Four Letter Nerd

Author - Cody Russell

Nerdsgiving! (A Review Of Nerd Beer)

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Considering the holidays are just around the corner, we here at 4LN thought it’d be a good idea to give you a round of nerdy food and drinks you could enjoy/share with your families this season. Being that I’m probably the biggest beer nerd of the group, I gleefully volunteered to be the one that brings you a quick review of some nerdy beers. Today I’m reviewing two beers that are directly connected to our nerd world, first being the latest in the Game of Thrones brew series the Take The Black Stout from Ommegang Brewery in New York, and second being from the stories of Harry Potter;  The Hog’s Head Brew from Florida Brewing Company in Universal Studios. For those are you who are not beer snobs, I’m going to review each beer in 5 different categories:

 

Appearance: How it looks.

Smell: This is obvious

Taste: Another obvious one.

Feel: How it feels in your mouth (Hold the jokes, Bill. Please)

Overall: If you don’t know what this means….just leave.

 

 

This is my first ever written review of beer so hopefully you find it useful in making a decision about what to drink this holiday season.

Here we go!

 

Take the Black Stout—Ommegang Brewery

Serving: Wine Glass (Don’t judge me)

Style: While labeled a stout, I think this could also be labeled a Dark Belgian Ale, though I’m reviewing it as a stout.

 

Appearance: This is probably one of the darkest beers I’ve ever poured, and rightfully so being that its name is Take The Black (referring to an oath taken by the men who stand at Night’s Watch). Boldly black as a concentrated coffee, it pours smooth with a 3 and a half finger tan head. It looks as though the men who watch the wall brewed it themselves; dark and bold.

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Smell: Served in a wine glass (I really need to invest in proper glassware) as this was the best glass I had to try and capture the smell of this lovely stout. Instantly you get dark chocolate mixed with caramel, earthy hops, and a slight fruitiness.

 

Taste: Deep flavors of chocolate and roasted barley are at the front, with the spices of licorice and star anise created a very mellow flavor in the back. The licorice somehow mellows the bright hops you smell, making this deliciously smooth, and perfect for a cold night by a fire. I was expecting to get a coffee flavor being that it is a stout, but it never really emerged. Considering it is a higher content beer, I expected a slight boozy taste near the end, but that wasn’t present either which is a huge plus. It was great.

 

Feel: It has a medium to heavy body, which is to be expected, but is perfectly balanced with carbonation to make it easily drinkable.

 

Overall: Aside from missing the coffee flavor that I’m accustomed to with stouts, this was a perfect order by Ommegang Brewery for their GoT series. Well done boys, well done.

 

Food Pairing: This is a great beer for Thanksgiving. It would blend perfectly with the turkey and all its sides. Also, this is a great dessert beer that would paid nicely with cheesecake, chocolate, or your grandma’s prize winning pumpkin pie. Enjoy.

 

 

Hog’s Head Brew—Florida Brewing Company (Universal Studios)

 

While at my stay in Orlando, FL we had the awesome experience of going to Universal Studios for a couple of days. The best place, and most crowded, by far was The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Seriously when you walk through the gates of this part of the park your breath is kind of taken away. On the day that we went it was actually cloudy so it felt like I had literally walked into one of the movies. Enough about the park though… let’s get to the beer.

 

Serving: Draft in plastic Hog’s Head stein

Style: Scottish Ale

 

Appearance: Slightly brown in color with a soft amber glow. The tan head of this beer was only about a finger thick (at best) and quickly dissipated. The lacing could be seen through the entire cup afterwards which was impressive being it was served in plastic.

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Smell: Scents of biscuit and malts with a slight hop aroma. Somewhere in there was a bit of toasted caramel as well.

 

Taste: In the front of this beer you immediately get the sweetness of caramel malt with a slightly bitter hop on the back end; a crisp and slightly dry finish.

 

Feel: It had a light to medium body with great carbonation that didn’t get in the way. I’d be curious to taste this in the bottle rather than draft, which tends to change the mouth feel quite a bit.

 

Overall: Considering this is a craft beer in a theme park, I thought it was stellar. Being that Florida is always a warm place, I’d say they knocked it out of the park delivering a Scottish Ale (which can be pretty heavy to drink) that was refreshing and easily drinkable. Too bad this is only available in the park, I’d buy it again especially with Thanksgiving coming up.

 

Food Pairing:

 

I enjoyed this beer with a smoked turkey leg, which couldn’t have been a better pairing. The malty flavors of the beer accentuated the smoked buttery flavor of the turkey leg.

 

Cheers!

Make-A-Wish Creates Gotham!

 

So earlier last week, and even on our mailbag, we mentioned that Make-A-Wish will be turning San Francisco into Gotham City for a 5 year old little boy who wanted to be Batkid.

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Having my son be on the receiving end of a “Wish” I knew that this was going to be awesome when I heard about it. On November 15th, hundreds and hundreds of volunteers are coming together to turn San Francisco into Gotham for little 5 year old Miles. His day will start with training from Batman, followed by saving a woman from the cable car tracks. He’ll eat lunch at (what I assume is his favorite place) Burger Bar, and eventually help the chief of police in finding a missing mascot. I really hope this just blows him away. Having seen what cancer/chemo does to these little kids bodies, I know first hand they don’t need a day to be a super hero. They already are to so many. This is a great reward for all the stuff he’s been through. For the full schedule of what Miles will experience. Go here. http://sf.wish.org/news-and-events/news/wish-news/batman

Cody’s Nashville Comic Con Review

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What was your favorite part of the weekend?

