjoyed) Suicide Squad I thought I should give Batman V Superman another chance. It’s no joke that this movie has garnered a lot of hate since its debut this summer (featuring not one, but two Martha’s!) however with the release of the Ultimate Edition to somewhat positive response I thought – why not, let’s give it a go. Right off the bat I will say there is zero reason to buy into the R rated hype. We all know that Deadpool caused a wave of studio response across the board of obvious knee jerk reaction in terms of studio heads coming to the realization that, yes we do want R rated films. Sad to say you will not find that here. But, that aside, I’m not here to talk about the shortcomings of the movie. You have read a ton of articles and probably watched every YouTube video out there making fun of ‘that scene’ (WHY DID YOU SAY THAT NAME). However if you would for a moment, indulge me, while I mention why this film isn’t “that bad” but is rather quite enjoyable.   It’s better as a longer movie. All the scenes they cut out actually make the movie make a lot more sense. First is the obvious sub plot of Kahina Ziri played by Wunmi Mosaku. In the theatrical cut we see an interview with her on tv, and that’s it. In the Ultimate edition we follow her story – in fact part of this story is why Clark Kent goes to Gotham City (not to cover football as assigned by Perry White) to find that “The Batman” is now feared by the people he use to protect. This point is built upon in a few other scenes that leads to the initial confrontation that we all saw where he tells Batman “Next time they shine your light in the sky don’t go to it.”. In fact Lex Luthor actually arranges to have Kahina killed at the same time as the capitol explosion. #DCSOWHITE   There are a lot of little scenes that go on like this, but one important deleted scene that was released to the public even before the film came out was the “communion scene”. It shows Lex Luthor being captured, but not before we see him being looked over by Steppenwolf holding three mother boxes – that we also get a glimpse of in the Justice League trailer. Again, even if you’re not familiar with DC lore, this makes the film – in context – make a lot more sense for the final scene with Lex and Batman when he foretells the coming. Instead of simply panning to a painting with no other reference to go off of, this sheds a hint of light of what’s to come in Justice League.  Pictured: Not Thanos Now here is why I feel this film fits, right now, better than the Nolan version of Batman. It’s no secret that Christian Bale was offered $50 million dollars to do Batman V Superman. I’m glad he didn’t take it. In Nolan’s world, he set up Batman to be ultra-realistic. There is no room to fit in metahumans. Scarecrow, Bane and the Joker could all exist in real life in the Batman that Nolan...

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A Year After Financing, Still No Neuromancer FIlm

Posted by on 9:31 am in Backhand Blog, Featured Topics, Nerd Film | 0 comments

A Year After Financing, Still No Neuromancer FIlm

Last year I finally read Neuromancer for the first time. It was for none other than I was going down my list of reading the top science fiction books of all time. After finishing it I can understand why this book is on that list. Shortly after reading it, it was announced that financing had been secured from Chinese investors. However the question remains: is it too late for a Neuromancer film? While it’s regarded as one of the most influential books in how we view the internet, coining phrases such as Cyberspace and Matrix (in fact without Neuromancer we wouldn’t even have the Matrix Films or games like Android Netrunner) and it came at a time when people didn’t even know what the internet was. It was a product of the eighties – Blade Runner before there was Blade Runner. While people might say that it’s unfilmable, I point to Watchmen as the original case. People were saying Watchmen could not translate to film, and (despite the current feelings towards Synder at the moment) it’s one of the best comic films out to date. To the point, nothing is unfilmable with the right team and passion behind it, but that’s not what will keep Neuromancer from being successful. What most people will relate it to, and rightly so, is what happened to John Carter (of Mars). The film based on the 1910’s pulp science fiction stories and it bombed terribly in the cinema. What happened wasn’t John Carter’s fault, it was that directors like George Lucas and James Cameron grew up reading the adventures of John Carter, and borrowed the ideas of a hero no one had heard of.  Look to the arena scenes in both films where it that looks like John Carter ripping off Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, when in fact the opposite is true. After bad word of mouth your box office plummets. Neuromancer faces this same catch 22. With the success of films like The Matrix, Neuromancer by comparison will look like a secondhand rip off despite the fact it literally invented “jacking into the matrix” as a way of manipulating computer security. Now I would love a Neuromancer film. I want to see our main character Case navigate cyberspace battling wits with the AI Wintermute. What I don’t want to see is another Ender’s Game that’s a terrible translation of a beloved science fiction book brought to life. Truth is, it may just be too late for...

