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Rated OLD

6 Jan

by Mike Hansen

Found on the internet a while back…

While normally I’m against ratings systems on principle, I’ll make an exception for this one: Stick this one onto anyone who thinks videogames, comic books, movies, or any other media lead to desensitization towards one’s feelings about real-world sex or violence. Or anyone who thinks copying and sharing is the same as stealing. Or anyone who thinks we need to protect children from the adult (real) world. Or, well, anyone who hasn’t realized that the world has moved on without them. Particularly politicians…

Rated OLD

Fun Friday Foto

27 Jul

by Mike Hansen

Seen on the internet the other day…

Dodge Viper

Normally I don’t care about “look how clever you are for seeing the thing in the picture of the other thing” pictures, but I’ll make an exception this time.

A quick one about the Aurora tragedy

20 Jul

by Mike Hansen

Batman Colorado memorialUPDATE: The Huffington Post has a list of ways you can help the victims of this tragedy.

I didn’t learn about the shooting at the Aurora midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises until this afternoon. I’d just returned from my own day at the movies.

I don’t want to add much to all of the reporting and punditry, but I do want to mention a few quick things:

1. This had nothing to do with a Batman movie, and everything to do with a packed, darkened room with few escape routes.

2. This had nothing to do with comics, movies, videogames, or any other media that depict violence, and everything to do with a mentally deranged individual who had no business being allowed to have access to deadly weapons.

3. The news reporting on this tragedy MUST be handled differently to prevent future shooting incidents. Patton Oswalt posted this 3-year-old YouTube video that’s very relevant to today’s news – please watch it, especially after the 1:43 mark:

In other words, some of these are PREVENTABLE TRAGEDIES.

4. As Bloomberg has reported,

Colorado doesn’t require gun registration and there is no specific waiting period to buy a gun.

I have no problem with personal gun ownership for self-defense (don’t get me started on hunting), but guns are more than an issue of freedom; they’re a public-safety issue. There’s a reason why we have drivers-license laws. Not having a few basic rules to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of the wrong people is simply insane to me. Again: SOME OF THESE ARE PREVENTABLE TRAGEDIES.

There is no good reason for the lazy corporate news media to continue referring to this as a “Batman shooting.” We in comics must do everything in our power to prevent this poor train of thought from becoming fact in the minds of the uninformed. Otherwise, we will continue to see more attempts at unnecessary product labels, ratings systems, and censorship.

Finally, I received a mass email from Chuck Rozanski, owner of the Colorado-area Mile High Comics chain, in which he offers to contribute 10% of the net proceeds from his current 60%-off codeword sale to victims of the tragedy. While it’s admirable to create ways to help those affected, the fact that Rozanski is using his usual weekly 50-60%-off codeword email to drum up sales in the name of helping victims really rubs me the wrong way. The email even makes it clear that he is not losing money in any way from doing this.

Real charity involves personal sacrifice for the common good. I urge people to find what they believe in their hearts is the best way to provide immediate help and relief to the victims of this horrible incident.

UPDATE: The Huffington Post has a list of ways you can help the victims of this tragedy.

Fun Friday Foto(s)

15 Jun

by Mike Hansen

I found this online the other day, but I can’t remember the source – if anyone knows, feel free to post a comment or email…

Slave Leia Pillow Fight


And one more – because in my Marvel comics, Wolverine always smokes. Always.

Wolverine Smokes


Have a great weekend!

Rex Velvet/Phoenix Jones war of words gets weirder

5 Jun

by Mike Hansen



Well, well… it looks like self-described super-villain Rex Velvet might be more than he seems… or perhaps less? Last month, Phoenix Jones had this to say:

I looked him up. He’s actually just a wedding photographer who made a funny video. If he was a true supervillain I would be more interested because at least I would have something to do. Right now it’s like war of social media and I have better things to do with my time.

Shortly after posting Velvet’s three riotous videos yesterday, two strange messages were sent my way.

The first, from “Council of Ninja”:

Greetings. We are The Global Council of Ninja Pacific Northwest Council of Ninja branch, Media Representative of The Legion.

Rex Velvet, also known as the civilian Ryan Corly who is a Wedding Photograher is nothing more then a penny-ante wise cracking little boy with Peter pan envy. In short he is nothing more then a worm riding on the coat-tails of Phoenix Jones.

This is and here after a warning to all those who follow Ryan Corly. Your IP’s are being watched, just as we are watching Mr. Corly. Once we have enough evidence on those associated with him, prepare yourselves for the fact that you will be all facing jurisprudence from local law enforcement.

We. The Legion.

WHAAAT? First we have real-life superheroes in Seattle making arguably questionable decisions about protecting their city, then a villain who either has an army of cameras or a great phony story, now the NW has NINJAS? (Or do they prefer “ninja”? That always confuses me.)

It looks like these ninja/ninjas of “The Legion” (whatever that might be) seem to be on the side of the Rain City Superheroes, but what’s their story? And will there be any video evidence as entertaining as Jones or Velvet’s YouTube appearances?

But that’s not all – a response to the Council of Ninja appeared last night from “Slightlynorth“:

Dear Council of Ninja, (wait, are you a council or a legion? I’m confused.)

Greetings to you as well. Also: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. What kind of “jurisprudence from local law enforcement” will you make me face, exactly? Idle threats from an idle inelegance, eh?

Here, I’ll save you some time. My IP is currently: Oh wait, that is an internal private IP address. Guess no jurisprudence for me. Sad day.


