Review – Evelyn Evelyn: A Tragic Tale In Two Tomes Books One & Two

Evelyn Evelyn: A Tragic Tale In Two Tomes Books One & Two
As Told By: Amanda Palmer & Jason Webley
Drawn By: Cynthia von Buhler
Afterword By:  Neil Gaiman
Published By: Dark Horse

To start with, if you do not know who Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley are, go find out.  Go get their music now, seriously, now, I will wait! Okay, now that your mind is blown by all their goodness, on to the Evelyn Evelyn review.  Evelyn Evelyn is the brain child, er children, whatever, of Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley.  They “discovered” these conjoined twins via a social networking site and decided to produce their album.  The album is eerie, unique and fabulous, as is, spoiler alert, this book!

The book tells the tragic tale of talented and sweet sisters Evelyn and Evelyn.  From birth, tragedy strikes these girls over and over again.  Just when you think things can’t get any worse, they do.  Terrible people, terrible circumstances and terrible luck seem to follow the girls around,  yet somehow the story manages to remain hopeful and the girls are so spirited that by the end they can handle anything.  Throughout the story they do occasionally make some good friends, but that never lasts long, as it is just not in the girls fortune to have good luck.  They continue on in their journeys and never seem effected by all of the misfortune that has been bestowed upon them.  Through this tale of catastrophe there is a message of resilience and strength.

The art is wonderful.  Cynthia von Buhler really captured the darkness of the story but manages to make Evelyn and Evelyn bright and optimistic. She really makes this story come alive with her images and really puts the final touches on a superb piece of work.  There is also an afterword by the amazing and legendary Neil Gaiman. This is an all-star collaboration and absolute must read for all!

Release Date: September 21, 2011
Price: $24.99

Review – Melinda’s Naga Jolokia Sauce

Product: Melinda’s® Naga Jolokia Habanero Pepper Sauce
Manufacturer: Melinda’s
Price: $7.49
Website: Melinda’s

Some people love finding the next frontier of heat, others just want to find out what it’s like to have fire poured through their insides while their body can still handle it. The Naga Jolokia is a pepper that fits in for both of these groups, shooting well over the 1,000,000 scovillle unit mark when tested, this is the pepper to end all peppers right now.

Coming into this test, I was used to cooking and using a large variety of peppers from my garden including thai and a variety of habanero varieties. Unfortunately, none of them could really prepare me for what was to come, this sauce really is fire in a bottle. Upon opening the Naga Jolokia sauce you get a whiff of the potency, for some it may bring a cough when the scent hits the air. The initial test from the bottle was a few dashes into a small ceramic bowl, after that point everything else was just legend.

Using breaded chicken tenders to test on, it was an experience, the first notes are sweet from the sauce pushing the papaya and passion fruit forward with even a note of the carrot. As soon as a couple of seconds pass, this entirely dies and the Naga comes in and keeps burning all the way down. Unlike other peppers or sauces, this doesn’t exactly calm down when doused, instead it burns every single part that it touches, your skin, your lips, your tongue and everything else. It’s a bit of magic really, keep in mind this was a light dip. When you engage the Naga Jolokia further you get the stronger notes of the chili coming forward, with a half dip the intensity takes less and less time until you feel as if you’re overheating.

Is the Naga Jolokia sauce from Melinda’s for you? Maybe, if you think eating a raw habanero is the most extreme thing ever I can say this will floor you to the point of begging for mercy. If you think that and the Red Savina is a good starter for a meal, then this should get your senses going. I say if your stomach is up for a journey as is the lower half of your body, the Naga Jolokia sauce is probably the most accessible way to get your burn on. You’ve probably seen the Man Vs. Food clips and often those challenges aren’t very close for most of us, this saves the trouble of booking a plane and packing your bags.

If you’re an avid shopper of Marshall’s and other stores like it, you can usually score the sauce for $2.99 – 3.99 as well, stock up on those when you can, generally they don’t stick around.

Review – Angel & Faith #2 Live Through This Part 2

Angel & Faith #2 Live Through This Part 2
Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
Script: Christos Gage
Art: Rebekah Isaaces
Colors: Dan Jackson
Cover: Steve Morris
Alternate Cover: Rebekah Isaacs with Andy Owens & Dan Jackson
Published By: Dark Horse

With the absence of magic in the world and Giles dead by the hands of Angel (hey, if these are spoilers you need to catch up) we see Angel and Faith as the new dynamic duo.  They have always had a special relationship, which at times most people did not understand. They always had a connection because they understood each other when others didn’t.  This story is no different, which is a good thing.  It’s nice to see them have each others backs, more Faith than Angel this time which is a nice change of pace.  However, there does seem to be a little something missing, the dialog.  Faith has always been sarcastic, but that tough girl sarcasm is lacking in this issue.  Angel, while generally a dark serious kind of guy, is still moody and broody, but we miss his lighter side.  One may argue that he has very little to be light about, he’s on a mission and feeling tremendous guilt (he should be used to that by now!), but even when the world was ending, whichever time, he could find a little levity.

