Nerd Stuff Listicles on Ranker (Lists #21-23)

It’s time for another Reader’s Digest for the weirdo-nerd articles I’ve been writing for Ranker!

#21 – The 26 Reasons Diamonds are for Suckers

This is probably my all-time favorite. I like it so much; I’ve decided to turn it into a song on my next album. If you read this and still go out and buy a diamond, you’re a moron. I have no idea how anyone should vote on this list, because all 26 entries are equally good reasons to never, ever buy a diamond.
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the-best-spawn-action-figures-ever-sculpted-u1#22 – The Best Spawn Action Figures Ever Sculpted

This is some 3D nerd stuff right here. I’m happy to see that the top voted option is one that I own. People sure do like Spawn more than his Rogue’s Gallery, but I’ll always have a spot in my heart for Cygor, the man/gorilla cyborg with a monkey in his chest.

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default#23 – Every Time Mystique Impersonates Someone in the X-Men Movies

Wow, this was an emotional ride. For someone as wrapped up in X-Men lore as myself, marathoning the whole XCU was a trip. So much goodness; so much awfulness. Voting is disabled on this list so it can be chronological forever.
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Nerd Stuff Listicles on Ranker (Articles #1-3)

If you know me, you know I have lists for everything: movies I’ve seen, books I’ve read, beers I’ve consumed, places I’ve been, etc… So I was happy to be asked to start writing list articles for Ranker.com about comic books.  Once they’re posted, readers get to vote to re-rank the list. The results can be pretty surprising. Please… vote your asses off. Here’s a handy guide and a little voting commentary on the first handful:
most-essential-x-men-storylines-ranked-u2
images#1 – The Best X-Men Comic Stories, Ranked

For better or worse, I have read just about every X-Men comic pertinent to the main continuity from 1963 to 2014. I hope to be caught up soon. Someone please ask them to slow down for a little bit so I can catch my breath? The voting hasn’t been too shocking aside from the fact that the cheap “Fatal Attractions” storyline from the 90’s has been voted up to third place over classics like “Mutant Massacre” and my personal favorite, the story of Rogue joining the X-Men.
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MostPowerful#2 – The Most Powerful Comic Book Characters Ever, Ranked

When Ranker asked me to write this one, I was thinking about muscles and punching, but I realized that in comic books, the highest power lies with those able to manipulate reality. The voting has been weird since Thanos, Galactus and The Phoenix have been voted to the top despite the fact that the Marvel characters that made them (and could unmake them) are also on the list. I also learned that nobody reads my favorite recent comic book, Irredeemable, since its most powerful character has been voted to the bottom of the list.
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the-craziest-comic-book-characters-ranked-u1#3 – The Craziest Comic Book Characters, Ranked

Insanity is hard to define, but I must be crazy, because I put The Joker second on the list and readers immediately voted him to the top. In fact, they voted a lot of mainstream Marvel and DC characters up to the top, which pushed down independent comic book crazies like Johnny the Homicidal Maniac (a raving lunatic who kills people to keep the walls of his house fresh with blood to keep imaginary monsters away) and Black Noir (a hedonistic super hero who kills and eats babies to frame his clone). I guess those kinds of antics just don’t rate on the cray scale anymore.
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Happy reading! I hope DC or Marvel will read and ask me to come work for them!

The Pretty Oddcast (Episodes 1-3)

I’ve started a new podcast called The Pretty Oddcast with Lindsey Floyd. We met working at Loveline and now we go on adventures to explore alternative lifestyles and fringe subcultures. Put more bluntly, we want to find out what weird people are doing in weird places with their weird time. Since then, we’ve released podcasts detailing our first few oddventures, and I wanted to make them available here. Enjoy!

CameraZOOM-20140718195320053Episode #1: LARP Stands For…

 


To download, right-click and select “Save As” option.

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Episode #2: Comic-Con International


To download, right-click and select “Save As” option.

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Episode #3: Threshhold BDSM Clubbackatthreshold

 
To download, right-click and select “Save As” option.

 

How You Know You’re A Nerd and There’s No Going Back

Hello Peavy Guitar Manufacturers,

I was on the verge of purchasing one of your 1/2 size acoustic Iron Man guitars when I noticed a disturbing problem with the artwork. Iron Man is clearly missing a panel on his helmet. It’s on his forehead right between his eyes. There should be a recessed RED panel on his forehead. Your artwork has a textureless black polygon where there should be armor.