Continue reading

Quote of the Day: Amanda Palmer

25 May

by Mike Hansen

English: Amanda Palmer Live 2008

Amanda Palmer Live 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The brilliant and talented Amanda Palmer (also known in comics circles as “Neil Gaiman’s wife”) posted an awesome Q&A about her latest Kickstarter venture.

 i think music should be shared. all the time. by everybody. i think it’s pure insanity to make music filesharing illegal.
and with that said, i have, for years, encouraged my fans to burn, download and share all of my music with each other and with strangers.
and i will never stop doing that. all that sharing eventually comes back to me in all forms of income and goodwill.

I think this applies not just to music, but all forms of “commercial art” (comics, books, movies, etc.). Even though companies generally look the other way now when their fans use their work in a non-commercial way (since angering one’s own customer base is stupid, if not suicidal), Continue reading

Feds Still Clueless About Filesharing

19 Jan

by Mike Hansen

SOPA imageFirst, a special “Words ‘n’ Pictures” link: an easy-to-understand chart that explains why SOPA/PIPA suck balls.

I emailed my Senators (Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer) and Representative (Mike Thompson) urging their opposition to these bills.

Here’s an email response I received from Feinstein (or, more likely, her staffers):

Dear Mr. Hansen:

I received your letter expressing opposition to the “Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act,” commonly known as the “PROTECT IP Act.”  I appreciate knowing your views on this matter.

The “PROTECT IP Act” (S. 968) gives both copyright and trademark owners and the U.S. Department of Justice the authority to take action against websites that are “dedicated to infringing activities.”  These are websites that have “no significant use other than engaging in, enabling, or facilitating” copyright infringement, the sale of goods with a counterfeit trademark, or the evasion of technological measures designed to protect against copying.

The bill does not violate First Amendment rights to free speech because copyright piracy is not speech.

America’s copyright industry is an important economic engine, and I believe copyright owners should be able to prevent their works from being illegally duplicated and stolen.  The protection of intellectual property is particularly vital to California’s thriving film, music, and high-technology industries.

I understand you have concerns about the “PROTECT IP Act.”  While I voted in favor of this bill when it was before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I have also been working with California high-technology businesses to improve the bill and to address the concerns of high-tech businesses, public interest groups and others.  I recognize the bill needs further changes to prevent it from imposing undue burdens on legitimate businesses and activities, and I will be working to make the improvements, either by working with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) or through amendments on the Senate floor.

On May 26, 2011, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the “PROTECT IP Act” for consideration by the full Senate.  Please know I will keep your concerns and thoughts in mind should the Senate proceed to a vote on this legislation.  As you may be aware, Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) has introduced similar legislation, the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (H.R. 3261), in the House of Representatives.

Once again, thank you for sharing your views.  I hope you will continue to keep me informed on issues of importance to you.  If you have any additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841.

…So it’s clear that, as an Old Person, Senator Feinstein doesn’t understand the structure of the internet or how overreaching laws can be implemented, regardless of their intentions. You’d think she’d have learned by now: SOPA/PIPA are a wish-list written by the entertainment companies, just like the PATRIOT Act was a wish-list from U.S. intelligence agencies (and we all know how effective that’s been at stopping terrorism). Either that, or Hollywood likes their politicians to be bought, and Feinstein wants more of their sweet cash. (All the more reason to ban private campaign financing entirely…)

Now, the Feds have taken down file-storage-locker site Megaupload and arresting its owners for piracy. Sure, these sites have been used to distribute copyrighted material by unscrupulous folks – but how is that the sites’ fault? Just like BitTorrent, these sites can be used for perfectly legitimate and legal purposes. (In fact, just this week I used Megaupload to send large files to a comics publisher of material that it owns, for its use. Exactly how is that piracy? Oh, wait, it’s not.)

BoingBoing (one of the best websites, period) has two more related Words ‘n’ Pictures graphics that are worth a look (here and here).

It ain’t over yet…

Other Quote of the Day: Contagion on Blogging

24 Sep
03092011-DSC_0697_Gwyneth Paltrow

In Contagion, Gwyneth has a seizure. A sexy seizure. (Image by brixton21 via Flickr)

From the film Contagion, which I saw earlier today (it’s good!):

“Blogging is not writing; it’s just graffiti with punctuation!”



WORDS ‘N’ PICTURES: Smart-Ass Signs

14 Sep

It’s Not Comics, but so what; it’s hilarious…

I was alerted to a post on Happy Place, entitled “Brilliantly smart-ass responses to completely well-meaning signs,” that features a LOT of hilariously altered signage.

super-hero walk sign

You can walk, if you want to... especially if you're dressed like this

Check it out. No matter what kind of day you’re having, this will make it MORE AWESOME.

(thanks to Michael Ring for sharing this link)

All Day

7 Sep
Girl Talk

Image by reallyboring via Flickr

This company and website was named after the most recent album by Girl Talk, who’s become the most relevant and important musical artist of the last decade while breaking U.S. copyright law and getting zero airplay (brief bio here).

You can download All Day for free from Girl Talk’s label, Illegal Art, here.

You can watch RIP! A Remix Manifesto, a documentary about Girl Talk and mash-up music, here.

I highly recommend Good Copy Bad Copy, a documentary about how modern copyright law is stifling popular culture instead of aiding it, Creative Commons, and Girl Talk (among others), which you can watch and download here.

And if you like all that, Continue reading

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