Sunday, July 31, 2011

Capcom should learn a lesson from SEGA



Ok, before I talk about the recent issue with Mega Man Legends 3, I want to take you back in time.


The year is 1996. It’s a week after my 10th birthday, and just another week or so before Thanksgiving. One of my favorite habits at this age is going through magazines that are months behind the current issue. My two favorites at this point are Nickelodeon and Disney’s Adventures. (PWI’s writing wasn’t enough to make Mama pay so much for it back then.) Now for all that year, the magazines were hyping SEGA’s next greatest game, a game so revolutionary, it would put the gaming industry up on it’s ear, introduce a new camera, smack yo’ grandmamma and forever change what you knew about video games forever.


It was to be dubbed Sonic X-Treme.



The ads were already circulating before the game was even finished. Disney’s Adventures already saved a spot for it on the annual Christmas checklist, and Nickelodeon ran a contest for some X-Treme swag.


Now let me stop right there. I was a Nintendo girl, head over heels for my first console, an SNES I had only been playing since that prior May. I never owned a SEGA console. I had already watched the Sonic movie (Does anybody have a copy of this??) and a few episodes of the first and second Sonic cartoons, but I really only followed the animated series at this point, and usually because it was filler until re-runs of Super Mario Brothers and Sailormoon would air at ungodly o’clock in the morning on USA Network, so my knowledge of Sonic at that point was vague at best. (Though somewhere I still have my Tails flyer and Dr. Robotnik wind-up, both from McDonald’s.) But even I was intrigued. Since I was more familiar with the cartoons and merchandise than I was Sonic then, I figured this would somehow be used in a Sonic special. Maybe Sally would stop being a stuck-up bitch and be a playable character? Maybe Rotor would invent a portal in space and Sonic would have to fight aliens? Maybe Sonic would meet a future child of his, and she would be named something relative like Sonia? Ah the wild imagination I had. Like SEGA would EVER let ANYBODY take it that far.

Sonic X-Treme already had a HUGE fanbase. Everyone who knew anything about SEGA was talking about it. The first screenshots and videos were coming out, and true to their word, there was a new motion-sickness-inducing camera for the game, and the graphics were exactly what you would expect from the mid 1990’s. Geometric. But hey, this is 1996, and we all thought it was totally tubular. (No really, have you seen the fish-eye lens?)

Now the plot was nothing new. If you’ve played the first Sonic game, then you know the drill. Dr. Robotnik. Animals turned into cyborgs. Sonic saving the day, yadda yadda. But then in the summer, we heard that there was a change in the plan, as Sonic now has to rescue a gorgeous new girl named Tiara Boobowski. Sort of a squirrel hybrid, but in a sporty costume. Not at all as offensive as Sally Acorn’s blue vest/boot combo, which left her princess bits hanging out for all to see. But of course Boobowski was a last name that flew the way cinder blocks do not with Mama, so I can’t say I can see her buying the game for me if I had a Saturn. (Although now she likes Mortal Kombat.) We heard all kinds of crazy things, like Tiara being a playable character, Tiara replacing Sally as Sonic’s female of the day (By the way, have you followed the Archie comics? He’s a whore. :P) Tiara being a princess, Tiara being the daughter of a scientist. HOO BOY! The more I read about her, the more I couldn’t wait to see her. Adios Sally! Good luck with figuring out the whole career vs. Sonic vs. long lost older brother thing. Tiara seems to have A LOT less drama in her life. (For more: http://sonic.wikia.com/wiki/Tiara_Boobowski )

So here we are, pre-Thanksgiving 1996, and the world is waiting for Sonic X-Treme. Children’s books and t-shirts are being sold for it, new toys are coming out, posters, commercials, everything is in line for the game to debut on Sega Saturn.

And then…. POOF!

Just before Christmas, the game was postponed to early 1997.

No need to worry! This will give them enough time to finish the graphics. Maybe even throw in another level or two. There just didn’t seem to be much of a reason to worry. Ads and promotional goodies still followed, hyping the new game.

It was an innocent time. We were all told to believe in everything each company said and what they claimed to stand for. We were all told never to question the corporations, and really, there wasn’t any solid reason to think that SEGA, with all their rabid Blue-Blur fans backing this, would ever deceive the public.

So imagine the shock and surprise when the announcement rang out that SEGA was reneging on their promise and cancelling Sonic X-Treme.

By this time, my brother was just starting to grasp onto Sonic fever, so the news came as a surprise. Now with no SEGA console in the house, it wasn’t viewed as a big blow to either of us yet, but we both knew that this was a stupid move.

The uprising was quick and sharp. Now back then, petitions were fresh and new to the internet, just not as powerful as they are today. There was NO Twitter, Facebook, hell the closest thing to social networking back then were lame newsgroups and message boards. So it’s not like anybody had the luxury of being able to get a video game rally off the ground in a timely manner. Hell, the first solid petition involving people who worked on Sonic X-Treme wouldn’t get off the ground for at least another decade. So the people found a silent method. One that was nearly fatal to SEGA itself…

They stopped buying Sega Saturn and it’s products. Completely.

Magazine writers of the day surmised that the sharp drop in sales was a sign that SEGA just couldn’t keep up with Sony’s PlayStation and Nintendo’s N64.

Did you really buy that excuse? HA HA!!

SEGA was fully capable of keeping up with it’s competition especially from a graphical sense. Look no further than NiGHTS as permanent proof of that. Never before was there a game so stunning, and it was a Saturn exclusive.

