Why House of 1000 Corpses was the horror movie the world needed

I was 17 years old the first time I rented a sci-fi horror thriller called Pitch Black from the video store. While the movie itself stood out in my mind as a decent enough flick, the real gem of renting that particular VHS tape was the advertisement placed within for a Rob Zombie horror flick called House of 1000 Corpses.

I didn’t see the movie at that time. Once I did I can honestly say I was not disappointed. It clearly draws inspiration from the Tobe Hooper masterpiece Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Despite the obvious parallels to that retro classic, this movie easily stands on its own as a true terrifying experience.

It sounds cliche in a way but the movie was a thrill ride from start to finish. From the opening stand off between the clown-faced clerk to the skeleton infested climax, the movie is an absolute treat to behold.

Although I only saw it recently I can tell you right now I was drawn in. It hearkens back to the old cliche of driving by a gruesome wreck and not being able to turn away. It was exactly that. Every gore-filled, blood splattered image the film burns into your retinas is a visual work of art. Even though you know you should cover your eyes to spare yourself the nightmare inducing images you can’t help but stair wide eyed like a deer in the headlights.

The viewer is drawn into a story with a surprisingly rich back story for what appears to be a shallow gore-fest on the surface. It is no wonder the movie has now spawned two sequels and a pair of Halloween reboots.

The acting is more than adequate for what transpires. I couldn’t help but find myself rooting for the hillbilly family and it’s cult of terror that brutalizes those unsuspecting city-slickers that were given more than one obligatory safety warning.

Every kill, whether it be visually horrific or carried out off screen and alluded to, serves a purpose to cement the demented nature of this family who’s bloodlust binds them together, replacing the love that glues most families together.

It was a rare horror film that reminded me  how scary good horror movies can be. I was on the edge of my seat, heart racing as every single frame passed before my eyes.

The gore is used to further the plot rather than being entirely gratuitous. The history that is set up in the open haunted house ride compels the characters to investigate the validity of the tale the shop keep dangles before their unsuspecting curiosities.

Under normal circumstances you follow the characters and hope at least one will survive. By the time the credits roll you have shifted your sympathy towards the killer unit as it slaughters the meat invaders one by one.

Unlike Texas Chainsaw before it which leaves the audience with a brief sigh of relief as the “final girl” manages to make her way to presumably a safe existence, this movie tells the viewer there is no escape, once you enter this world you will die.

I also found that as each torture scene played out I was reminded of the splatter staple Saw series. While those movies use the torture as some convoluted morality tale attempting to explain complex socio-political issues in the span of a horror flick, this movie throws that out the window instead opting to reinforce the most basic truth all humans have faced since the beginning of time; survival of the fittest. The cultist act as predators hunting a rabbit for sport nothing more.

In a world cluttered with PG-13 “scary movies”, the days of the iconic slasher in societies rearview mirror, it was very refreshing to see a movie that wasn’t afraid to dismember the audience from its humanity. Of course the film is now nearly 2 decades old it has left a mark on horror cinema which I can not ignore.

I look forward to investing deeper into the demented mind of horror genius Rob Zombie thanks to a movie I knew over twenty years ago I would enjoy. I can honestly say I was not disappointed.

Why Super NES is so damn important to me~!

When I was a kid fell in love with video games at an early age. By the time I was 18 I had played more games than I can count. I owned multiple game consoles and dozens of games. In all my years gaming nothing has brought me as much joy as I was delivered when I entered the digital world of Super Nintendo. It was by far the greatest video game experience in my life. I was so happy to finally buy another after being without for over a decade.

The SNES holds a special place in my heart  not just because the games were pure magic, that’s a given. The real reason I love the Super Nintendo so much is it was the first game console I ever bought with my own money. I took a job after school delivering newspapers. I worked on weekends in the corn field like most kids in Nebraska did.

I worked my butt off to save the money to buy me a Nintendo 64 on launch day. I would have taken it home that day too if I hadn’t walked into a pawn shop selling a box full of SNES games with a console for $50 bucks total. Needless to say I took that bundle of electronic goodness home, tossed the trusty Genesis aside and was immediately immersed in the wonderful worlds Nintendo characters took me into.

The best game I played at the time remains my absolute favorite video game of all time, the beloved Super Mario World. Oh sure Super Mario Bros. 3 is near and dear to my heart as well but nothing gets my blood flowing like the euphoria of leading Mario, Luigi and Yoshi through Dinosaur Island on a quest to defeat the King Koopa yet again.

I distinctly remember the best days in high school were coming home from school for my free period, sitting in my bedroom (in my dress I hid) and blasting some Quad City DJ’s as I played every level of Super Mario World.

Over the years I have continued to revisit the classics in some form or another. Mostly via emulation be it through Wii or Wii U Virtual console or some other shadier method Nintendo would hardly approve, I never stopped playing the game. In fact I just did another 100 percent run on my laptop a month ago.

Die hard Nintendo loyalists will tell you there is no substitute for playing on physical hardware. I often reply my Laptop IS physical hardware so case closed. I use USB adapters to play using authentic SNES controllers, I always figured that was good enough for me.

A couple of days ago my Super Nintendo I had ordered from ebay arrived in the mail. The moment I fired up that pristine looking system no yellowing in sight a year drop rolled down my cheek. I was instantly transported back in time. I will fight to the death that playing NES on an emulator sans blinking lights, headache inducing blowing and constant cleaning carts is a joy compared to playing on the flawed, but still charming NES. But let me tell you nothing beats firing up an SNES cart plugged into a real SNES machine, oh maybe only if that machine was plugged into an old school tube TV set but I have to take things one step at a time.

The Nostalgia Bug bit me hard this week and once I got over the shock of finally having my favorite gaming system back in my life after all these years, I sorta went on a shopping binge on the ebay buying back all my classic favorites, even shelling out a whopping NEW game priced $60 bucks for a copy of Super Mario RGP: Legend of the Seven Stars. Yeah I had no choice I was buying back my childhood and I will be damned if I don’t get that done before I hit the BIG four zero in the next couple of years.

Right now all I can say is the Super Nintendo will always be my favorite game system and I am so relieved to finally have another one in my life. I have made a promise to myself not to let this out go for nothing.

