Thursday, February 28, 2019

Art Trade, 28 February 2019

My half:

Bucky (Art Trade)
by jmg124 on DeviantArt

Their half (colored by me):

Scout Jordan Elfin (just colored by me)
by jmg124 on DeviantArt

Commission by AlchemyFox

Jordan Otter - Commission
by AlchemyFox on DeviantArt

The Dragon Prince

The Dragon Prince.jpg

An enjoyable animated fantasy series about two royal stepbrothers who seek to return a dragon egg to its tribe. The visual style I definitely liked, although it's a bit choppy compared to other shows with similar visuals like Star Wars Resistance.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Art of the Day, 27 February 2019

Honest Jordan
by jmg124 on DeviantArt

The Illusion of Cinematic Record-Setting

It seems that every year, movies tend to "break records" at the box office, but I think it's a load of bull, since ticket prices go up yearly; of course they'll have record-setting revenue, but I think how many tickets are actually sold should be given more attention than their financial grosses.

Commission by LolliDoodle

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Incredibles 2

The Incredibles 2.jpg

The first Incredibles sequel picks up where the first one left off, with the eponymous superhero family facing the Underminer, although the actual main villain turns out to be the hypnotism-using Screenslaver, which comes at a time when decriminalization of superhero vigilantism is pondered among the world's countries. Definitely another enjoyable Pixar film.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Art of the Day, 25 February 2019

Jordan Deere, Jr., BSA
by jmg124 on DeviantArt

The Lost Artifact

The Lost Artifact by Vaughn Heppner

The eighth installment of author Vaughn Heppner’s Lost Starship series opens with the android Yen Cho hunting an assassin, with the Swarm Imperium intending to conquer Earth, as well. An interesting break from other science-fiction stories mentioned early on is that Human Space is ruled by multiple political entities dependent upon culture. The main text following the prologue opens ninety-seven days later at Smade’s Asteroid, where primary protagonist Captain Maddox is held prisoner, with an implant having been surgically inputted into his brain, although he attempts escape, a pirate base occupying the mentioned celestial body.

Finlay Bow is Maddox’ key to escape from the Asteroid, and in the meantime, a clone of the Methuselah Man Strand awakens and vows vengeance against Maddox. Yen Cho the crew of the Victory ultimately captures, with regular interrogations for intelligence. The ancient Adok starship ultimately comes into the orbit of the planet Gideon II, where they find a Builder robot who also serves as a source for information. Strand has sporadic confrontations with the Victory, at one point sending a virus aboard the ship to weaken its systems, with AI Galyan seeking to retain control, and at some points departing the vessel’s systems in a robotic form.

The second half of the story devotes several chapters to Commodore von Helmuth and the Hindenburgers aboard the rogue ship Bismarck, who feel ostracized by the Windsor League and confront the Victory as well. Maddox ultimately has to deal with the clone Strand again, with the novel ending satisfactorily, and sure to please fans of its predecessors, although those new to the series will definitely want to start from the beginning of the franchise. As with a few prior novels, moreover, the twist of duplicate characters plays some role, although this reviewer definitely found the book a bright spot in independent science-fiction.

The Umbrella Academy

Umbrella Academy logo.png

A comic book Netflix adaptation beginning with forty-three women around the world birthing children suddenly in spite of not showing pregnancy, with seven adopted and given numbers, with most of the seven having supernatural powers. Some of the time travel elements are a bit convoluted, but I definitely enjoyed this series.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

How to Train Your Dragon 3 poster.png

In the third and final entry of Dreamworks' film trilogy, Hiccup and his Viking village seek a new home for their dragons, the subtitular Hidden World, due to overcrowding. Has the Richard Wagner-popularized inaccuracy of Viking helmets having horns like its precursors, but is still a good conclusion.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The Last Battle


The final Chronicles of Narnia book in both publication order and chronology opens with Shift the Ape finding a dead lion’s skin and outfitting his friend Puzzle the Donkey with it to have him masquerade as Aslan, with Narnia’s King at the time, Tirian, hearing of the Lion’s coming, although astrology notes that something is amiss. Indeed, events such as deforestation are occurring in Aslan’s name, with the main adversaries, the Calormenes, at work. Tirian and his close friend, the Unicorn Jewel, ultimately find themselves brought before Shift, who poses as a king and Aslan’s mouthpiece, the two separated.

When Tirian finds himself bound to a tree for killing Calormenes that abused a talking horse, he calls out for help, with Jill Pole and Eustace Scrubb, protagonists of The Silver Chair, rescuing him, in return receiving training for combat with those who use Aslan’s name for evil. Some convincing is necessary to turn the talking Beasts against the Calormenes, with battle breaking out near a stable from which hardly anyone comes back out, the villains’ deity Tash playing a role, as well. The heroes ultimately find themselves witness to the end of Narnia as they know it.

A major twist at the end will definitely tear at the heartstrings, with even this reviewer driven to tears, something that rarely happens when he reads fiction. The concluding Narnia book is definitely a good sendoff for the series, although there are some indicators of xenophobia, with some terminology some in modern times would find somewhat offensive, and with prior entries of the series, there are some nuances of British English that haven’t aged well. Regardless, those who enjoyed previous Narnia books will most likely appreciate this one, although they should definitely be ready for an emotional end.

The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.

The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. Poster

An anime about a Japanese high-schooler with psychic powers, Kusuo Saiki, who deals with the world around him while concealing his abilities, with the first season dubbed in English, although the second is subtitle-only, at least on Netflix. Definitely light and enjoyable, although akin to other animes that occur in Japan, the characters look Western (with only one dark-skinned character who herself is Japanese, which is kind of unusual), but there is in-show explanation as to why nobody questions odd hair colors like Saiki's.

Monday, February 18, 2019

The Silver Chair


Fourth in publication order and penultimate in chronology, The Silver Chair opens with protagonists Eustace Scrubb and Jill Pole, escaping bullies, calling out to Aslan the Lion, consequentially being whisked to Narnia, where they find an aged King Caspian X whose son Rilian has gone missing for some time, and those sent to retrieve him have failed to return. Owls transport Jill and Eustace to the northern marshes, where they meet the Marsh-wiggle Puddleglum, with the Ruined City of giants their next destination, their subsequent journey leading them beyond unfriendly giants to Harfang, where Gentle Giants dwell.

However, things aren’t what they seen at the home of the supposedly “gentle” giants, with Jill, Eustace, and Puddleglum eventually escaping and soon finding themselves in the Underland, where the Warden of the Marches takes them to an underwordly city in which dwells the enigmatic Black Knight, the eponymous silver chair seen as well. The Knight denies knowledge of Rilian or Narnia, although things ultimately twist and turn in the last few chapters, Jill and Eustace soon returning to their own world, with some changes to their coeducational school effected, as well.

Overall, this is another enjoyable yarn of Narnia, which is actually somewhat enjoyable on its own, since a whole lot of knowledge on its predecessors, in orders chronological and published, isn’t completely necessary, given the cast of mostly-different characters. There are some facets of the book that haven’t aged well, such as certain nautical terminology present in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and the different definition of “making love,” both of which might result in unintended humor, but this story is definitely enjoyable in spite of the aforementioned flaws.