But SEGA had performed a cardinal sin amongst game developers. They had cock-teased the public with what could have been an incredible game, only to pull the plug just before a finished demo was to be released. (Back in the day, if your name was registered to a magazine or developer’s list, once every so often you’d get an awesome disc in the mail, full of demos. They’re rightfully less rare now with the advent of XBOX monthly, but I treasure those days anyway.) Sonic X-Treme was already previewed by several magazines, who now had to save face while explaining to a hungry audience why the game they previewed was suddenly aborted.

But it wasn’t over.

For the Christmas rush of 1996, SEGA re-released what would be one of several Saturn ports of Sonic 3D Blast, which was completed in 7 weeks and had better videos, a fully 3D bonus stage and an alternate soundtrack from it’s Genesis/Mega Drive predecessor. (The 1999 Japanese edition ~coming nearly 3 years LATE~ had better load times but a glitch stage one. The European version was released as Flickies’ Island.) A nice gesture, but it was a hastily thrown together re-hash of a Genesis title. And adding to the story, while the Saturn version had better graphics, it lacked a save feature. And for a game as aggravatingly long as this, the lack of a save function was no longer acceptable. The $60+ price tag for BOTH console versions also did not help matters.

In July of 1997, SEGA released Sonic Jam ~ a full priced compilation disc of ALL the prior Genesis Sonic games, but with slightly enhanced graphics and new audio. Unfortunately, the game tends to crash if multiple sound effects occur, or if you even think about trying debug mode. Now aside from the re-hashed Sonic games included on the disc, there’s also a 3D world where you can play as Sonic while performing menial chores. Your reward? Concept art sheets and the credits.

Now there are a lot of kind hearted Sonic fans, who think of those levels as a precursor to Sonic Adventure. But at the time, veteran Sonic fans knew that what they were really looking at were glimpses of the unfinished Sonic X-Treme. A gander at 3D Blast and Sonic Jam, and you get an idea of what might have been.

They were un-amused. In fact, a lot of SEGA customers felt pretty damned insulted.

The demise of Sonic X-Treme was named as the catalyst for the premature death of the Sega Saturn.

The stigma never truly went away. While SEGA later wowed people with Sonic Adventure 1 and 2, they were never able to shake that dark cloud of “Is that all you can do?” and the darker cloud of “So, you gonna cancel yet ANOTHER good game?” the latter of which rang true when the Wii port of Sonic The Hedgehog was abruptly cancelled. (Though really we should all count our blessings there.) And since then, SEGA has had to deal with poor sales and the constant rebuttal from jaded fans, sick of seeing re-hashes.

PHEW! After all of that, I thought for sure that there would NEVER in my lifetime be another company, that would pull a Sonic X-Treme on us all.

Fast-forward to July 19, 2011. My brother races into the living room, frantic. After months of him raving about the Devroom, and how amazing this Capcom endeavor was, how awesome the non-trolls were and how cool the new game would be, he says to me just the most unfathomable thing I never saw coming.

“Capcom just cancelled Mega Man Legends 3!!”

I thought I had fallen asleep at the computer again. No way I had just heard something THAT stupid. Wait, let me grab the life-remote.

*REWIND-PLAY*

“Capcom just cancelled Mega Man Legends 3!!”

No I really did hear something THAT belligerently stupid. WHAT???



Well history truly repeated itself that day. Here we were, just WEEKS after Nintendo Power ran a 4 page spread on it, weeks after the trailer was released and the $5 prototype was announced, and moments after I had read that there were companies looking to sell merchandise based on MML3 should the game sell well, did I suddenly have a flashback of that fateful day in 1997, when Sonic X-Treme had been struck by a Smooth Criminal. Only now the Blue-Blur had been replaced by a Blue Bomber.

Worse? Just like SEGA, the string of misfortunes included over-priced re-hashes, unexplained cancellations and general corporate immaturity:




Good grief! And Capcom’s excuse would be just as lame as SEGA’s:

It didn’t meet our criteria.

Oh. So making money doesn’t fit your criteria. Honoring your promise to the public doesn’t meet your criteria. I see.

And just like before, news has since rang out that the Nintendo 3DS ~ the would’ve been home for MML3 ~ is now suffering. A mere month or so after release, the price has been slashed down to $170, as much of the library of 3DS games only center around re-hashes and baby games.

And right now, Capcom are doling out full priced re-hashes just as quickly as SEGA once did.

Just yesterday, I was reading about the next Street Fighter game. Oh sure, you can tell me all you wish that Marvel vs. Capcom, SF X Tekken, and the 3DS game are all “different” games, but it looks to me like they’re all the SAME game with a few name changes.

So let’s look at the brass tax of Capcom over the last two years:

1. Street Fighter 4 is released at $54.99. It’s billed as the most complete-y-completest game ever.
2. 5 Street Fighter 4 DLC’s are released. US price about $10 per download. That’s $50 for all 5.
3. Super Street Fighter 4 comes out at $60.
4. Several DLC’s are released. While the first one is free via a promotional, the rest are $10. (Let’s just say $20 since I can only think of 2.)
5. The 3DS port is released at $35.
6. Tekken X Street Fighter is announced, and it will work off the same art and engine as Street Fighter 4. Price rumored to be $60.
7. Street Fighter X Tekken (A totally DIFFERENT game) is also set to debut at $60.

Now mind you, this is the main Street Fighter 4 series as released by Capcom. I have not yet added in DLC’s for the last 3 games, nor have I counted Marvel vs. Capcom 3 or Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, each priced at $60. So let’s do the math here:

54.99 + 50 + 60 + 20 + 35 + 60 + 60 = 339.99

Round that up to the next dollar, and I have just spent $340 on the SAME GAME, over and over and OVER AGAIN!!

