Review: Payung Guest House – Cherating, MY

Payung Guest House Cherating Malaysia

Payung Guest House Cherating Malaysia

Thee Comic Column #3: Brian K. Vaughn’s latest Saga

I’ll tell you right off the bat that I’ve not read Y: The Last Man. I know, I know… I’m going to get to it. Around the time the first trade came out I bought it and dug it – I can’t say I was moved to run out and shake my ever-faithful comic book dealer Mike until he handed over the next monthly issue like I was when he forced me to read the first four trades of The Walking Dead – but I liked it nonetheless. However, at the time I was preparing to move 3000 miles away from home and a lot of sacrifices were made. Y was one of them. In fact, until very recently I’d not really read ANY Brian K. Vaughan other than what he did in the early oughts with Runaways. About six months ago however I remedied that by reading the entire run of Ex Machina trades in very short order and ABSOLUTELY LOVED THEM. West Wing meets modern super hero comics, and if that sounds like it most likely wouldn’t work you’re probably right – unless of course BKV is the guy writing it!!!

Thee Comic Column #1: The Walking Dead

When I was in fourth grade a bought a copy of Larry Hama’s GIJOE comic book – specifically #49, the birth of Serpentor – and ever since I have been an AVID comic book geek. Sure my interest has waxed and waned over the years – more due to the state of the industry and the quality of books coming out during the 90’s than any age issues – but I’ve always had constants. Sandman, Preacher, Lucifer, Grant Morrison’s New X-Men, The Walking Dead – there has always been at least one book that I HAVE to read the minute I get it every month. I feel fortunate for this – I’ve known a lot of folks whose enthusiasm for the medium has waned at various points and this has never happened to me. Part of the reason was discovering the non-superhero stuff and then ironically enough part of it has been, in recent years, re-discovering a lot of the superhero stuff now that those non-superhero writers are changing it from the spandex muscle fest they were in the 90’s into the (in some cases) intricate works of art and plot they have become in the last ten or so years. I’m telling you – there’s a veritable TON of great books out there right now and I’m going to make this an ongoing column to kind of clue people in to that. What people? Well, I guess I’m writing this for mainly two main groups: those who have never read a comic but are curious after being wooed by the simply awesome influx of  high profile movies in recent years and those who at some point turned away from ‘funny books’ thinking they’d outgrown them. Believe me, in the case of the nineties readers you DID outgrow them – but the industry has finally (for the most part) had a growth spurt and caught up to you. And what a spurt it’s been…

New Window’s Platform Plans to Eliminate Browser Variety???

This would normally be Grez’s territory, and I’m largely in the dark as to a lot of the theory and terminology at use here, so I’m writing this as I would write it to him, hoping he can click in and add/expand on some of this. Normally I wouldn’t try and tackle that of which I can’t hold my weight in conversation about, but this transcends the theory and directly affects daily life of the consumer computer culture (READ AS: a large percent of the world) so I want to get it out there for our readers.

New A Place To Bury Strangers album Worship: 6/06/12

 

Above is the new “single” from NY’s A Place to Bury Stranger’s forthcoming album Worpship, out June 6th on the Dead Oceans record label. If you are unfamiliar with the band they are, simply put, amazing. Especially live. I saw them at LA’s Spaceland in 2010 (review HERE) and it is not an exaggeration to say by the mind-blowing fury of the finale I honestly thought I had witnessed the opening of a portal to another dimension; a dimension composed entirely of the wonderfully lush and often hallucinatory sonics front man Oliver Ackermann produces with his custom-built effects pedals (along with some very healthy strobe action). Ackermann is the guy behind Death by Audio. Click the link and check out their website – if you are a guitar player you’ll drool.

A Celebration of Harvest: Pahiyas Festival Lukban, PH

Lukban, Philippines – Dry season has come to the main Philippine island of the Luzon and with it celebrations in thanksgiving for harvest, family and life. In particular, the town of Lukban hosts “Pahiyas” or the citywide San Isidro harvest festival. Located 26 Km northwest of Lucena City or 160 Km southeast of Manila, Lukban’s nearest attraction is Mt. Banahaw (2,158m). However the town is bustles as a hub for livestock trade and local production of native handcrafts. These products are sold locally as well as exported worldwide. But really Lukban’s breadbasket is harvest time with the bountiful crops grown from rainy season into the dry. Pahiyas rejoices this plenty.

America’s Billboard Problem, Part 1

You know what I simply cannot stand?

Billboards.

Well, advertising in general grinds my gears, but billboards are a special kind of disgusting. We could be looking at trees, instead we’re looking at ads for products most of us either do not care about or – perhaps more importantly – need no reminder of. The U.S. is terrible in this regard – terrible to a point that approaches making Terry Gilliam’s dystopian film Brazil and its images of roads lined with never-ending advertisements a reality. In Brazil the billboards are used as a tool to block the urban inhabitants from seeing the wasteland that surrounds their population centers. This feels more and more like an eventual reality to me and it frightens me and I feel that I must say it’s gotten to the point that something needs to be done about it.

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