 

Let me just say that I agree with Bill about the atmosphere. It was somewhat electric and filled with the feeling of excitement. Everyone you saw seemed to have some kind of smile on their face as they saw all types of merchandise, crazy costumes, and some of their favorite icons/celebrities/artists. I would have to say my favorite part of the weekend was getting to meet Stan “The Man” Lee. Now I didn’t get to have a long winded conversation with the man, though you could do that at the open Q&A with him, but I did get him to sign Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spiderman Issue #1. It was the best $60 I could spend the whole weekend, because to me this was like meeting Elvis in his prime. I mean he is a pop-culture icon at this point, and it’s not every day you get to meet that kind of person. I could have saved $20 and met Norman Reedus (Daryl from The Walking Dead), my wife would have LOVED that, but $60 seemed more than fair. So take that Bill!

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What was the biggest disappointment?

 

I was pretty disappointed in the lack of celebrity panels. Aside from the Stan Lee Q&A and Bruce Campbell panel, there weren’t a lot of panels that I wanted to sit in on simply because the people on them might as well be writing this blog. Not saying that we’re nobodies, but let’s face it, I think only our kids, wives, and girlfriends would attend, they’re probably reading this now. For instance, my wife loves Doctor Who and when we saw there would be a Doctor Who panel we thought “oh cool”, but when we read it was going to be run by “Nashville Whovian Experts” we immediately didn’t care to attend. Bummer. I know this is kind of the pot calling the kettle black as we are not experts, but like to talk like we are on everything nerd. At a panel though, you want to pick someone’s brain who has in some way or fashion been involved in the creative process of the subject. Not all panels at this year’s comic con were that way, but it would have been nice to have had more of them and with a little higher star power. Why didn’t Billy Dee Williams host a panel? Or Lou Ferrigno? Or Carl and Daryl from TWD?  WHY??!?!? That would have been awesome. They were all there, but all we could do was pay $40 each to get their autograph and quickly say hello. I’m proud of Nashville, and when our event is mostly made up of B-listers I feel like it’s a shot at our city that we aren’t good enough. Hopefully fandom and time will change that.

 

Craziest thing you saw (Comics, Person in Cosplay, or Merchandise)?

 

I didn’t actually see her, but there was one lady running around in body paint as Spider-man or Carnage. My wife saw her as we were walking and her comment was funny “There’s a boob (shocked)… That lady is just walking around with her boobs out.” I’ll be honest this was our first nerdy convention. I know that is not really out of bounds to see, but she was the only one like that we saw. It was creepy seeing over weight young guys asking to get a picture of her. The make-up wasn’t all that great to be honest and it made me question if they’d be taking a picture with her if she wasn’t topless. The guys from Nashville Nightmare had make up worthy of a picture, obviously this was a horror thing, but it was pretty flawless looking.

 

 

How do you plan to go next year?

 

Stephen, Cam, and I all have the same blessing/curse…children.  The first day we had to take all three of our kids with us, which wasn’t bad, but any time you have kids involved you are working on borrowed time.  I mostly missed out on stuff because we either had them with us, and they wouldn’t sit in on a panel, or we had to get back to a baby sitter. I will say I would have liked to have gone on Sunday (kids day), but we had just gotten back from Disney/Universal and had some stuff to get done before the work week began. So my wife and I next year will be getting an all-day babysitter for Saturday (which had the most stuff to do) so we don’t have to worry about standing in line for something and missing a panel, because we have to get back. Another thing we’ll plan is a budget. I wasn’t prepared for all the awesomeness there and didn’t have the funds to spend on awesome art, books, comics, or collectibles. Keep in mind that panels are free with admission, and I think those are experiences that might be better than anything you buy extra there. Also, if you’re from out of state, take time and get out for lunch downtown. The Music City Center was charging $14.50 for a pulled pork sandwich. You could literally walk 3 blocks down the street to Jack’s BBQ and get one of those for about $4 or less with a side (and it’s a Nashville Original). I don’t know where the BBQ from the MCC was from, but I imagine it showed up in a reheat able bag. I hope it grows and is even better next year, but unless they have some crazy panels on Friday and Sunday I’ll just be going Saturday.

 

I’m giving Nashville’s Comic Con 7 out of 10 stars. They lose a star for not having more panels with bigger names. They lose another star because I feel like there weren’t that many actual comic booths. I think I counted 5 total (maybe). The final star falls because they charged $3.00 for a canned coke… Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Sleepy Hollow Pilot Review

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No, this is not a review of the Johnny Depp Christina Ricci Sleep Hollow, this is a review of the new television show that was debuted on Fox last night. To be honest with you, I was very curious how the story of this would play out. I know it’s the age old story of Ichibod Crane, but how would he fare in a new world?

In the opening scenes we see Ichibod in the middle of battle with the red coats; cannons bursting, muskets blasting, and bodies every where. The Ichibod Crane that everyone is used to is a lanky, pale, scared man child, but not this time. He’s not a brooding hearthrob, but he’s brave, and is portrayed as a spy rather than a studious doctor. Immediately in this first scene we wittness the beheading of the soon to be Headless Horseman by Mr. Crane.  Even though Ichibod ended the Horseman’s life he was fatally  wounded causing for an interesting reason as to why he is brought to present day. I loved the opening scene, it was almost like watching a movie. I don’t want to talk too much about what happened though. Ultimately I want talk about the show and it’s story line. It’s only the first episode I know, but you deserve to know if it’s worth your DVR space right?

