Hasslein Blog: February 2014


Hasslein Blog

Friday, February 14, 2014

Faith the Vampire Slayer

By Duy Tano

I don't really talk about it much, but I'm a big fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It's probably my favorite live-action TV show ever that's not a straight-up comedy, and although I'm not that big a fan to follow the comics, I could watch certain parts of the show and its spinoff, Angel, over and over again. I even tried starting a Buffy blog at one point, with the intention of watching each episode and commenting on it, until I realized it was too much work.

I fell in love with the show in the middle of Season 4, widely regarded as one of its worst seasons. Specifically, I was hooked on what was probably its best two episodes: "This Year's Girl" and "Who Are You?", featuring the return of Faith, the rogue vampire slayer.

Anyone who reads The Comics Cube on a regular basis knows I'm a sucker for the evil twin gimmick, the "road not taken," the villain with the same powers as the hero, but deadlier! And of course, to top it all off, Faith was portrayed by Eliza Dushku.

In short, she was hot.

Faith was my favorite character on both shows, and I'd like to think it was more than just because she was so physically attractive, since, well, that universe also had Charisma Carpenter and Amy Acker and Sarah Michelle Gellar and so on and so forth. There was just something compelling about her. Eliza played her perfectly.

I've often said that Eliza is Faith. It's basically the only character she can do. Whenever she's tried to expand her acting chops—which is an admirable thing to do—the success rate hasn't been high. She's not that good an actress. But no one else is Faith.

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Meet the Rap Viper

By James McFadden

Last month, a G.I. Joe-themed video started making its way around the Internet, but it wasn't a movie trailer or a commercial. It was the music video for "Rap Viper," a track from an alternative hip-hop artist from Canada, known as Wordburglar. And it's actually only one song from an entire G.I. Joe-themed concept album, Welcome to Cobra Island. "Rap Viper" could probably be considered a parody, but it is filled with old and obscure references that long-time fans—of both the cartoons and comics—will appreciate.

You can check out the entire album at propsdept.bandcamp.com, where you can also buy the CD version, complete with lyrics booklet. There are songs about Cobra Commander, Destro and Zartan, as well as one dedicated to that strange corner of the G.I. Joe universe, Cobra-La. The album also includes the three-part "A Letter from Snake-Eyes", loosely adapted from Snake-Eyes' dramatic letter from the final issue of the Marvel Comics series, G.I. Joe #155.

I would've included some hip-hop reference or joke up above, but I'd just end up embarrassing myself...

James McFadden has written more than a dozen articles for the United Kingdom's Official Star Wars Fact File, as well as the article "The Forgotten Warand "The History of Star Toursfor StarWars.com. In addition, James has contributed to a number of fan Web sites. His first book, Fighting for Freedom: The Unauthorized G.I. Joe Chronology, is coming soon from Hasslein Books.

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Monday, February 3, 2014

Don't Spend Money or Time Just to See How Bad Something Is

By Rocko Jerome

I’ve seen The Expendables 2 but not Lawrence of Arabia. This is reflective of a deep personal failing. I even saw the first Expendables, and then I knowingly bought a ticket to see the sequel, realizing full well that I was going to sit through another movie that I would find insipid and leave feeling that I wasted my money and time, neither of which I could ever have back. All the while, Lawrence of Arabia waits for me.

We’ve all done it, I’m sure. There’s no explaining the massive success of so many bad things without the application of the “hate watching” principle, in which people consume entertainment the same way they might eat Chef Boyardee canned ravioli. But while canned ravioli might be all you have the resources for at the moment, you will never have a good reason to watch Paranormal Activity 3. Especially if you’ve never seen Citizen Kane.

I hear it all the time, and I’ve said it myself: “I’m just going to see how bad it is.” Why do we do this to ourselves? There’s only so much time we get on this planet, but we waste it and cram mundane junk into our brains. By doing so, we leave quality brain food on the table instead.

There’s a certain immunity that I’ll grant things like The Room and Garzey’s Wing. There are works of art that turn out so horribly and inadvertently entertaining for the wrong reasons that it’s fascinating to try to determine how they came to exist in the first place, and fun to watch in groups. I’m talking more about things that are just plain mediocre, and that transversely seem to make a disgustingly large amount of money anyway. It says something very scary about our society that Twilight and reality television are such huge cash cows.

All I’m saying is that if you know better, I urge you to act like it--your quality of life will be greater.

Rocko Jerome has lived many lives. Right now, he's a writer. You can read Rocko's work at his blog and at Atomic Wanderers.



Saturday, February 1, 2014

Who Goes There...

Hasslein Books' first foray into Doctor Who (Lost in Time and Space: An Unofficial Guide to the Uncharted Journeys of Doctor Who, written by RiffTrax's Matthew J. Elliott) is now edited and in the hands of our expert proofreaders.

Stay tuned for further news...

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