Category Archives: Comics

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Review: Polybius Dreams #1

Review: Polybius Dreams #1 by Jerry Whitworth

Creepypastas, or horror-based urban legends from the internet, have grown in popularity in recent years with the likes of Slender Man, Candle Cove, and Jeff the Killer entering the mainstream. However, one of the earliest creepypastas is making a resurgence on the printed page. The Polybius legend is of an arcade cabinet video game called Polybius distributed by mysterious men in black to a handful of arcades in the Portland, Oregon area in 1981. These machines acted as part of a psychological experiment, one that made players addicted to it, induced various psychological affects (amnesia, night terrors, sleepwalking, depression, seizures, hallucinations, etc), and led to some committing suicide before the game disappeared a mere month after debuting. As with the other noted creepypastas, there are people out there who believe in the existence of this game (which some attribute to the early version of the 1981 Atari game Tempest which reportedly gave a player a migraine in Portland). The phenomenon surrounding Polybius even led to the development of a documentary from Todd Luoto, Jon Frechette, and Dylan Reiff that, due to lack of funds, culminated into a currently ongoing seven-part podcast series centering around Bobby Feldstein who claims the game was real and played a part in his supposed abduction (as well as the abduction of at least one other child). About six months ago, a crowdfunding effort would begin to produce the first issue of a comic book based on the legend of Polybius. Titled Polybius Dreams, Ben Grisanti, Keith Grachow, and Ester Salguero through Grisanti’s Hypnotic Dog Comics recently published its first issue and are currently crowdfunding for its second chapter of the four part series. Following a trio of lovable losers in Patrick, Paul, and Michael in 1986 Autumn Hill, NY, a mysterious new game called Polybius arrives in the small town’s arcade followed by the deaths of several youths. Friends with the arcade’s co-owner, the trio are given the opportunity to play the new addictive game after hours thus pulling them into the suspenseful mystery.

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Wrestlemon: Gotta Review ‘Em All

Wrestlemon: Gotta Review ‘Em All by Jerry Whitworth

 

Known primarily for his webcomic HEAT: The Space Age of Pro Wrestling (fusing pro wrestling and science fiction), cartoonist Jeff Martin is combining together elements of pro wrestling with another genre in battle monsters. Wrestlemon (2017) parodies the popular Nintendo property of Pokémon (short for Pocket Monsters) while also parodying pro wrestling with allusions to lucha libre in its featured monsters and homages for the likes of “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, John Cena, Demolition, Ultimate Warrior, and more. The plot revolves around rookie trainer Jacey and her Wrestlemon Technico (after the lucha libre term “tecnico” meaning technician and referring to a babyface or hero) as they begin their path toward competition in the world of Wrestlemon. In their way is Jacey’s rival Thad and his Wrestlemon Roodo (after the lucha libre term “rudo” meaning rough and referring to a heel or villain) as Thad struggles to escape the shadow of his legendary father and his Wrestlemon Flaireon. All paths lead to a Wrestlemon gym where Jacey and Thad must prove their worth as trainers and their Wrestlemon demonstrate the ability to overcome in such a highly competitive environment.

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Top 10: Favorite Articles at CAC

Top 10: Favorite Articles at CAC by Jerry Whitworth

 

Hey Stranger Rangers, I told you I’d be back and here we are. As I said in my last post, ComicArtCommunity.com and I have parted ways and over my five year career with the site, a few of my 267 articles have stood out. Previously we covered the most popular articles on CAC where now we’ll examine my favorite. The criteria for my favorite articles largely encompass one prevalent component: hard work. While I tend to invest a lot of time and energy into many of the pieces I write, some I have really needed to pore over and research. As such, many of these projects I’ve needed to care a great deal about in order to bring to completion (as I assure you, not every article I begin crosses the finish line). Of course, some of the most popular articles were also my favorite (like “Destroy All Monsters! Tokusatsu in America”) but for the sake of this list, there will be no repeats. Without further ado, my favorite articles I’ve crafted for CAC.

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Top 10: Most Popular Articles at CAC

Top 10: Most Popular Articles at CAC by Jerry Whitworth

 

Hello Nerdfect Nation, this is your intrepid co-host Jerry Whitworth back with a new article. Its been a while, I know, but there’s been an important development in my life. As many of our listeners know, I’ve worked for ComicArtCommunity.com for five years but, sadly, we’ve recently parted company. No hard feelings, they’re still a great site and resource but it was time to move on. At this time, I don’t know where I’ll end up, but for now, I thought it would be fun for a small retrospective. I’ve produced 267 articles for CAC (not including the biography I wrote for the Al Rio Tribute Art Book Volume One), which is roughly on average an article a week for my time there, and certain pieces of work stand out from the rest. Thus, I will produce two Top 10 lists: first, my most popular articles and second, my favorite. Based on the number of views and unique visits, the following are the ten most popular articles I have written for CAC. Enjoy.