I’m going to break this down by strengths and weaknesses.

Strengths…
* It has a really nice mix of horror and witty comedy. Obviously it was put in place to help offset the gore and horror that is definitely going to be happening through out the season, but it’s refreshing. It kind of reminds me of Sherlock, maybe because the guy is British. Some of the comedy though is at the expense of Ichibod Crane experiencing a new world and it’s pretty funny. Much like the Johny Depp movie, he is the comedic relief and I’m okay with that.

* It actually had some pretty scary moments. If it didn’t, the pilot would be a complete bomb. You can’t have The Headless Horsemen without horror. The good thing about these moments is that it wasn’t too scary. It was a just right. Think American Horror Story but blunted.

* How he is in present day is pretty cool. In the battle scene in the beginning of the episode we see Ichibod is fatally struck by the blade of the Horseman across the chess, but before he falls to the ground he decapitates the Horseman with his saber. They both fall to the ground side by side and their blood pools together. Since the Horseman is not actually a human, but an other worldly devil, their blood intertwine’s and two become one. (Who’s thinking of that Spice Girls song now? Dammit) Essentially, if the Horseman ever comes back to life, so does Ichibod.

* The acting was solid. This should be a given if a TV network is trying to launch a big time crowd drawer, but I thought it’s worth mentioning.

* The filming is movie worthy at some points. I really liked some of the angles and lighting that is used for this. Think Sleepy Hollow movie meets CSI. At some point the fog that was rolling through the scene would be lit up by orange florescent lights that made it look like fire. You got the feeling that Sleepy Hollow was actually in Hell. So that was cool.

* Costumes and Special effects were awesome. When the Horseman wasn’t so headless, he had a very edgy look to him. Even though it was colonial times at this point, he wore a mask that reminded me of something a Slipknot member would wear. Blood splatter didn’t seem fake, and the devil beast that is in the end was CREEPY. Yes there is a goat horned creature that doesn’t have a face and moves like a skipping DVD. It was probably the scariest thing in the show.

On to weaknesses

* How long can this really last? I honestly question how far they can take the show. They’ve tied the story with the End of Days in the bible, but even with trying to do that I feel like it is going to be a more of a commodity then a long term standing show. Grant it, this was only the pilot, but I feel like this could go only about 1 season. While I enjoyed the first scene, I didn’t feel like a long story line was a head. It felt like once the Horseman is gone this will be over. Ultimately that is what the audience is going to want, and I don’t think that will be a 4 season journey. Now they have a lot of other elements going with this like conspiracy of cults, end of days, and the love story between Ichibod and his ghostly wife, but ultimately this is either going to be way too much for viewers to enjoy, or feel very stale. We’ll have to wait and see.

* It’s got some velveeta on it. It terms of character development, I tend to be a purist. I like the Headless Horseman riding around with a firery jack-o-lantern as his head, and I thought this interpretation is pretty cool actually, but when he starts strapping on fully automatic weapons and belts of ammunition you start to lose me. I mean really? This guy has been in the ground for 250 years and suddenly he is fully grasps how to operate a M4?! I thought that part of the show was completely cheesy, and ultimately a ploy to try and up the coolness of him. Until that point, I thought his fiery broad ax was bad ass enough. I think it was unnecessary.

* It’s not edgy enough. While I listed it being a nice mix of comedy and horror, at the same time I don’t know if it has the edge factor that a lot of shows have. It feels like they are trying for that Hannibal type of show, but are falling a little short. Some of you are not going to agree with this, but I feel like they could be one more step out there. They did okay, but could be more.

Over All: I think this show would work better as a movie. It was a decent pilot, but I’m not sold. I’m going to give this show about 4 episodes to get me hooked. If it doesn’t, I bet this lasts about 3 seasons tops. I’m not the end all, but I like to pretend I am.

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Thank you DC, from a Marvel fan.

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Thank you DC, from a Marvel fan. (written August 7th)

 

From the time I was a kid, and my mom would let me sit in the magazine aisle of our local grocery store reading comics while she replenished our pantry, I’ve always been a marvel fan. It’s nothing against DC, but for some reason I’ve always flocked to heroes like Captain America, Gambit, and Iron Man. Honestly at 8 years old I based my opinions on how cool the heroes looked. Super Man’s red under wear didn’t stand a chance next to Wolverine’s claws coming from his fists. As I grew older and came to understand the impact that comic book heroes had in society the more respect I had for them even though they were fictitious. That respect crosses both the DC and Marvel universe.

Since the time Superman was first introduced to the world, kids and adults have looked to super hero comics as either a way to relate to their problems with the world, or just simply escape them.  For instance, during World War II, Captain America was depicted fighting Nazis and Hitler himself. Superman tried to single handedly solve world hunger. Batman even took on the subject of drug abuse in Batman RIP, and in most recent years both Marvel and DC have taken on the subject of gay rights in announcing gay and lesbian characters. Social issues and comic books go hand in hand.