Facing your fears- Revisiting Poltergeist decades later

When I was a kid I watched a lot of scary movies. Some were scarier than others. Some more movies that I outgrew was an adult and now they’re not scary they’re just silly. Only a handful were so frightening that I’ve never been able to bring myself to go back and re-watch. Poltergeist is one of those it is a movie that shouldn’t have scared me as much as it did but when I was a kid this was probably the scariest movie I’ve ever seen and I had a really hard time going back to it.

But first some context. It’s not talked about because we’re primarily Christian these days but before we discovered Christianity people in my family were basically into witchcraft some of us were Pagan some of us were Wiccan some of us were just in general fascinated by the spiritual realm but not so much church and any kind of you know codified Pantheon or anything of the sort. So I was very much into the occult as a kid as a little kid. Not just movies or dressing up like Halloween but it was our family unofficial family religion it was our belief was that yes there are spiritual forces and you can’t understand them all we believe in ghosts we believed in you know I won’t say monsters but definitely some of the other types of spirits including Angels but didn’t have a clear definition.

So coming into it from that perspective this movie was frightening as a little kid who did believe in ghosts and you know and I’m talking about someone who didn’t believe in Santa Claus or you know UFOs although I’m always kind of going back and forth on UFOs very definitely believe in spirits of all time so this movie Amityville Horror ghost movies in general tend to be more you know if done well they tend to scare me more and if done to cheekily they make me barf and I’m not interested. This was one of those movies that was done well like really well but it’s also well known that it’s pretty Hollywood pretty polished.

One of my sisters was is into the occult stuff as I was took me to a cemetery one time and we walked around late at night and explored all the scary things. Another one of my sisters who was also believe in spirits and the occult her and I kind of had this you know we were kind of in tune to things she was not I won’t say psychic or medium or anything like that but I will say she heard things saucing and and me I was just sort of I felt things I’ve always been able to feel things I can feel evil. I don’t necessarily mean any Supernatural since but I do feel in tune to those kinds of things so I’ve been hesitant with certain kinds of movies because I do believe that there are things we can’t explain about that I really do think that that we go somewhere when we die as a Catholic I am leaning towards what the church teaches but you know there’s other explanations for some of these things.

The first time I watched Poltergeist the movie scared the living shit out of me. As I was watching the movie my parents reassured me that it’s only a movie but my dad was always kind of playful about things so he like to throw a little tidbits like you know this was a true story or you know that little girl died for real making this movie when I later learned that part was actually true it made this movie even more I’ve got to stay away from it.

So I’m an adult now and I’ve seen lots of movies scary movies than this for sure more disturbing movies than this. But now that I’ve faced my fears in other areas of my life recently I went out in full girl mode dress hair makeup earrings into a business did my business bought what I went in for and faced my parents and sisters and everyone else in my family and told them about me transitioning I faced my fears and so I thought Now’s the Time to revisit Poltergeist.

The movie itself well it’s really well done it’s a good acted good written good special effects for the most part believable movie as I’m watching it. Mostly good acting mostly good a story really nothing to complain about. I was immediately taking a bath cuz I had forgotten the whole movie how quickly it turned into a I’m scared that if you will it didn’t hold off it was like okay we’re starting get ready and then it just took off. For some reason I thought there would be more of a buildup. That being said it it had me hooked from start to finish it was a Thrill Ride I had to experience.

Let’s go ahead and talk about the acting Steven Spielberg knows what he’s doing so every character in this movie was a character in this movie in the story they lived they were real to me and that’s good nobody cept maybe the little girl came off as out of place in this movie. Like a lot of horror movies that involve hauntings are ghosts this movie did have a lot of Supernatural elements that coincided with natural phenomena like tornadoes and thunderstorms that were probably by design to mask what was actually happening or to give people you know and alternative plausible explanation as is often the case in hauntings and things of that nature.

The score is perfectly in tune with what’s happening so no complaints there the music sets the mood and does the job it was intended to do. I don’t really think there’s anything I can say other than again Steven Spielberg knows what he’s doing and he made sure it got done.

The special effects is one area people probably like to nitpick the most in movies from the period. What I’ll say is for the most part things look pretty believable and they definitely look dated in some ways but they look you know believable and adequate and other ways, less dated I will say. I don’t want to nitpick but the only thing that did look kind of wonky were a couple of images where the ghost didn’t look very believable but that’s expected from a movie from that time.

What about the chills, the scares, the frights did they hold up?

Absolutely!

Do you remember how I started off saying I watched this movie because I was facing my fears that’s exactly what this was. To me the analogy is like jumping out of an airplane with your parachute and you land safely on the ground but you’re falling in your eyes are closed the whole time and you’re just like okay okay okay until you’re safe. After you’ve done it you can say all right cross that off the list I did it I don’t need to do it again. That’s how it was with this movie I watched it and I got through it and I felt like okay I face my fears but I don’t need to go back I don’t need to watch it again.

I do believe not against the documented or measurable science but I do believe that there are spiritual forces we can’t measure with physical modern technology I believe that and nothing is going to change that cuz it’s things you can’t prove and you can’t disprove. If science ever finds a way to disprove something then I might change my mind. Until then I’m going to say I do believe in spirits I do certainly believe in the afterlife and I probably believe in something akin to ghosts. Of course I believe in the Holy Ghost and so there is that.

How scary is this movie to someone who didn’t have the childhood experience I did? Unfortunately that’s a question I cannot answer. I do think it’s a legit good quality movie that I would recommend everybody experience but it’s another one of those movies that I would say hey watch at your own risk and if you get through it rate and if it dramatizes you then oh well but you know you were fair warned.

I will say that if you watch this and you didn’t find it a little disturbing then you either have no soul or you’ve been desensitized. I know now that I’ve watched it I will say I think this is probably a far more family-friendly horror movie that I thought it was but I definitely consider it a horror movie absolutely.

The Hills Have Eyes: A Horror movie often overlooked

When I was a kid I watched a ton of horror movies. Some of my favorites were Gremlins, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Pet Semetary, The Omen, Amityville Horror, Tales from the Dark Side: The Movie, Child’s Play and Maximum Overdrive. I didn’t mind if my horror film had a tint of comedy, a dab of politics or a gallon of blood, it was all the same scares, thrills, monsters and ghosts.

Over the years I found myself looking for ever deeper cuts in the horror catalogs. There was one movie I avoid all these years. The Hills Have Eyes. It is by horror master Wes Craven, who’s film Last House on the Left is one of my favorites and People Under The Stairs is one of two I refuse to revisit because it scared me to the bone as a kid.