Each time, I may see a SLIGHT change in graphics, maybe a few additional characters or a costume change. But nothing, not even the story changes all that much. Ryu is still seeking vengeance and redemption, Sakura is still seeking Ryu, Chun-Li has yet to find out what happened to her father, and save but for Ken, none of the other characters have evolved at all. Hell, their knowledge of each other is as vague as it was in Street Fighter 2, so what am I getting, really?




But this is a method that DOES meet Capcom’s criteria. Oh never mind the fact that MML3 had an original story that SON OF A CASKET actually continues a storyline from a previous game! No no no, we don’t need THAT. Instead let’s trick the public into buying a repeat of the last game they paid $60 for. We’ll just toss in a new trick or two and say it’s an all new experience!

By Christmas, we will be able to see definitively if this is enough of a slap in the face to cause Capcom’s stocks to plummet. But this is a big enough move that it has forever damaged the integrity of this corporation. Maybe not enough to bring it down, but enough to have consumers thinking twice about their next purchase.

Now while it’s much too late to salvage Sonic X-Treme enough for even a downloadable, there’s still a chance that Capcom could heed warning and release MML3, at least as a downloadable. People are already jumping to join the campaign: http://www.facebook.com/GetMeOffTheMoon#!/GetMeOffTheMoon and you should too. It’s still early enough that a revival could happen.

Another thing we as fans should try, is selective boycotting.

If it has Mega Man on it, buy it.

If it’s Capcom, but there’s NO Mega Man? Walk away. DON’T buy it.

As gamers, we need to show Capcom that they’ve made a terrible mistake, and that Mega Man is the most profitable thing they’ve got left. We also need to show them that re-hashes are NOT acceptable rain checks, when a game they promised has been cancelled. Hopefully this will get through to the shareholders’ ultra-thick heads, and amends can be made.

Of course, if they’d like to go bankrupt, I suppose that’s fine too.

Monday, July 25, 2011

EVOLVE 9

PLEASE help a cartoonist out by purchasing a WRESTLING show via the pic below. This is WRESTLING, it's $15, and you WON'T be sorry!

WWNLive.com iPPV

EVOLVE 9: Gargano vs. Taylor
July 26th, 2011
BB King Blues Club & Grill
237 W. 42nd Street (in Times Square)
Manhattan, NY, 10036
EVOLVE Belltime: 8pm
NYWC Pre-Show: 7pm
Doors: 6pm

Tickets will be available at the door on the night of the show!!!

If you can't be there in person watch it at www.WWNLive.com on live iPPV.

Doors open at 6pm so you can come enjoy dinner and drinks at BB King Blues Club & Grill.

Dave "Fit" Finlay Will Be Available For Autographs!!!

Kevin Steen Will Be Given An Open Mic!!!

The Main Event
Johnny Gargano (6-2) vs. Chuck Taylor (5-3)

Bonus Main Event
Sami Callihan (3-1) vs. Dave Finlay (0-0)

In Need Of A Win
Bobby Fish (1-4) vs. Jon Davis (0-1)

Tag Team Challenge Match #1
Cheech & Cloudy (4-0) vs. Larry Dallas' Mystery Tag Team (0-0)

Tag Team Challenge Match #2
Player Uno & Player Dos (0-1) vs. Facade & Jason Gory (0-1)

Special Challenge Match #1
Shiima Xion (1-0) vs. Pinkie Sanchez (0-0)

Special Challenge Match #2
Tony Nese (0-2) vs. John Silver (0-0)

Special Challenge Match #3
Silas Young (2-1) vs. Sugar Dunkerton (0-0)

Opportunity Knocks
Eric Ryan (0-0) vs. Bobby Beverly (0-0)

If you buy a ticket to attend this event you will also get into the exclusive NYWC pre-show (go to www.NYWCwrestling.com for more info on this fine promotion). The lineup is:
-Stockade & Apollyon vs. MC Kenny Royal & Ryan "The Adrenaline" Rush
-"Yours Truly" Alex Reynolds vs. Kieran vs. "The Greek God" Papadon
-NYWC Starlet Championship Match: Violet Stevens vs. Nikki Syxx

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pity Heath Slater but praise these men.

Maybe it’s that he was taken up by WWE Developmental before his third year on the Indies. (Heath began in 2004. Developmental started yo-yoing him in 2006.) Maybe they just dilute the potential of all wrestlers who venture forth into a WWE-approved training camp. Maybe his calling just is someplace other than the ring. Whatever it is, it seems that there are many wrestling fans that have given up on Heath Slater.

He’s not a failure. Certainly if you ask any die-hard WWE-Universe-badge-tote-r, they’d say that he’s “making it” in the WWE. He’s got trading cards, action figures (yes more than one, I DID check) his face is on cups and t-shirts, and he’s only been devoid of the tag titles for a VERY short time. Plus he was in the SmackDown Money in the Bank match, so it doesn’t look like he’s a failure at all right now.

And yet, I am continually amazed at something.

Heath hasn’t had nearly as many injuries as the other wrestlers in his age group. In fact, I can’t remember him having one nasty concussion or broken leg during his televised WWE run. He’s healthy. He has full use of all of his senses, and again the WWE is keeping him on the mid card of SmackDown, with promise of a new storyline in the very near future.

Heath is a Sports Entertainer. Just about the type of wrestler Vince McMahon would want as a supporting player for his televised action soap opera.