While I’ve always enjoyed the fun and exciting universe that is Marvel, I want to take a second and say thank you to Detective Comics. Today I’m sitting on the oncology floor of Vanderbilt Children’s hospital with my son and probably 30 other children who are battling some form of pediatric cancer. Over the last year I have learned more about real life super heroes than the ones that I’ve read about in comics in my 28 years of living. My son is one of them. He has endured 42 rounds of chemo therapy, one huge back surgery to partially remove a tumor from his spinal cord, 36 rounds of physical and occupational therapy, and has gone from being paralyzed to walking again, and did I mention he was four years old for most of this. He handled every bit of this in stride. Sure there were plenty of tears shed, and arguments had on going to chemo, but he has literally become a symbol of strength to people who are fighting the same disease and even people who aren’t. Every kid on this floor is just that… a symbol of strength, bravery, and hope. Each week we come to the hospital you can usually find all kinds of super heroes either painted on shoes or all over kids’ shirts. These are both Marvel and DC heroes. Each week you see kids who find strength in fictional heroes you’ve created and how they overcome their problems or in some cases don’t. Still you provide so much more than entertainment. You provide strength, hope, and bravery, to these kids and their parents. (Fact: more than 175,000 kids are diagnosed with cancer a year)

It’s been a long year, and to be honest my son hates chemo almost as much as the Joker hates Batman. So much so he does his best to not even talk about it. While it’s been long we (my wife and I) have always looked for ways to make the whole process easier for my son. Actually the first thing he watched when he woke up from surgery was Captain America (sorry DC, he’s a marvel kid). He would watch the Amazing Spiderman over and over while we were in the hospital. Truth be told, we even were able to sneak in some Batman Forever (he really loved all the bright colors). We’ve given him countless toys of Spiderman, Ironman, Captain America, Iron Fist, X-men, Hulk, and even Batman stuff to help keep his mind off how terrible chemo makes him feel. All of it worked to some degree, but nothing really helped keep his mind off of it permanently.

Yesterday, I took some time off work to hang out with my son before his last treatment. While I was sitting down to start writing another article for 4NL I thought of the video I had seen a couple of months ago that has been making its way around the internet. It shows how DC is directly helping kids to change their mindset on what is happening to them. Here it is if you’re not familiar.

I showed this video to my son, and as he watched I would see his eyes light up and a slight smile emerge. I asked him what he thought and the first thing out of his mouth was “I want some stuff to help me be like a superhero”. You have to understand, as a parent, trying to explain away the scary and boring place that is a hospital to a 4 year old is near impossible. Even the hospital we have that is decorated solely for kids becomes a bad memory over time, but here you are taking your awesome stories and characters and making them fight something that my son has been fighting every day for the last year. You’ve written it so that he immediately relates, and FEELS like he is being turned into a superhero. You’ve done something every fanboy and fan girl has always wanted in making them feel as if they ARE a super hero. What a powerful tool this is for kids fighting cancer. Let me say that every kid fighting cancer could use what is in this video…. hope, strength, and bravery.

 

So let me say this very clearly.

 

From a Marvel fan,

 

THANK YOU DC

 

For helping kids conquer their arch nemesis one chemo at a time.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Cody

(I’m a huge advocate for finding a cure for pediatric cancer because of my son, and if you feel so led to help make an impact, feel free to make your own impact here.  http://www.stbaldricks.org/  They are the largest non-profit research organization for pediatric cancer, and their money is where their mouth is. Help save a life and donate.)

From The Nerdery(mailbag): The Punisher Remake, TV Shows, and Best Gaming Consoles

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Here we are again, taking on your questions like a 5lb burrito, paying for our answers later. Hopefully everyone has had a great week, and is ready for an awesome weekend.

 

To the bag we go!!
1. Nathan – What is the best gaming console when you consider best games specific to that console, best overall/max gameplay, ease of playing games, additional features? I look forward to your disbanding 4LN over this discussion.

 

Cam – I think the console war really comes down to personal preference, especially now that the system specs are getting closer and closer. My favorite console is the Xbox 360. I like the offset analog sticks and the feel of the controller in general. The Kinect is okay, but only used when I want to feel like I am in the Minority Report. As far as exclusives go, Halo is a big one for me. My wife and I have played through the campaign mode of every game in the series, and we really enjoy them. Will I get the Xbox One? Yes, eventually. Will I get the PS4? Probably not, but I think it will be an awesome system. As long as Star Wars Battlefront III is on both systems I will be sticking with Xbox.

 

Stephen – I’m the least “gamer” one of this crew, but I agree with Cam that personal preference is going to reign here. The consoles have started to have so much more in common with one another that it seems like the only major discernable differences are console exclusive games. And even that is becoming less and less common. While there are many other reason, the only GAME that keeps loyal to the PS3 would be Infamous. I just love the open world playing, and having the option to be champion for justice or be a murderous assface.

 

Robbie- I have been so far behind on the current generation of consoles. I just bought an Xbox 360 maybe 3 years ago. I’ve never had 1 particular console that has been my absolute favorite. The Gamecube is the closest one I would lean towards, just because some of my favorite games were exclusive to that console. Picking a favorite out of the current generation, I’m torn on though. I would have to choose PS3 because online play is free (I also hate having to pay for Xbox live to watch Netflix, which I also pay for) and the exclusive catalog for PS3 crushes Xbox in my opinion (Metal Gear, The Last Of Us, Uncharted and God Of War to name a few). Looking forward to the next generation, I think Microsoft and Sony are heading in two totally different directions with their consoles. Xbox One wants to be the gaming console for the “everyman” and they want to focus on being entertainment first. Microsoft has a lot of ground to make up before this console was has ever started, due to DRM and other controversy. Sony however, will continue doing with the PS4 what it has done with all the previous PS systems and do gaming first, second and third.