Why, then, was I afraid to give this particular film a chance? The short version is my mother. Once when I was a teenager I asked her what was the scariest movie she had ever seen. Now my mother grew up on the Nevada dessert in a setting similar to that depicted in the film. Therefore I should have known better than to trust her when she said the scariest film she ever saw was this movie about cannibals called The Hills Have Eyes. She made it out like it was the most gruesome film ever made. To be fair she doesn’t watch a lot of scary movies, so I should have given this movie a chance much sooner all things considered.

Upon first viewing the first thing I will note is I was equally pleased with the film as it existed yet disappointed it wasn’t more shocking than it ended up being. After all I had seen the relatively recent remake not too long ago. Much like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake the original has a more down to earth tone. It’s clearly a relic of the time which is to say the Golden Age of Horror.

The movie has some aspects that drum up memories of the Chevy Chase classic Vacation. But those similarities end rather quickly once the violence begins. The characters are largely forgettable on both side. No matter that’s to be expected in this sort of film. Light on the gore by today’s standards it’s full on the suspense, which I rather enjoy in movies from that period.

The movie has a vibe much like Texas Chainsaw and Last House that reminds me of a time when movies were scary just because it isn’t normal to murder ordinary folks for no good reason. We’ve since seen films like the Saw and Human Centipede franchise often desensitizing us, and I mean us as both a society and as horror fans, to the point these early films risk losing some of their shock value.

Fortunately for the horror aficionado such as myself Wes Craven is the master for a reason. He manages to craft a story that not only has you rooting for the heroes but also thrilled to see the kills when they do occur. I won’t say it’s truly terrifying but it got my heart racing a couple of times, something most modern horror films fail to do.

It is rather tame in a world where The Walking Dead is a TV show you watch with your kids. However it still holds up in art direction, cinematography, storytelling, scares and gore. It’s not great acting but it is on par with the time and the characters look authentic.

The remake set out to shock the audience. This movie set out to terrify you and entertain. I believe each served a purpose but all things considered, I will likely revisit this in the not-too-distant future whereas I will gladly leave the remake in the dusty cobwebs of my fading memories.

Overall I would rank this high on my list of horror classics worth investigating. I also mark it down for another check in the win column for the late great Wes Craven. I felt genuine fear for the baby throughout the entire movie. My only complaint was the ending. While a satisfying victory in the end the abrupt stop was kind of jarring.

The spiders lair’s first impressions of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

There’s a handful of movies that transcend their genre and stand the test of time to reach beyond the audiences that they are geared towards at the time of their release. There are also movies that are time capsules, frozen in the state that must be viewed when they’re fresh in order to be properly appreciated. When I missed watching Harry Potter upon its release it was because it came out the same year I turn 19 years old. I didn’t read the books because I wasn’t into it. So I missed the opportunity to grow up with something that was available when I was still younger but not the right age

Upon completing my first viewing 20 years after its release almost I can say this, it has a universal appeal that transcends the time it was released and the intended audience. Fans who grew up with the franchise as kids and growing up with it into adulthood will tell you that it’s fun and magical, maybe even whimsical if that word is in their vocabulary. Adults may be hesitant because it’s a children’s picture not made by Walt Disney Studios, the masters of that style of film. Unlike several pictures out there that attempt to capture the Disney Magic but come across as cheap imitations, I can safely say Harry Potter is the real deal. And I’m glad I enjoyed it because I would have really hated myself if I had watched this movie and couldn’t find anything to like knowing I missed out on it all these years.

As for the movie itself there’s a lot to love: the characters are relatable and interesting, the villain has got a mystery about him that makes him foreboding, and there are enough twists and turns and exciting sequences to get your adrenaline going. And even unlike the pod race scene from the Star Wars movie that predates it by only a couple of years the Quidditch sequence is not unbearably drawn-out nor is it unnecessary to the plot. It doen’t feel tacked on to give the heroes something to do. It’s a brief little sequence that is there to entertain the audience and establish a mythology in this world.

I watched the movie over the course of 2 days, not because as I was watching it I became bored and disinterested, but because it’s long and I didn’t have time to commit to a two-and-a-half-hour movie all in one sitting. So I stopped it at the exact halfway point according to the timeline and finished it today. The first half of the movie certainly has some moments that will entertain and even interject a smile upon the viewer if they are willing to be honest. It does have a couple of moments that make me remember that this is definitely a movie trying to appeal to children and it has a an overall tone that makes it accessible to kids. As a lifelong Nintendo fan I will tell you that being accessible to children does not mean being made for children or exclusively enjoyable by children.

Fortunately for the film, and its fans, I suppose it was released at a time when CGI had developed enough that the special effects in this movie do not take me out of the film: there’s nothing so jarring that makes me go “oh that looks like a PlayStation game not a movie effect.” That’s not to say the effects are perfect just that they’re done in a way that don’t interfere with the storytelling and I can appreciate that.

The film was a bit anti-climactic to say the least. It was definitely a world-building picture establishing the main characters and its mythology while setting up the premise as well as dropping hints at what the greater villain might be up to. That being said the final battle wasn’t entirely without suspense. At least the chess sequence was pretty damn cool!

I like the characters. My favorite is the bookworm, the girl I didn’t register her name but I really appreciated her passion for learning. To be fair it always takes me awhile to learn names. I was kind of a bookworm nerd myself and I was one of the only kids that I knew who enjoy taking tests maybe it was because I was good at them and I guess I liked feeling good knowing I could get an A on the test. It definitely has similarities to other movies at the time especially the aforementioned Star Wars prequel. But I won’t hold that against it as I enjoyed those other films.

Still it’s not necessarily a relic of the time either. I think this movie has something for everybody and longtime fans know that it has a universal appeal. As someone who is only now discovering it for the first time I can say I’m glad I enjoyed it. I look forward to seeing the remaining films in the franchise and I’m only slightly disappointed or even a little sad that I didn’t discover it earlier in life.

Overall I would give it five out of five stars I think the movie is certainly deserving of that. I enjoyed it enough that I imagine I will work it into my regular viewing at some point in time.

Discovering Shudder and the world of horror streaming

I’ve always been a fan of Horror. I wouldn’t say I’m a casual fan but I’m definitely not the type of person who only watches horror. I’d say it’s a high priority but not the only thing I want. Still I watch enough of it that I want more than the typical offering in your usual streaming services.

