• Essays

    The Comic Book Story of Video Games: A Graphic Novel Review

    I've had this graphic novel sitting on my shelf for too long, setting aside a good time to sit down with it. These past couple of days, however, I've been flipping from page to page this excellently illustrated and narrated journey through the history of video games. I completed it last night and enjoyed it quite a bit. I never knew that so many unlikely events lead up to the powerhouse of video games that exists today. Seeing as the website I run here is currently undergoing a blend of games and books, I think this is a perfect topic for us all here. So, without further ado, let's light…

  • Essays

    You Can Go Your Own Way by Eric Smith: Pinball Love in Philly: YA Book Review

    While the industry in the gaming business model changes, Adam's family's pinball arcade and Whitney's eSports Cafe are in direct competition with each other, and consequently Adam and Whitney. You Can Go Your Own Way by Eric Smith is a November 2021 release YA book about two childhood friends, Adam Stillwater and Whitney Mitchell. They have gotten knee-deep in running their parents' businesses as their parents are either too busy or in Adam's father's case, not there. Through firey tweet threads and a plot that takes place almost entirely in the market area of Old City Philadelphia, the two find out that maybe they can restore their childhood friendship after…

  • City of Shattered Light Illustrated Cover
    Essays

    City of Shattered Light: Teenage Bubblegum Cyberpunk Outlaws – YA Fiction Recommendation

    From the author, Claire Winn, is a debut young adult science fiction novel that teeters on a megalopolis moon colony with a cast of fierce--and glittery--femme Fatales, their fierce cohorts, and an action-packed ride of cybernetic combat mayhem. It's got everything you need in a cyberpunk novel really, especially for this audience. This is City of Shattered Light. And still, the main characters are simultaneously relatable yet may be out of their league young folks who are exceedingly clever and capable of taking down any enemy turned foe with teamwork.

  • Essays

    Quantum Leap – Last Call at Al’s: A Tribute to Dean Stockwell

    One of the best actors in Hollywood passed away in the past couple of days at age 85. Dean Stockwell, the actor/artist/environmentalist/cigar-enthusiast, is notably remembered for his role as Al Calavicci in the '80s/'90s TV time travel show Quantum Leap. I had always intended to talk about Quantum Leap here somewhere since it is one of the most influential productions I have ever spent time with, "within my own lifetime." With the news about Mr. Stockwell, I guess maybe this is a good time.

  • Pumpkinheads Ebook Cover
    Essays

    Pumpkinheads: Seasonal Wholesome Graphic Novel for All (Review)

    This is another teen and YA appropriate, plus seasonally appropriate, review. Pumpkinheads is a very endearing and amusing graphic novel released pre-pandemic. It is the creation of author Rainbow Rowell and author / illustrator Faith Erin Hicks. It follows the tale of two friends, Deja and Josiah, who work at a pumpkin patch, on their last Halloween night before they go off to college. Instead of their assigned task of working as succotash cooks, Deja tries to insist Josiah do something about his multiple year spanning fascination with the girl who works at the fudge shop.

  • Essays

    Another Kind: Cryptid Kids Hit Shelves, Fun YA/Teen Graphic Novel (Review)

    I'm thrilled to bring you another installment in my comic/book reviews, which really needs to be here to fulfill my original mission. Without a doubt, I'm tirelessly releasing indie game reviews with young adult/teen-friendly connotations. I've only recently figured out that my posts are more appropriate for this encompassed audience and that yes, I can finally write about anything and not seem too out of context intentionally. So in addition to games, let's start a new trend by talking about this debut graphic novel from creators Cait May and Trevor Bream and publishing project Harper Alley known as Another Kind, a story about a group of cryptid youth government compound…

  • Essays

    Why I Literally Want to Be James Halliday

    "James Halliday, he was like a god." This is not a review, showcase, or anything, but it is a narrative I feel like rolling with. This topic entered my mind a long time ago when I first saw the film version of Ready Player One, and then later when I read the book. Then when I surrendered the dream in Ready Player Two (it's an acquired taste, no dismissiveness or negativity here!) Ever since... well, ever... ever since I can even remember, I've been compulsively enamored with the idea of digital realities--virtual reality, cyberspace, the Matrix, the Oasis, the Grid, Metaverse, what have you. The thing about the fictional character…

  • Indie Game The Movie Title Screen
    Essays

    Indie Game: The Movie: Personal Review

    Indie Game: The Movie is, suitably, a 2011 indie documentary made by Canadian Filmmakers about indie video games. It cracks open the shell of contemporary indie game development by following a handful of developers as they make their first games and bring them to market. It evokes the struggle of the indie game business model and follows artists and programmers through lows and highs of this personal journey. This film had moments of absolute enchantment but also discomfort. I want to give this a chance though, because I took something very real and personal from this documentary.

  • turtle power the definitive history
    Essays

    Turtle Power: Definitive TMNT History: DVD Review

    Turtle Power: The Definitive History of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a DVD documentary from Paramount Pictures, released in 2014. It covers every topic of TMNT lore like the comic book origins of Mirage's Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. Or how uncomfortable the turtle suits were for the actors in the motion pictures released in the 90s. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is one of the most legendary hallmarks of the later 20th century and beyond. From the adults whose childhood thrived on the cartoons and movies to the fervor of today's initiated youth. Almost everybody knows of them, and most likely are cool with them in some form, maybe…

  • UFOs Miracle of the Unknown VHS Set
    Essays

    UFOs Miracle of the Unknown: VHS Review

    Okay, it's official, ViCtoRia the VCR is ONLINE. This idea came to me in a late-night deep meditation. I was thinking: what can I do that's a cut above the rest? My Ancient Aliens review was a blast. Perhaps I could find something that would be a little less obvious. So, anyway, here it is. I got this RCA VCR on eBay as well as a few VHS tapes to test and I got started. Out of sentimentality, I am continuing the UFO theme with a two-tape set documentary called UFOs Miracle of the Unknown. It was more interesting than I had anticipated.