Ancient Illumination makes an Appearance at the Baltimore Comic Con!

                          I must admit I was a bit nervous coming into an event like this as a vendor for the first time not knowing how a literary author would do at a convention that primarily is about comic books and other visual forms of media. I had no prints, comic books, graphic novels or posters of well known characters to offer. I had a few placards made showing visual representations of a few of my characters and a banner behind me depicting one of the more prominent figures I had created along with one of my ships. These worked great as they gave a visual for people to look at and opened the door for me to engage them if they seemed relatively interested then I could tell them about the characters and my story. For a first experience it could not have gone much better than it did. There are a few reasons I think that helped. The visuals I already mentioned, I had a plan before going in, I actively engaged people as they walked by, and finally I was consistent.                       I think it also helped that my table was relatively nicely presented and organized (I had help with that). It was not cluttered and there were a few things that caught peoples eye as they passed. It just so happens that I am a large person and that helped catch some folks attention. As my size 6’9″ 350 lbs is something I cannot...

Console wars…Can’t we all just get along?

                Well it’s been a while and I have been way behind in writing movie reviews so I figured I would delve into what has become a pretty hot topic online recently. Valerian was the last film I went to see and uncharacteristically I help off on The Dark Tower until it comes out digitally so I will talk about the aftermath of E3 and Gamescom 2017. Microsoft and Sony are back at it again or more realistically their respective fan bases are going at each other over which console is the best, and it has gotten quite ridiculous in my opinion. People are full on insulting each other over which console holds their allegiance and it’s pointless. Full disclosure I am team Xbox but the reasons are pretty simple and not due to any feeling of superiority. It’s just that the Xbox and soon the Xbox one X fits my lifestyle and preferences better. That’s it, that’s all.                     I know I am aging myself a bit here when I say I’m an OG gamer. I used to visit my grandfather and he for some odd reason had a Colecovision back in the day on which I could play Donkey Kong, Black Jack, Joust, and some war game where you had airplanes or tanks which the name of escapes me. My first console that I owned was the original NES. For those too young to remember that’s the Nintendo Entertainment System that came with the original Super Mario Brothers, and two count...

War of the Planet of the Apes, a brief review.

                War of the Planet of the Apes heralds the return of Caesar. Everyone’s favorite accidental genius chimpanzee from the new Planet of the Apes trilogy is back. As trilogies go this is a good one. Most trilogies have a good to great first film only to trend downwards into the third. Thankfully this one has a steady quality throughout the three films. At least that’s my humble opinion. Then again I like action science fiction movies as I have been enthralled the genre and even published my very own science fiction novel as a result. Are there plot holes? Senseless ploys for cheap attempts at emotional connection? Absolutely but I believe if you are a fan of the first two films, you will like this one as well. If you have not seen the first two films, stop what you’re doin cause I’m about to ruin…never mind go see the first two before this one for continuity and better enjoyment. Seriously book mark this review rent the first two digitally and go see Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn before heading into to see their conclusion with this film. Then come back to finish this review to see if you agree with my analysis.           Now for the rest of you that have seen the first two films you already know how Caesar came to be the intelligent leader of the apes in Rise, then the problems that came with his right hand ape Koba who could not forgive humans for the atrocities committed...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the band is back together again!

      It seems that Marvel/Disney has achieved what for many motion pictures is a nearly impossible feat in that the second Guardians of the galaxy movie is as good and possibly better than the first! Now in my humble opinion Volume 2 does not surpass the first film but comes very close. I have seen a lot of reviews saying it was better and while I feel it was a bit more substantive as far as emotional content, it falls just shy of the mark that film hit for me. I am also honest enough to admit that could possibly be due to the attachment I have with our first cinematic introduction to Peter Quill and his band of intergalactic misfits.                         First of if you’re not a comic book fan and have not seen the first film, stop what you’re doing, bookmark this blog, rent or buy Guardians of the Galaxy then go see Vol. 2 if you have not done so already! These are easily two of Marvel’s best efforts to date that have everything even if you’re not into super hero, action, or sci-fi films. These two films have a lot more to offer than awesome space battles and intense action which are two of my favorite things personally but they’re combined with comedy that’s not forced and emotional weight that makes it all easy to relate to despite the fantastical veneer. ┬áIn this second installment we are reintroduced to Peter Quill(Starlord), Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon and Groot now in adorable baby form...

Ghost in the Shell, the controversy that wasn’t.

  It took me a couple weeks but I was finally able to check this film out despite the angst and vitriol spewed at it in the wake of Scarlett Johansen being cast as the Major. I liked the original anime released back in 1995 directed by Mamoru Oshii based on the manga series written and illustrated by Masamune Shirow, neither of which had a problem with the casting by the way. If you’re unfamiliar this story follows the exploits of a leader of an elite team called section 9 who is basically a brain housed inside of a fully synthetic android body. I believe the brain, or “ghost” of the woman who is in the body is definitely Japanese, but the body can be modeled after what ever race you want. Also interesting to add that many anime characters often have European features but the Japanese still consider them as Japanese or Nihonjin in their eyes. Most of the uproar occurred here in the U.S. where it’s at approximately 31 million in revenue yet 96 million worldwide and doing well in Japan. Go figure. That’s not to say I think whitewashing doesn’t happen because I know it does. I just don’t think that was the case with this film.     Getting back to the plot the Major in the anime and loosely in this film is always questioning her existence and searching for a past she only vaguely gets bits and pieces of through flashbacks they call glitches. The film is visually stunning with plenty of CGI but not so much that it gets overwhelming. Where it...