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'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2': I am the fox you've been waiting for

Your rating: None Average: 3 (5 votes)

guardiansofthegalaxyvol2.jpgSeeing as how the the last time I reviewed a Guardians of the Galaxy movie, I spent an inordinate amount of time talking about biases, it's only fair that I cope with the fact that I might have had a bit of a bias against this movie.

I don't know if people are aware of this fact, but I really like foxes. Like, a lot. Just letting you know.

Now, the thing is, Guardians of the Galaxy features the character of Rocket, who is a raccoon, and not a fox. So, you see where I might have a problem. It's not a big deal; raccoons are cool and all, but they're not, well, foxes. This is a personal hangup, I try not to let it affect things too much, but full disclosure here. I mean, science has proven foxes are magic. Just saying. I watched a YouTube video and everything, so you can take that to the bank.

But the thing is, this movie features a running gag in which the character Nebula (Karen Gillan) keeps mistakenly referring to Rocket as a fox, which is funny, I guess, if you're not a vulpephiliac who is constantly being reminded how much more awesome this movie would be if featured Rocket the fox instead of Rocket the raccoon. I mean, this is a deep ditch the movie has to dig itself out of for this reviewer.

After that revelation, if you feel you can't take this reviewer's opinions on this movie seriously, well, I understand. But, if you're willing to give me the benefit of the doubt, by all means, please enjoy the following review of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. II.

2016 movie showdown, part 6: Sly Cooper vs. Spark

Sly Cooper
85% (23 votes)
Spark
15% (4 votes)
Votes: 27

Obituary: Colin Palmer, NZ furry webmaster and fursuiter

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (8 votes)

Colin Palmer New Zealand furry fan Colin Palmer died unexpectedly on November 15, aged 39. He is survived by his partner, Nipper.

Colin maintained several furry websites, including furry.org.nz and the NZfurry mailing list, and (as Nicol Firefox) furry image and story archive Cub Central. He featured prominently in media coverage as a New Zealand fursuiter, provided hosting and IT support for FurcoNZ, and participated in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Colin received a BSc in Computer Science from the Victoria University of Wellington in 1997, and worked for over twelve years as a systems programmer and Linux server administrator for the University of Waikato; in March 2013 he moved to Mako Networks.

Colin's funeral will be at 3PM on Thursday 27 November at the chapel of Morrison Funeral Directors at 220 Universal Drive, Henderson, Auckland. A memorial for friends and family will be held 29 November in the Wellington area.

Update (21 Mar): The website Colin founded, Cub Central, is set to close after his death.

The Big Outdoors and One Little Coon

In another vein entirely, check out the Little Ty Cooney series of illustrated books from writer and artist Steven Riley. He took his love of the great outdoors, art, and children’s books and mashed them all together into three hardcover adventures, Little Ty Cooney and the Big Yosemite Race, Little Ty Cooney and the Big Yellowstone Mystery, and Little Ty Cooney and the Grand Canyon Tour Company — so far. In each, a young raccoon and his friends explore these famous National Parks to learn and, of course, to find danger and escape it. Each of the books can be purchased at the official Ty Cooney web site, which also features art how-to videos and other projects that Mr. Riley is currently working on.

image c. 2014 by Steven Riley

image c. 2014 by Steven Riley

The Raccoon on TV!

Rather quickly after the release of the Guardians of the Galaxy feature film this summer, Marvel put out word that an animated TV series was in the works — but that was about all we heard for a while. Now, Marvel has gone so far as to release a “splash page” image and even a short animated “teaser” for the new show, which is slated to premier in 2015. The characters (including fan-favorite Rocket Raccoon) all have the appearance they did in the movie, but there’s no word yet if any of the film’s actors will be voicing their characters for the show. Nor do we know if what we see in the teaser reflects the look and animation style of the actual show. But, it’s more than we had even a month ago! Read all about it over at Slash Film.

image c. 2014 Marvel Studios

image c. 2014 Marvel Studios

Three comic book reviews: Pull List #23 ('GotG', 'MLP:FiM' and 'TMNT')

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

Guardians of the Galaxy #7We’ve got three issues from what are becoming the core books of this Pull List series of articles.