The comic stays true to the relationship that Angel and Faith have always had, it really captures the nuances of their friendship. It also has a great special guest and nice twist on how the rules of the world have changed.  The main story line seems like it will be very interesting, especially in a world where magic is no more.  The art is fantastic, especially Faith, she looks amazing.  Bottom line, definitely worth buying and I have a feeling that they will find their groove and this series will be just as great as Buffy.

Release Date: September 28th 2011

Review – The Guild: Clara (One-Shot)

The Guild: Clara (One-Shot)
Written By:  Felicia Day and Kim Evey
Art: Ron Chan
Letters: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Cover: Howard Chaykin with Jesus Aburto
Alternate Cover: Greg Aronowitz
Back Cover: Ross Campbell
Published By: Dark Horse

Felicia Day has done such an amazing job with The Guild and it’s characters that from the very first page they are captured with such precision, such that if there were no accompanying art you would know exactly which character was saying what.  As each of the characters speaks you hear the actors saying the lines.  This one-shot focuses on everyone’s favorite self-absorbed, oblivious but likable Clara.

We begin this issue with Clara having made false promises to her understanding and patient husband, George. Without giving too much away George takes away the computer until Clara does what she promised.  We see Clara at her finest, shes a bad parent, shes narcissistic and shes selfish, yet somehow shes charming and you love her!  We get to see flashbacks of Clara from baby to high school which are all over the top scenarios and are hilarious.  As the flashbacks are unfolding she is also doling out motherly advice in a way that only Clara can.  Her husband appears in the flashbacks and his story is unexpected and entertaining.

This comic is DEFINITELY recommended, it was funny, charming and endearing just like Clara!

Release Date: September 21st 2011

Review: Green River Killer: A True Detective Story

Green River Killer A True Detective Story
Writer: Jeff Jensen
Artist: Jonathan Case
Publisher: Dark Horse

Green River Killer A True Detective Story offers a very interesting take on a subject matter that seems to enthrall many of us, serial killers.  This subject matter is very disturbing to some (as it should be) but never ceases to draw us in because of the heinousness of these people and the crimes they commit.  I think theses stories are so attractive because the majority of us can never can fully understand why people do the things they do.  Green River Killer is not disturbing or graphic, rather, it is just interesting.  It shows that one can tell a story without having to be so explicit and shocking (think torture horror) and still tell a complex, engaging tale.  For lack of a better word, this is a quaint way to tell a gruesome tale.

Green River Killer is broken up into “days”, five of them.  Jumping back and forth in time from when the crimes were occurring to present day questioning of The Green River Killer.  The characters are done well, as they should be, the writer Jeff Jensen is the son of one of the main detectives, Tom Jensen, that was on the actual case and is obviously the main character.  The art, all done in black and white, is very good.  There is a stylized  feel to it and it really adds something extra to the story.

This is a really nice tribute from a son to his father.  It also gives a third party perspective to an event that the author was living through but still on the outside looking in.  My only gripe with the book is the constant message banging you over the head about “smoking is bad.”  We all know this, it was unnecessary and actually took away from the story a little bit.  One or two references to it would have been fine, we did not need thirty!

Release date: August 31, 2011
Price: $24.99

 

Review – Kult #2

KULT #2

Release Date: September 07, 2011

  • Writer: Jeremy Barlow
  • Artist: Iwan Nazif
  • Colorist:Michael Atiyeh
  • Cover Artist: Jake Murra

Kult has already achieved legendary status in the Roleplaying world, now trying to make a name for its self in the comic book world. Kult#2  gives us a glimpse of what  to come in the future for Tomas Zenk

This issue of Kult #2 Tomas Zenk is left in a endless labyrinth and trying disparately to escape, confused and disorient Zank meet’s a wonder Herzog who takes him to safety. There herzog  proceeds to tell him about the evil that has complete dominance over the world he’s trapped in..and that only he has the power to change all of that, unsettled Tomas leaves herzog camp only to fall right back into a bad situation which forces him to use his abilities to survive…

Iwan Nazif Visual storytelling  of the Kult world is solid, Jeremy Barlow writing compliments the  clean artwork by Nazif all and all everything flows pretty well.

