A bit of a crisis

While this summer hasn’t been as productive as I would have liked, it has been a perfect summer. I’ve spent every day with my son and we’ve filled our days with trips to the library, the zoo, the flea market, the Discovery Center, the swimming pool, and so many other adventures. Last year, he was so small that we didn’t do much because he was too small to do anything. Now that I have my little toddler running around, we’re having the summer that I always dreamed of with my son.

In terms of this site, I don’t know that I ever really returned to my old self when I returned to this site. The guy I was when I first started Popgun Chaos is a completely different person than who I am today. I was more cocky then. More willing to jump into an argument and write about half-formed theories in a way as if I really believed them. It made writing easy then.

Today, I’m more cautious in my writing. I’m more understanding to the opinions of others. This makes writing harder for me because instead of just jumping into writing to start a fight, I decide to avoid a fight altogether. Again, this doesn’t make for great content considering my site used to provoke strong reactions. I guess I’m just tired of fighting people. I’m tired of arguing over nothing.

So instead, I want to write about things I love, but writing about things I love is so much harder than complaining because you can only say “This was really great” in so many different ways before it gets boring and tedious.

I suppose I should analyze more on the site, but that brings me to the big question:

For what purpose?

I’ve been wanting to write about the best episodes of Superman: The Animated Series, but I wonder “why should I?” What does it accomplish? Who will even read it? What does it matter?

And that’s where my mind is right now.

I don’t really have enough daily traffic to justify writing about pop culture on here. People rarely comment. But maybe I haven’t written anything that deserves it. Maybe being a dad has just changed my priorities.  Anyway, school is coming up soon so I won’t really have time to write as much.

However, PLEASE keep coming back to Popgun Chaos because I will still have Music Mondays and there will be new webcomics on Tuesdays and Fridays from me. I’ve got a few more writing projects coming up too that will be announced when they start taking more form.

Sorry for this kind of mopey post, but I just needed to get some of my thoughts out there.

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Interview with CW Cooke about Solitary

CW Cooke is a writer who I met at Planet Comicon back in March. He’s got a Kickstarter up to finish the first arc on his comic Solitary so I thought I’d help him spread the word with an interview. I hope you enjoy!

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New Wave Soldiers character designs

After the mini-comic, Nate took another hiatus. I messaged him again after time passed and wanted to start it all over again. I rewrote the prologue, the first and second issues and wanted to turn our comic into an 80 page giant instead. Nate went back to the drawing board and made the following character designs. Continue reading

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Music Mondays – 5 Songs That are Bad-Good

There are plenty of terrible songs out there. Some get buried on albums and you could just ignore that they exist (“Heart Songs” by Weezer is what I’m thinking of here). Then, there are the bad songs that are repeated every hour on the radio for a few months and then they disappear (“Wiggle” by Jason Derulo will hopefully fall into this category). But there are other songs that are so bad that they remain forever. There is something in these songs that strikes a chord of irony in everyone that won’t allow these songs to die. Usually there is a degree of cheese that these songs have that is simultaneously fun and repellent.

The most obvious of these is “We Built This City” by Starship. It’s hokey, goofy, terrible, but somehow lovable in its badness. So, while I want to put it on this list, it would be too easy to include it. It’s on every bad song list. Instead, I’ll go with a few other choices that I think are on par with “We Build This City.” If you have your own list, include it in the comments.  Continue reading

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Nemo at Thirty – 2. The Casualty

In case you missed it, the first strip can be found here. Please share and comment!

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Kids Tube Review – Blues Clues

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Though it may be gone, it is certainly not forgotten. Blues Clues set the standard for the children’s show format that we have seen time and time again. Dora the ExplorerNi hao, Kai-LanMickey Mouse Clubhouse – all of these shows and tons more owe their existence to Blues Clues. My son is 19 months old and he LOVES this show. And you know what? I don’t mind it either. There is something that is still charming about the whole thing. And that’s Steve Burns.