……. Heath can neither wrestle nor cut a promo. Evidence of such appeared on SmackDown this past week:














Now isn’t that amazing? Injury-free, is just a few inches shy of meeting McMahon’s “Mold of perfection” and just in that right age group too.

But Heath bless his heart, lacks mic skills, can’t wrestle and if you’re listening to the crowd, has NO power over the fans! He can barely act, stick to a storyline, cut a promo, tell the difference between a Boston Crab and a Sharpshooter, thinks an Irish Whip is a malt-based drink, and for some reason (as seen above) the boy has yet to master the art of NOT looking into the camera.
….And yet somehow, this guy is “making it” in the WWE.

FOR REALS??

Now there are three wrestlers that I’m thinking of. Three men who are different. Different to the point where WWE wouldn’t care about two of them, and the third has had to jump through 10 times as many hoops, just to get to the low-card spot he’s at. And I find this baffling. Let’s take a look at those three in a random order:

1. Bryan Danielson ~ As you heard in the above video, Bryan’s vision is impaired in one eye. He has no use of his left ear. He’s been concussed more times than I actually remember, and has been plagued with injuries and infections his whole life.

Bryan (as seen above) can out grapple Heath any day of the damn week.

2. Gregory Iron ~ Gregory has cerebral palsy. He has little use of his right arm and he’s survived a life-threatening brain aneurysm.







Gregory can out-wrestle Heath, and unlike Heath, knows how to own the crowd.

3.Silent Warrior ~ http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Silent-Warrior-Fan-Page/147918228606562 Silent Warrior is deaf. He can only communicate via sign language.
… AND HE’S A BETTER TALKER THAN HEATH!!

The three wrestlers I mentioned are all different, don’t fit McMahon’s mold, and yet each of them excel at wrestling. Each one of them can get the crowd to react, put asses in the seats, and keep them coming back for more. Each one!!

So why then are there so many people who are less likely to take a chance on these three, (Unless it’s the “popular” thing to do) then they are with someone like Heath?

Who says I need a corporation to dictate to me what is and is not “cool” in wrestling? As wrestling fans, we owe it to ourselves to think on our own, instead of following the top company blindly.

Now like I said, these three men each have disabilities to live with, and each one is amazing in the ring. Each one is able to own the crowd. And they are not alone! There are other wrestlers in the world, who have HUGE fanbase, are a promoter’s dream, and have disabilities.

Joey Ryan, Colt Cabana, X-Pac and Blue Meanie all have asthma. All four men own the crowd every time they wrestle for AAW, Chikara, ROH, NWA and so forth. All four men can wrestle like nobody’s business. Not one of them fits McMahon’s mold, and yet all are phenomenal wrestlers.

Zach Gowen lost a leg to cancer. He’s still being hailed as an inspiration to many people who dream of being wrestlers. He can still do it!


There’s even a promotion out in Japan called Doglegs, that has run shows built around disabled wrestlers:







So think about it, WHO is really “making it” in the wrestling world?

A disabled man with the crowd in the palm of his hand, or an abled man, who’s just flying by on his looks?

I pity Heath.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Another letter the WWE probably won't read... but YOU should!

Dear WWE,
What in the good name of Harley Race's jock strap is THIS??
Bryan bankrupting his chances?? Is that seriously what you just implied?


Alright what do you have planned against this man?

Sincerely,
A skeptical cartoonist named Koriander

An open letter I KNOW the WWE won't read.


Dear WWE,

You punished me with NOT booking Bryan when you had him Sep 09-Jan 10.

You tried to remake him in FCW. (Shaving the beard = dumbass move.)

You punished us ALL with NXT, to the point where even Bryan got pissed enough to choke a bitch out. AND HE DID. (I still support Boo-boo's decision to choke a bitch, BTW.)

You roped him back into your non-wrestling company, only to punish him again with the US Title.

I KNOW this ain't be WCW and y'all bitches can't respect the belt once held by guys I respect, such as Dean Malenko, Harley Race, ect. ect. so don't bother trying to convince me McMahon "hasn't" demoted it to the "Booby-prize" belt.

You jacked up ticket prices sky high in the Chicagoland/NW Indiana area, so that I couldn't afford to see my Boo-boo in action.

You pissed me off with Diva trash enough that I boycotted your dumbasses.

You enraged err'damn'body by screwing him out of Wrestlemania 27 ~ the WORST WM of all time, by the way.

You dumped his ass on the LOW cards of SmackDown.

You used him as a tool to elevate Sin Cara. (Oh yeah THAT was smart!)

And then you dissed him by dumping his ass in a fruitless story with Cody and Ted.

Now you've given him the Money in the Bank lunchb-err I mean "briefcase" ... but you also made him fight that little girl ~ Heath Slater on this week's SmackDown.

........................................

PLEASE do not fuck him out of this!

PLEASE do NOT fuck him out of his Wrestlemania moment, or this time I will come at'cha with a necktie. And that's not a threat, WWE. It's a damn promise.

Sincerely,
A disgruntled cartoonist named Koriander.

P.S. Boo-boo has my permission to smack a bitch wit dat case.

How HHH handles a Wellness Policy Violation


© Koriander Ake

It's Sailormoon. Can we pick another song for this?

Ok so when I started on YouTube in 2008, there were TONS of Sailormoon videos put to this song by Meg & Dia Frampton. Two sisters who were with WMG and are now Indie Punk:








Pretty catchy, right? This is one of 100 Sailormoon videos based on this song.



So I thought it was a catchy remix. TOTALLY missed the lyrics.


So yesterday, I hear the song again, and this time I actually looked up the song's meaning.

...