When I first signed up for Netflix and discovered streaming I was amazed at all of the awesome horror movies they had. Eventually as things have changed with Netflix facing more and more competition the one thing I have noticed as well some of their horror movies have gone down in terms of their available Classics and availability. They have actually done a really good job focusing on horror on the platform and that’s commendable to me it’s the one thing that keeps me coming back to be honest. All it takes is one look at Stranger Things to know that Netflix cares passionately about horror films and fans.

So when I learned there was a streaming service that was nothing but horror focused my first instinct was to write it off as too narrowly focused, to niche. But as social distancing caused by a real world Horror Story– a global pandemic has left me at home fairly isolated– I’ve been looking for more content to stream to view to watch as is most people these days.

The first thing I decided to do was download the app and sign up for the free trial so I could browse through the selection. Now as a fan of the slasher genre I was immediately relieved to find some of the best slashers available right off the bat.

At this point in time they currently have all of the original Paramount Friday the 13th movies, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a couple of the House on Sorority row type horror slasher films, a mixed bag of modern and old, some of the Halloween films and a handful of others. So far a much better variety of that particular genre than the other streaming services.

I was immediately disappointed at the shallowness of their selection. Being a genre specific streaming service their offerings are very tailored to a certain taste which I definitely appeal to that’s Me I’m Their audience however I quickly realized that they don’t have the numbers but I’ll not let that bother me at this point there’s still plenty to watch.
I was impressed with the 6 hour long Friday the 13th documentary narrated by Corey Feldman who had been a staple in the Friday the 13th series at one point and is an 80s movie icon himself.

In a similar vein to Netflix having a library of catalog titles they do have also a handful of tailor made selections that appeal to their fans which I have not yet had an opportunity to check out but have been impressed that they do exist.

As a service as a whole it will not be enough to satisfy my bloodlust obviously. But I’m very glad that I finally took the opportunity to invest in a streaming service that has a focus on content that does heavily appeal to me. When Netflix was new I envisioned specific Services similar to this service.

I picture to service that exclusively cater to horror fans and had the best horror films you could get. I also envisioned one that had a focus on sci-fi films, anime, a different one that focused on superheroes and comic books the list goes on I thought that would be a good way to go about it if they could get enough content to satisfy individual fans each service wouldn’t appeal to the masses but they have it tailored audience that would be loyal and I think that works probably better with our society’s tastes then the studio model where you have your entire catalog but it’s a little bit of everything which gets boring and tired after a while because you still have to sign up for multiple services.

I understand we’ll never be at a time where you have everything at your fingertips at your disposal and nothing ever expires I’m I’ve accepted that movies and TV shows rotate in and rotate out as long as they rotate in and out quickly that they are constantly giving you enough variety and their Library to keep it fresh I think that works especially for a genre focused service.

What I’m looking for is a service like this that gives me all the best horror movies hand-selected by fans. So far that’s what I’ve seen and I like that. It does work for me better to have a variety a mix of old and new so that you can watch the new stuff and keep fresh if you’re a longtime fan but also explore the Retro classic stuff the origins if you’re a new fan or somebody who wants to revisit old favorites.

My first complaint is probably limited to some of the other streaming services that are out there competing with them but there’s no public domain films and there’s not a lot of the classic horror films the really old ones you know like the Universal Pictures and that realm which is disappointing a little bit to me. It basically reminds me that as Studios push for their own everything catalog service it will take away the ability of services like this to even exist. For example if Paramount launches their own streaming service in the future and withholds all of their Friday the 13th films and the like it becomes even harder for a service like this to get access to the good stuff. That would be limiting us to original content and indie film here and there. To be fair can be some of the best horror movies but it will limit their marketability to bring in new fans such as myself who was hesitant at first.

I also wonder if once social distancing is no longer normal will we go back to our regular lives will I still have a craving for all this additional content? Is this the service or one of the services I intend to keep. I have to decide that.

Now let’s actually look at the content itself.

Not too long ago I watched a movie called Phantasm 2 I had on a DVD and was looking for the first Phantasm to stream and I didn’t find it on any of the mainstream streaming services. I  became disheartened slightly and gave up. I log into shudder for my free trial and lo and behold the basically have the whole series minus the one I actually have on DVD. They have an assortment of Halloween films which is nice and they also have a few documentaries and originals and TV shows that I think are worth checking out, I’m curious to see what those are like.

Again going back to licensing I’m slightly disappointed that they don’t have Friday the 13th the series the TV show or Freddy’s Nightmares the TV show I think this would be the perfect streaming service to house those two permanently but it might not be in the cards.

I will say for me personally that 6 hour documentary chronicling the entire history of the Friday the 13th franchise was well worth the price of entry itself. I have plenty of films in my list to browse and I have plenty of things to discover as time goes on my hope is I can watch what’s there before it goes away and new stuff will arrive in a consistent fashion that will keep me excited for the service.

One thing this service has as far as an advantage over Hulu or Netflix is that horror fans tend to be incredibly loyal and I believe that if there is sufficient content to satiate that taste they will not only stick around but advocate for its success.

Now without getting into Fanboy territory I would like to say there are flaws in the service that can’t be helped likely due to licensing issues. And while my biggest complaint about Netflix is the vast majority of their horror selection does appear to feel like or appear to be low budget indie fare, which I can’t say is necessarily a bad thing, it is limiting. I can’t necessarily say that’s a bonus or plus for Shudder right now. If I’m going to mark it as a down grade for Netflix or a strike against Netflix rather then I have to treat Shudder as fairly as that. On the other hand, if the content is curated by horror fans there is a chance it will attract film makers who wish to bring original content to the service that will appeal to the fan base. Netflix will have it’s occasional hit like Stranger Things or Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, but even those feel far more main stream than the stuff a dedicated service can attempt to produce to lure die hard fans. I suspect this will afford it an advantage in the near future in a similar way as Crunchy Roll has basically proven to be the home for the hard core anime fans.

Only time will tell if the service provides a satisfying selection of content available to me in a manner which justifies the price. For the time being I’m gladly willing to try it out for the trial. And contemplating seeing how things go from there.

At this point I will say that the service has promise and I’m very glad that it exists. I’ve always envisioned a streaming service similar to this I just hope that it remains profitable enough to continue to curate content that will satisfy the taste of those who patronize the service for the duration of this digital streaming world we live in.

