Funnybooks with Aron and Paulie: Gary, Indiana

FBEP233.fw

Paul’s off in DC this week attending Awesome Con and meeting Kevin Sorbo and Nicholas Brendan while Aron, Tim and Wayne are left to carry on the serious work of talking comics.  There’s a ton of first issues this week, plus a dilemma of immense magnitude.

  • TIM’S DILEMMA
  • FREE COMIC BOOK DAY IS IN TWO WEEKS
  • THOR GOD OF THUNDER 21
  • HULK 1
  • SINESTRO 1
  • ULTIMATE FF 1
  • SOLAR MAN OF THE ATOM 1
  • SUPERIOR SPIDER MAN 31

Check out our Superman: Elseworlds give-a-way!

Check out the IoM Artist Showcase!

Also, don’t forget to check out our first quarter episode of Superman with Aron and Paulie featuring an interview with comics writer Ron Marz!

And give us a call at and leave us your thoughts. If we use your voicemail, you’ll win an Ideology of Madness SurPrize!

 

Play

Zombies, Run! 3

ZombiesRunAlmost a year ago I talked about a running app called Zombies, Run! I had reservations about writing about a fitness app here on Ideology of Madness and decided to go with our mission statement, “If we geek about it, We speak about it.” It turns out that a lot of people out there in the geek-o-sphere actually liked the app and Paulie started using the Zombies, Run! 5k trainer app.

This may still leave you wondering why I am talking about it now. Two reasons actually. First, The app has just launched season three which begins a new story line picking up where season two left off. Secondly, I noticed that you get lots of review of these types of apps but never get a follow up of how it performs over the long haul. Since I have been using for over a year, I thought it might be nice to fill in this gap.

Zombies, Run! 3 picks up where last season left off story wise. I don’t want to spoil season two for those out there that haven’t finished yet but know that it starts out with bang. When I use it I run with the thirty minute time frame and always end up going into radio mode and was happy to find that this seasons radio mode starts out with a much happier note when compared to the gut-punch that was season 2.

All the same running mechanics are still there for your use. It has two time frames for your routine, thirty minutes and one hour. you get story broken up by whatever playlist you choose before you start. You can turn on interval training by activating zombie chase mode and will be randomly pursued by zombies on your run. There is the airdrop mode that allows you to select a point on the map of your area. You then run to the point and back and it provides a supply style run for you the entire time.

The new part introduced in season three, outside of the story, is interval training and the interface. I mentioned earlier that you can turn on zombie pursuit to introduce interval training. The flaw in this is that it is random. The interval training mode provides specific timed intervals which allows you to ramp up training to build stamina and speed. There are currently three levels of interval training and I am betting that more will be forth coming. The interface itself was cleaned up to provide a more streamlined look as well as more ease of use while running. The home page now shows; how your missions are set up, which mission is next, and does it need downloaded. Everything can be adjusted from the home screen allowing  you to change running music, zombie chase, download mission, or just getting started. Very convenient as before you had to navigate to other screens to do everything.

Having used the app for a year, I have to say that it is damn fine app. I am hesitant to categorize myself as a runner but after looking at my stats on this app I have to accept this appellation. The thing is that this app is what made this possible. There were days when I didn’t want to get up and workout at all and I would at least get out and run to hear the next part of the story. I knew that I could just listen and find out what happened but I didn’t want my run stats to be off. When I was running indoors over the winter, I freaked out a bit about this due to the inability of the gps tracking to get a good idea of distance traveled on the tiny indoor track. The app has plenty of ways to track distance other than gps but they did not provide a map of your run and I hated not having this as well.

The have been many updates made to the app since I picked up and, for the most part, they went smoothly. When things did go pear shaped the customer service was excellent and things were fixed quickly. I also like that it has a base building component. As you run, you collect items for your base. You are then able to build things like farms and housing to increase the size, defense, and morale of your base. The main flaw I’ve found with the app is that you aren’t able to share things with other people and following friends is difficult. When you share your run it pushes a link to twitter and Facebook. The link takes you to the main Zombies, Run! page. I hope that this will change and take you directly to the run that is being shared as well as allowing you to be followed by others using the app. It would be nice if you could then share resources to help those just staring out to build their bases and repair their bases when they haven’t ran in awhile as an incentive.