I’ll admit, in some comic book and movie imagery of Iron Man, this recessed portion of the helmet can appear dark and shadowy, but on your guitar, it is flat black despite being located in the most brightly lit part of the helmet. Even if it were a black panel, it should have some degree of shading.  I don’t think Jack Kirby would approve.

What gives? How did Marvel let this happen? Stan Lee must be turning over in his grave! (I know, I know. I’m just that sick of his movie cameos.)

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, take a look at this still from the movies:

Notice that the red panel above his eyes is shaded, but still red.

Is there a guitar with corrected artwork? I’d buy that in a heartbeat. I want a 1/2 size Iron Man guitar, but not one with jankety-ass artwork.

Thanks!

~Rhune

A Last Comic Standing Audition Is a Fake Audition

A lot of people have tried to talk to me about the NBC Reality Show, “Last Comic Standing.” I’m not a very good sport about it. I don’t even try. The show is fake as hell and abusive to the up-and-coming comedians it purports to be showcasing. I know this because I endured their “open auditions” in Los Angeles earlier this year.

I’ll first say that I have endured the American Idol audition process as well, and though I found it to be mostly futile, it is a satisfying process that allows each desperate wannabe to come away with the experience of being rejected by a teenage production assistant posing as a “judge.” Last Comic Standing shows no such decency.

I arrived at the Hollywood Improv on Melrose at 8 pm on the evening before auditions. By nightfall, there were easily 300 comics in line, and they all slept on the street. I didn’t get to sleep until 4am because as “witty” as comedians are, I guess not enough of them are smart enough to shut up before 4am. The production crews woke us up at 5 am.

They compressed the line, collected some release forms and then took their crowd shots and B-roll. Around 9am it started to rain. The Gods of Comedy were crying.  A comedian with foresight provided a small awning that protected about twenty people from the rain. The production crews shooed comedians out from under the awning so that they could shoot interviews with contestants in wacky costumes.

By noon, the line had ceased to move. About 40 comics had been seen, and we were told that the judges were taking a lunch break. At this point, the two outhouses provided by the production had overflowed. One of the outhouses was fixed briefly, but soon overflowed a second time. I’d found a coffee shop the previous night and never went near the foul things, but the lack of foresight was appalling. Craig Robinson, the host of the show, assured the comedians that everyone would be seen. At this point, the production staff began frantically trying to collect release forms. Many comics, sensing a double-cross, refused.

The line never moved again, and the rain worsened. At the front of the line, the comics who had camped out were huddled against a wall so that “booked auditions” could move to the front. These “booked” comedians were all of the “wacky” variety: prop-comics and costume wearing attention-seekers. Last Comics Standing had intentionally “booked” acts that were easy for the judges to ridicule. The producers have that little faith in the wit of their judges.

The judges saw forty or less “open auditions” in eight hours’ time, an absolutely feeble effort. To disperse the angry mob of no-longer-feeling-very-funny people, cameras were brought out and the comedians were told that they could perform for the cameras for one minute. Unstated, but clearly intended, was the follow-up, “…and then please leave.” I composed a song about my experience and then left without performing it. I played it at home after I’d dried off:

It is clear that Last Comic Standing did not intend to cast a single one of the 300+ comedians that responded to their “open call.” The “open audition” is a hoax put on to collect B-roll footage and create the illusion of open competition. I have since had it confirmed by a former employee that as early as the 2nd season, the show was being cast before the open auditions were held. The show is apparently run by a talent management company that uses the show to promote its own roster. I wish they would utilize their roster for their exterior crowd shots and mockery, or at least post a truthful casting call. It would read, “Wanted: Unpaid extras to camp out overnight at the Hollywood Improv. No pay, credit, food, bathrooms or shelter.”

That they would knowingly make unpaid extras of their comedic brethren is disgusting. That they have so little faith in the wit of their judges that they provide easy fodder is underhanded. They fact that they maintained the façade through pouring rain and unsanitary conditions is criminal.

I’m posting this with the hope that if this vile show is ever produced again, comedians will know to not audition and rob these shysters of the footage they need to sell their lie. Anyone who believes the show has any interest in presenting a fair competition should be slapped anyway, so I have no illusions about rehabilitating the shows ethics. Lets just make them pay for extras next time.