The oldest title in the series is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which has been around since the first Pull List and 14 issues have appeared in 14 other pull lists, counting this one. Eight spin-off issues, including the original Micro-Series, the Villains Micro-Series and The Secret History of the Foot Clan have also appeared in seven Pull Lists, bringing the total TMNT number to 23 issues in 22 Pull Lists.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic began at the beginning with #1 in Pull List #6. Since then, 10 other issues have appeared in nine other Pull Lists, with seven issues of its Micro-Series featuring in seven Pull Lists, bring the franchise’s total up to 18 issues in 17 Pull Lists.

The new kids on the block are the Guardians of the Galaxy, with seven issues in seven Pull Lists and no spin-offs, so they’re also the easiest to keep track of.

Review: 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: 30th Anniversay Special'

Your rating: None Average: 2 (1 vote)

TMNT 30th Anniversary SpecialIDW has put out this comic to celebrate the fact that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have turned 30 this year, an age which is not only well beyond teenaged, but also past the point where pointing that out can be considered witty, but that’s not going to stop me.

The book contains a brief history of the ninja turtles, starting with their beginnings as a self-published comic in May of 1984, with various pieces of turtle nostalgia, including the sketch of what is now considered the “first turtle,” ads, posters and press releases for the first ever issue, as well as full page tribute art by Steve Lavigne, Michael Dooney, Ken Mitchroney, Ben Bates, T-Rex, Ross Campbell, Mark Torres, David Petersen and Daniel “Pez” Lopez, with a cover by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird with a back cover by Mateus Santolouco, not to mention a variety of alternate covers.

The book covers the history of the TMNT in the comics exclusively; it features brand new stories taking place in five comic book continuities: the early Mirage years, the Archie TMNT Adventures, the Image “third volume”, the later Mirage years and the newest IDW series, with a limited cover gallery showing the first issue of each of these eras.

May 2014, IDW Publishing, San Diego, CA, trade paperback $7.99, Kindle $1.99.

Review: 'Spies in Their Midst', by Alflor Aalto

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

Spies in Their MidstSpies in Their Midst by Alflor Aalto is listed as the third book in The Llyrian Wars: Act One series, following The Prince of Thieves and The Streets of His City and Other Stories. The series is also referred to as "The Llyrian Wars tetralogy”, so apparently there is at least one more book to come. There is no information about what will follow Act One.

Hmmm. The Prince of Thieves includes a Rabbit Valley advisory notice that “This book deals with homoerotic themes and descriptions of erotic acts.” You had better consider that Spies in Their Midst needs one, also.

Spies in Their Midst stands well on its own. The protagonist of The Prince of Thieves and The Streets of His City and Other Stories is Prince Natier of Llyria, a red fox; the heir to the throne. The protagonist of Spies in Their Midst is Orrin, Lord Vintaa, a raccoon and Llyran nobleman. Yet he is not a new character. He was an important supporting character in “The Looking War”; a short story in The Streets of His City and Other Stories. This is his novel-length story, starting before the other two books.

Illustrated by Robbye "Quel" Nicholson, Las Vegas, NV, Rabbit Valley, December 2013, trade paperback $20.00 (303 pages).

A completely biased review of 'The Guardians of the Galaxy'

Your rating: None Average: 2.8 (4 votes)

Guardians of the GalaxySo, there was recently an article on Flayrah I can’t link to anymore since the author asked it be removed, but the general gist of it was that bias in criticism is bad. Not going to argue that point one way or another, but argue a side tangent; the article never really said so, but the argument the author was really making was that negative bias is bad. Positive bias is either okay, or just doesn’t exist.

I don’t like onions, so I would be a terrible person to ask if an onion is good or not. However, if you liked onions, and they were your favorite food, you would also be a terrible person to ask for a review of a particular onion. I would say this onion is bad, because to me, all onions are bad. You would say this onion is good, because to you, all onions are good. Together, our reviews of the onion have told us nothing about this particular onion.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been waiting for this movie a while; you could say I’m biased for it. So, by my very argument, I am unqualified to review this movie. I’m going to do it anyway, because I can, and besides, if one person has a bias, the odds are that many other people share the same bias.

Besides, this isn’t my first rodeo; I know what I’m doing, and believe I am capable of looking past my biases and giving this movie a fair review. Not like it can complain; I’m going to say this movie is awesome, after all.