A Hip Hop Playlist for people with taste

Hip Hop, especially gangsta rap, gets a bad rep by some folks. It’s often looked down on by people for different reasons. Some people don’t like the profanity. Others the blending of sounds. There are even those who hate on the genre for no good reason.

There’s a lot of different genres of rap music to enjoy. I personally have a wide variety of tastes. I recently challenged myself to make a playlist that would appeal to someone who might not have a lot of exposure to the art form. I specifically selected songs with a message or artistic merit. I tried to pick songs that are also pleasing to listen to. Of course I also threw in a few songs that are just good to jam to or relax depending on your mood.

Here it is a playlist of rap music for people who don’t listen to much rap music. Enjoy.

1. So What’Cha Want- Beastie Boys

This is a favorite of mine. It’s one of those rare songs where the band actually does a good job blending rap and rock together in a way that doesn’t sound like something Fred Durst would put his name on.

This is one of those great examples you can point to that appeals to the alternative fan, rock fan and a rap fan.

2. Gangsta’s Paradise- Coolio

This is one of those rare gangsta rap songs that doesn’t glorify the genre but also doesn’t discredit it either. Often dismissed for violence, drugs and objectifying women, the genre understandably gets a bad rep. Fortunately this song is a masterpiece. It’s a blend of blues, funk and gangsta rap done in a way that is respectful to the people who lived in that setting while also getting the message across that is often lost in some more hard core songs.

3. Mr. Wendal- Arrested Development

This was the first rap song I ever heard played in school. Our music teacher was enthralled by it. She thought it was so touching a rap song could have such a positive message. I later learned everything front man Speech was doing with that band was to prove hip hop could have a positive message that didn’t get lost in a suburban culture.

4. Regulate- Warren G feat. Nate Dogg

Aside from the angelic voice of the late Nate Dogg being mesmerizing, this smooth blend of bass, synth and melodies perfectly embodies the relaxing nature of the G funk era. This is absolutely a song you can just sit back and relax to no matter what your mood is.

5. One Mic- Nas

The feud between Nastradamus and Hova is not to be taken lightly. I very nearly went with Ether for it’s opening lyric “Fuck Jay Z” but I knew in my heart One Mic was the superior song. This is one of those songs that only comes along once in a generation. Nas is a lyrical poet for sure. Musically it’s one of those tight examples of a rap song that isn’t in your face.

6. Victory- Puff Daddy and the Family featuring Biggie Smalls

Released posthumously as a tribute to B.I.G., the song kicks off the sad No Way Out album right of the bat letting you know a voice from beyond the grave is going to haunt this track as well as the remainder of the record. It has a slow, ominous build up to a Puffy lamenting the death of his closest ally and friend. It wraps with Busta Rhymes being Busta.

7. Killing Me softly- The Fugees

Part R&B, part hip hop, all soul, this is one of those rare rap songs that proves you can have a heart and still bust dope lyrics. This is also the song that put Wyclef Jean on the map. It absolutely deserves credit for that alone.

8. The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)- Missy Elliot.

The misdemeanor debut herself. This slow groove makes you want to forget how awful shit can be sometimes and just let the rain wash your cares away.

9. Shorty Wanna Be a Thug- 2Pac

The kingpin of gangsta rap is no doubt going to make an appearance on a list of best rap songs. This is one of those what I call hidden gems. It’s a song that tells a story about a kid in the ghetto just trying to make ends meat and cement his reputation as a thug but it’s done in a way that sells the genre while putting the listener into a trance.

10. Do You See- Warren G

A smooth blues track infused with hip hop rhymes and some down to earth G funk this is one of those tracks that reminds people life isn’t always great in this country for everyone.

11. Tennessee- Arrested Development

Not as touching as Mr. Wendall but just as profound in many ways. This song tells the tale of an African American who has a dream he is hanging from a tree in Tennessee. It’s not as bad as it sounds. He learns a life lesson along the way.

12. None of Your Business- Salt N Pepa

The fierce, spunky ladies of hip hop rocked the charts with “Let’s Talk About Sex”, blew up your hearts with their ode to HIV and then owned their own sexuality in a male dominated world of misogynistic thugs. They rap about how being loose with the goods is nobody’s business.

13. Now That We Found Love- Heavy D and the Boys

Just one of those happy go lucky, pop rap jams that makes you feel good. Nuff said.

14. Brass Monkey- Beastie Boys

License to Ill is the album that put rap music on the map. It paved the way for many others to come. This is far from the  best track in the set but one of the most well known and certainly danceable beats on the record.

15. It Was a Good Day- Ice Cube

Take the man who rapped “Fuck the Police” a decade early, drop him smack dab into the 90s, strip him of his anger and he releases a mellow track saying hey life sucks but not today.

16. Thuggish Ruggish Bone- Bone Thugs N Harmony

The soul band of rap music these guys make Boyz II Men look like a barber shop quartet. this track does the job well. If you want proof rap music can have a soul this right here is it.

17. Ghetto Vet- Ice Cube

Man is gonna be on this list. This is one of those tracks that paints a picture of a man trying to live his life and gets crippled by a stray bullet meant for someone else.

18. The Message- Grandmaster Flash and the furious five

It’s old school, sure, it’s political okay, but it also needs to be kept alive. That’s all there is to it. You need to hear this song.

19. Renegades of Funk- Rage Against the Machine

Obligatory rap metal for the rock fan. Except it’s actually quite good. Moving on.

20. The Crossroads- Bone thugs N Harmony

Death. Life. These are subjects artists know all to well. Especially black artists rapping about life in the ghetto. It’s that one rare song that makes you forget we’re all gonna die and just take a moment to remember all those who already have passed on.

21. Let Me Ride- Dr. Dre

Probably the greatest gangsta rap album of all time, The Chronic is filled with a number of great songs all worth a listen. This one is about the smoothest, most palatable so here ya go.

22. Dear Mama- 2pac

A love letter to the single mother that raised him. It’s heart felt, it’s powerful and it’s real. It’s also one of the reasons the world still mourns his loss.

23. Funkdafied- Da Brat

My favorite female rapper of all time. I love this woman and this is a perfect example of why you should too.

24. The Next Episode- Dr. Dre

Way back in 1992 Snoop told us all to Chill till the next episode. We did just that and when this song arrived we were not disappointed. This embodies the raw power these men went through. It’s one of those tracks that when played in context it reminds you that the struggle was real for these two. It’s a tall mountain they climbed.