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First E3 Experience

Posted by on 7:06 am in Backhand Blog, Featured Topics | 0 comments

First E3 Experience

E3 Experience from a first timer. By Benjamin Lopez   All my life I had wanted to attend E3.  This year I finally got the opportunity to attend and experience all the greatness.  It being my first time, I was in for a big surprise. I attended all three days and each day was a something new. Day one of E3 was probably the worst. It being my first time visiting, I was so drawn in by the pretty lights and glamour that I got stuck in one booth for at least half a day.  The problem is how easy it is to get stuck trying to get whatever stupid swag they are giving away.  This particular half day I spent trying to get a Morgana hat from Persona 5. Despite loitering and playing demos for hours in an unmoving line, I still managed only to leave Atlus without the hat.  Next up was Forza Horizons. After I spent 3 hours in line, I was forced to leave because they started to allow “VIP’s” ahead of people who were already in line. So, once again, I left without anything for my patience. At the end of day 1, I exited E3 with what felt like less than I entered. Day two was a bit different, the lines were still there, but this time I was able to make lines at Capcom and play the Dead Rising Demo, which I must say the game looks great so far. The game play feels less forced as compared to the previous installment, and it’s more of a free for all.  I was able to watch the demos for Days Gone, God of War, and the new Call of Duty games.  In the end, day two still involved lines, but at least I got to experience some ACTUAL content. Day three was the coup de gras. I lined up at 7:30am outside the west hall waiting for the 10am opening.  You’re probably asking “why line up so early?”One word: Zelda.  The previous two days the lines closed early so there was no chance to get to play the game.  When the doors opened there was a mad rush for Zelda , here’s a video taken by Polygon. I was able to get in line for the game, took about 3 hours to get to the front, 30 minutes to play the demos, but I also left with a shirt and a coin, which seem to be a hot item on eBay.  Once Zelda was done, the mission for day 3 was completed. I closed the day with an Injustice Demo viewing, then to the Lego dimensions viewing. From Injustice I scored a shirt, while Lego gave out a Green Arrow Dimensions character. E3 IS a great experience overall.  The one pet peeve was the obnoxious wait times.  Sony had a great system. You had to sign up to attend their viewings, and play the VR demos. Definitely something other booth designers should try.  On one hand, if you didn’t sign up in time you missed out, but at least you knew if you were getting to experience content or not without wasting time in line.  Similar to a fast pass in Six Flags, you needed only to come back at the appropriate time....

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The 5 CRUCIAL tips and tricks for Pokemon Go

