This Halloween, rather than giving out unhealthy candy, AiPT! is handing out nutritious recommendations. That’s right, it’s time to learn what members of our staff were into this October–the spookiest month of the year!
First, what’s your favorite Halloween memory? In third grade, my mom helped me put together this super-legit Dracula costume. I’m talking classic, Bela Lugosi-style Dracula, with a medallion, white dress shirt, fangs, and a cape. I even smeared “stage blood” around my mouth to look like I had just sucked some blood out of a fresh victim’s neck. I’m telling you, it was badass.
I was going through a phase in which I was adamant that all Halloween costumes should be spooky. I liked dressing up as superheroes in previous years, but by the time I was about nine I was a burgeoning horror fan, and I didn’t see what Spider-Man had to do with a holiday that was all about scary, evil stuff. I’ve eased up on that idea as I’ve grown older, but I still like to see a few Frankensteins or witches when I go to a Halloween party.
Oh, and I got a lot of mileage out of that stage blood. It flowed and dried just like real blood, so I could pull some vicious pranks, including one that went so wrong that it much turned me off from pranks to this day. But that’s a story for another time.
Favorite current comic series: I’ve said this before, but I love Snotgirl, and I’m surprised that I don’t see more people talking about it. It’s written by Bryan Lee O’Malley, so if you like Scott Pilgrim, you’re doing yourself a disservice by not picking up this relatively new series. It’s only on its seventh issue, and the first volume is available in trade paperback, so it should be easy to catch up.Whether or not you’re already familiar with O’Malley’s work, there’s a lot to like. The art is by Leslie Hung with colors by Rachael Cohen (taking over for previous colorist Mickey Quinn) and lettering by Maré Odomo, and it all comes together for this contemporary, expressive, sexy aesthetic that perfectly fits the premise: Lottie Person is a blogger and model who seems to think her greatest flaw is her allergies, but in truth, that should be the least of her worries, especially since she may very well be a criminal.
It’s dark, funny, and gorgeous to boot, plus O’Malley hasn’t lost his talent for capturing twentysomething life, so I can’t wait for the next issue!
Favorite current TV series: Bojack Horseman, easily. I devoured the fourth season over the course of a weekend as soon as it went up on Netflix. A lot has been said about the way the show explores depression, and as someone who suffers from depression, I deeply appreciate the sensitive, honest, and humorous approach to a subject that many people either don’t understand or are afraid to discuss.
I barely even think of it as a comedy anymore. That’s not to say it’s not funny, because it is, but since it delivers so many emotional gut punches, and even made me tear up at least twice this season, I process it as more of a drama.
Last great movie you saw: Blade Runner 2049. I was incredibly skeptical of the idea of a sequel to such a thoughtful, groundbreaking film as Blade Runner, especially without Ridley Scott, but I was stunned. It’s respectful to the source material, not just by capturing a similar aesthetic or winking at the audience with fan service, but playing with big ideas and emphasizing storytelling over special effects–although, of course, this movie is gorgeous. Shot after shot is just perfect, with the way they’re framed and the use of color, so I won’t be surprised if this film gets studied in college courses someday, just as I first experienced the original through a screening with Rowan University’s Philosophy Club.
Biggest pet peeve of the moment: My frustration toward #comicsgate and all the racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia behind this toxic community is too rooted in consequential matters to be a pet peeve, but one relatively minor aspect of it that gets on my nerves is the insistence on talking about sales. First off, it’s boring! I care about sales to the degree that creators get the recognition and compensation they deserve, and that my favorite titles don’t get canceled, but unless you’re in the business of selling comics yourself, why do we need to have a conversation about it? Plus, these dudes aren’t taking digital or bookstore sales into account, because not everybody who reads comics wants to or can go to their local direct market shop every Wednesday.
