Sunday, September 27, 2009

Recently published in...

Comics Buyer's Guide #1659, where I review:

Chew #1
Image Comics
$2.99, color, 28 pgs.
Writer: John Layman
Artist: Rob Guillory
Grade: 3 Stars (out of four)

Tony Chu is a “cibopathic,” meaning anything he eats (other than beets) gives him information about that food, such as where it came from, who picked it (in the case of apples), or who slaughtered the cow to get it (in the case of beef). Naturally, Tony’s gift makes him an effective police officer, but perhaps a little too effective. After biting off the face of a perpetrator to glean information regarding the deaths of several young women, Tony gets in trouble with his boss.

Chew #1 begins as a buddy cop team type of book—picture Beverly Hills Cop decorated with gore and psychic phenomena—but takes a different turn about half way through the issue. The concept is gross and a little off-putting, but this is a fairly entertaining take on the psychic detective subgenre. There’s a bit of sociological science fiction at work as well, thanks to the bird flu making the consumption of chicken illegal.

The stylized art is at once grim and cartoonish, making it a nice fit for the funny, funky story.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Cheap Trick @ Kate's Track Shack

Like many retro-gamers, I enjoy many old-school endeavors, including building models, watching classic movies and cartoons, and collecting and listening to LPs (love that thick, rich, meaty sound). One thing I've left safely in the past is 8-track tape technology, which is a fragile, flawed, outdated way of enjoying music. I'll never forget listening to Kiss' Destroyer in my Dad's old truck, with songs fading out, only to kick back in as the reel would change to the next track (or however the technology worked, or, more accurately, didn't work).

Despite my current disinterest in 8-tracks, my retro sensibilities find it incredibly cool that Cheap Trick, a band I grew up listening to, recently contacted my sister's sister-in-law about producing copies of their new CD in 8-track form. Kathy and Dan Gibson run Kate's Track Shack (, which is located in Arlington, Texas, about 25 minutes from my house. They buy and sell 8-track tapes and players and have become quite well-known in their field (as exemplified by Cheap Trick actually contacting them).

To purchase a copy of Cheap Trick's new album (called The Latest) on 8-track (or on CD or LP), check out the band's website:

I may no longer listen to 8-tracks, but hats off to Cheap Trick and to Kathy and Dan for helping keep the '70s--an era that gave us Alien, the Atari 2600, Star Wars, and a million other great things--alive and well.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Classic Home Video Games 1985-1988 -- REVIEWED!

The first review for my new book showed up on Amazon today:

For anyone that is interested in the Nintendo NES, Atari 7800 and Sega Master System this book is well worth purchasing. This guide does a good job of providing a quick and informative overview of all US licensed games for each system. Considering that there are over 700 games for the Nintendo NES alone, a guide like this helps the potential gamer to home in on games that fit their taste. That way you can only purchase games that you might enjoy.

Overall the book is an interesting read and I doubt that anyone who plays video games wouldn't find it interesting.

~By Starwander