Thursday, February 27, 2014

Netflix Addiction: 24

By. Doctor Sparta
  In a world, where heroes do things bad guys wouldn’t even cringe about in their nightmares, comes a true legend my brothers. The man, whose interrogation methods alone struck fear into the heart of terrorism for eight seasons, is coming back. Before you behold this man’s return to deliver justice the American way, sit back and watch his accomplishments. This man, of course, is Jack Bauer. Whose tale is told through the wonders of Netflix in eight seasons of 24.

  Jack isn’t your average hero my fellow whales. The man single-handedly handed slaps with the terrorists’ own hands for 192 episodes. He survived explosions, nerve gas, bullets, electricity, fists, kicks, stabs, car crashes, e.m.p. , and his family. He never did anything outside of what was necessary for his country. It shattered your softened hearts–every time– whenever he made the ultimately-hard decisions to get the job done. Jack Bauer, who after interrogating a man cut his head off in order to infiltrate an organization by showing how “evil” he was. I know what you are thinking brothers and sisters…. inspiring.

  By the end of this show you will learn how and when to say “DAMN IT” when things don’t go as planned. How to perfectly execute the ultimate “WHERE IS IT?” question.  To the point you will ask some stranger on the street “WHERE IS IT?”, and they will have no other choice but to tell you. You will find it. It doesn’t matter what you are asking for, as long as you do it the JACK BAUER way.

  If you haven’t seen 24 yet,do. If you have, do it again. It’s that good. With that, I take my leave whales. How excited are you for 24’s return? This is Dr. Sparta, recommending terrorists to just surrender before Jack unleashes his Bauer.  

A game that should be rebooted or remade to come back

By Dr. Sparta

          As you all know brothers and sisters, its high time we saw some remakes and reboots. for adventures that were too farfetched or just too ridiculous for their time. Now, more than ever, would be the perfect moment to take a golden story from the past and return it with new spin to give it a modern edge. After Tomb Raiders success and new re-releases on the new generation consoles, I ask myself: What other game should make this leap once more?

            As a fan of stealth and silent warfare, I can't help but miss one game in particular that actually should be rebooted. In this case, I mean Syphon Filter. Initially, the game started out as a very far away and very violent clone of Metal Gear Solid. Syphon Filter followed the extreme battles between Gabe Logan, who I liken to Jack Bauer with less  of a conscience mixed with some bio-terrorism. Sure it gave us covert missions, but it also gave us probably the bests shootouts in PlayStation One history. All in the name of justice and anti-terrorism, Logan and his handler (or Coms expert) Lian Xing went into scenarios severely outnumbered and outgunned and would single handedly beat terrorism one game at a time.

            From PlayStation One, it made a jump to one game on the PlayStation 2 and then to the PSP, but it ended there.  Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow ends with a cliffhanger. That last game was almost a decade ago, though. There is no way explain the frustration I have from how Logan's Shadow ended. I dont know if Gabe Logan lived or died by those multiple gunshot wound with Lian worried over him, and that kinda hurts. I dont usually beg but I'll make an exception this time. With Sony Bend being secretive about an upcoming action adventure game and to panic about it, them being the fathers of this series, I can't help but wonder if this magnificent series will come back or if it's all burned out.

            I smile as I remember how the taser would set a bad guy on fire, if kept on for too long. Or even how a shotgun could hold 25 shells, and if it it wouldn't reload you'd just find a new shotgun. And how glorious it felt to give those cowards with flak jackets a very bloody and rewarding headshot (which game so politely let players know when this was possible). And especially blowing up multiple enemies with a M79 grenade launcher and watch their bodies rain from the skies like Persian arrows! It's true they don't need to put it back in a new game, but it'd be great as an Easter egg somewhere, for a few laughs. 

            With that I take my leave fellow whales. I ask you, should Syphon Filter be brought back from its long leave? This is Dr. Sparta, recommending a strict third person EPIC play-through.

Web Comic Recomendation: Fisheye Placebo by Yuumei

By. Dalai Dama

I always love reading original web comics, and today I present to you Fisheye Placebo by Yuumei. I found this amazing artist in deviantART and immediately fell in love with her  digital artwork, the colors, themes of each art it's so unique it's just exquisite. 

After some time I noticed she started writing some stories like: Rumination this was an experimental work for her class, The story plays out like a choose your own adventure book, but no matter what you choose, it all leads to the same ending.

In spring 2009, she made her first major project, 1000 WORDS, a one-shot web Flash comic inspired by her parents' divorce and how her life was afterwards. It was originally a painting, called "Tape it Back Together", but after one of her followers commented on the similarity of the situations, she decided to make it into a story of its own. This work is available online at her deviantART and in print. 

Then came Knite, a story of how a group, also called Knite, wants to bring stars back into the sky because of the horrible pollution of China. This title is available online in her deviantART, or you can get it in print!


And now for my favorite work so far Fisheye Placebo. The comic is a work of fiction that mixes a few genres, like cyberpunk, science fiction, and psychological themes as well. The story is great, with stunning artwork to match it.  Fisheye Placebo is about Vance, who just wanted to make the most out of his college experience under a totalitarian regime. The last thing he expected was to be dragged into a crazy conspiracy to overthrow the government by his most-definitely-not-female roommate. College was meant to be exciting, but not this dramatic. Between dates that end in flops, failed grades, and successful hacks, Vance will slowly begin to question the morality of his actions and the true price of freedom. 