 

Bill – I’m not much of a gamer but here’s this:

Ok, I have to go with the Xbox 360 as the most long lasting console. I feel like it’s the system I fell in love with. For most guys (here at 4ln at least) gaming for them started with the Atari. But for me, it was 360. I remember having a PS2 but never really loved it. I loved the 360 since the minute I played it the first time, hell my buddy Eric and I have even considered getting 360 controller bro-tats. The Halo games are absolutely amazing, Gears of War was a beautiful franchise, and Saints Row started off as an X-Box exclusive game, so yeah, you’re welcome!

*I do want to say The Last of Us is almost enough for me to give this prestigious award for best console to Play Station 3. I look forward to getting the PS4, no way in hell will I purchase that atrocity known as the X-Box One.

 

Cody— I’m a playstation guy through and through for two reasons, one I feel they are more innovative when it comes to the game player experience versus Xbox, and two because I trust a hardware company more than I do a software company to make a solid gaming console. PS3 FTW. That might be a weak argument, but I’ve heard more stories of the red ring of death on Xbox than I have on the PS. Not to mention how awesome is it that you can now take a game that you’re playing on your PS and take it to your PSP? Not that I do that, but that is pretty freaking sweet. Also, the PSP is an awesome handheld console. Not sure how long it will be around, but it’s by far the best in my opinion. Favorite game for the PS3 is the God of War series. I love the graphics, the story, the game play, I love the whole damn thing. Take that Bill, Robbie, and Cam!!

 

2. Josh – Do you think marvel will resurrect The Punisher in any of their upcoming movies, or even a movie of his own again? Frank Castle is a serious badass!

 

Yes Josh, he is most certainly a badass. In fact, some might say he’s a bad mother… (shut yo mouth!) What? I’m just talkin’ ‘bout Frank.

Earlier this year the film rights for The Punisher, Daredevil, and Ghost Rider all reverted back to Marvel; which seems like a great development until you consider that Marvel is now owned by Disney. Not that they’d be in a big hurry to reboot or revisit any of these characters on film (cause that worked out SOOOO well the first time), but for Daredevil and, to a much lesser extent, Ghost Rider, it really doesn’t matter if they do, because those characters can be done without having to “push the envelope”. It’s possible to script a film around either one of them that is PG-13 and safe for most audiences (as has already been done).

But ol’ Franky is a different story. I’m all about reimagining characters, but the fact is you just won’t have a successful film if you minimize the violence and carnage of The Punisher. There was talk that they may do a “Frank Castle” TV show (with the exclusion of “Punisher” in the title being intentional), which could be interesting if the right creative team was on board, but still how gritty could a Disney-owned Punisher TV series be?

“Today on ‘King of the Castle’: Frank hunts down, tortures, and then finally murders the head of a major drug cartel by wrapping him in razor-wire that’s been soaked in gasoline and setting him on fire. BUT… will he pick up his niece’s birthday cake from the bakery and make it back to her party in time?! Stay tuned for all the hilarious and bloody hijinks!” Sadly, this is probably the best we could hope for, but maybe they’ll surprise us and sell the film rights back to another studio that can bring us the brutal and brooding Frank we all love. Until then, watch this amazing fan-made short, starring Tom Jane and keep the hope alive…

 

3. Shane – How many shows fail because they are weekly shows, but could be resurrected if the public could mass consume them. My guess is there are a lot of shows that are just solely for entertainment, and not suspenseful enough to bring in an audience each week. My example would be Alphas, a great show, but not a show I would follow each week, but one I would and have watched in mass.

 

Here’s my perspective, there are a TON of TV to watch. For instance, here’s a list of shows that I’m watching from either my DVR or Netflix (The League, Hell on Wheels, Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, pretty soon will be The Walking Dead, Planning to finally start Son’s of Anarchy, Duck Dynasty {guilty pleasure}The New Girl, Parks and Recreation, and whenever Work-A-holics comes on, Face Off, the Cosplay show has my attention, not to mention I watch a lot of football currently for fantasy football reasons) and I watch all of this in about a 2 hour time slot every night; so I don’t have a ton of time to fit these in. If you’ll notice half of these aren’t even on yet, but they are on my mind to record or go spend time watching. There’s a rule that we try and stick by in writing on this blog (which doesn’t always hold true {cough Bill}) Be, Funny, Be Smart, Be Innovative, or be a mixture of those three. If TV shows don’t capture audiences immediately I feel it is because it is lacking in one of those areas, I also think it is because it has missed the money demographic which is 18-35 year olds (not that we have money, but it’s the target everyone wants watching their shows). If that age range isn’t watching when the show comes on, or they don’t catch wind of it, it will ultimately fail. Also, sometimes the shows just suck. They story lines get dry, or become so crazy you feel like you’re in a circus watching a trapeze artist about to slip and fall. Example, heroes honestly sucked its last season, and it had started sucking half way through its second. I watched heroes from the beginning and when it first came on, I was in love with it. It had everything, mystery, suspense, pretty awesome story line, but after they saved the cheer leader everything went downhill. Another good question is how many shows could succeed if they were on a channel like Showtime or HBO? Trueblood has lost me after this last season, but they had 5 ½ solid seasons. I say that saying, if they could be a little risqué would they survive? I think so. To answer your question, a lot could be resurrected in the Netflix realm, but they would only be so successful if what got them canned in the first placed never changed (IE writers, story lines, actors) If they aren’t suspenseful, or funny, or smart, or just completely different, I don’t think you can resurrect it for more than one extra season. — Cody

 

4. Nathan (again) – I was wondering if other countries have superheroes and what are some of the more popular ones? I’m not talking about characters created by USAns that are from another country, but another country’s set of characters, like Germany’s Eichtenheisen Man.

