Serious Bubbles (Steven Universe)

Hi all,

So, it's been a while since I've put something up on Eruditorum Press.  My bad.  Got caught up in work-related travel, and then there was the return of the intestinal bug, and, well... I apologize, because I've been sitting on this awesome Giant Woman podcast for two weeks now, where Shana and I talk more about Steven Universe.

Steven Universe! 

In this installment of Giant Woman we cover Bubble Buddies and Serious Steven the 7th and 8th episodes of Season One.  And as both of these episodes are quite good, so too is the conversation around them, although to be fair I blew it in my analysis of the Beatles' song "Strawberry Fields Forever" as an influence on Serious Steven, as I completely neglected to mention that the song is a fusion of two different takes.  Seriously, where was my brain at?

As always, you can get your Giant Woman fix at the Oi! Spaceman library of podcasts right here.

Nightvisiting Review

Something of a holding pattern episode, executing a bog standard premise whose primary virtue is clearly that it’s cheap and depends primarily on interior shots in which two people talk or street scenes in which static monster tendrils are strung about. This is, of course, not something to complain about - “the cheap one” is a thing Doctor Who has always had to grapple with. Sure, it ends up being the downside to the decision to drop the first two episodes together, in that you don’t really want your cheap holding pattern episode to come on your second week, but that’s a pretty minor complaint. And on the bright side, Class is intelligent enough to burn off “people are mysteriously visited in the night by their dead relatives” as the cheap midseason episode, which is more than can be said for Babylon 5, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or, the most obvious comparison, Torchwood.

On top of that, “Nightvisiting” has what can increasingly just be described as Class’s usual instinct to avoid genre defaults in favor of more interesting routes. For one thing, at no point are any of the main characters particularly tempted by the Lankin, so that at no ...

Comics Reviews (October 26th, 2016)

The Ultimates #12

Well, they solve the artist-swapping problem that's been killing this book, but the solution - getting Christian Ward in to do the final issue - is an odd one. Ward's great, but he's great at weird cosmic psychedelia, and this is an issue pretty heavy on people sitting in hallways and offices of government buildings. With a ton of plot information offloaded to, basically, "see other comics." And a setup to The Ultimates2, which I admit I'm not immediately excited by. The result is one of those very comicsy things, a final issue that fails utterly to bring anything to a satisfying conclusion. Still, the Ms. America stuff was nice, as it always is. 

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up The Marvel Universe

Finally got to check this out. Good, and at times delightful (the "draw Squirrel Girl" activity pages were brilliant), but I definitely came out of it feeling like an OGN was more Squirrel Girl than I necessarily wanted in a single dose. By the end it's just not sparkling anymore, and the laughs felt fewer and further between than they did at the start. Not because the book isn't ...

Big Window

Once again, I have nothing for you.  What I laughingly refer to as 'real life' has been hectic for me lately, full of obstacles both expected and unexpected which have required some heavy duty navigation.  Plus, in terms of my online career, I've been working on so many projects simultaneously that none of them have come together on schedule.  Bad time management, thy name is Jack.  So, to fob you off again, here's the second chapter of the novel I kid myself I'm writing.

Oh, and in case you missed it, I was recently a guest on the lovely They Must Be Destroyed on Sight movie podcast again, this time talking with Daniel and Lee (two of the nicest, smartest movie podcasters you could ever hope to listen to) about both versions of Nosferatu.  Spoilers: we all like both of them.  Get that here.  Quite pleased with my showing, though there were times during the recording when tiredness and alcohol consumption made me only semi-coherent.  But I'm often told I'm more palatable that way.

Chapter One of my 'novel' can be found here, if you need a ...

Nintendo Switch Reveal: First Impressions



This past week Nintendo finally put over a year of rabid speculation to rest by revealing its next console, previously known only by its codename NX, as the Nintendo Switch: A high-end handheld game console that can be plugged into a dock for home play. Nintendo forwent the expected routes for hardware reveals, even the famously unorthodox Nintendo hardware reveals-In lieu of a press conference or media event of some kind, Nintendo revealed the Switch to the world by way of a 3-minute teaser trailer on their YouTube channel. Although the video re-confirms the system's previously announced March 2017 release date, Nintendo later stated that this is all the information on the system we're going to get until then, so let's jump on the hype bandwagon and play armchair speculative analyst with the Nintendo Switch.

First of all, the trailer confirmed most of what the many rumour mills were saying about what we then knew as NX in the months leading up to the reveal, and I for one couldn't be happier about what we saw. The Nintendo Switch is a handheld console that rather resembles a tablet computer, except with controllers on the ...

Theses on Trump 16


This essay is going to need some substantial (though obviously not total) revision, and keeping the original in circulation feels wrong. A revised version will appear in the generally available edition of Neoreaction a Basilisk that will come out in 2017. 

C-Beams Glitter (Mega Man X3, Rockman and Forte)

Hello again. Where are we now, January 1996? Best we start wrapping this up, I suppose.

In a sense I never left, of course. Let’s see. Summer of 1995 was the first year of CTY, the big nerd camp that was the defining social framework of late middle school/early high school for me. Place those three weeks between Civilization and Chrono Trigger. I was still playing video games, but favored the PC - I got a Playstation around the time of Final Fantasy VII, and would get a Nintendo 64 for Christmas at the end of 1996, in my first year of high school, but neither captivated me. I was starting to intellectually specialize - at CTY I’d taken what was basically a college-level intro comp course, and was beginning to think of myself as, if not “a writer,” at least “a guy who could write.” This coincided with the regression of my ability in math, previously my best subject, as the handwriting requirements of algebra and ADD-taxing nature of drilling a problem over and over again made the subject stop favoring me. Indeed, the best paper I wrote at CTY was a descriptive essay about how much I’d ...

For Tonight We Might Die & The Coach With The Dragon Tattoo

Right, so apparently we’re doing these by a margin of $3 on the Patreon. Cool. Thank you all for your support, and if you enjoy the reviews please consider supporting Eruditorum Press.  

When I was waxing rhapsodically about Mr. Robot a few weeks ago I praised it for being a show that didn’t feel done revealing its range. By that standard at least, Class is a rousing success. The downside of this is that it also doesn’t quite feel like it knows what it wants to be, but that’s not inherently a bad thing for a show about teenagers. It’s smart and full of ideas, at least, and if these first two episodes don’t contain any moments of outright genius they at least clearly belong to a show that could deliver some.

It’s also a show that’s acutely aware of the expectations that are going to be put on it. Its opening gag is a Bechdel test joke, it namechecks Buffy with aplomb, it’s got the obligatory Peter Capaldi sequences, it’s given ostentatious levels of thought to its notions of diversity, and there’s almost a conscious sense of “OK, what’s the exact halfway point between Torchwood and The Sarah ...

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