Zombies, Run! is an excellent app. You can use it for walking or running and get a great story and a good workout. It will also transition with you from novice to experienced runner and help you get better at it as well! The price point for the new season is normally $7.99 and is currently on sale for $5.99 which are both prices I would pay for a novel and this gives you so much more for your money.

IoM Artist Showcase: Scott Blair, Day 5

cover_catpool5Concluding our conversation with this week’s IoM Artist Showcase illustrator Scott Blair…

Ideology of Madness: What’s your favorite comic book character to draw and why?

Scott Blair: Catpool! Because it’s my cat, Creedence, dressed up in a Deadpool costume.

… We hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s IoM Showcase featuring Scott Blair and his artwork.  Come back for more fantastic artists in the Showcase!

IoM Artist Showcase: Scott Blair, Day 4

cover_hulk2014Continuing our conversation with this week’s IoM Artist Showcase illustrator Scott Blair…

Ideology of Madness: You’ve got a busy con schedule this year – I’m looking forward to seeing you in Austin, by the way.  What types of work are you producing at cons this year?

Scott Blair: For cons this year, I’m still focusing on drawing on the blank variant sketch comic covers. I get a kick knowing that there are thousands of copies of any given cover out there, but drawing a custom cover for someone makes it one-of-a-kind and unique. I like making them look like real covers, and enjoy the double takes I get at my table when people don’t know what they are.

… Come back tomorrow through Friday for more of our conversation with Scott Blair and his artwork.

Superman: Elseworlds Give-a-way!

Image-1It’s no secret that we here at Ideology of Madness miss the Elseworlds books from DC Comics.  Elseworlds was the DC take on Marvel’s What If.  Rather than simply being content on telling alternate endings to stories as Marvel was, DC told wildly fanciful alternate universe stories.  Whereas Marvel might tell the story of What If Gwen Stacy Didn’t Die, DC  would tell a tale exploring the the consequences of a certain Kryptonian rocket ship crashing in a 19th Century jungle, Soviet Russia, or even on Apokolips. Damn, those are good stories!

We waxed nostalgic about some of our favorite Elseworlds stories in a recent Superman with Aron and Paulie.

Now you have a chance to win some Elseworlds goodies!

  • Superman/Tarzan: Sons of the Jungle
  • Supergirl & Batgirl: Elseworld’s Finest
  • Superman/Wonder Woman: Whom Gods Destroy
  • Superman: The Dark Side
  • Superman: Kal
  • Superman: Red Son

That’s six different Elseworlds stories!

The Deets:

All you gotta do is post your recommendations for an all-new Superman Elseworlds story in the comments below or call and leave us your pitch on the hotline – 972-763-5903972-763-5903!

One entry per person, please.

Winners will be chosen at random.

Items will only be shipped within the continental United States.

You must be 18 or older to enter.

The winner will be announced on the next episode of Superman with Aron and Paulie.

IoM Artist Showcase: Scott Blair, Day 3

cover_harleyateraWelcome back to the Showcase!  Continuing our conversation with this week’s IoM Artist Showcase illustrator Scott Blair…

Ideology of Madness: We love your pinups, those 40s era ladies you draw are amazing. What got you into that style?

Scott Blair: Growing up surrounded by vintage magazines, movie posters and memorabilia from the 1940′s in our family business, definitely had a lot to do with it. That style and look has influenced my work a lot, and made me want to create my own set of modern pinups for the HARD CANDY book.

… Come back tomorrow through Friday for more of our conversation with Scott Blair and his artwork.

 

IoM Artist Showcase: Scott Blair, Day 2

Continuing our conversation with this week’s IoM Artist Showcase illustrator Scott Blair… Today, we focus on the artist/client experience.

cover_bwidow1Ideology of Madness: From my own experience, I get the best work from artists when I can get them excited about the project. When someone is seeking commission work from you, how best can a client engage you to get you jazzed?

Scott Blair: When a client follows my work, usually they can tell what I like to draw. It’s easy to tell on the initial interaction if I’m going to be jazzed about the project or not. I’m fortunate now at this point where I can pick and choose what to take and what not to, I don’t take projects I don’t get excited about anymore. The end result just doesn’t turn out as good.

IoM: If you’re drawing just for you, what’s the subject?

Scott Blair: I love to draw sexy femme fatales with monsters, maybe it’s from growing up watching old Universal horror movies.