Without a doubt, Steve Burns is so charming and wonderful that he carried the show. They tried Steve’s brother or cousin or whatever and he just didn’t work out. Maybe it’s because no one could accept a substitute Steve or maybe it was because they messed with the format after Steve left (and boy, did they really change things up beyond just the host change). But Steve had a spark that was undeniable.

A great example is in the episode where they learn to tell time. There is a solid minute where viewers are supposed to sit and experience what a full minute feels like. During that minute, Steve keeps adding a few remarks showing just how long that minute is. It could have been weird or awkward, but Steve actually made me laugh during this which is no small accomplishment for a kid’s show.

This is just one small example, but there is at least one moment per episode where Steve seems like he is breaking out of his role of “gee whiz, let’s find some clues” to be funny. It’s really amazing to see how talented he really was and how much you just don’t appreciate him until you’re older. I mean, here is a guy who had to react to a green screen (no small accomplishment) and he made it come alive.

I know it’s a little weird to be gushing on and on about a show that’s been off the air for nearly ten years, but there is something genuine about Blues Clues that I don’t feel like you see in kid’s shows anymore. Of course the show had a pretty strict format, but it also used that format to educate on a variety of subjects. The most admirable was an episode on art appreciation. They showed different works of classic art and discussed their differing styles – pretty heavy stuff for a kid’s show.

Anyway, Steve is still around on twitter, so be sure to follow him because he’s a cool guy. And if you want to watch every episode of Blues Clues, you can watch all of them if you have an Amazon Prime account.

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Happy Birthday, Batman!

Today is Batman’s 75th Birthday! My son and I are going to Barnes and Noble to pick up our copy of Detective Comics #27 and we’re going to celebrate by watching Batman: The Animated Series today. I’ll try and update later today with pics of us. For now, here are some of my favorite Batman artists doing what they do best.  Continue reading

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New Wave Soldiers – the mini-comic

Some time after the production on New Wave Soldiers stopped, I approached Nate to start things back up again. In order to get people excited for the comic, I thought we’d do a mini-comic in the style of Mark Waid’s Thrillbent.  Instead of it being a full page of comic, I thought we could do slides of no more than three panels. I wrote a “prequel to the prequel” of sorts. Taking some inspiration from 2001: A Space Odyssey but with a twist. I wrote ten slides and Nate drew them up. I think this is one of the better things I’ve written and Nate has some gorgeous work here. NWSwebcomic#1pg1BNW NWSwebcomic#1pg2 NWSwebcomic#1pg3 NWSwebcomic#1pg4NWSwebcomic#1pg5 NWSwebcomic#1pg6 NWSwebcomic#1pg7 NWSwebcomic#1pg8 NWSwebcomic#1pg9 NWSwebcomic#1pg10

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Music Mondays – 5 Covers that are as good as the original

I love cover songs. I love hearing different variations on the same song. In my younger days, I would spend hours just looking up covers on Youtube. They don’t have to even be professional covers, I like hearing amateur Youtubers attempt famous songs too. Some may be terrible, but that’s okay. It’s just fun to experience the variety of interpretations out there.

Today, I present to you five covers that I feel are as good as the original versions. I’m not saying these are the best covers of all time, but they are really wonderful.

“Tyrone”
Original Artist: Erykah Badu
Cover Artist: My Morning Jacket

“Skinny Love”
Original Artist: Bon Iver
Cover Artist: Birdy

“Dancing in the Dark”
Original Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Cover Artist: Tegan and Sara

“Pursuit of Happiness”
Original Artist: Kid Cudi
Cover Artist: Lissie

“Viva La Vida”
Original Artist: Coldplay (gag)
Cover Artist: Weezer

 

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Nemo at Thirty – 1. The night I lost the will to fight

Here is the first installment of the Nemo comic that the incomparable Elaine Johnson and I are working on together. We hope you like it.

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