By the way, if I say “I love Squirrel Girl,” and you respond “it sells under 10,000 copies,” that’s not a counterargument. You’re trying to have a different conversation because you want to tell me how “SJW Marvel” is trying to push some sort of agenda, and if you’re making that argument, you’re either intellectually dishonest or ignorant, because why would a corporation as powerful as Marvel go out of its way to lose money?
A few low-selling titles aren’t going to kill the medium. If anything, it’s those same (almost overwhelmingly straight, white and male) voices who whine about “diversity” on YouTube and Twitter and either don’t realize or care that these gatekeeping tactics against women and minorities are poisoning the future of the industry. That, and piracy.
So, what’s your favorite Halloween memory? For me, Halloween is packed full of great memories. Choosing a favorite is difficult, but I am fond of a specific memory from my high school days where I, as well as a group of good friends, trick-or-treated for something like eight hours. We walked from neighborhood to neighborhood, filling pillowcases with pounds of candy, leaving no lazy-bowl-o-candy left untouched, for hours my friends and I were focused on nothing but getting as much candy as possible.
Thinking back to this day reminds me of the blissful ignorance that scouring neighborhoods for candy can bring. Days like this were simpler; stress was non-existent, and all that mattered was having a good time with a group of good times.
Favorite current comic series: Man, this is a tough question. I’m reading a lot, and I am really digging several series right now, so picking one as a favorite is far from easy. With that said, and I don’t know if this counts or not, but I am really enjoying what the folks at DC are doing with the Dark Knights: Metal event. I’m enjoying the crossover books as well as the one-shots, but Scott Snyder’s work on Dark Knights: Metal is fantastic.Even having read, and enjoyed, his collection of short stories, Voodoo Heart, it’s safe to say that I am a Scott Snyder fan; and with such an epic, Batman-centric premise, Dark Knights: Metal, in my eyes, is close to perfect.
Favorite current TV series: Hands down, The Walking Dead. I’ve been watching since Season 1, and reading since some time before, and for me, despite what the bandwagon fans say, the show has been consistently great. Sure, there have been slower seasons, but expecting every season to be a non-stop walker killfest is outlandish. I like action and being glued to the edge of my seat as much as the next guy, but the slow burn works just as well.
Last great movie you saw: While I would typically begin answering a question like this with a question of my own, asking something like, well, “what makes a film great,” I’ll spare you the douchebag movie buff bullshit and say that Blade Runner 2049 was damn good. Note: Blade Runner 2049 also happens to be the last movie that I’ve seen (in theaters at least), but regardless of when I saw it and how fresh it is my mind, I was quite impressed with the film.
Yes, I think that a good 20-30 minutes could have been cut from the final version of the film, but since this would most likely mean cutting down on some of the long shots that make this flick visually stunning, I’m alright with the length. The score is an epic, synthesized masterpiece; and thus, the film stuns both visually and sonically.
Current gaming addiction: With all of the writing and reading that I do for work and for pleasure, I don’t have all that much time to game nearly as much as I once did, and thus, I only find myself sitting in front of the ol’ PS4 for a few hours a week. But since all work and no play makes Charlie a dull boy, when I do manage to find some “me” time, I play Injustice 2.Growing up in the ’90s, Mortal Kombat was life, so now, some 20 or so years later, being able to play Mortal Kombat with superheroes and their villains does my heart good.
The way I see it, after a long day, there’s nothing better than kicking some major ass as Batman.
Biggest pet peeve of the moment: My list of gear-grinders is rather lengthy. For starters, I’m not one for loud noises, or, more specifically, noises that are either unexpected or unnecessarily loud. I also don’t like it when things like ketchup bottles are turned upside down and their labels read incorrectly. Yes, I’m one of those people…
If I had to pick something that recently started getting to me, I would have to admit that I cannot stand when, in conversation, others use the word “literally” incorrectly. Example: “I literally killed myself at the gym today.” Oh, you committed suicide today? What happened? Why are we talking?
Yeah, the whole literally thing really gets to me so let’s just go with that…