… Come back tomorrow through Friday for more of our conversation with Scott Blair and his artwork.

Dread

There are a couple of core facts that are common to almost every role-playing game.  Even for newcomers to role-playing games, people not like me who have been doing it for decades; one of the most basic items of every game, one that seems intrinsic to role-playing is dice.  Unless you are playing a pure storytelling game which is just storytelling and not really a game at all, you need some sort of random result generator.  For most of role-playing history this random result generator has been some form and number of polygon or polygons with different symbols painted on the sides.  Usually, those symbols have been numbers but words, symbols and even advertisements have been used.  For some games, they have branched out to other randomly generated results like cards.  These options add a bit more strategy to the game and even a little skill but are still based (literally) on the luck of the draw.  And of course, there have been combinations of the of different random result generators.

Dread stands the idea that dice or cards to randomly generate result are needed to play a game on its head.  Instead of dice, the game uses a stacked block tower (hereafter referred to as a “Jenga” tower because, no one calls them “cotton swabs,” either.)  There may be some debate about how much influence the player’s dexterity and skills have over the effects of the game as opposed to the inherent abilities of the character, but there is more than a little brilliance in the simplicity of this device. Read more

Funnybooks with Aron and Paulie: He Saved Everyone One of Us!

FBEP232.fw

Flash…Aaaaaaahhhhh! He saved every one of us! Yes folks, we have a new Flash Gordon book and, spoiler warning, it’s freakin’ fantastic! We’ve also got new #1′s from Marvel and Zenescope, Invicible has a really bad day, and we give our full thoughts about Captain America: The Winter Soldier!

  • Kings Watch #5/Flash Gordon #1
  • Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #1
  • Helsing #1
  • Invincible #110
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • Wayne went to St. Louis Wizard World
  • DC relaunching Suicide Squad and Teen Titans
  • Superman/Wonder Woman #7
  • All-New X-Men #25
  • Magnus: Robot Fighter #2

Also, don’t forget to check out our first quarter episode of Superman with Aron and Paulie featuring an interview with comics writer Ron Marz!

And give us a call at 972-763-5903972-763-5903 and leave us your thoughts. If we use your voicemail, you’ll win an Ideology of Madness SurPrize!

Play

IoM Artist Showcase: Scott Blair, Day 1

Hello and welcome to the opening of the Ideology of Madness Artist Showcase!

We love comics here at IoM.  We especially love comic artists.  Within the gallery of the IoM Artist Showcase we will feature a different artist each week, showcasing artist’s self-selected pieces in a week-long series.  Our effort here is to introduce you to both the artist’s work as well as the artist himself.  Our illustrator for this week is a talent I was initially exposed to on social media.

Click for hi-res imageScott Blair is a brilliant pinup artist, designing amazing 40′s style masterpieces.  He’s always drawing and always sharing.  Follow this guy on Instagram and you’ll enjoy daily updates of original art both in modern Big 2 comic-style as well as many works in the tradition of the pulps.

Ideology of Madness: Scott Blair, welcome to the Showcase… You’re a graduate from Middle Tennessee University’s graphic’s design program. How well do you feel your university experience prepared you for a career in art?

Scott Blair: Yep, I graduated from MTSU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design. I learned that there weren’t many fun graphic design jobs available in Nashville, if you were lucky you could get an internship designing country music cds. So I moved back home and spent the next two years paying off my student loans and kept developing my illustration skills. If I had to do it over again, I would have saved the money spent and maybe taken some specialized art classes instead of spending all that time in classes teaching things I’ve never used to this day.

IoM: I gather you’re a full time freelancer. Have you been freelancing since school? What was your first gig after graduation? Related to that, how has your schedule as a freelancer changed since over the years?

Scott: It took me a while to become a full time freelancer. I worked full time with my family’s business, CAPTAIN BIJOU, selling movies, comic books and vintage movie memorabilia. At night, I would draw and paint art to sell on ebay or for custom clients. It took me about 5 years until I was making enough to go full time creating art. A typical day for me now, is waking up at 7, drawing custom sketches until noon. I’ll take a lunch break, then go back to drawing until 6. Stop for dinner, then work for a couple more hours – around 10pm I run out of gas.

… Come back tomorrow through Friday for more of our conversation with Scott Blair and his artwork.