Posted by on 9:20 am in Backhand Blog | 0 comments

The 5 CRUCIAL tips and tricks for Pokemon Go

Pokémon Go has been out here in the states for a few weeks now. While some of us have been training since 1998 to be the very best like no one ever was, others are starting their new Pokémon adventure for the first time. If you’re new to the game or maybe you need a helping hand, fear not!   Here 5 are tips and tricks to get you on your way to being a Pokémon master. 1. Starting with Pikachu: So you boot up Go for the first time but aren’t quite familiar with the 3 cuddlies in front of you or maybe you’re just a big fan of yellow electric mice. If that be the case then all you need do is walk away from these 3 cute little critters and you will be pleasantly surprised to find a Pikachu waiting for you 3 blocks down the road. 2. Curve ball: it’s quite maddening to be so close to leveling up but lacking the needed XP to get that ever so important level 5 to take over gyms like a boss. To do this you simply have to hold down your ball of choice and make a circle motion with your finger. Once the ball begins to sparkle toss your ball at one of the top corners at the screen. There is however learning “Curve” if you will to mastering this trick so expect to lose a handful of Poke balls in the process. Curve ball tosses will help you get a bit of extra XP to get you closer to taking over the gym at your local donut shop. Oh Catching, there are four catch bonuses: Nice, Great, Excellent, and Curve. Nice is when the ball lands at the moment the radar circle is at its widest, and gives you 10XP. Great is when the ball lands in the middle of the radar circle when it’s half-size, and gives you 50XP. Excellent is when the ball lands in the smallest radar circle, and gives you 100XP. Curve is when your ball curves, and gives you 10XP — and a better chance of catching the Pokémon. 3. Razz Berry: fewer things make frowns turn upside down like Magikarp popping out of your newly learned Curve toss, dashing your chances of getting to those nearly impossible 400 candies to get that sweet sweet evolution. This is where the berries come in. Just before tossing your Poke ball, click the small button with the backpack on it on the bottom right of the screen. Select the berry and press it and select it when it shows up on the screen. Suddenly your catching endeavors are not as nerve racking. 4. Catch them all: While on the hunt to collect them all you see a Pidgey on the map and avoid it like you owe it rent money because you already have one so why waste the Poke balls. Well I’m here to tell you don’t skip on the common catch. Every Pokémon caught gives you candies for said Pokémon family. These candies allow you to evolve your Pokémon and power them up. In order to keep from having a box full of birds and rats you can transfer them away. Simply pull up their page from your Pokémon box and scroll...

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E3 = Lines

Posted by on 10:00 am in Backhand Blog | 0 comments

E3 = Lines

E3 is that magical time each year when we get together as an industry and stand in lines. I often times feel that telling others I get in to E3 is a much more enriching experience then actually walking in the door. I was acutely made aware of this fact considering the first booth I went to (Resident Evil 7) was sold out for the day after 20 min of line standing.   So why do we do it? This question runs a far deeper stream in the soul of geek culture than can be limited to just one convention. Is the exclusivity almost as important as the acquisition of experience? We can deny ourselves the hidden desires within; to dream of having that exclusive item. I want that controller. Give me that T-shirt. Sell me that statue. If it has a limited run I will stand in your line, sleep at your entrance, or follow your posts.   This year I pledge to make this about reality. We kill ourselves each year to know first with our hands and say we were there, but the tweets with info I send are returned with: “It was on the live stream.” It leaves you to question why we are here. Is it for you or for us that we stand in this line. Well at least I got my T-shirt....

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Leah Rose

Posted by on 5:45 pm in Backhand Blog, Cosplay Corner, Featured Topics | 0 comments

Leah Rose

Leah Rose is one of the most talented Artists out there. We caught up with her between her busy Con schedule to see what makes her tick! Have a Click and see what she had to say!

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Playing Schlotts: Comic & Media Expo 2015

Posted by on 8:18 pm in Backhand Blog, Cosplay Corner, Featured Topics | 0 comments