Here’s what I think about Kult #2. After reading a few pages I kind of got the feeling I knew this  story, then it hit me “The matrix! I’m not going to say it’s exactly like matrix but I can see the similarities in the story so far. You can say that it’s simplistic, and that nothing really jumps out at you but it’s well written, sometimes It does seem like the story is rushed, only cause how it flows. Overall  if they take time and not rush it Kult has some potential….I’ll just say I’m interested on seeing how the Kult world unfolds.

Review – Buffy Season 9 #1

Season 9 #1 Freefall Part 1
Release Date: September 14th 2011

Script by: Joss Whedon
Pencils: Georges Jeanty
Cover: Steve Morris
Alternate Cover: Jo Chen
25th Anniversary Cover: Georges Jeanty

The time has arrived, the season 9 opener (season 2 of the comic series and continuation of the 7 season T.V. Show) of Buffy the Vampire Slayer! Written by the worship worthy Joss Whedon (I swear I am impartial) and pencils by the amazing Georges Jeanty. The first issue does not disappoint. At this year’s Comic-Con, Joss said that in season 9 we would see the return of the Buffy from yesteryear and that is exactly what we get.

Buffy is no longer running squads and managing the entire Slayer universe. Instead, she is just a lost girl (superhuman vampire slaying woman) who, again is trying to find out what she is supposed to do with her life. The comic opens with Buffy in her new San Francisco apartment, complete with roommates and a party where we get to see some of the Scoobies together again (what’s left of them anyway) Jump to Buffy who is drinking and struggling to deal with her lack of direction and the aftermath of what happened at the end of Season 8. I will not get into season 8 details here as I do not want spoil anything for those who may not be caught up. The aftermath of season 8 causes Buffy’s life plan to be called into question. Even though she is still patrolling and slaying, she seems to think she needs a different direction. There are a few chuckles as she rambles (in her own Buffy way) on about what her new career should be, with a couple of nods to the old show.

All the characters are in fine form, especially a particularly snarky Spike. Throughout the season opener we see some of the nice character interaction that really makes Buffy, in whatever form it is in, special. Finally, we are introduced to the potential big bad, albeit briefly, but enough to get excited at the prospect of where this will all go. For a season opener this is pretty great and definitely builds excitement about where season 9 is heading!

Review – NZXT Phantom

The computer case market is thriving with creativity again, one of the lead companies to emerge in the market is NZXT, lately the company has been on a roll as they combine contemporary style with gamer aesthetics. The result in this case is the mighty Phantom line, packing high airflow, incredible space and sleek design that can appeal to new builders and veteran builders looking for something not as extreme as a plexiglass case.

Opening the box up, it became clear this wasn’t just a looker but it was there for function as well. The stock unit contains sufficient cooling from the start and a box full of goodies for mounting and stealth cabling. I’ll go ahead and include the spec sheet below to give the full impressions.

MODEL Phantom Series
CASE TYPE Full Tower Steel
FRONT PANEL MATERIAL Plastic/Steel
DIMENSIONS (W x H x D) 222 x 540 X 623 mm
VGA Clearance Maximum
350mm
COOLING SYSTEM FRONT, 1 X 140mm
REAR, 1 X 120mm (included)
SIDE, 2 x 120mm, 1 x 200/230 (2 x 120mm included)
TOP, 2 X 200mm (1 x LED 200mm included)
DRIVE BAYS 5 EXTERNAL 5.25″ DRIVE BAYS
7 INTERNAL 3.5″/2.5″ Slots
Screwless Rail Design
MATERIAL(S) Steel with black finish
EXPANSION SLOTS 7
WEIGHT 11 kg
MOTHERBOARD SUPPORT E-ATX, ATX, MICRO-ATX, BABY AT

Sample build used:

AMD Phenom 9750 AM2+
Jetway 790GX (HA08)
Crucial 4GB DDR2 PC6400
Sapphire HD 4850 512
Creative X-Fi Xtrememusic
Hitachi Deskstar 1TB HDD
Maxtor 320GB HDD

Before jumping into the fray, I had to test a few areas first. The current configuration works fine if you have a high flow fan on the side and coming from the front, the case pressure goes pretty much positive at that point. If you lack that, you may want to consider flipping the top 200mm fan and throw air in. Often systems will tend to choke to some degree when the box is simply dumping air and pulling little if any fresh air in.

Fortunately the top panel removes easily, place your hand under the front panel grip and tug out, the clips will release and reveal another hand hold for the top panel. Unscrew the 200mm fan and reverse mount it to generate some positive pressure in the case.  I lacked a 140mm fan to place in the front so I mounted a 250mm fan to the side panel from an Antec Skeleton. Odd enough, with a bit of boring out the fan mounts without much issue and generates essential airflow for the GPU and CPU zones.