The comic is a slow work-in-progress since she draws each scene herself, but it's worth the wait! If you are interested in this great artist, you can find her at deviantART, as well as read her work at her Tapastic.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Digital Coloring Part 1

By. Silent J
  Greetings grasshoppers. This tutorial is going to be a little long so I’ll divide it in two parts. This one will show you how to prepare your Photoshop file. It doesn’t sound very exiting, but it’s a very important step before you get to work. I hope you saved the drawing from the last tutorial, because you’ll be using it in these two tutorials. Things that you will need today:

1.      A computer (PC or Mac, your choice)
2.      A scanner
3.      And a Wacom tablet.

  There are different kinds of Wacom tablets you can use, each with different features and prices. If you can spare the change, the Cintiq is available for around $2,499. If your change consists more of pennies, you can get a Bamboo from about $85 to $100. (The link is a bit higher than that price range but it’s not difficult to scour eBay for a good deal.) If you’re out of pennies, then you can use a regular mouse but bear in mind that the same results won’t be the same.

4.      Oh, and Adobe Photoshop.
Step one: Scan your work

  Make sure to scan your art at a resolution of at least 300 dpi. I can’t really go to detail on how to scan cause all scanners are different, so you’ll have to play with it on your own to find out how it works.

Step two: Make a new file

  For those not too familiar with Photoshop, go to File>New. Next, put the size that you want. I personally use 11”x17”, the standard size for comic books. The resolution, as always, should be 300 dpi. If you're going to print it, the color mode should be CMYK, but, if you just want to keep it digital or to upload on a website like deviantArt, go for RGB.

  After that, place your art on the file by clicking File>Place and choose your art.

Once you’re done with that, place the art however you want. The art might not look dark enough, so to fix that, go to Image>Adjustments>Brightness/Contrast. There, play with the sliding bars until you make it as dark as you want.. If you need to clean up the art, use the brush tool with white.

Step Three: Separate line art from background

  It’s easier said than done. But first, merge down the line art layer with the background layer just to make sure that the art is the same size as the file. To merge the layers, right click (Control+click on PC, Command+click on Mac) on the art layer, and click the merge down option.

 Next, double click the background layer, and when the window appears press Okay to unlock it. The padlock icon on the layer disappears and the layer changes to "Layer 0".

  Next, go to Select>All, then Edit>Cut. Then go to the Channel window and make a new layer (the layer should look black). In this channel layer, click Edit>Paste to put the art.

  Here comes the tricky part though, because we want to select only the line art but it won't work by clicking Select. What you’ll have to do is put the cursor on top of the channel thumbnail (small square on the layer that looks like the art), then push and hold control (command on Mac). The cursor should change to a hand with a square on top . 

 Without letting go of control or command click the channel thumbnail. If done right you selected all the space around the line art. 

  With this selection, we then go back to the layer window and make a new layer. Go to Select>Inverse, then using the color black, go to Edit>Fill. When the window pops out click Okay, and you should have your line art background free. Make sure to fill layer 0 with white.

  Finally, be sure to save this file because in part 2 we get started with the fun part.

Temper is Twitching 1: VGCW

By. Temper

Wrestling is a passion of mine, sure I’m well aware its staged and more of a soap opera than an actual fight, but I don’t really watch it for that. I watch because I like the personalities and the abilities of those men and women who put on the wrestling shows week in week out. But this channel I’m going to tell you about isn’t about “real” wrestling. The channel takes the concepts of promotions like WWE, TNA, ROH and puts a spin on it. What spin is that you ask? Instead of actual wrestlers, we get to watch video game characters duke it out.

VGCW or Video Game Championship Wrestling is not a new concept as creator Bazza readily admits. Bazza credits the idea to someone else by the name of Anthraxo who originally just streamed a royal rumble followed by a title match. Bazza had other ideas. VGCW is like any other wrestling tv show complete with matches, a developing story, rivalries between wrestlers (for titles or not). Through the last year and a half wrestlers have undergone changes, the sets, storylines, even use of post production aids have come into play during streams. Wrestlers range from Valve head Gabe Newell, Ganondorf, Guile, Mr. Satan (Hercule of DBZ), and even Barret Wallace of Final Fantasy VII.   

  Bazza used WWE’13 last year and has recently upgraded to WWE 2K14. Both games are full of bugs and pretty mediocre AI programming, and since Bazza doesn’t actually play the game these bugs and glitches are just as much part of the show as the wrestling and plot sections. Dubbed #THQuality by the fans (the now defunct THQ published WWE’13) and now renamed #2KQuality is mentioned any time a bug or something just out of the ordinary happens on screen when there is wrestling going on. But its all part of the fun. VGCW isn’t just shaped by Bazza, it is also shaped by the fans. Everything from jokes, entrances, fan art, comics, and even wrestlers can be suggested by fans and if it meets approval or over all adoptions by other fans its in.

   VGCW in and of itself is a parody of your usual wrestling show, so you get things like bumbling General Managers, mystery persons terrorizing wrestlers backstage, angles involving people getting run over, and hostile takeovers by evil wrestler factions. Weekly shows, and a “Pay Per View” event, it is all there. But fans love it so much that some prefer it to the real life promotions. Me personally I like the wrestlers, the entrances and the angles, everybody on VGCW gets a fair shot be they fan favorites, newcomers, or hated villains (something the WWE is lacking).

  VGCW isn't the only show on the channel. With the popularity of the main program Bazza and his crew saw the need to expand the brand Bazza’s channel now boasts four VGCW related show. The main show VGCW headed by Bazza, WVGCW (Women’s VGCW) the VGCW women’s division headed by Bryn, VGCW At Home (a Sims 3 house full of VGCW characters) heade by TheTOH and Extreme Dude Bro Wrestling, the non canon developmental show headed by JohnDudeBro. VGCW as a brand boast a wiki ( and an extensive google doc that has links for every show and the match card for those shows.

   So whether you are a wrestling fan, a fan of satire/parody or just curious about how putting video game characters and personalities into a wrestling game and pitting them against each other has garnered such a big audience, I recommend you check out VGCW at www.twitch/tv/bazza87