The song is based on a book. (Forgot the title, sorry!) The book is about this boy, whose parents never loved him. So he grows up beating things, because it's the only way he feels anything.


He grows up, kidnaps a girl, rapes her and knocks her up. He raises the child with her, thinking that he's in a loving relationship. But as his son grows up, he realizes much too late that what he's been doing is NOT love, but he's been hurting this woman.


So disgusted with himself, he sets himself on fire in a bathtub, so he can't hurt her again.


Now then, I've seen every episode of Sailormoon ever made. In WHAT fucking episode does anything THIS twisted happen?? WTF does NOBODY look up the song's meaning BEFORE they use it in a video? (Or two or a hundred?)


There's another song I want to point out. Now the original Sailormoon video to this is gone, so I'm just gonna use the un-remixed song.


Please read the lyrics:








Now let's imagine a few dozen Sailormoon videos with the title character transforming and then using each of her attacks.

Yeah, WTF??


So my dear anime fans, the next time you make an AMV, PLEASE check the song's meaning BEFORE you add it to the montage.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

#DearWWEFans

Do you THINK you like wrestling? Good, then pay attention.

I just read the 99th tale of idiot MARKS trying to jump on the #DearVince bandwagon and pressure WWE into signing yet ANOTHER wrestler they don’t deserve.

Now before you write me off as a “dumb woman who doesn’t understand business” let me explain where I’m coming from.

Do ANY of you “men” remember when you bitched to WWE that they should take back Bryan Danielson? And I told you guys “NO” ? Hmm? Remember that?

“Oh Kori!” I was told. “He’ll make TWICE as much money in WWE than he EVER will on the indies. Why indies are small league. Don’t you know that WWE is the ONLY wrestling thing in the world you need to be a part of? Stupid Kori whose not in the business. Why I know things and I KNOW people…” Oh you all sound SO reassuring. “Why Bryan will be taken care of, why Bryan is safe in WWE. They’ll take GOOD care of him.” *pat on head* “Silly Kori… Bryan will make millions of dollars just for showing up!”

Really guys? Ah this is what BRYAN DANIELSON said on Twitter this past Spring:




If ANY of you have EVER talked TO (not AT) Bryan in your entire life, then you would know already that Bryan, Spanky (Brian Kendrick) and Paul London NEVER ~ and I stress this ~ EVER touch Ramen… unless something is financially WRONG in their lives. (And trust me, I’m starring homelessness in the face right now, I KNOW from Ramen.)

One more time, if Bryan is eating Ramen then he’s NOT being paid what WWE.com told you he was!

And what of his concussion right after WrestleMania? You know, the event you were all TOLD he would be wrestling mid card for… and ended up being bitchslapped by Khali ~ out of the ring ~ in a DARK MATCH??
How about last week? Hmm?? Where Sheamus thwapped him in the ribs with a chair for NO apparent reason?? And how about all the times recently where Cody Rhodes has bonked Bryan in the head with his plastic mask? Oh yeah, WWE is sure taking “good” care of Bryan, ain’t they? Where IS Bryan?

Low cards of SmackDown. In Chris Nowinski’s old gear.

What the fuck did this poor man do to deserve this??

And don’t bother telling me “HEY! At least he’s on TV still..” Because that is a weak-assed excuse. And you KNOW this, man!

Y’all bitched louder than I did when Christian got screwed out of the belt! If I had bombarded your Twitter with “Hey, at least he’s on TV…” you would have told me what a jackass WWE MARK I sound like. And you’d be damn right if I did!

“Well stop watching then if you don’t like it!” Like C.M. “I’se leaving you bitchaz” Punk said “THAT’S THE PROBLEM, VINCE!!”




Like Punk, I care too much about WRESTLING and WRESTLERS that when I see dumb shit happening, I must call them out on it.

“So why don’t you do that with Indies? You’re biased!”

Really? Is that your catchy comeback? Let me tell you that while the Indies lack the pretty-princess pyro you jack off to every week, they make up for it in WRESTLING. Go fucking figure! Companies giving WRESTLING fans WRESTLING matches?? Outrageous!!

Hey Mr. WWE fan, Remember Scotty Goldman? Remember Colt Cabana being stuck in developmental for 2 years before jobbing out to Umaga? (May Umaga rest in peace.) I remember that shit! Remember Colt posting on MySpace that proceeds from his first shirt went to the “Please-help-Colt-Cabana-Pay-His-Rent-Because-WWE-Didn’t-Actually-Pay-Him-Shit” fund? If you honest to God think he was joking, you have NEVER KNOWN COLT!!

Now ask yourselves this. Why did Carlito quit? Chavo Guerrero? MVP? Tommy Dreamer? Jeff Hardy? Why are there so many HAPPY wrestlers when they leave WWE?
Id understand if you said “Oh Kori, Jeff Hardy was STUPID and probably a druggie. He’s stupid dumb for leaving WWE where he was on t-shirts and famous.” Ok fine, I’d get it if it was ONE wrestler.

… But ALL of them? There can’t be THIS MANY “stupid meat-heads” people. Something has been wrong in the WWE for years.

Still don’t believe me? Then ask Brock Lesnar.

Lil’ Mr. Brockie-poo-poo ran away from a guaranteed MILLION dollar contract. He’s probably the only wrestler in the history of the post-Hogan WWE to ever make more money in a single year than The Undertaker or HHH. Dude took his own plane to work! PLANE!! While other wrestlers are scooched in tight in their rental cars with 4 other people, Brock was able to park a damn jet! The dude was LOOOOOOADED.

… And he QUIT!