Moving into installation there isn’t much trouble, the Phantom is for the most part tool-less where it counts, the PCI  brackets use thumb screws instead of regular mounts to save on tools. Unfortunately you still need a screwdriver to break the initial torque after being mounted. Installation of components went down in roughly 20 minutes, cabling took a bit longer just for the sake of being stealth about it, the Phantom offers room for most mountings and even my aging Cooler Master Real Power Pro was able to reach high enough for the 8-pin power connector by the CPU. After years of building systems I can say this was most likely the most painless installation yet, also it left me cut free thanks to rolled edges on the case.

For window fans, there is a lot to miss with the mesh on the side of the case, honestly, the white finish is one of the cleanest and most pure colors I’ve seen in quite a while. With a blueish glow it reflects color perfectly inside. Not being able to see it does hurt, if you are insistent, you could always mount your own panel and remove the mesh, or just pop open the front door on the case and watch from there. It really is worth the show, the Tri-Color light show from the Antec really made it an amazing sight to see. For the hardcore modder that wants a little more, cutting the case and custom mounting acrylic would be really rewarding.

Functionally, the Phantom is up there with the best of them, the fans all connect to a single fan bus that gets controlled on top of the case, the inputs and power buttons are also on the top in sleek form. There’s an aspect of this design which takes me back to the era of Tron, super sleek but hard lines everywhere, a blue glow from the stock fans, power sources and fan bus that snares anyone who watches. It’s sleek but deadly and awesome as a centerpiece. Going from the Antec Skeleton to this is a huge jump, even comparing it to the Antec P193 has me still leaning in favor to the excessive attention to detail that NZXT took with this model.

To start closing this up, I have this to say about the NZXT Phantom.

  • Simple installation
  • Room for cable stealthing
  • Tons of air-flow
  • Integrated fan bus controller
  • Extra parts to last a lifetime
  • Sleek design, ultra contemporary feel
  • Low case noise, even with all fans running it remains tolerable
  • Excellent cooling on system
  • Plenty of room for larger video cards (6900 series, etc)
  • Tool-less design for drive mounting works, needs a little extra force to pop pins back in
  Low Speed High Speed
CPU Idle 41c 39c
CPU Load 47c 44.5c
GPU Idle 45.5c 44c
GPU Load 73c 70c

Things I might change are few really, this is a gaming case and if I wanted true silence I would opt for the H2, we don’t have that case to review so… just try to look around and get some other impressions if you’re not sure. The sound insulation and other features seem to be well worth the price.

Closing up, the Phantom is probably the easiest case I’ve been able to work with, because I’m extra paranoid I actually decided to also wax the finish for extra scratch protection because this is a busy desk.

Kudos to NZXT for bringing home a heavy hitter like the Phantom, for those interested, it comes in a few variants and honestly that pure black model looks quite awesome. For gamers it’s a new piece of kit to mod out, for older builders it still has some show with a Tron inspired design but not too much to make it feel like you’re pounding Redline and skipping out on studying for your finals all over again.

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Street Fighter Legacy short film has fans wanting more

May 6th, 2010  Joey Ansah actor and martial artist made a short film street Fighter legacy  that has sparked a hugh push of fans wanting to see a full feature movie. Why are fans excited ? Cause its only done what the last Street fighter movies hasn’t done and that’s stay true to the game its self to the moves, clothes  and ken’s trademark eyebrows, Ansah has said in a interview “As an actor, film maker and a fan, I have been repeatedly disappointed by the many diluted, unfaithful and outright butchered movie adaptations of fighting video games”  and as a big fan of the Street fighter series he  knew that only a die hard fan director or film-making team with the game knowledge could do it the right way so he step up and to many fans opinion’s did a great job. Stars of the short are John Foo ( who plays Jin Kazama in live action tekken movie)  as Ryu ,Christian Howard as Ken Masters and writer and director Joey Ansah as Akuma.

While its only 3 mins long the fight choreography was done great the special effects was done nicely to say its fan made film, in the end true fans can appreciate
the time and effort he put into this project.  Checkout the video and you’ll see why fans want to turn it to a full length movie…..

Street Fighter: Legacy – Short Fan Film

Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Prilgrim vs The World

If your not familiar with Scott Pilgrim series, its about a lazy 23 year bass guitarist Scott Pilgrim ( Michael Cera) who meets his dream girl Romona Flowers ( Mary Elizabeth Winstead). But before he can date her he must defeat the seven “Evil exes”. Which includes actors Brandon Routh, Chris Evans and Jason Schwartzman with Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) directing. Fans of the graphic novels rest assured you will not be disappointed scott pilgrim hits theaters august 13

For more about the series and its author Check out http://www.scottpilgrim.com/

The International Trailer for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (HD)