25. A Week Ago- Jay-Z

This is a poetic story on how fast shit can change. Loosely based on his real experiences, Sean Carter releases In My Lifetime Vol. 2 to a world that missed Vol. 1 but didn’t know how much they needed this man’s music in their lives.

26. I Shot the Sheriff- Warren G

Okay nothing but a cash in of a Bob Marley song but still a tune worth hearing.

27. The Gangsta, The Killa and the Dope Dealer- Westside Connection

Ice cube, WC and Mach 10 felt the hole left in the world when NWA broke up and filled that hole with this album that in many ways surpasses Straight Outta Compton itself. That being said this track gets the point across in a way much better than the in your face fuck you to cops that landed them in hot water back in the 80s.

28. Keep Ya Head Up- 2Pac

Probably the last time he shows up on this list. Another reminder of why he is heralded as the greatest Emcee to ever live and breath.

29. Big Poppa- Biggie Smalls

It is no secret I hate Christopher Wallace. He is by far the MOST overrated rapper even in a world with Kanye West floating around. This man did very little to actually contribute to rap music, as proven here with his new york rap track blatantly ripping of Snoop and Dre’s pioneering G Funk sound. Oh well it’s still a good track despite the fact he just stole it.

30. C.R.E.A.M- Wu Tang Clan

The only rap band in history to make cheesy Kung Fu B movies the source material for absolutely amazing story driven rap songs. Too many great things to say about this group, just know it started right here for all intents and purposes.

31. Express Yourself- NWA

I picked the tamest song they had that wasn’t a break dance money grab. End of story.

32. Hard Knock Life- Jay Z

The anthem to Vol. 2 this track says it all.

33. Hail Mary- 2Pac

I lied he slipped one more track onto the list.Released shortly after his death this track is just too haunting to ignore.

34. Mama Said Knock You Out- LL Cool J

The Ladies Love Cool James was a mantra back in the 80s. The man, the myth the legend earned the title GOAT and he got it right here. He takes shit from, nobody, and proves you don’t have to drop F bombs to make a hard core rap track.

35. Summertime- DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince aka Will Smith

Relax. Play this jam and enjoy life. Will Smith was never the king of rap but he was the most appealing to to white people after Vanilla Ice burned out. Aside from that, he made some legit good songs and this is probably one of the best.

36. Pop Goes the Easel- 3rd Base

I put it on here as a joke. An ironic twist of fate as this one-hit wonder uses pop rap to berate Vanilla Ice for being a one-hit wonder pop rap act. Only thing is to this day people remember the name Vanilla Ice and the only thing they know about 3rd base they can’t say in front of the kids.

37. No Shelter- Rage Against the machine

Political Angst. Hard rock guitars. Loud metal motifs. and It’s still rap music. Sorta. Close enough we’ll let it slide.

 

There you have it. Stay cool.

The Spiders Lair’s 25 Essential Super NES games every gamer should play

It’s high time I start up some controversy with a list of the MUST play games for the greatest game console ever made.

Here you go. In no particular order.

1. Super Mario World

Not only is this my personal favorite video game of all time, it’s an absolute treat to play. It basically took everything that was great about Super Mario Bros. 3 and beefed it up into a 16-bit masterpiece. Also it gave the world Yoshi so you can’t beat that.

2. Super Metroid

While the first game broke ground on the NES, the sequel shattered all expectations. This is by far the most important story-driven action-adventure sci-fi thriller from the 16-bit era. It’s also the only Metroid I have ever beaten so there is that. Even though it is 2D this game feels like a movie.

3. Donkey Kong Country

Take the Sony Playstation, remove the CD-ROM and shove a 32-bit looking 3D-animated video game onto a 2D 16-bit cartridge with amazing damn-near CD-quality music and you got yourself a game gamers keep returning to year after year.

4. Mega Man X

I’ll say it. This is the perfect Mega Man game, hands down. If you only play one game in the franchise this is absolutely the one to pick. It has has a great balance of zones, difficult but not impossible bosses, fantastic music, neat settings and it’s not nearly as convoluted as its sequels nor as simple yet extremely difficult as its predecessors. It’s by far the best Mega Man game ever. Oh and it absolutely shines on the 16-Bit SNES.

5. Super Castlevania IV

By now you are wondering if this list will contain anything you didn’t already know to play? Well if you purchased a Super Nintendo and weren’t planning on playing this game then you made a mistake buying the system in the first place.

I don’t know what to say that hasn’t already been said before. This game is everything you’d ever want in a horror game. It’s everything you’d want in an action/adventure game. It’s everything you’d want in a side-scrolling, 2D game. Personally I think Symphony of the Night is the superior game but since this is a SNES list this is the game to get.

6. Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

There are Zelda games and there is A Link to the Past. This is the perfect blend of suspense, action, puzzle solving and story telling. It’s before the timeline became all Doctor Who timey whimey. The simplistic nature of this beautifully told story that sucks the gamer into a world you absolutely must experience is unmatched even to this day.

7. Final Fantasy III

There is an unhealthy debate among video gamers over which FF is better, this one or its PSX sequel. Regardless of where you fall on that ridiculous debate, there is one truth and it is you MUST play this game before you die. Up till this point not only was Final Fantasy an obscure franchise, console Japanese RPG’s themselves were little more than oddities only hard core nerds new about. This is the game that turned my passing interest in Zelda games into an obsession with D&D and similar fantasy games.

This is one of those rare masterpieces that illustrates you don’t need fancy realistic graphics to tell a heart-felt and charming story. This is the game that proves less is more.

8. Super Mario Kart

What can I say, this is where the whole phenomenon got its start. If you are going to buy any Nintendo console chances are extremely high you’ll only do so after that generation’s Mario Kart has been released. It is absolutely no different here. This isn’t necessarily the best racing game on the system, but it is a truly must-play game for the platform.

This was the game that took Mario and friends from being recognizable by kids the world over to becoming international superstars.

9. Star Fox

Whether or not the game holds up compared to modern 3D shooters is irrelevant. If you are going to purchase a Super Nintendo system you owe it to yourself to play the game that showed Sega you can do amazing graphics without an expensive add on. Never mind the historical context, this game is worth owning for the novelty of playing a game on your SNES that looks and feels like it could have been an early Playstation release, years before the Playstation even existed!