The U.S. definitely leads the world in superheroes per capita and popularity, but several other countries have entered the fray. Japan, which is the closest to the U.S. in superhero output, has several live-action TV shows including Ultraman and Super Sentai, which is the basis for the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers and whatever spunoff from that show (Super-Dino-Time-Forest-Ranger-Zord’s? I haven’t kept up with it since Jason left two decades ago). Japanese Anime also has several superheroes, such as Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon, but they don’t necessarily fit the American mold. The biggest difference between U.S. and Japanese series is the longevity. The U.S. constantly reboots and re-imagines their heroes, while Japanese runs are generally a lot shorter.

Canada has Captain Canuck, which debuted in 1975. The first Captain Canuck was set in the futuristic 1993 where Canada had become the most powerful (and presumably still the politest) country in the world.

India has Nagraj, Super Commano Dhurva and Doga. Argentina has Cybersix, who by day is a female, leather-clad heroine, whose secret identity is a male, high-school literature teacher… Malaysia has Kapten Malaysia (Malaysian Superman), and Keluang Man (Malaysian Batman). It should be noted that a lot of these heroes follow the American comic model. – Cam

 

 

That was pretty long winded. Hope everyone has a great weekend! Up, up, and away!!! —4LN

The Nerdery(Mailbag) Monster Turds, Agents of Shield, and Chitari

It’s that time. Our favorite part of the week. Time to answer your questions.

 

This weeks Nerd of the Week goes to a more famous nerd Scott Snyder. One, for writing some awesome comics, and two for following us on Twitter #wearefamousbitches. If you’re not familiar with him, go here to check out his wiki page. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Snyder and who said reading comics couldn’t pay the bills?

220px-5.19.11ScottSnyderByLuigiNovi

On to the bag…..

 

Shane writes:

Here is something to ponder. Heroes lasted 4 seasons, Alpha lasted 2, what makes anyone think another show about people with super powers will last (Agents of Shield)? Alphas had better acting, but Heroes had a much better story line, Just curious if the public doesn’t ride the Marvel wave, could this show be overload and tilt the Super Hero craze the other way?

Double question, I like it. First the reason people will watch this show is because it should be everything people wanted Heroes to be. Heroes was awesome the first two seasons really, but it’s lack of a broader story (and the fact that it wasn’t Marvel) completely killed it. Once they saved the cheerleader it was like “WTF do we now?” I know let’s have them join a circus. Agents of Shield should be much strong in story telling, and if they are able to pull in big super hero characters I think it will last longer then 4 seasons. What will help this show to keep going is if it can tie into the movies that will be coming out in the next couple of years. That’s really why everyone is into super heroes these days anyway, because of the movies that were put out. If they can mix the movies and the TV show together some how I think people will be cleaning brains and skull matter out of their carpet for months. People’s minds will just explode. I do doubt ABCs ability to create a show that has staying power when it comes to super heroes, and just because Joss Whedon is involved doesn’t mean it will be a household favorite. It has potential, but we’ll all have to wait and see if it has staying power. On to the second question, every good thing must come to an end. Eventually super heroes will not be popular like they are today. They will hold a special place in everyone’s heart, but not always  be the king of the box office. I think the next generation is experiencing what most of us experienced when Batman (Happy Birthday Michael Keaton) first came out. Once that generation grows up there will be another group of fans that want to bring it back super heroes better than ever and they will. It’s all a roller coaster, and I do get the sense that this show will be the pinnacle of the super hero craze. It’ll plateau, and we’ll be down hill rolling soon enough. —- Cody

 

Nathan asks: What would happen to Bruce Banner if he gets mad that there is no toilet paper anywhere, turns into the Hulk, starts to take a dump, finds toilet paper and calms down, then reverts back in mid-poop?

The answer that most people are looking for here is that the Hulk-sized dump would cause poor little Bruce to explode, resulting in a mess that you couldn’t pay anybody any amount of money to clean up. If we assume that the Hulk’s bowel movements are roughly the size of an elephant, then there are significant physical ramifications that would take on an average, 120lb man. But Bruce Banner is not average. As his heart rate increases he becomes more and more likely to turn into the Hulk. If you remember in The Incredible Hulk, when things got hot and heavy with Betty his heart rate started rising and he had to remove himself from the situation. Exhibit B: In The Avengers, Bruce says that he “got low” and put a bullet in his mouth, but “the other guy spit it out.” So, to answer the question, what would happen once the the Hulk started turning back into Bruce mid-dump is this: He’d immediately begin feeling a discomfort that normally only comes with eating 30 tacos you got from a guy selling them out of his van in an alley, and he’d instantly turn right back into the Hulk, finish his business, and then exit the restroom… After washing his hands, of course. I mean, he’s not a monster.

Dirty Asks: Who do you think would win Chitari or Stormtroopers

Are we going with all the tech available to them, or just them and their guns? –Cam

Well, obviously, Chitari. They’re pretty simple minded warriors and they’re stubborn. They fight relentlessly. They’re almost kamikaze-like. They’re tech is somewhat a factor but I think they’re weapons rival anything a Stormtrooper could access anyway. Plus, with Stormtroopers, if they wanted to, they could just give up and run away. Not that they would, but they could. The Chitauri, as evident in The Avengers, are linked to a stream of consciousness that keeps them fighting as long and as hard as needed. Admittedly though, and also evident in the Avengers, that stream of consciousness is also they’re greatest weakness.