But, fair warning; this is a biased review. Also, never ask me to review an onion.

Review: 'Rocket Raccoon and Groot: The Complete Collection'

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Rocket Raccoon and Groot: The Complete CollectionThe title of this collection is misleading; it collects almost every issue Rocket Raccoon and/or Groot appeared in with the exceptions of any issues of Guardians of the Galaxy or books where they appeared as part of that team. As a side note, Rocket is the only Guardian who has been an active member of that team since the beginning (not counting the original, alternate future Guardians); even Star-Lord was momentarily kicked off the team.

But anyway, these are the solo adventures of both Groot and Rocket, plus their team ups, including their first appearances in Tales to Astonish #13 way back in 1959 for Groot (that’s right, Groot is over half a century old) and both of Rocket Raccoon’s first appearances. I’ll explain that better below.

All together, they form a great introduction to the characters, especially for fans whose only knowledge that these two characters exists comes from the upcoming movie.

This collection includes stories by Bill Mantlo, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, and Larry Lieber, with art by Keith Giffen, Sal Buscema, Mike Mignola, Timothy Green II and Jack Kirby. The cover is by Mike Mignola, with a back cover by Skottie Young.

New York, NY, Marvel, April 2013, trade paperback $18.96 (264 pages).

Ooga-chaka, ooga-chaka: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' trailer collection

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

With Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy featuring Rocket Raccoon hitting theaters on August 1, here's a look back at the movie's trailers.

Trailer 1

This teaser trailer appeared during Jimmy Kimmel Live! back in February and reintroduced the world to Blue Suede's "Hooked on a Feeling".

Video: Reptiles as heroes rather than villains?

Your rating: None Average: 3 (3 votes)

It's something sadly not as commonly seen as other heroic anthropomorphic animal characters, but animator Lightsen's recent project Lizard Cops showcases reptiles as heroes rather than villains.

Review: 'The Mystic Sands', by Alflor Aalto

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The Mystic Sands The bad news: The Mystic Sands by Alflor Aalto is a funny animal novel. The characters, all anthropomorphized animals, are interchangeable surrogate humans. There is no reason for any of them to be raccoons, rabbits, foxes, weasels, squirrels, or anything other than humans. They are all human-sized, wear regular human clothes (imagine a human-sized squirrel wearing Victorian clothes), eat human diets, etc. They do occasionally refer to their animal natures:

And don’t you worry your fluffy ringed tails, my friends. (p. 36)

The good news: The Mystic Sands by Alflor Aalto is a ripping good page-turner, a guaranteed attention-holding light thriller of the 1930s Weird Tales sort with anthropomorphized animals that will have you wanting to finish it in one session. Go buy it!

Las Vegas, NV, Rabbit Valley Comics, May 2013, trade paperback $20.00 (245 pages).

What a Cute Little Raccoon… NOT!

With the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie looming closer, some folks might want to get a little background on the group. Heck, even young kids might want to! And so to that end Marvel Press brings us Guardians of the Galaxy: Beginnings, written by Tomas Palacios and illustrated by a variety of artists. “How did a raccoon with a rocket launcher, a talking tree, a bald green destroyer, the most dangerous woman in the universe, and an interplanetary policeman form the heroic space squad, The Guardians of the Galaxy? Join Rocket Raccoon, Groot, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, and their fierce leader Star-Lord as they band together in this origin storybook to fight through the cosmos and bring peace to a universe filled with threats and danger. This illustrated 48-page storybook introduces the fun ragtag band of Super Heroes in space!” Check out this new full-cover hardcover at Barnes & Noble.

image c. 2014 Marvel Press

image c. 2014 Marvel Press

Three comic book reviews: Pull List #20 ('GotG' and 'MLP')

Your rating: None Average: 3 (3 votes)

Applejack party hat It’s another milestone issue, so we’re bringing back the “animals wearing party hats” tag. I couldn’t find a picture of Rocket Raccoon wearing a party hat, however. Seems he’s not the type to do something like that. But Applejack is the best pony for wearing hats (in addition to being best pony, period), and her Micro-Series is finally here, so there we go.

Also, since this issue number is divisible by ten, there’s another index of previous issues, in case you’ve been looking forward to it.