Playing Schlotts: Comic & Media Expo 2015

I recently had the chance to partake in Comic & Media Expo 2015, which is their second anniversary of a Mesa comic and media convention. Located in the Mesa Convention Center, it was filled with artists, vendors, voice actors, cosplayers, guests and fans alike. Excuse my photography, as this is mostly taken on my cell phone as I walked around the small convention floor aimlessly; looking at all the things to buy when I wasn’t either in costume or helping Alvin Johnson photography.   A look into the hall itself was small. I was able to walk the whole thing without any interruptions from stopping at booths in about 40 minutes. Karle Yun, who many know of from Arrow; Billy Salyers (Rigby from Mordecai and Rigby) were some of the big television names that came to this convention. Social media sensation D-Piddy could be found wandering around the convention filming shenanigans with other cosplayers. WindofTheStars was seated among with other guests such as Firelight Cosplay, Itty Bitty Geek, Kiba the Cosplay Corgi with his awesome mom Nicole and other costumers when they weren’t in their panels. I even managed to grab a quick word with WindofTheStars, who by the way could not be sweeter. She had so many good things to say about my bright blue hair and we even traded hair tips and took a couple great selfies. I asked a couple of con-goers of what they thought of the event. “It’s small,” one told me,  which I had noticed upon entering. “I went last year too, but it was worth it for the price.”  There was still a lot of space to cover- seeing as most photographers were taking pictures outside the con halls. Gaggles of cosplayers sat on the ground chatting and hanging out. Inside you could find groups of people eating and shopping. Many photo booths had been set up to take a quick picture or for costumers to grab some professional shots of their own costumes. CMX even offered a free photobooth. I  sat in a couple of panels, including one where Nicole (accompanied by her cosplaying corgi Kiba) spoke about cyber bullying, costuming and what they like to do on weekends. Each panel you could find a couple people sitting and talking with the guests, open forum or just listening. As I entered Nicole’s panel, she eagerly waved me down as her dog was wandering around her panel, sitting with con-goers and running around joyfully as people snapped pictures and petting him as he walked by. The room had been arranged so Kiba could joyfully run around the convention while Nicole made sure he was contained and respectful. What a nice pup! It was an overall solid second run for the Mesa Comic & Media Expo, and looking forward to what they have in store for next year. The convention floor was laid out in a way that could be enjoyed at our leisure, and was planned so that it was no problem to make it around to all the interesting people and stuff the con made available . Given how exciting the artists and performers were this year, I think it’s safe to say we can expect improvements and excitement in the coming years for our humble...

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Let’s Make a Video Game! Part 1

Posted by on 2:55 pm in Backhand Blog, Featured Topics | 0 comments

Let’s Make a Video Game! Part 1

Looking to start making a game but don’t know where to start? This series will put you on the right track!

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Artist Spotlight: Tommy Harbour

Posted by on 9:00 am in Backhand Blog, Featured Topics | 0 comments

Artist Spotlight: Tommy Harbour

Tommy Harbour…AKA “Spooky Boy”….AKA “Oregano Tommy”….AKA “This Fuckin’ Guy”. I’ve know this dude for…..over a decade or so? Jesus Christ.    Tommy surrounds himself with toys, posters, comics, movies, video games…..NERD CLUTTER. He is ALL UP IN all that stuff. He tattoos nerdy things upon himself. He probably has nightmares about being in an empty room while wearing khaki pants. Tommy doesn’t only enjoy the nerdy output of others, he also contributes. He’s been drawing weird stuff for as long as I’ve known him, and I’m told even longer than that. Not long after we became acquainted, he started doing a comic entitled “Stuff in my Head”, where he took stories from real life, drew friends as ducks, made fart jokes, ya know, the usual. This hand-drawn affair looked like a real pain in the ass to do, and I couldn’t help but admire the dedication. I had to move in with the fucker to get into the comic myself. Worth it? I’ve asked myself that question countless times.   Tommy’s art has taken different forms over the years, one of those ventures being pixel art, a medium that has become quite popular in recent years. I tracked down Tommy at the Retro Gaming Con in Portland, OR, where he was selling some of his mess, and we farted out an interview: Me: “Ok…Tommy Harbour…what are you DOING?!?!” Tommy: *laughs* “What are ANY of us doing?” Me: “What’s the purpose of you being here today, Tommy? What are you accomplishing? What good are you doing for mankind right now by being here with your…stuff?” Tommy: “Alright, well, let me answer the last question first: Absolutely ZERO benefit to mankind. Alright, let me sound professional…Typically, what we do is we like to engage in the gamer culture. It’s been a big part of my life. I like taking paintings and making pixel art out of them. Also, repurposing paintings. Finding them at yard sales, thrift stores, repurposing them by putting pixel art in there somehow, or incorporating a scene into  the right game element. If I find a wood scene with a trail in it…*BAM* Final Fantasy characters right then and there.” Me: “Do you learn anything about the guy that painted the original painting before you put shit on his shit?” Tommy: “Nope!” *laughs* Me: “He’s probably dead anyway, right?” Tommy: “Yeah, probably. Most of the paintings I typically find have like an 80’s or 90’s date on them.” Me: “But you’re doing him (or her) a favor. You’re elevating his shitty painting from thrift store status to being featured at a convention. He’s getting like a little boost after his death.” Tommy: “Yeah. Now granted, if it was a valuable painting, I’d probably look into it and see if I can just re-sell it, but most of the time, if I pick something up for 5 or 10 dollars. I’ll shove some…blah, buh blah blah….that’s my answer” Me: “Blah buh blah blah? Can you spell that for me so I can transcribe that later?” *laughs* Tommy: “Typically, I’ll just splice some pixel art into it to make it look all fancy.” Me: “What about spooky stuff? I’m not seeing as much spooky stuff these days.” Tommy: “I mean, I still do my illustration stuff. It just doesn’t sell...