If the Stormtroopers could expose that and strike, sort of like Iron Man, they’d be able to take down the Chitari.—- Stephen

I obviously would have to side with Stormtroopers. Admittedly, I don’t know a lot about the Chitari aside from the Avengers movie, but I am basing this off a completely subjective speculation. Whenever the Stormtroopers fight something other than main characters, and those opponents use somewhat conventional weapons, the Stormtroopers murder the hell out of people. Sandpeople, Rebels on Hoth. etc. The Chitari (in the movie) faired poorly against main characters as well, but they didn’t do very well against non-super powered heroes or civilians either.—- Cam

 

Shorter work week means shorter mailbag. Have a great weekend everybody.

 

’til next time!

4LN Crew

The Thin Nerdy Line….(12 Reasons Why Juggalos are Out)

Juggalo 1

 

In the secret hallway, that is our private 4LN message thread on Facebook, randomly we will talk about all kinds of things nerdy. We have debates about what should be considered nerdy. What our name should be. If something is nerdy, why? And most importantly we make fun of Bill… I mean discuss what topics we want to cover or ideas we have for new articles. One thing I think we all love taking part in is the mailbag, and really digging deep to find answers to the questions our Facebook followers have. Right now these questions mostly are from friends that are also nerdy, but they are a ton of fun to cover. Recently we ran into one that caused quite a ruckus in the “hallway”. The question was “What defines a nerd versus a geek?” I feel like Cameron covered that question pretty well in his The Nerd Rises article, so I don’t want to get very philosophical on the debate that is Nerd vs Geek. It was the question inside of it; where does the term nerd start and end? Who cannot be considered a nerd?

 

Our whole tag line of this blog is this “Everyone’s a nerd about something.” Our original thought of nerdom was basically if you obsess over something so much that you know every detail of it then you are a nerd in that area. Sounds simple right? We thought so too, but the more we discussed other subcultures we realized that not everyone fits the bill with being a nerd, nor do nerds want to associate with every subculture. With that being said I want to present to you a subculture that seems like it might fit, but we all agree we want nothing to do with…..

 

Juggalos

 

If you’re not familiar with the term juggalo it is the cult like following of the group I.C.P (or Insane Clown Posse), and while we can’t deny that they have obsessed fan base, we’d like to count the ways they don’t really fit in the nerd realm.

 

 

 

1. You’re heroes/cult leaders are freaking clowns! Clowns! THAT RAP! TERRIBLY! I don’t think there is a worse thing that could be a leader, role model, or however the hell you look at them. Their names are Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J.

icp-live-wallpaper-juggalo-13-1-s-307x512

 

2. You wear clown make up to everything, and by everything I mean EVERYTHING.

Funeral Juggalo

 

3. Hatchetman is literally the Bat symbol for you guys.

hatchetman-tattoo-designs-hatchet-man-by-badwicca-on-deviantart-66376

 

4. Your version of LARPing is wearing clown make up and drinking Faygo in a vacant parking lot somewhere screaming about Faygo and wearing clown make up.

Parking lot_juggalo_10

 

5. 1 out of 6 Juggalos has a valid driver’s license. Not sure why this is, but it explains why you can always find 5 sweaty clowns riding passenger in a 1985 Le Sabre on any given Friday night.

Don't worry guys Grandma can drop us off!

Don’t worry guys Grandma can drop us off!

 

6.  You believe you’re a part of a family. Really it’s just a bunch of lonely kids drinking Faygo together.

 

7. The Hatchetman is the most covered up tattoo among all tattoos.

 

8. You want your children to be Juggalos. Who does this to a child?

Juggalo Kid

 

9. Hugo Boss is your mating call.

 

10.  You think this picture is awesome.

polls_ronald_1745_46476_answer_1_xlarge

 

11. Your toys are made for grown ass men.

Chicken Juggalo

 

12. Your women are just as obsessed as you are.

Preggers

Actually…. These are all things comic nerds do! DANG IT STEPHEN!!! You were right. Juggalos are nerds! Crap.

From The Nerdery(Mailbag) Geek Girls, Star Wars, and Pedophile Killers

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Wooohooo!!! It’s the weekend! Take a minute to check out this pretty funny video. We’ll dub it the Nerd of the week.

There’s a lot today, so onward to The Nerdery….

 

Nathan D – In a nerd exchange program, what non-Star Wars character would you like to see IN the Star Wars universe during Episode 4-6, and which Star Wars character from that time would transfer into the other’s universe? What are their fates/influences?:

 

This might be considered traitorous, but I would love to see Captain Kirk (Shatner or Pine, although Pine would work a little better) in his prime in the Original Trilogy. He has the right kind of attitude for the series, and it would be interesting to see how he would lead during the Battle of Yavin (where the Rebel Alliance destroys the Death Star… Spoiler Alert, I guess?). It would be fun to see him command a starship while the battle raged on (think Admiral Ackbar, without the crabbiness), and I think he would bring a different command presence. Just picturing him and Han Solo interacting is amazing. For the exchange I would like to see the Emperor go to Star Trek: the Original Series. I was originally going to go with Darth Vader, but the Emperor is just so evil and manipulative that he would make a better villain in the Star Trek universe. He could work his way up through the Federation like he did the Senate and the Captains would have to band together to stop him.