10. Sim City

You are going to have people tell you to play the PC version or any number of sequels. I am going to tell you pff! This is not only the version that features Nintendo characters, which is a neat bonus, it’s also the only version that features the unique gifts that make the game extra enjoyable. It adds a layer of fun to the game you don’t get in other versions. I highly recommend this game as it is my absolute favorite version and a blast to play.

11. Cool Spot

Technically you could get this game on the Sega Genesis and I’d give you a thumbs up. But either way if you haven’t taken the time to play this side scrolling, platforming love letter to 90s marketing then you’re truly missing out. This game is a must play because it’s fun as hell, cute as a button and totally rad 90s nostalgic.

12. Super Star Wars

There’s a bad habit of games on the SNES being enhanced remakes or upgraded ports of NES games. While this is certainly the case here too, it’s probably the best example of that being done right. The game is hard as hell which retains that NES-hard gameplay you’ll no doubt throw a controller or two at the wall. It also fully captures the spirit of Star Wars while letting you explore the worlds in a nostalgic 2-D environment. It might not be the absolutely best game based on a movie but it’s certainly a shining example of how licensed games can actually be pretty damn good.

13. Super Mario RPG

I shouldn’t have to explain why this game is essential. Take two popular franchises, put them in a blender, crank up the graphics to near-PS1 levels and you got yourself a game that proves why the Super NES is probably the greatest game console of all time.

14. Super Mario All-Star

Sounds familiar right? Another Mario game. Except this time you take the three amazingly fantastic original 8-bit NES games, slap some brand spanking new 16-bit paint on them and enhance the gameplay with save states and customizable controls and you got yourself a game you can’t miss. Enjoy.

15. Spider-Man/Venom: Maximum Carnage

Oh sure you could also play this on Sega Genesis but since you’ve already invested in the SNES you might as well get this version. And hey even if you already do have the Sega copy, this is still worth owning.

16. Killer Instinct

Not exactly a Mortal Kombat killer but certainly a game worthy of your time. Beautiful graphics for the system. Fantastic game play, great characters and fun fatalities (if you can pull them off). ‘Nuff Said.

17. Robocop versus Terminator

Another one of those games you could technically get on the competition, which is fine just as long as you experience it in some fashion.

18. Donkey Kong Country 2

It’s quite Rare, (see what I did there?) for a sequel to surpass the original but this game does so in every single way. If you are going to play SNES you are absolutely going to play DKC games.

19. Knights of the Round

Not exactly a hidden gem but certainly underrated classic. I highly recommend this port if you can’t get access to the arcade board. Even if you can it’s an addicting action game worth every pixel.

20. Kendo Rage

Now this is a hidden gem. I discovered it as a kid and it will blow you away if you’ve never played it. This is one of those fantastic anime titles people often overlook.

21. Super Bomberman

It’s easy to label any random bomberman game on whichever console you own as a must own party game but it’s still true. This game is no exception. You will need a multitap and additional controllers but if you invest in those items it is a real treat.

22. Kirby Superstar

There’s a ton of great Kirby games out there. This is just another amazing game in a fantastic franchise.

23. Super Mario World 2 Yoshi’s Island

The sequel/spin off that launched it’s own on-going franchise is mandatory gaming for every person who wants to be called a Nintendo fan.

24. Super Game Boy

Before you point out this is an add on that lets you play Game Boy carts let me remind you this is also a game itself. It has plenty of activities you can dabble in without inserting a GB cartridge.

25. Mario Paint

You don’t even have to be artistic to enjoy this MS Word predecessor with a fun Nintendo twist. The game that single-handidly justified the existence of the SNES mouse.

 

The Spiders Lair’s 25 must play Nintendo games

Since today is National videogame day I thought I would throw together a list of 25 must play Nintendo games spanning all platforms the best of the best.

As with all my lists this is not a ranking it is just numbered for organizational purposes.

1. Super Mario World – SNES

2. Donkey Kong- arcade

3. Super Metroid – SNES

4. Super Mario 64 – N64

5. Dr. Mario – NES

6. Splatoon – Wii U

7. Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Brothers 3 e- Game Boy Advance / eReader

8. Metroid Prime – GameCube

9. Star Fox Adventures – GameCube

10. Super Mario Bros./ Duck Hunt – NES

11. Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past – SNES

12. Donkey Kong Country – SNES

13. Super Mario 3D World – Wii U

14. New Super Mario Bros. – DS

15. Paper Mario – N64

16. Wii Sports – Wii

17. Legend of Zelda – NES

18. Star Fox 64 – N64

19. Tetris – Gameboy

20. Pokemon Red and Blue – Gameboy

21. Arms – Switch

22. Super Smash Bros. Melee – GameCube

23. Mario Party-N64

24. Super Mario Kart – SNES

25. Nintendogs – DS

5 Ways you can help save the comics industry

There’s not two ways about it, Coronavirus is killing the comic book industry. In fact, the print industry was already suffering before the pandemic. But there is no reason comic book fans should throw in the towel and mourn the loss of one of the oldest and most prolific forms of science fiction entertainment.

All is not lost. Here are a few things that if every comic book fan did more of the industry would not only get back to thriving but would also see a resurgence once all of this is said and done.

 

1.  Buy more local retail comics

Everyone knows how important it is to support their local comic book shop. However, not everyone has a local comic shop to support. Meanwhile the industry is facing a crisis of mind share as more Americans get their comic book fix through Marvel’s share cinematic films or the CW’s connected Arrowverse.

Mind share is crucial at a time like this. Nobody wants to have to buy comics from Walmart but if you don’t have a local comic shop it’s imperative comic books maintain some retail presence in order for the publishers to get in front of the eye balls of the people who still shop there. If you don’t have a local shop but your local Walmart does sell comics it does benefit them if you can buy at least a couple books a month from a local retail shop. If you can pick up an extra book at retail while doing your normal grocery shopping if nothing else then make an effort.

If your community happens to have an old fashioned book retailer, such as a Barnes and Noble or similar store that sells comics, or even graphic novels, trades etc., maybe consider popping in there from time to time.

The reason this helps is publishers need partnerships with retail giants in order to maintain the numbers.

Now my strategy is simple, get the “grocery store” comics such as Archie, Betty and Veronica, etc., from the local Walmart. I then plan on grabbing one TPB a month from the local book store. It’s not much but if every dedicated comic book fan made this extra purchase at retail it would go a long way in helping the publishers maintain a presence in the marketplace. I long for a return to the days you can pick up comic books at the local gas station on your way to or from work but those days might be gone for good. However, if we let comics at retail die entirely it’s going to be a slow death march for the entire industry.