Now I heard some pretty tall tales after WrestleMania 20. “Brock is stupid” “Brock wants to retire early” “Brock doesn’t wanna fight anymore”.

Since then, he had a brief football career, wrestled in Japan, and is now one of the biggest names in UFC history. Dude is rich, but STILL WORKING!!

So think about it. If he’s still fighting, still working, still making money, why did he BEG to leave WWE?

Don’t you think there was a valid reason? I do!

Who left with him? Bill Goldberg. Money jokes aside, there has to be a reason why he quit too.

Let’s face reality here. WWE stocks are in the toilet. WWE ratings are dropping. Raw has had TWO straight weeks at the “2” level in ratings. SOME people have told me “But Kori, SmackDown’s 1.6 means that there’s STILL around 4 million people watching it. That’s a GOOD thing.”

The Chicago metropolitan area alone has 9 million people living in it right now. 9 million.

SmackDown has 4 million watching every week.

DO THE MATH PEOPLE!!

That means that SmackDown would have to gain an extra .5 million people to claim they have HALF of Chicago watching. That’s HALF people, HALF. HALF of one city in the United States.

That s NOT even a full state!

The point is this. DON’T write me off just because I’m NOT you, and STOP sucking up to every dirt sheet you read. Wake up and smell the roses.

Something is WRONG with the WWE right now.

And Vince don’t care.

Hash-tag all you want.
Vince thinks he can tell you what YOU want to see. And if you don’t like it, then you’re the problem, not him.

That’s why the stocks are low.

And the ratings.

And the merchandise sales.

So take off those rose-colored glasses, put down your Kool-Aid and pay attention.

It’s about to get real…

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Anime StaleS?

Saturday night was stressful. So I popped on Cartoon Network. I was so tired that I was actually too damn lazy to grab a VHS or DVD. But I was in the mood for some anime, and CN was the only thing that had any of it on.

Lesson learned: Nothing good comes from laziness. Next time, get up and grab a DVD.

On purpose, I gave Durarara a second chance. I was pretty hard on it during it’s debut week, so I thought I’d sit through ALL 30 minutes this time. Then I watched Kekkaishi. Then I went to YouTube and watched about an hour’s worth of other anime titles that I hadn’t seen before, but already knew about.

Then I stepped outside, and breathed in the air, letting the oxygen hit my brain. I stared at the flowers and the trees, walked back inside, and had the sudden urge to dunk my head in a bucket of ice water while listening to Linkin Park from 2001.

GOOD GOD WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO ANIME??

I remember in the mid 1990’s being enthralled in anime, because it was DIFFERENT. And each title was different! Tenchi Muyo was nothing like The SlayerS, which was nothing like Sailormoon, nothing like Dragonball Z, nothing like Pokemon, nothing like Ranma, and so forth. Every last title we got in the 90’s that wasn’t primarily gore, tits, mechs and gory mech tits was DIFFERENT.

And COLORFUL!! The Japanese used an amazing array of colors I hadn’t seen since my mother’s wardrobe in the 80’s! Beautiful colors, different character designs, GAWD I miss that.

The stories often involved plot twists, alternate universes and timelines. If you have a base knowledge of Science Fiction, by God anime was a paradise!

….. Right through 2004. That’s about when Inuyasha started on Cartoon Network in the states. It would be the LAST interesting anime I would see on regular television.
Maybe I had a warning with Big O. Sure I love Big O (though I usually stop the series replay before the last 6 episodes) but the designs were dark as hell.

And EMO!

The first season was dark yes, but along the lines of Batman. And by that, I mean the 1930’s comics or the 1990’s cartoon series. Not the little anorexic Emo shit we saw in ’04. The Dark Night, a man who acted as the ultimate vigilante, but acted like a MAN about it.

Second season onward, I was so sick of hearing about tomatoes and bar codes that I would just PRAY at night that there would be an episode where R. Dorothy would wallpaper Roger’s damn room in them.

Maybe I had warning with Trigun. Sure I love the anime (until they murder Wolfwood) but it’s so freaking suspenseful halfway through. And I can’t stand the amount of yellow.

After Inuyasha, anime took a crazed downfall. Suddenly, Cartoon Network had zero interest in anime titles that WORKED, were well written or even had a halfway decent merchandise line. The anime content has all but dried up in recent years.

But the saying goes that it takes two to tango, and the anime artists and companies in charge now, piss me off as a cartoonist. We have the following titles to choose from:

Magical ColorS ~ This is the title I am slapping onto every new-age magical girl Shojo. None of them have an original story, the costumes are blatant rip-offs of Sailormoon and although the show is pitched to girls ages 4-11, there is an awful lot of full frontal nudity and situations where one or more girls has to evade rape.

Douche X ~ Often pitched to boys and teens, it involves a really obnoxious young male, a gaggle of useless friends, and everybody has a collectable item. (Let’s say trading card.) BUT WAIT! There’s more ~ he and his friends end up having to deal with snotty, bratty adult-aged characters that impose more rules and regulations on them than military secrets. And God help you if you break one rule. The main character will end up dumped in the ranks, his rival will earn an extra blow-job every time he pisses on the main character, and then the main guy doesn’t win his competition until the very last episode. During which time, the adult-aged authority figures have already ruined his life and slandered his name on a fake Wiki that somehow has an assload of fans.

Screaming GO!! ~ This is the title I am slapping onto every anime that ends in people dressed like their in a British school, circa the 1880’s (though it’s 2011) who have snotty male figures that act like they want to be straight (Oh honey please…) women that make life miserable from their mansions, and a late-teen girl screaming and crying both in the opening intro and throughout the series. Why? Because nobody gets her. But they all want to control the girl’s life.