 

I think it would be hilarious to replace C-3PO and Bender from Futurama. Bender doesn’t have the qualifications that 3PO does, but his attitude would be hilarious in his interactions with Han. “Shut him up or shut him down!” “Well, you can kiss my shiny, metal, ass!…. Hey what the… what are you” –click. Admittedly, with Bender being Jabba’s interpreter the whole plan would have gone down the drain, Han would still be an ornament, and Luke would have gotten himself trapped for nothing, but it would be hilarious. And can you imagine C-3PO in Futurama? He would be the butt of almost every joke, and his reactions to all the shenanigans would be priceless. His conversations with Fry would probably make him short-circuit frequently, and seeing him in the crazy situations that the Planet Express team fine themselves in on a regular basis would be great. Leela and Han Solo would deal with him very similarly I think. — Cam

 

 

 

 

Whitlee W writes- Who would yoy guys say is the darkest superhero, besides the standard answer of Batman?

 

 

Stephen—Hellboy – A lot of characters, for one reason or another, go to hell. They have to fight the devil or demons or zombie Teddy Roosevelt and then they move on. Hellboy… IS FROM HELL. His name even has HELL in it. That’s pretty dark to me. It’s like how when someone tells you they’re from Detroit and you immediately assume they’re family is all dead and they’ve personally murdered at least 7 guys themselves. (Editorial Note: 4LN would like to apologize to the people of Detroit and all Teddy Roosevelt enthusiasts for this contributors remarks. They are not shared by the entire team.)

 

Cam—I am going to have to go with the Punisher. He is the antithesis of Batman, in that he seeks revenge, not justice. His wife and child were murdered, and now he is going to kill anyone he thinks is evil. That’s really the difference between him and Bats. Batman draws the line at murder (unless you count the movies… he kills almost every villain it seems like), the Punisher is a hunter who only has one goal: eradication of anybody considered bad

 

Cody— Spawn, all day. I know Hellboy is from hell and the punisher is hell bent on revenge, but this guy was SENT to hell for murdering people that were innocent (unknowingly). His story is filled with so many up and downs. When he is sent to hell he is at the top of his game in the CIA, and is murdered by his partner. In hell he sells his soul to a demon to be able to see his wife. Once he returns, she has moved on, and he doesn’t even remember why he’s there. It’s not just Spawn that’s dark it’s the world around him: Demons, angels, sin eaters, clowns, murder, pedophilia, revenge, and love lost. He’s one of my favorites honestly. Not to mention his suit is made of Necroplasm, for all you non-word nerds out there his suit is made up by death. He’s wrapped in death. FTW.

 

Robbie—- The darkest character hero that I can think of is Rorschach. Originally I was going to go with Spawn, but there is so much more of a human element with Rorschach. While he is very much a vigilante similar to Batman and will do the right thing, he has this ruthlessness to him that is pretty brutal. With lines like “The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout ‘Save us!’ And I’ll look down, and whisper ‘No'”, I think Rorschach is a pretty dark guy.

Bill- Ok, so for darkest character, I’m going to have to go with John Constantine. After all, he is pretty much the leader of Justice League Dark. Now, I understand that John does everything in life like he’s a backhanded compliment. What he does at first appears to be the right thing but in reality he’s just trying to pull a huge con. He’s quite the dick if you ask me. He’s got to also be the most corruptible character in the DC universe (that might be why I love him, but don’t get me started on Keanu Reeves…) For a little back story on why he’s a corrupt wanker, in the New 52 Trinity War series, he tried to steal Shazam’s power AND all Justice League America, Justice League Dark, and Justice League are all fighting over Pandora’s Box, each character who touches begins to go mad with power until the next unlucky hero becomes possessed with want, EXCEPT Mr. Constantine, because “You can’t corrupt what’s already corrupted.

 

 

 

 

Melody D. asks: I would love to her you nerds weigh in on the “geek girl,” debate/debacle. I think it is such a window into American culture through the eyes of a microcosm, and I genuinely love hearing new points of view.

 

 

This is a question that has several deep rooted answers to it, and please don’t kill me for saying what I’m about to say. I’m going to put it like this. Nerds… can be chauvinist assholes. It’s the truth. Girls in the nerd realm are seen a couple of ways; one as posers (attention whores and just looking for acceptance), and two as intruders (that is not my opinion personally, just how I think it is perceived by most). Harsh words I know. Honestly, if a girl is genuinely into something geeky I don’t think twice about it. Regularly I bounce questions off a coworker that is a pretty big geek herself, but most guys see it as a gentleman’s club. A place they can go and talk about their man things. I don’t think nerds have anything against woman being into what they (the guys) are, heck it increases their chances of after Magic tournament activities, but I do think the nerd world is a safe haven to guys who have been dominated by groups of other subcultures. It’s their dark corner of a room to just be themselves and play games that are uncool, or talk about characters that aren’t real. When a woman comes into the picture and starts dominating with gaming skill or comic knowledge, it sets off the defense mechanism and causes the nerd self-confidence to sink even lower; even in its safe haven. It might be nice window into the heart of men though. We all just want to feel good about ourselves in some way or another. So really, I think it shows how weak men can be, because you get the same reaction when a woman decides to play fantasy football. Being beat by a girl (even as an adult man) is the worst feeling, so kudos to you for staying strong in our idiocy. —- Cody

 

 

Thanks for reading, and we’ll catch you guys next week. (Beaming Up) 4LN Crew.