2. Kids fuel the industry

Every adult collector I’ve ever known has this disdain for kids comics. This snobbish belief that only mature comics matter and comics made for kids are beneath them. Now I am by no means advocating buying a comic you don’t care for that is targeted towards kids just to help the industry, by no means. However I am strongly encouraging every comic book fan to buy as many extra comics you can to give away to the kids in your life.

There is a myth that collectors shape the industry and kids are just an afterthought. This is the furthest from the truth. In fact in reality children make up the bulk of all toys and entertainment sales and adults just sort of follow a long in their own little corners.

The other part of the myth is kids don’t have as much disposable income as adults therefore the logic goes adults can buy more collectibles.

There are two fallacies with this thinking. First, children don’t rely on their own incomes, they have none! What they do have, however, are relatives who buy them toys twice a year at least. The more aunts and uncles a child has, not even counting grandparents the more likely they are to get toys and other gifts. Now if you have kids in  your life and you want to shape them into future comic book collectors you should start now while they are young. Buy a few extra comics for each of the kids in your life. If you are an aunt or uncle buy for your nieces and nephews. If you are a grandparent, then buy comics for your grandchildren.

The second half of the fallacy is kids don’t know what they like. We often forget what it was like when we were kids. We knew damn well what we did, and didn’t, like. The goal is not to push your favorite superhero or book onto them, in fact doing that can be counterproductive as it will not only ensure they grow to despise that character or book, it almost guarantees they will hate you. Think back to when you were a kid. Did you have that uncle or aunt that tried to push their interests off onto you no matter how much you resisted? And often is the case you would grow up having a low opinion of said relative. I know I did.

The best thing to do is buy as many random, budget comics as you can with a few hit titles of main stream characters sprinkled in from time to time as often as you can. This ensures the child will have a variety of books to read keeping them immersed in comics, which in turn fuels their interest in the medium. It also most assuredly provides them an opportunity to develop and refine their tastes. The key is to let them discover the books they want to read and then help them get into those books buy buying a few issues a year for them at birthdays, Christmas, and other holidays as your budget allows. Remember you are not just buying a few extra books to help the publishers bottom line, you are helping foster the future generation of comic book fans that will help keep the hobby a live and well for decades to come.

On this same line of thinking, it is absolutely important that you give the kids random books as much as you can, any and everything you can from all publishers. The trick isn’t to just let them read a book and see what they like, but for them to read the advertisements in the book and promos for other books. That will help them discover the titles or characters they wish to follow, thus ensuring they become emotionally invested in the medium.

My strategy is to buy books for every one of my sister’s kids each chance I can. I don’t ask the kids what  books they like I select a few random budget books I can afford and just let them decide which ones they like. I then ask them later which ones they liked and try to note that so next time I can buy books in that series, genre or title.

Sometimes you will get push back. If a kid isn’t into comics don’t fret. It is also important  not to pressure them by pushing comics onto them. The best way to do it is to cater to their interests. If the child is into army stuff try getting them an action comic with a military theme. Maybe throw in something with space marines to broaden their horizon. If they happen to be into My Little Pony or Scooby Doo, then get them comics featuring those characters. The goal is to foster their imaginations while helping them build a passion for comics. If you push your favorite hero onto them it will always backfire.

3. Subscriptions are important

No matter what, this is the time you absolutely need to be subscribing directly to as many comics to be delivered to your mailbox as you can afford. It’s not essential you subscribe to every comic you enjoy. However, it is 100 percent crucial you do subscribe directly to at least a few of your top favorite comics. The reason for this is complex. On the surface it will infuse a little more cash per purchase directly into the comic publishers accounts. This does bypass the local retail market so you have to budget accordingly.

For example, if you buy 12 books a month at your local comics shop, consider picking the four books that matter the most to you and subscribe to them directly. You gain the  benefit of having them delivered straight to your door while infusing a little extra cash into the coffers of the company making the product you enjoy. It also helps publishers gauge the importance of that particular book ensuring it remains profitable enough to remain in print. I suggest picking one fourth of your entire comics purchasing to be directly delivered via the mail subscription.

It also has the side benefit of helping the local postal service which is in dire need of cash right now. This would go a long way helping keep costs down elsewhere while maximizing your financial support of your own local economy.

We’re not at the point of desperation where I would advocate buying all of your books directly from the publisher as that would most certainly kill the local retail market once and for all.

My strategy is to add one subscription every payday. That ensures I will have 26  books delivered to my door each month. Right now am adding one a payday and then once I am in the groove I will renew every year. My personal goal is to subscribe to 30 total books a year so I also try to keep an eye out for some bonus budget books as I can afford it. The goal is to subscribe to the ones that matter the most to you ensuring their longevity while keeping a few titles left at the local retail store. I am not saying give up your pull list entirely rather I am saying devote yourself to the books that are most important and get just a few of them in the mail. It saves you money, typically 45 percent or more off the cover price, which means you have more money to spend on comics elsewhere, plus it cuts out the middle man often putting more money directly into the publishers hands. It’s a balancing act that we all must do our part if the industry is to survive.

4. Seek out free comic book day

You might have to drive a ways depending on where you live. You might even have to request the day off from work and plan a road trip to make this work. But it is absolutely essential every comic book fan who has the means to get to their local comic book shop does so absolutely on Free Comic Book Day. Not only does it give the publishers, especially indies, maximum exposure, it is a social event that really brings the community together, young and old. It’s key to build the excitement for comic books especially in young readers and lapse collectors.

The other reason I strongly suggest hitting up free comic book day is it provides you a chance to preview things to come in the industry first hand and serves almost as a localized mini comic book convention. It helps stir up the excitement in the collector which is key in helping the hobby remain active.

5. Subscribe to all three digital comic services

This is probably as important as all of the above. We all have our different views on digital comics. However it’s really not the time to get into arguments over which is better. We need to set aside our pride and cough up the ~$30 a month it costs to subscribe to all the services. You have Comixology, Marvel Unlimited and DC Universe. The best argument for doing this is to show publishers, and the big corporations that own them, how important comics are to us. It helps the big wigs see that comics aren’t just a line item but a valuable asset.

The other reason it helps is because it infuses cash directly into the publishers while providing YOU with access to a massive catalog of content at your fingertips.