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What to Watch and Not Watch in Superhero Television

For those not in the know, Nerdfect Strangers is not just a cool name for a blog/website, it’s our podcast, and the podcast came before the website. Here’s what’s on the podcast now…

The latest episode, our forty-first, just dropped the other day. Hosted by Bobby Fisher, Jerry Whitworth, and some guy named Glenn Walker, Nerdfect Strangers #41: “Gators ‘N’ Glaives” is a journey into comics, wrestling, role-playing games, and the latest batch of superheroes on television.

You can download the episode here, and don’t forget to Follow us on Twitter here and Like us on Facebook here. Enjoy!

An Afternoon with Laverne & Shirley

For visitors to this website who might wonder what the title is all about, let me tell you, Nerdfect Strangers is not just a cool name for a blog/website, it’s our podcast, and the podcast came before the website. We’re going to start to be more diligent about making folks aware of the podcast, starting now.

The latest episode, our fortieth, just dropped the other day. Hosted by Bobby Fisher, Jerry Whitworth, and some guy named Glenn Walker, Nerdfect Strangers #40: “Tales from the Pizza Bowl” is a journey into comics, wrestling, and the sitcom zaniness of “Laverne & Shirley.”

You can download the episode here, and don’t forget to Follow us on Twitter here and Like us on Facebook here. Enjoy!

Young Justice S01 E12: Homefront

ayj1When Mount Justice comes under attack by the Red Tornado’s malevolent ‘siblings,’ Artemis and Robin are on their own to save the day without super powers. We learn a bit more about Artemis as she faces her final baptism by fire. A lot happens in this episode – all this and more in “Homefront.”

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Young Justice S01 E11: Terrors

ayj1This episode features the first animated appearance of the Terror Twins, who had previously appeared in the comic Young Justice #0, which took place between “Fireworks” and “Welcome to Happy Harbor.” Southern super-strong badasses Tommy and Tuppence Terror can leap long distances and are highly durable, if not invulnerable. In our opener, once more narrated breaking news style by Cat Grant, the Terror Twins are in New Orleans, holding their own against Superman and the Martian Manhunter. Yeah, that’s how tough they are, but as usual with “Young Justice,” there’s more here than meets the eye. Looks like orange could be the new black for two members of our team…

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Young Justice S01 E10: Targets

ayj1As with the last episode, this time we are dealing with fictional countries again as the “Young Justice” showrunners continue worldbuilding. Stand-ins for North and South Korea are North and South Rhelasia, and Red Arrow is there for the negotiations between the two nations. That’s where he stops Cheshire from taking out the new independent arbitrator… Lex Luthor.

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Young Justice S01 E09: Bereft

ayj1Time is an extremely important factor in “Young Justice,” and it becomes even more important as the series continues. In “Downtime” it is specifically mentioned that Aqualad has been gone from Atlantis only two months, and the time stamps at the start of each episode verify that. With this episode, it starts to get complicated.

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Young Justice S01 E08: Downtime

ayj1We open on a rather toothy and horrifying version of Clayface bearing down on Aqualad after trashing the rest of the team. The monster’s about to do the same to Aqualad when the Batman shows up to save the day. Reprimanded afterward by Batman, Aqualad needs to get his head in the game. Atlantis is on his mind, he’d better get back there and get it together. Yeah, we’re finally getting Atlantis, and more of the new Aqualad’s origins, in this Kaldur-centric episode…

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Young Justice S01 E07: Denial

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When I was watching “Young Justice” on a weekly basis as it aired new on Cartoon Network, this was the episode that made me sit up and really take notice of what was going on here, and not just because Doctor Fate was one of my absolute favorite characters (the original version at least).

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Young Justice S01 E06: Infiltrator

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Nobody likes being replaced, especially for a job you claim not to have wanted in the first placed. Well, that’s how Speedy’s feeling. After declining membership on The Team, and going solo from Green Arrow – Speedy has found new heroine Artemis is subbing for him as GA’s new sidekick and with Young Justice… and Artemis may be more than she seems…

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Young Justice S01 E05: Schooled

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Even though they’ve only met once, briefly, Superman apparently doesn’t know what to make of his clone, Superboy. This failure on the elder’s part to communicate has filled Superboy with quite a bit of rage, and it’s finally getting on everyone’s nerves.

The opening is both a lot of fun and sad at the same time. There’s an accident on the bridge between Gotham City and Metropolis (yes, non-believers, they really are right across the river from each other) bring Superboy and Superman together to save a busload of schoolchildren. The conversation is awkward, Superboy asks for help learning to use his powers, and Superman is thankful for an excuse to leave.

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Young Justice S01 E04: Drop-Zone

ayj1The Team gets their first official mission, a covert recon mission to the tiny island nation of Santa Prisca. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because that’s where the super-villain Bane hails from. And the cult of Kobra is trying to take it over.

This episode really didn’t do anything for me the first time I saw it. It didn’t seem to follow suite of the superhero show it had promised. Bane and Kobra seemed odd choices as villains, and they were definitely not favorites of mine. I always thought Kobra worked better as designed in his 1970s solo title as opposed to the megalomaniac cult leader super-villain he later became. And Bane, to me, was at the center of the whole Bat-Azrael thing, which in my opinion was more a marketing stunt than a storyline. I never warmed to him.

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