Gundam ~ You know what this is. Move along!

Not Gundam 9000x ~ Moody space series, based on the crap that got churned out in the 1970’s after everyone lost a nut to the Yamato series. Updated for today, so we now have a crying 14 year old girl, who’s dressed like she’s 5.

Spirit 10 ~ It starts out as a bad comedy, and ends with short teenagers, living on their own WELL past curfew, playing with dead things.. and then having the nerve to get pissed when they themselves get dead.

Drunken Gun FighterS ~ Don’t be fooled. It’s not as fun as you think. This is a title for all the anime that deal with ADULTS, drinking, smoking, bitching about life, being melancholy over lost loves and dead people, mutenegetic weapons, and inexplicable death. Here’s the kicker. They all look like they’re 50, but the eldest character is 27! WTF??

Sad DearS ~ This is for all the anime that involves children and teens losing a parent or best friend, and then having to cope with sudden adult responsibilities AND grade school at the same time.

It’s like every single anime I hit lately falls into these categories. What the hell is going on here?

Then there’s the characters themselves. Now most of the male leads can be described as the following:


Douche

Druggie

Crazy person with his eyelids clearly removed and his cheeks stapled into the shape of a grimace

Moody

Grown up Cartman

Stereotypical nerd in coke bottle glasses who is annoying to the point where actual nerds watching this want to kick him in the taint

Perpetually shocked boy who probably won’t figure out what girl he wants until he’s borderline married

Emo

Emotionless

Now the girls really are no better. But this screamed to be drawn out. Click to enlarge:




I even named them. Let’s just go down the list.

Honoka ~ This is the girl that I blame for every over-zealous, Wiki editing, Deviant Art bitching chick I have ever had the displeasure of seeing on screen or off. This is the girl that is known as a “mother hen” type. She acts like she’s all about rules and standards, but she’s usually making up these rules in her head, and then gets pissed when nobody wants to play by them. She disses every male that crosses her path, slaps around other girls, and yet somehow is usually one of the “good guys”.

Chou ~ The smart girl. She usually has the best rack in the series… and is somehow perpetually SINGLE?? She’s also the type that blushes easily, and can’t even allow a boy to hold her hand, without automatically thinking that sex is immediately involved. She’s quiet and comes in two flavors: Silent but bitchy or Silent and acts like a Martian. She has no idea about social life outside of her books, but has to be the kinkiest girl on the show.

Hitomi ~ Typically the youngest character. This girl is half dead. She wears crosses over her black shirt, black stockings and extra black skirt… yet she’s never seen a church! Probably because she’d burn up if she did. There’s almost always a supernatural and scientific force around her, she has no skin tone and she’s death prone. She’s probably the most misunderstood character, and likely wouldn’t have leveled Harajuku if her parents gave her a hug instead of an injection. Aww..

Haruna ~ This is the psycho bitch character that adorns more keychains than should be legal. Often seen with an animal-like counterpart or scroll, this is the psycho that absolutely WILL rape you in the face, then laugh like nothing happened. She’s uber aggressive, manic depressive, and can go from “I like you” to “I WILL KILL YOU IN THE EAR WITH MY PENCIL!!” in about 30 seconds. Unfortunately, this is the one with the biggest merchandise line.

Aiko ~ This is the character that sucks me in. On the cover of the DVD box, she seems adorable, maybe even courageous. Put the DVD in, and she is a crybaby. Now I don’t mean like Sailor Moon, who actually HAD a reason to cry. NO! I mean Aiko-chan will CRY like everytime ANYTHING happens. And you don’t know the trigger! She’ll cry if you say hi. Cry if you touch her hand. Cry if she has one less paper to do in school. Cry if the cat pees in the litter box. And this is not a happy cry either! This is a hold my boobs together with my arms, knock my knees, face turns red SOB. Her rack rivals that of Chou’s, and she blushes twice as much. She’s the second youngest, dresses like a 4 year old, has her hair done up like a doll… and is usually the most raped character on the show. (What is with anime and rape these days??)

Akane ~ Typically silent. Akane is usually the eldest of the bunch. She’s in her late teens, early to mid 20’s, but after episode 5 of her, the artists start making her look like a 40 year old. Hmm. I notice the anime artists don’t like to draw their women over the age of 15. She usually has a sad past, dead people, maybe even a lost lover who cheated on her with a co-worker before throwing himself off of Tokyo Tower.. on fire… in his underoos.. while screaming his undying love for her… and drinking. Akane usually settles the issues Honoka starts, and acts like a protectorate, mother figure… even if the other girls have moms. Akane is also twice as death prone as Hitomi.

Now this might sound like the start of a new series, or even a Hentai video game, but this is just me re-hashing the re-hashed characters already used in today’s anime!

Sure the 90’s weren’t perfect, but anime ruled back then and every character was different. You put into the Google search bar “Washu” and you’ll get 99 pages on the Tenchi character. Type in “Vegeta” and you know who the fuck you’re getting.

These anime characters? Even the names are rehashed! Hitomi, Akane, Aiko, I just plucked those names from 100 titles that have ‘em! We can’t even have an imaginative name?

Now I’m not saying that all old anime is good. The 70’s and 80’s had a hit-or-miss line of titles at best, and most of them spun off child fans that now draw the drivel I see, but in the 90’s we had some good ones, and I for one miss that happy renaissance. I miss the days when anime colors came in more shades than just grey, yellow, red and black. And I miss the days when I could talk about anime without having to hide my head in shame for fear of being labeled crazy.