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Cosplay Corner: Ryan Cryptic

Posted by on 12:21 pm in Backhand Blog, Cosplay Corner | 1 comment

Cosplay Corner: Ryan Cryptic

Ryan Cryptic: A nerdy dude with a knack for making friends, gaming and all things cosplay. Hailing from New York, he is most known for his genderbent Mad Moxxi and genderbent Harley Quinn, and he has owned Rule 63. His cool and eclectic take on famous characters like Mad Moxxi even got the attention of Gearbox  and 2K Games themselves. Since then he has added to the Gearbox and 2K Games family cosplays, such as Handsome Jack from the Pre-Sequel. Although he cosplays, that isn’t all that he is focused on. He continues to help the community thrive. Photography by Valerie Kasinski Ryan is not only a great friend, but he’s a great costume maker and prop builder. We met through playing League of Legends together, which he has also cosplayed as Ezreal. I enjoy playing with him not only because I enjoy his friendship, but I also enjoy hearing him talk about his future projects and conventions. He always has a plan or two up his sleeve and there is never a dull moment with him. I mean, how can you not like a guy who cosplays? Recently, he finished up his version of Vincent Valentine from Final Fantasy VII, alongside of the wonderful Sinfonie cosplay. He truly became Vincent and brought him to life. Cosplaying is a great hobby, but to breathe life into characters like Ryan Cryptic has is another achievement to unlock. This is definitely not a guy to miss and he has totally nailed the what it’s like to gender bend.  There’s something endearing about a man who can rock a woman character in his own masculine way. For all of you that do not know what Rule 63 means, the internet proclaims that “for any given male character, there is a female version of that character.” (Thanks Urban Dictionary for the awesome definition!) Photography by Geeks are Sexy   Ryan Cryptic: The Gender-Bending, Cosplaying Phenomenon What do you like most about gender bending? I like genderbend cosplays because I get to take my favorite female characters and imagine my own version of what the character would look like if she was a guy. It really drives my creativity and challenges me to try something new. What do you suggest to new cosplayers that what to try gender bending? What I would suggest to those who might want to genderbend a character is to have fun with it and be creative. Take parts of the character that is very recognizable and do your OWN thing! Add your personality to it, that’s the magic of genderbend cosplays. They’ll never have a “100% accurate” reference because it’s all made up! What was your first cosplay? My very first Cosplay was in fact a genderbend version of Mad Moxxi from the video game Borderlands. It took me a week to learn basic make-up and sewing and I kind of added more along the way.  Shout out to all the people that do make-up. The countless accidental eye stabs, the face scrubbing, the blending and contouring… it’s a lot of work! What got you into cosplay?  It was kind of on a whim, really.  Beginning of 2013, I saw all these people making really great cosplay. I made friends with a few and they suggested I should give it a shot!...

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