I’d like to go to an anime convention where Emo and Military based series are absent, and there are no Honoka’s spoiling the fun by dumping Wiki rules onto people. One where there are no Haruna fans, racing up to ask me bizarre questions about the universe, and then stare at me without blinking. One where I am treated to different stories and different titles, devoid of tear jerking dramas and extra hyper romps. A convention in COLOR.

And I’d like to shop for anime at decent prices, and without a tube of Mace in my left hand.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Guess who’s a close to homeless victim of Predatory Lending??

Well you know I’m having the King of all Shitty days… when even my dad tries to reconcile with me. O_O Wait what the hell did I say??

Now let me start by saying that GSF, CitiMortgage and Nationstar are the WORST MORTGAGE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD!!

My parents bought a home in 2007. The loan came from GSF, who promptly sent the mortgage off to Citi, shortly after the ink was dry on the home papers.

Now this followed almost a YEAR’S worth of house hunting, via GSF’s chosen realty ~ McColly. GSF refused to let my parents choose anyone else, AND the money they were allotted was ONLY to be used for “specific kinds” of homes. If ever a lender tells you this, walk away. This is a SCAM ALERT.

So after almost a year, we find the home I’ve been living in. We’re told that it’s in great shape, built in 1915, quaint little farm house.

This is warning #2 ~ Let me clarify words you need to stay the fuck away from when house hunting:

Quaint/Cute/Charming/Cozy ~ This is Realty code for “small, in need of assloads of repair”.

Fixer-upper ~ This is code for “Health code violation, bulldoze immediately”

As-is ~ This is code for “Tow’ up from da flow’ up”

Old/Old Fashioned ~ Falling apart, handyman special.

Needs TLC ~ This is code for “one wall is primarily mold and there’s water damage in places I bet you wouldn’t guess”.

Farm House ~ Unless you can visibly see cows and chickens in the backyard, this is code for PEST PROBLEMS. And NO seeing cornstalks doesn’t count, as this is the Midwest, and even if it was hypothetically the south of Alaska, corn seeds are dirt cheap at your local Wal*Mart. If you don’t see livestock IT AIN’T A FARM HOUSE!!

So guess what my parents bought? Yep, you guessed it. A three-story, Old fashioned, As is, Quaint, cute, charming, cozy, Fixer-upper Farm House in need of TLC. I slap myself in the face every morning for ever liking this place. I really do.

Oh even better? My parents wanted 2 fireplaces, and for a home to be in an area devoid of schools and children.

We have NO fireplaces, a pool that needs to be torn down, 15 schools and a buttload of kids on the block. Oh and it’s a corner house, and the former owner had TWO people slam into the front of it, which is why there is a make-shift porch. Isn’t this lovely? And 3 fireworks stores, with a fourth one built just a mile from here. Ah sweet! >_O Grr…

My parents were told in front of me, that their mortgage would be between $8-900. Cheaper than Illinois rent I tell you!
Guess what? As soon as we started moving the first boxes in, payments ballooned up to over $1000 a month.

Now when things started going straight for the shitter financially, after both my folks lost their jobs, Citi offered to ship the debt to the end of the 40 year mortgage, and then just start working on the next year’s payments. Mama was put on a payment plan. “Everything’s fine” we were told.

Guess what? Citi sold the mortgage to Nationstar!

Nationstar refuses to honor the payment plan agreement. But they offered to put Mama on a new payment plan. “Don’t worry about it. Everything’s fine. Just send us an assload of paperwork for the next 6 months, and we’ll pretend we never got it, and blame our stupidity on you.”

So Mama thought we could refinance the place. They paid $126,900 for it via the GSF loan, but the house is actually worth $90,000. We just had it re-assessed. So she begins the paperwork with Nationstar to work out a new deal.

In the mail this past Saturday, as I’m getting shit ready to go to downstate to see my dad’s family, we get some letters from the post man.

The Sherriff is promising foreclosure.

There was some mindless yelling, and then I went in search of help for my folks.
This is what I found:

http://www.complaintsboard.com/bycompany/nationstar-a46637/bydate.html

And that’s not all! A search via www.ripoffreport.com pulls up dozens more complaints with the EXACT SAME STORY as my parents!

So Nationstar is a known predatory lender, who buy up mortgages, force Americans out of their homes, and then try to turn a profit. The company almost went belly-up in 2007, and since then, they have had a rotating roster of people for a majority of their executive heads. Another search via www.simplyhired.com turns up some surprising job openings for their Texas main offices. The turnover rate is astounding.

After pulling up several hours worth of information, I shared all of it with my folks. The news was enough that my father… actually tried to make amends with me.
“You know I never really wanted you to deal with this. I hope you know I do care about you.”

O_O My first thought was “Oh no… am I having a stroke? I think I’m hallucinating.”
“And I do want better for you.”

Hmm… I can still feel my left side. I’m not foaming at the mouth yet, am I??

“And I feel bad that we don’t really talk at all.”

I haven’t passed out yet. Maybe he’s the one having a stroke?

“I just hope you know.. I love you.”

No, his left side is still working. His jaw hasn’t clenched up. And *sniff sniff* he’s sober?? Wait, where’s the hidden camera?

“I wish we could work out why you feel the need to hate me.”

Okay, backhanded comment. Maybe I’m not dying… or crazy.

Now everything is still up in the air. I don’t know if we can save the house and at this point, my parents really want to move. I’m not sure what’s available right now, but things are pretty tight. And the housing market isn’t looking very bright up here.



If you’re in need of a cartoonist that can also build websites, hit me up. I desperately need some paying work and FAST.